The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance Hardcover – 19 Mar 2013
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Rich with anecdotes and compelling explanations of the origin of many modern customs (such as throwing rice at a bride), Barber's is an informative and amusing read, often bringing together many diverse sources--traditional stories, illustrations of artifacts, and aspects of popular culture--into an illuminating whole that will serve as a nice introduction for those unfamiliar with the topic, and a valuable reference for scholars of European dance and folklore.
About the Author
Elizabeth Wayland Barber is the author of Women's Work and The Mummies of Urumchi. Professor emerita of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College, she lives in California.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
My favorite parts of the book, however, and the ones that will stick most in my mind, are about Balkan dances themselves. As an avid folk dancer in my teens, I had an intuitive understanding of the sacredness of these dances. Barber explains where this comes from, namely the ritual nature of the dances themselves, which were used to ensure fertility and connect with earth and water goddesses.
She had two quotes in the book from William McNeill, author of Keeping Together in Time, about the psychological effects of soldiers marching together. I absolutely loved these, because it was the first time I had ever seen anybody describe the magic of moving in unison with a group of people -- in the case of dancing, to timeless tunes and rhythms:
"Marching aimlessly about on the drill field, swaggering in conformity with prescribed military postures, conscious only of keeping in step so as to make the next move correctly and in time somehow felt good... A sense of pervasive well-being is what I recall; more specifically, a strange sense of personal enlargement; a sort of swelling out, becoming bigger than life, thanks to participation in collective ritual... It was something felt, not talked about ... Moving briskly and keeping in time was enough to make us feel good about ourselves, satisfied to be moving together, and vaguely pleased with the world at large."
"the emotion it arouses constitutes an indefinitely expansible basis for social cohesion among any and every group that keeps together in time,moving big muscles together and chanting, singing, or shouting rhythmically. 'Muscular bonding' is the most economical label I could find for this phenomenon, and I hope the phrase will be understood to mean the euphoric fellow feeling that prolonged and rhythmic muscular movement arouses in nearly all participants in such exercises."
Isn't that beautiful? Isn't that exactly what a person feels in something like folk dance?
I will keep this book as a reference for a long time.
Recommended for people who are interested in folk dancing, balkan traditional culture, the culture of the earliest agriculturalists, the history of women's lives and work, and / or mythic understandings of the world.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Art, Architecture & Photography
- Books > Mind, Body & Spirit > Mythology > Folklore
- Books > Scientific, Technical & Medical > Agriculture & Farming
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Customs & Folklore > Customs
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Customs & Folklore > Folklore