Wilson, Teresa MacPhee - Community pressures against females fiddling | Bowing Down Home


File: wilsonteresa-oh-womenfiddling_M.mp3


TW – Teresa MacPhee Wilson

KP – Curator Ken Perlman

TW No women fiddlers at all, then.

KP I was going to ask you about that.

TW My aunt Hilda played. She was the only woman that played the fiddle anywhere around.

KP Why do you suppose that was, a lot of our [Earthwatch] volunteers are women and they keep asking about that.

TW Well, it was considered as a man's – I guess a lot of things was considered to be men-only at that time, and I think playing the fiddle was one of them. And I remember when I started learning to play the fiddle – There used to be an old lady back years ago that used to play. And when I went to play, this guy said to me, he referred to me as her, “I heard about her, I'd never seen her.” The [first] place I ever went and saw women playing the fiddle in an orchestra was in Boston. And they were Cape Breton women. There was a Mary Kennedy and a Mary Campbell that used to play, and they would both play. And I felt really good about this when I saw those ladies playing. But I liked to play, I liked to play the fiddle. And I lost my courage to play, probably because I was a woman.