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Cake Walk Is French

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' The cake walk properly had itsorigin among the Freuch negroes of Louisiana more than a century ago. There is little doubt that it is an offshoot of some of the old French country dances. It resembles several of them in form. From New Orleans it spread over the entire south and thencenorth. It was found of coovenience to the plantation negroes. They were not wedded by license, and it was seldom that the services of a preacher were called in. At a cake walk a man might legitimately show his preference for a woman and thus publicly claim her for a wife. In effect the cake walk was cot different from the old marriage, which reqnired ouly public acknowledgrnent from the contracting parties. So this festival became in some sense a wooing, an acceptance or rejection and a ceremony. This explains its popularity with the blacks, outside of its beauties, with the accompaniment of music, which is competent at all times to oommand negro support. Cake walking bas improved, as do most things that are constantly practiced. It has lost its old significance in the so.utb. Negroes now get ruarried, when they marry at all, in the white folks' fashion. It has, however, become a pantomime dance. Properly performed, itis a beautiful one. The cake is not much of a prize, -though the negro has a sweet


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News