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
521
Amongst the Lamas there are also religious and secular dances performed at their feasts or fairs, the religious dances by the Lamas, the secular by men and women together, or by each sex separately. In one dance those who take part form themselves into two long lines. Each dancer holds on to the one in front of him, as in our game of "Fox and Goose." The two strings of dancers wind in and out, then divide and dance opposite each other, advancing and receding with a slow undu­lating movement, which gradually becomes more energetic. Mock sword fights then take place between two combatants, also sword dances, with two crossed weapons laid on the ground, and precisely like those performed at our Highland gatherings. In the religious dances each man wears a gigantic headpiece, which comes down as far as the shoulders. Some of the masks are ornamented. They perform several different dances, in which separate characters are performed, one a Chinese mandarin and his wife, another, two actors wear masks resembling ferocious-looking dogs, one places himself against the entrance door, the other guards the door of exit. They remind one, says Mrs. Murray-Aynsley, of the divan-palas, or doorkeepers, whose statues are seen placed as guards on each side of the shrine of some old Hindu temple. In Algeria the dancing at weddings is performed by men and women. Before each woman went out to dance she was enveloped in a garment which covered her from head to feet, her hands even not being visible, the sleeves being drawn over and tied at the ends so that the hands and arms were enclosed as in a bag. This was apparently a form of disguise, as one woman was sent back because her husband had discovered her. At a funeral also hired female mourners were dancing on the surface of a newly-made grave and uttering wild shrieks.
An interesting account of the war-dance of the Coorgis is also given (ibid. p. 251). "The Coorgis assembled in a clear­ing in the natural jungle. The forest was only illumined by jungle. The torch-bearers formed a large circle; within the open space, in the centre, were the musicians. One dance was very peculiar, inasmuch as it seemed to be a remnant of a period when every man's hand was against his brother's.







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