Again, the same writer remarks, at the "Mobieme," or rat-harvest, some weeks of preparation are required for it, during which quarreling is forbidden, and the people's minds are brought into suitable condition for the sexual intercourse which invariably succeeds the ceremony. That this is not a sequel to every dance, however, is proven by the fact that only in the "Mobierrie," and one or two others, is jealousy forbidden. Indeed, open sexual intercourse is disallowed at many of the subordinate dances of a more domestic character; but at the "Mindarie," or great peace-festival-dance, which is held at the full of the moon and kept up all night, promiscuous sexual intercourse is secretly indulged and as a consequence far more greatly enjoyed.
The men prepare for this festival with unusual care. They decorate their bodies with feathers, stuck on with blood freshly taken from their penises, paint themselves elaborately, and wear tufts of boughs fastened to their ankles to make a noise while dancing. The wounding of the penis in obtaining the blood frequently produces inflammation and hyperemia of the organ, with consequent redness and distention; which, while adding materially to its size, and ferocious appearance, in both of which the owner takes particular delight, at the same time must render exceedingly unpleasant and painful the act for which the operation is preparative.
In other words such penises, it seems to me, would be a good bit like kings, warts, and modern health-boards, far more ornamental than useful in the world.
Among certain of the Australian tribes, sexual intercourse, however, is strictly forbidden at their dances; but, as is suggestively remarked by Smyth, at the corroborées, the ladies light small fires some two hundred feet away from the dance, to indicate their locality to their lovers; and that the latter will frequently excuse themselves from the dance to slip out and take a turn with their "best girls" in the bushes, returning, quite innocently, to finish the reel with their unsuspecting (?) partners.1
The women have a dance which, as described by Eyre, consists in joining the hands over the head, closing the feet and bringing the knees together. The legs are then thrown outward at the knee, the hands keeping their original position, and, being quickly brought together again, a sharp sound is produced by the collision. This is practised by the young girls alone, or with other girls, for amusement; and is the form of dance resorted to "when a single woman is placed before a row of male dancers to excite their passions."*