At The End Of The Repast,
A Goblet, Filled With Wine, Or Sometimes Merely Water, Is Passed
From Hand To Hand, And After This Had Gone Round, The Company Begin
In the evening dancing is vigorously pursued to the music
of a guitar; unfortunately, it was Lent during my visit, when all
public amusements are prohibited.
The people themselves, however,
were not so particular, and were only too ready, for a few reaux, to
go through the Sammaquecca and Refolosa - the national dances of the
country. I had soon seen sufficient; the gestures and movements of
the dancers were beyond all description unbecoming, and I could but
pity the children, whose natural modesty cannot fail to be nipped in
the bud by witnessing the performance of these dances.
I was equally displeased with a remarkable custom prevalent here, in
accordance with which the death of a little child is celebrated by
its parents as a grand festival. They name the deceased child an
angelito, (little angel), and adorn it in every possible way. Its
eyes are not closed, but, on the contrary, opened as wide as
possible, and its cheeks are painted red; it is then dressed out in
the finest clothes, crowned with flowers, and placed in a little
chair in a kind of niche, which also is ornamented with flowers.
The relations and neighbours then come and wish the parents joy at
possessing such an angel; and, during the first night, the parents,
relations, and friends execute the wildest dances, and feast in the
most joyous fashion before the angelito.
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