The Nose Dance at Fool's Town by Sebald Beham, 1500-1550








The text reads:
"One day I found much enjoyment
In going to a peasant Kirchwieh
At a village called Fool's Town
There I found many greedy peasants
All full to the gills,
Eating and drinking and shouting.
The maids sang to the bagpipe music
While the youths ran and sprang about,
Throwing each other down on their backsides
So that many were badly hurt."
The text then goes on to describe
the dance/game (the person with
the largest nose wins... I would
kick butt). The prizes are suspended
from the pole consist of a garland
(1st place), a nose sock (2nd) and
pair of underpants (3rd).
"Peasants and their relatives came running up,
An enormous multitude all provided with long noses
Long, fat, and bent, droopy and pocked,
Croked, snotty, broad, plump, and spotty,"
...he really goes on like this for 4 more lines
"When the pipers both played up
the dancers grabbed each other by the nose
And pulled one another into the ring"

These verses by Hans Sachs, Nuremburg's leading poet, apparently do not describe an actual dance but rather an allegorical one. It also shows very clearly that he was not a peasant. A Kirchwieh is the celebration of the church's anniversary which Large Peasant Holiday is one of.