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Yuchi Dancing

On this, the second night, about six of the before-mentioned dances were performed. Although the general characteristics and functions of the dances have been described in the last chapter, a few of the peculiarities will be given again according to the actual cases as observed on both ceremonial occasions. All of the Yuchi dances were this night performed around the fire in the center of the square. The movement was from right to left, contra-clockwise. The steps of the dancers were short, the motion being chiefly in the leg below the knee. In general effect the dance steps look more like shuffling. The foot, being brought down flat, gives forth a sound earning for the dance the name of Stamp, or Stump Dance, among the whites. Male dancers held their arm nearest the fire, the left level, with their heads and the head slightly drooped, as they said, to protect their faces from the heat and glare of the fire. The true explanation of this is probably different, but is lost in obscurity. Women never assume this posture. Their arms were always at their sides when dancing, and their feet were never raised far from the ground. Motions were constantly made, as in the Buzzard dance when the arms of the performers were lowered and raised after the manner of a buzzard’s wings. On a tree at one side near the edge of the square a space of several feet of bark had been peeled off. Here a lot of red paint of mixed clay and grease had been smeared, and this was a source of supply for those...

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