S.H. Pellissier

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S.H. Pellissier (1887-1978). Teacher, educational leader Afrikaans cultural leader.


He is renowned for his leading involvement in the development of the Afrikaans Volkspele ("folk dance") movement and the arrangements for the 1938 centenary celebrations of the Great Trek. He studied at the University of **, he obtained a doctorate in **. Trained as a teacher, he became director of education on the Orange Free State in the 1920s. Having been impressed by Swedish folk dance during a visit in 1912, he began to translate the songs into Afrikaans (1914) and became an avid promotor of an own Afrikaner folk-dance tradition. Utilising his position as educator - and aided by miss A.M. Köhler and miss M.E.J. Coetzee , he became systematically involved in this project in the 1930s. By the 1940s they had created a Uniale Raad van Volkspele ( "Union-wide Council for Folk Dance") in association with the Reddingsdaadbond, to organize, teach and promote Volkspele in the country and Pellissier was its chairman.

He was also Chairman of the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge (F.A.K. = "Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Organizations") between 19* and 19*. Was made their representative on the first board of the National Theatre Organisation in 1948.


Biography written by P.J.Nienaber, Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 29(1). 1989.

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