A black & white photograph of performers from the 1939 production of the Hiawatha pageant, taken outside the Melbourne Exhibition Building. This was the first time Hiawatha was performed in Australia, although it was well known in England. The pageant is based on a poem by Longfellow, about a man who was born from the west wind and the moon who discovered the secret of fire, growing maize and how to fight disease. Longfellow's poem was based on Iroquois folklore.

The poem was dramatised and produced by London based director T C Fairbairn, with musical direction by Bernard Heinze.

The performance at the Melbourne Exhibition Building included a chorus of 700 singers made up from various Melbourne Choral Societies, with a ballet of 80 dancers. According to The Age (Friday, 29 Sept 1939): 'A Red Indian himself will play the role of Hiawatha. The performance was sponsored by Melbourne City Council.

Description of Content

Four rows of actors/ dancers in native American Indian costumes, in front of an entrance to the exhibition building. The back row are standing, the other three are seated.

Physical Description

A black and white photograph depicting approximately 48 performers, dressed in Native American Indian costumes, outside the exhibition buildings.

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