Description: Padstow, a fishing village on the coast of Cornwall, celebrates May Day with an ancient custom: two osses (hobby-horses) dance through the town streets accompanied by drums and accordions. All Padstownians participate in the event, which has now become a tourist attraction drawing over tens of thousands of annual visitors. Folklorists Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy and filmmaker George Pickow collected footage at the festival in 1951, producing a pioneering work in the use of sound, low-light photography, and conversational presentation of narrative. A favorite of Margaret Mead, who used it in her classes, the film circulated widely and continues to have influence today, especially in the neo-Pagan community.
About the session: A short film about the famous May Day tradition of Padstow, Cornwall, involving the "Old Oss" (or Hobby Horse) and the local traditions of celebrating the holiday. Shot by George Pickow, sound by Jean Ritchie, with script and direction by Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy.
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