Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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238                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
imitating the motions of the frog. The " Emu dance" represents the chase after that swift running bird. The performer who takes the part of the Emu, imitates its fleet, long strides, and gives out the low rattling drumming sound which is the bird's only note.
In the " canoe dance" men and women station­ed in two lines, imitate the graceful motions of paddling a canoe.
There is a dance •' with partners " prevalent in the southern part of Australia. Both sexes participate in it. Each man carries a belt of possum skin, or human hair, which he keeps stretched tight, holding one end in each hand. The men all sit down in a circle while a woman takes her place in the middle; one of the men then dances up to her, jumping from side to side, and swaying his arms in harmony with his move­ments. The woman also begins swaying and jumping in time with him, as he approaches her, and after a short f>as de deux they dance back to their places, while the centre is occupied by a fresh couple.
A strange dance was celebrated by the Tasma-nians at each full moon. The various tribes assembled at some trysting place, and while the women prepared the fire, and fenced off a space for the dance, the men retired to adorn them­selves with paint, and to fasten branches of bushy twigs to their ankles, wrists and waists. The women being seated at the front of the space, one of the oldest among them, strode forward,

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