A FREE exhibition celebrating the Land of Bards and Singers is open at Rhondda Heritage Park, the Museum of Welsh Mining, until the end of March.
It is just one of the many attractions at the ever--popular family tourist attraction in the heart of the Rhondda Valley.
The mid-late 19th Century brought many changes to the world-famous Valleys of South Wales, the intensification of coal mining led to a population growth never before witnessed.
There was a phenomenal population boom, from 23,950 people in 1871 to around 152,781 people in 1911.
Communities sprang up around the coal mines, with men, women and even children having to suffer the dangers of working underground. Drawn together by these perils, they found comfort in their language and a shared religious faith.
The choral singing that arose from the traditional Welsh chapels went on to become a defining symbol of the close-knit Welsh communities, resulting in many choirs and singing groups being formed.
In true gladiatorial combat, choirs would compete in eisteddfodau across Wales, a man’s pride was at stake and the rivalry between choirs could be fierce. It is little wonder then that Wales would gain its reputation as the Land of Bards and Singers.