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.
Dance Card to an Architects’ Ball, Avery’s Architectural Novelties, Columbia University, 1898.
The custom for older unmarried sisters at their younger sister’s wedding.
The Annotated Shakespeare by A.L. Rowse, 1978.
“It is an old maxim and a very sound one that he that dances should always pay the fiddler.”
– Abraham Lincoln. A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations by Fred Kerner, 1965.
“The cat is absent and the mice dance.”
– The Antiquity of Proverbs by Dwight Edwards Marvin, 1922.
The Hindu Zodiac, the Wheel of Signs, or the Rasi chakra, or evolutionary dance, has the sun chariot at the centre, surrounded by the planetary deities.
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols by J.C. Cooper, 1978.
The Japanese goddess of cheerfulness, who danced before the heavenly cave and induced the sun goddess, Ama-terasu, to come out.
Gods: A Dictionary of the Deities of All Lands by Bessie Redfield, 1931.
Ka = song, bu = dance, ki= skill.
The Browsers Book of Beginnings by Charles Carroll Hudson, 1984.
A hop or dance, where the women are all prostitutes. The company dance in their birthday suits.
Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Captain Grose, 1811.
“When one gets into the dance, he must dance.”
– Treasured Greek Proverbs by Elaine G. Bucuvalas, 1980.
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.
Dervishes occupied a special position in Istanbul, a town famed for its religious tolerance. The followers of the Persian philosopher Mevlana Rumi tried to contact Allah through prayer, music and their whirling dance.
Istanbul: The City and The Sultan, 2006.
"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.