Dancing and weaving tradition

Chilmark students gather 'round the Maypole in front of their school for a traditional May 1 celebration. Photo by Ralph Stewart

Posted May 4, 2006

May 1 began much like any other school day at the Chilmark School with the sound of the school bell, but that's where the similarity ended. The students would spend the remainder of the day steeped in traditions, one with ancient roots and another very Chilmarkian.

The Maypole dance is done around a pole with ribbons attached. The dancers wind themselves in and out plaiting the ribbons as they go. At the Chilmark School, the fourth and fifth grade students perform the Maypole dance under the direction of Lee Fierro. After the dance, students deliver special May baskets that they have made to Chilmark residents.