Story: Families: a history

Dance, Whakarongo hall, 1920s

Dance, Whakarongo hall, 1920s

Balls and dances were important places for women and men to meet future marriage partners and lovers. This gathering in the Whakarongo hall, near Palmerston North, was probably a 'Bachelor's Ball', specifically organised to give unmarried men in the region an opportunity to meet young women. These community events were significant in rural areas (as Whakarongo was in the 1920s). Much effort went into decorating halls for dances and women often spent many hours creating new dresses on home sewing machines. While women put most effort into their appearance, men were also expected to polish their shoes and wear their best clothes. Dances were not only ways to meet prospective partners, but also opportunities for courting couples to show others that they were in love.

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Palmerston North City Archives
Reference: 2008N_Wh17_RTL0994

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Families: a history - Families, wars and economic hardship: 1914–1944', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 March 2024)

Story by Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jul 2017