The Pattern Still Remains

Collecting snippets of information
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Each year, the Malagasy people of Madagascar perform a funeral tradition called Famadihana. The ceremony involves digging up the bones of loved ones, dressing them in new clothing, and dancing with them around the tomb to live music.

Ultimate Book of Top Ten Lists by Jamie Frater, 2009.

Cotillion Dances

The cotillion involved as many as two hundred and fifty figures, including the waltz, galop, polka, polka Redowa, polka Mazurka, schottische, knickerbocker, five step, quadrille, lancers, varsovianna, two-slide racket, three-slide racket, esmeralda, society, Bohemian, hop waltz, Boston dip and polonaise.

America’s Vanishing Folkways by Everett B. Wilson, 1965.

Tarantulas & Tarantella Dance

The tarantula has long been associated with the Italian tarantella dance, which gets faster and faster as it progresses until it is quite frantic. “Tarantism” was a kind of dancing mania found in southern Italy during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries that was believed at the time to have been caused by the bite of a tarantula.

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart, 2011. 


To shuck off clothes in order to dance.

At least one scholar believes that this Bantu term is the direct precursor for the name that migrated up the Mississippi along with the music it described - boogie woogie.

(Bantu):  They Have a Word for It by Howard Rheingold, 1988.


"This toy is a miniature of the Shishi head used in the Shishi-mai or Lion-Dance that is performed as a ritual to ward off disaster and epidemic."

From The Folk Toys of Japan by Misako Shishedo, 1963.