It is worthy of remark that among civilized peoples those dances which most unmistakably suggest the sexual embrace, notwithstanding the denunciations of the clergy, always take the strongest and most persistent hold upon the popular fancy; while those which owe their pleasurable feeling to the purely aesthetic mental emotion of cadence, and rhythm in muscular movement, such as the graceful menuet de la cotur and others of Provengal origin, are relegated to the background,'
Among the inhabitants of Torres Straits " if a man danced well he found favor with women. In this country their favor depends not so much on his dancing as his ability to "pay the fiddler."
The women of the New Hebrides dance within a circle of men, as a sort of spectacle for, rather than as partners of, the latter. They leap, twist
1 Com p. Read's "Characteristic National Dances;" Cahusac, "La Danse, Ancienne et moderne," and for the later forms of the amusement, Rameau, "Le Maître a Danser."
Those who have most carefully investigated the subject are not slow in asserting that, in most of the cases where sexual immorality is found to prevail most largely among savages, it is due to proximity to, and intercourse with, the "whites;" and that legalized prostitution, as found in European and American civilization, is an institution almost unknown to savages.
Having been privileged to travel Bomewhat extensively in the far East, in China, the Malay Peninsula, Japan and the Philippines, as well as in Hawaii, I can add my testimony to that of Meyer, and others, that chastity is held in great honor in all those countries. Even among the Igorrotes, the lowest and most ferocious of the native tribes of our remote eastern possessions, the purity of young girls is protected by very strict laws,1 and the Aetas, Bagobos, Visayans, Moros and Tagals, are equally chaste.
1 was told in Honolulu that prostitution among the Kanakis was almost unknown before the advent of the Americans; and in both China and Japan, while it is quite common now, in the latter country the principle which underlies it is radically different from that of civilized prostitution; and in the former it is well known that the " token of virginity," the signum innoceniia, had to be furnished with every maiden at her marriage.*