Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/760

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740
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

can not be overrated. Out of the old rural songs and the local cultus dances—known as mysteries and religious festivals—the marvelous structure of Greek drama was evolved. Dionysus, the god of orgies, of wine, of Bacchic revel, became in course of time the patron of the drama. Indeed, several of the great dramatists, as Æschylus and Sophocles, were clever and skillful dancers, who led in the chorus. They introduced the traditional dances

PSM V41 D760 An iroquois dancer in costume.jpg
Fig. 1.—An Iroquois Dancer in Costume, with Mask. Staff, and Turtle-shell Rattle.

in their plays for an artistic purpose; while the songs that were sung to the accompaniment of the dance took a more formal shape in that kind of poetry known as the ballad.

For the purposes of this discussion, folk-dancing may be divided into three classes: First, we have social dances. They are for pleasure or amusement, sometimes comic and sometimes erotic. In the second class let us place war-dances. They are expressions