7 | MP introduction
amity and attachment towards them."
By making the social unity intensely felt, the dance is a
means of maintaining it. Before a fight, it creates in the in-
dividual a sense of social unity and solidarity. During the grea-
ter part of the year the local groups which make up the tribe are
almost completely isolated from each other. Their sense of soli-
darity therefore tends to weaken. They meet, however, regularly
at dance meetings which renew the contact, and make the unity
felt by everyone. So great is the sense of solidarity generated
among the small communities of the Andamanese that very little
punishment is needed to keep order.
The march of industrial progress has left us only with the
mutilated remnants of tribal dances and ceremonies. The incessant
chatter of the modern propagandist is a feeble substitute for
the communal activities of the tribe. By themselves, words have
proved unable to produce that direct experience of social unity
which the maintenance of society requires. For a time, industrial
communities gave little opportunity for collective enthusiasm,
although, in various ways, the town-dweller showed that the long-
ing for warm fellow-feeling was not extinguished in his mind.
Football matches and other sporting events, permit many indivi-
duals to merge into one yelling crowd. O. Tead reports how bur-
lesque shows did the same thing for the tenement dwellers of
New England. "When the ingenue came down the aisle and got all
the boys' to whistling or singing one of the popular favourites,
a real and complete emtional release and satisfaction was be-
stowed" upon these emotionally starved and bewildered people.
In more recent times, some politicians discovered that people