Black and white image of Lorna and Mavis McDonald wearing traditional Scottish Highland dancing costumes, circa 1917. Both of the complete costumes are held in the Museum Victoria collection.
The girls wore the costumes for dance performances in Nullawil and Wycheproof in northern Victoria around 1917. This included a World War I fundraisng event in Wycheproof in 1917. The sisters' grandparents migrated from Scotland in the 1850s and were the daughters of Neil and Annie May McDonald.
Neil McDonald's parents migrated from Scotland in the 1850s and the family settled in the Nullawil and Wycheproof region of northern Victoria. Neil was first a farmer in Nullawil and then owned a general store there, along with his father and his brother. When his brother George opened a larger store in Wycheproof, Neil joined him there until he opened his own store in Marnoo. Sadly he died from influenza in 1919. Neil and wife Annie May's daughters, Lorna and Mavis McDonald, frequently wore their traditional Scottish Highland's costumes at community events demonstrating traditional Highland dancing.
Highland dance refers to a style of athletic solo dancing which developed in the Highlands of Scotland, and is often performed to the accompaniment of Highland bagpipe music. It developed into its current form during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the context of competitions at public events, particularly the Highland games. Highland dance has been subject to many influences from outside the Highlands. For example, it has been heavily influenced by the urban aesthetics of the patrons and judges of dance competitions since the nineteenth century.
Description of Content
Two young girls dressed in Scottish dancing costumes.
Black and white photograph
Copied from Miss Betty Nixon
Place & Date Depicted
Photograph, 8" x 10", Black & White
Type of item
Childhood, Children's Clothing, Cultural Identity, Cultural Maintenance, Cultural Traditions, Dancing, Scottish Communities, Scottish Cultural Activities, Scottish Dancing, Scottish Immigration, Scottish Textiles, Traditional Costumes, Rural Victoria, World War I, 1914-1918