local origins of elegy

"This peculiar dance is given to a stranger, or strangers, whom [the Iowa] are decided to welcome in their village; and out of respect to the person or persons to whom they are expressing this welcome, the musicians and all the spectators rise upon their feet while it is being danced.

"The song is at first a lament for some friend, or friends, who are dead or gone away, and ends in a gay and lively and cheerful step, whilst they are announcing that the friend to whom they are addressing it is received into the place which has been left."

- George Catlin (quoted on p. 1 of An Archaeology of the Soul, by Robert L. Hall)

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