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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522                  MEMOIR ON THE STUDY OF
The performers may consist of any equal number of persons; they always dance in pairs. Before they begin each man is given a bundle of sticks or bamboos. This he holds in his left hand, and a stouter stick is given him in his right hand. At first all the men dance round and round, with head erect, as if going to war. Presently they narrow the circle and assume a crouching attitude, their eyes glancing here, there, and everywhere. The respective adversaries have been singled out; the intending aggressors make a feint or two, then bend their knees so that they are only about two-thirds of their ordinary stature; at the same time they place their feet together and make a succession of bounds, or rather hops, like a frog, and with the sticks the attacking party aim cuts at the legs of the men whom they selected as their adversaries. The latter now takes up the same attitude; he wards off attack, and returns the blow if he can. Whether intention­ally or not, one party is victorious in the end."
"A curious dance is also executed by Hindu women at Sagar, in the Central Provinces of India (ibid. p. 253). Men are present, but as spectators only. Some little time before preparations have been made for this feast. Wheat or other grain has been sown in earth placed in pots made of large leaves, held together by thorns of a species of acacia. The richer women walk along, followed by their attendants carry­ing trays filled with such pots; the poorer people carry their • own plants. As soon as each procession arrives at the ghat, or flight of steps leading down to the lake, every family-circle of friends deposit their pots on the ground and dance round them. After a time the dancers descend to the water's edge, taking their pots of earth and corn with them. They then wash away the soil from the plants, and distribute these amongst their friends. The whole of the ceremony is observed by the men, but they take no part in it. It probably fixes the season for sowing some particular crop."
These amongst others are all dances of semi-civilised peoples, and these dances, being all of a ceremonial nature, are probably derived from older customs, and performed in commemoration of these.







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