The native dances of Africa, unlike those of almost every other pagan country, are, with one exception, of a serious, almost religious character. This one was intended, originally, to represent the act of intercourse between a man and a woman, and was necessarily of a highly suggestive and indecent nature; but it has been so altered, it is said, that its purport has now ceased to be obvious to strangers.

As a matter of fact, if we compare the native African dances with those lascivious orgies of Greece and Rome, during the latter's periods of boasted enlightenment, the Floralia and the Dionysia, where, "at a signal from the sediles, the courtesans sprang into the circus, undressed themselves until they were naked, and assumed lascivious attitudes, amid the plaudits of a delirious people; where, to the sound of trumpets, naked men jumped into the arena, and an awful mclle of prostitution was publicly accomplished, amid the transports of the multitude,'" we shall have little difficulty in awarding the palm for decency and modesty to the African savage.