Each tribe may be said to have its own traditional dance in which the figures, motions, personal decorations and songs are exclusively its own, but these tribal dances, if they are pleasing, may be "purchased" and thus passed on to other tribes until they will often be found many miles from their original home. That home, however, wherever it may be, will always be indicated, as every native knows the direction from which an imported dance came.
A certain similarity prevails throughout the West in the motions of the dance and the colours and decorations used, the distinctive features being generally in the arrangement of the personal ornaments and the devices painted on the bodies of the dancers.
To a person familiar with native customs, the colours adorning the bodies of the performers will generally indicate the nature of the dance about to be held, though there are no hard and fast rules in this direction. When, however, the women, particularly the younger females, have forehead, nose and cheeks painted with red ochre only, it is a certainty that the "Wanna Wa" ceremonies are being held. When one or more young men are seen whose bodies are covered entirely with wilgee, then one knows that "Beedawa" functions are being conducted and if several men are noticed whose bodies have either white only, white and black, or red, white and black stripes or patterns painted on them, a war dance or dance of vengeance and mourning dance combined is about to be held, and so on. Even the tribal dances that have been passed down from north to south have each their distinguishing decorations.
The Doordaaroo kening, for instance, will be recognised whether it is danced in the Ashburton district (presumably its original home) or in the Vasse district, which locality it had reached on the advent of the white man, having passed through and been adopted by all the tribes intervening between these two places. It was called in the Gingin district weerdendee doordaaroo.
With regard to the songs sung at this dance, not one of the singers in any of the representations witnessed, were able to supply the meaning of the words which were chanted with such perfect rhythm.
A full description of this dance performed by the Swan district natives will serve as an example of many local dances which have
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