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Medal - Buninyong Highland Society, First Prize Strathspeys & Reels, Australia, 1860 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 47532

Medal awarded to Archibald Lamond, first prize for 'strathspeys and reels' Scottish dancing, by the Buninyong Highland Society in 1860. Buninyong, is located just south of Ballarat in Victoria along the Midland Highway. First settled in 1838, the town lays claim to being one of Victoria's first inland townships, and gold was discovered there just before Ballarat in 1851.

Many Scottish Highlanders migrated to Australia from the 1830s, often assisted by organisations such as the Highland and Island Emigration Society, and many settled in Victoria's western district. Highlanders were instrumental in establishing various expressions of Scottish cultural identity in Australia, through societies, and sporting clubs such as the Comunn Na Feinne, Highland, and Caledonian societies in Melbourne and country Victoria.

Part of Scottish country dancing the 'strathspey' is named after the Strathspey region of Scotland, and refers both to the type of tune, and the type of dance. A Scottish country dance will typically consist of equal numbers of strathspeys, jigs and reels. The strathspey step (like a hornpipe) is a slower and more stately version of the skip-change step used for jigs and reels. Both 'Auld Lang Syne' and 'Coming Through the Rye' are based on old strathspey tunes Sir Alexander Don's Strathspey and the Miller's daughter respectively.

The 'reel' is a lively dance of Scottish Highlanders; marked by circular moves and gliding steps. A true 'reel' consists of steps danced on the spot with a travelling figure - the setting steps can be as varied as the dancers please, while the travelling figure is usually the same throughout the dance. A reel (a Scotch Reel or Highland Reel) is noted for its rhythmic changes as it starts off with a strathspey and is followed by a reel.
Handcrafted medal, silver disc enclosed in a thin beaded ring frame with loop mount and ornamental (thistle motif) brooch bar.
Statement Of Significance:
This medal demonstrates the diversity of immigrant settlement during the nineteenth century in Victoria, as well as the determination of cultural groups such as the Scottish to maintain cultural traditions and activities in a new homeland.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 74 mm (Height), 58 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: dancing, scottish communities, scottish cultural activities, scottish dancing, scottish immigration
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: dance prizes
DateEra: 1860 AD
Obverse Description: Central cast figure of a highlander in high relief with sword and shield. Inscription: Highland Society Instituted 1857/Lamh Na/Ceartais.
Reverse Description: Buninyong/1st Prize/Strathspeys & Reels/Dancing/Archibald Lamond/Decr. 26th 1860
Shape: round with bar
Issued By: Buninyong Highland Society, Buninyong, Victoria, Australia, 1860
Issued To: Archibald Lamond, Buninyong, Victoria, Australia, 1860
References: Jupp, James, 'The Australian People', 2001

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