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AFRICAN MUSIC.                         261
A great " Congo " or dance was given by some of these people to Col. C. ChaiUe* Long, an American officer on the staff of the Khedive of Egypt, who made a very interesting expedition to the Makraka Nyam-Nyams, and Lake Victoria Nyanza in 1874. He thus describes the scene:—*
" Invitations had been sent to all the Nyam-Nyam lasses, who came even from as far as Parafio, and did honor to the occasion by brighten­ing up their copper and iron fastenings, and in putting on fresh fig leaves. The loose bands that encased their ankles, kept perfect time in loud clanking sound to music really euphonious, and of a symphony that my unmusical ear I regret can­not translate here, evoked from a Sinon-like wooden horse, that was beaten on its sides with drum-sticks, or by parallel banana trees that were traversed by different sized pieces of dry wood, upon which several performers beat successively.
This musical instrument, as well as drums and horns, the latter made of Elephants' tusks, were very similar to those I had seen at Ugunda. . . .
The Sheik, a robust, powerfully developed man, led his brave warriors in the dance, holding in his hand, a curiously-shaped sword, his insignia of office, whilst the round little forms of hundreds of Kyam-Nyam maidens followed, each with giddy swiftness as the "cancan" fantasia became fast and furious. The festivity continued until the ; wee sma hours' of the morning."
The trumpets of the Nyam-Nyam are more generally used as war signals than as musical
•Central Africa, or Naked Truths ibout Naked people, p. 278

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