Some Gypsy & dance references

This will be a little different to the usual post, as I am asking for people’s thoughts and opinions about some websites.

This link popped up on Facebook and after reading through it, I wasn’t happy with some of the theories it presented as fact. At least, not about the dance anyway. Such as it being only from fertility cults, Egypt importing Indian dancers in 1500 BC etc.– Gypsy research.

None of the geocities links work, but there is a link to a Sir Richard Burton book- The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam. This is a pdf download rife with anti-semitic sentiments. A link to the book minus the anti-semitic nonsense can be found here in the Internet Archive- The Jew, The Gypsy, and El Islam.

Please look through the page and let me know what you think. I would love a factual discussion!

Flamenco & the Zambra Mora

This clip was done by Nesma, a dancer in Spain. Many people believe that Flamenco originated in the dances of the Moors. The Moriscos danced what is known as the Zambra Mora, which was forbidden and then they were expelled.These two clips are done by Puela Lunaris, who runs Dances of the World.This clip was done by Anjelica Scannura, a teacher at the Arabesque Academy. There are also many more clips of Flamenco & Zambra Mora on the Ana Otero YouTube Channel.
Exploring Flamenco’s Arab Roots by Greg Noakes. From Saudi Aramco World.
Zambra Mora by unknown author on
Zambra Mora by Ana Ruiz. This is a chapter of her book about Zambra Mora but her book Vibrant Andalusia: the spice of life in southern Spain can be read via Google Books. Preview only.
The Zambra Mora (also known as Danza Mora) by Maureen Theresa.
Andalusian, Gypsy, and Class Identity in the Contemporary Flamenco Complex by Peter Manuel. JStor article.
Dances for the Royal Festivities in Madrid in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries by David Sanchez Cano. JStor article.


A folkloric dance that is an offshoot from Sufi Whirling Dervishes. They are normally performed for tourists now, but I am unsure how long they have been performed.
Unfortunately the video is not great in that clip. Performed by Osama Mimi Farag.
This clip was done by Tara, a professional bellydancer in London.

If anyone out there has anything on this very striking dance, please let me know. This is what I have found so far.
Tannoura by Aleta Quinn.
Hodjapasha Culture Center– article on Rumi.
The Egyptian Castle– El Tanoura.
The Mawlawi Museum and the Sunqur Sa’di Madrasa by Lara Iskander.

Dancers on clothing

This is an ornamental shoulder band, made in Byzantine Egypt, in the first half of the 7th century. It is a linen base with wool tapestry weaving. It is 5.45 cm high and 60.65 cm wide, using indigo and kermes dyes. Currently in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Sorry, this is the largest picture I could find. It is two naked dancers, woven in silk. Thought to have been made in the Ummayad or Abbasid period of the 8th century, it decorated a tunic. The dimensions are 15.5cm x 14cm, the fabric is a weft-faced plain weave with inner warps. The dancers are holding pomegranates and branches. From the AMICA Library.

Both of these textiles are from Egypt.

A flask with a Persian dancer

This is a flask with a flattened body, thought to have been made in the early 17th century. Made in Isfahan, Iran out of siliceous clay paste ware, molded decoration under a coloured glaze, it has a height of 22.5 cm. One side has a dancer with a seated man, on the other side is a female tambourine player. Both are set in a garden. The detail of the dancing scene-

It is currently in the Louvre.

Ivory dancers with accompanying musicians

I found this picture on but it unfortunately doesn’t have much information as where the object is, let alone a good picture. It is on the cover of a book called Women and the Fatimids in the World of Islam by Delia Cortese and Simonetta Calderini. I will be borrowing  the book as soon as I can, as it is available in a University library I have access to. However, I have found a similar picture in a JStor article helpfully put up on Scribd.

This gives the information that the item is in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. It is quite likely both pieces are in the same museum and while the Bargello has a good site, there are very little pictures. Hopefully more will go up soon. The article on Scribd is called Music and Musicians in Islamic Art by Walter Denny. It can be read on Scribd or downloaded from JStor. If you have any information or even better pictures, please let me know.
The Human Figure in Early Islmaic Art by Eva Baer. Via Google Docs.
Five Essays on Islamic Art by Terry Allen.
A Study on Islamic Human Figure Representation in Light of a Dancing Scene by Hanaa M. Adly. Via Google Docs.

Differing dancers in the Akbarnama

Both of these painting were done in 1590-1595, in a work called the Akbarnama, or Book Of Akbar. Meant as an official record of his reign, Abu’l Fath Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar was the third emperor of the Mughal Empire. A full English translation by Colonel H.S. Jarret (translated out of Persian in 1884) can be read and downloaded here on the Internet Archive. The Akbarnama had at least 49 artists of the Mughal Painting School. The picture above was done by La’l and Banwali Khord. An opaque watercolour with gold on paper, the height is 32 cm and the width is 18.9 cm. It is currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The painting above was done to show Akbar’s victory in Malwa, over Baz Bahadur. The romance of Baz Bahadur and Rupmati is still well known in the region today. The dancers are dressed in a style completely different to other dancers in the Akbarnama. They are wearing a combination of tight pants and layered short skirts. The artists who did the work were Kesav Kalan and Dharmdas, the height is 32.9 cm and the width is 25 cm and also made out of watercolour on paper with gold. Also in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Seljuk dancers

This jar was made in Iran, thought to be 12th-13th century, during the Seljuq Empire. The jar is fritware, with a turquoise glaze over moulded decorations of hexagonal compartments, featuring camel riders, dancers, seated people and horsemen. The lid is a 19th century addition. Height: 78 cm, diameter: 47 cm, weight: 28 kg. Currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The ewer was also made in Iran in the 13th century out of moulded fritware, but with a colbolt and turquoise glaze. This decoration has linked dancers around the main body of the ewer, with scroll work and animals such as lions, deer and hares over the rest of the ewer. The height is 32.3cm and is unfortunately missing the handle. Sold by Christies for £361,250 ($588,115).