‘A Hidden Culture’ is a blog looking at culture through the eyes of an independent folklorist, oral and cultural historian.

Topics: Food, family, traditions, music, dance, children’s culture, arts, superstitions, history. Prejudice, politics, gender, conflict and other contemporary issues. The everyday aspects of our lives that inform who we are through intangible culture.

Ruth Hazleton lives in Melbourne, Australia, has studied Australian Folklife / Oral History at a postgraduate level, worked in the field (specialising in children’s folklore) and contributed to a number of publications.

Currently working on a contract basis for the National Library of Australia, Ruth is also a mum, activist and folk musician (singing, playing guitar & 5 string banjo [insert banjo joke here]) and rifling through archives in search of good songs.

Ruth B&W

The evolution of Australia’s folklife over time, with the disappearance of some items, the progressive alteration of others, and the development of new forms, is a natural process. It is important however to maintain conditions where folk traditions can survive within communities, and to ensure these traditions are identified and documented, as part of Australia’s evolving cultural heritage. This is often not the case at present, and elements of our folk heritage are constantly being lost. Community and government concern for heritage protection in Australia has so focused on material heritage – ‘the things you keep’ – that the essential intangible elements of our heritage, our folklife in all its myriad forms, have been neglected. – Australian Folklife Inquiry, 1987

Title taken from: G. Seal, “The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian Society” (Oxford University Press, 1989).