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   Chapter 70 No.70

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 917

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

... Now comes the band of the Intrépides, playing the bouèné. It is a dance melody,-also the name of a mode of dancing, peculiar and unrestrained;-the dancers advance and retreat face to face; they hug each other, press together, and separate to embrace again. A very old dance, this,-of African origin; perhaps the same of which Père Labat wrote in 1722:-

-"It is not modest. Nevertheless, it has not failed to become so popular with the Spanish Creoles

of America, so much in vogue among them, that it now forms the chief of their amusements, and that it enters even into their devotions. They dance it even in their Churches, in their Processions; and the Nuns seldom fail to dance it Christmas Night, upon a stage erected in their choir and immediately in front of their iron grating, which is left open, so that the People may share in the manifested by these good souls for the birth of the Saviour."... [18]

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