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MUSIC OF SAVAGE NATIONS.             237
repeating the words, the burden of which maybe translated in this manner,—
' The kangaroo is swift,
But swifter is Ngoyulloman; The snake is cunning, More cunning is Ngoyulloinan, etc.'
Each woman using the name of her husband, or favorite in the tribe."
" The men spring to their feet with a yell that rings through the forest, and brandishing their spears, and boomerangs commence their dance, flinging themselves into all sorts of attitudes, howling, laughing, grinning, and singing; and this they continue until sheer exhaustion compels them to desist, after which they roast and eat the product of the chase gathered for the occasion, and then drop off to sleep one by one."*
We have already expressed our opinion that the dance (pantomimic) first sprang into existence when some savage finding his own limited language (perhaps even, he had none) inadequate to describe to his companions, some deed of hunt­ing or war which he had performed, reproduced the feat in actions, to give a more perfect under­standing of it. If song be as old as speech, dancing may be said to be as old as gestures.
"We are not surprised, therefore, to find among the Australians, dances which represent such events. In the "frog dance," the performers paint themselves as usual, and then, squatting upon their haunches, jump around in a circle
•From the "Illustrated London News," Oct. 8,1863.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III