The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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CHILDREN'S GAMES
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at a loss, and would continue until a herd of buffalos came in sight on the prairie.                                                        ,
Mr. W. E. Roth gives dances accompanied by songs and pantomimic action and games practised by the N.W. Central Australian aborigines.1
In " Secular and Ceremonial Dances" of Torres Straits (Zeit. fur Ethnogr., vi. 1893, p. 131), Dr. Haddon describes a "saw-fish dance" performed by natives. He says "the advent of different seasons of the year is celebrated by ceremonies amongst most peoples; the most frequent of these are harvest festivals, or periods of rejoicings at the abundance of food. Very frequent also are ceremonies which relate to the preparing for crops or the inauguration of a season which promises abundant food supply. The saw-fish dance belongs to the latter class." Dr. Haddon visited the men, and saw the making of the masks which he describes at length. These were worn by the dancers, and consisted of an imitation of a human face resting on a crocodile's head, and surmounted by a figure of a saw-fish represented in a traditional method. The dance, which lasted for hours, was accompanied by singing a chant, the words of which served as a description of the meaning of the dance. This dance is performed to ensure a good harvest from the sea.
He also refers to dramatic death dances and war dances, and describes some interesting forms of other dances, one in which crabs are represented. He says, all the men dance in single file, and each man during the dance performs some definite movements which illustrate an action in real life, such as agri­cultural, nautical, or fishing employments; for example, a man would crouch and move his hands about as if he were planting yams or looking for pearl shell at the bottom of the sea. These movements are known to the spectators, though the foreign observer may not catch the allusion. Probably most of these actions have become more or less conventionalised during innumerable dance representations, just as some of the adjuncts to the dance are degenerate representations of objects used in
1 Ethnological Studies among the JV. W. Central Queensland Aborigines. By Walter E. Roth. 1897. London.







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