Little Egypt Dances for Edison (1896)

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Little Egypt Dances for Edison (1896)

Little Egypt Dances for Edison (1896).

Fatima Djemille (1890-3/14/1921) appeared at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It is said but not confirmed that this Fatima was the subject of two early films, Edison’s Coochee Coochee Dance (1896) and Fatima (1897). performed at Coney Island for many years.

“La danse du ventre” (basically meaning belly dance in French) and in Turkish it’s called Oryantal Tansi (again, Oriental Dance.) Early Americans called it “The Abdomen Dance” or “Stomach Dance.” Finally most people (American) call it the “Belly Dance” which supposedly was misnamed when the first Little Egypt (Farida Mazar – Spyropoulos) danced for the infamous Sol Bloom at the Egyptian Theater, it was he who coined the term “Belly Dance.” Little Egypt is said to have danced to the song “Streets of Cairo” as one of her songs.

Ashea Wabe became the talk of the town and made front page news in December of 1896 after she danced for Fifth Avenue, NY’s “Seeley bachelor party” held at Sherry’s Restaurant which was raided by the vice squad. The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, held in 1898 in Omaha, included performances by a dancer advertised as Little Egypt, it was verified that she was Ashea Wabe … Wabe stated: “It’s just this way. There are four ‘Little Egypts’ in this country, three in Chicago and one in Minneapolis. They claim to be ‘Little Egypt,’ but I am the only genuine one.” Wabe died in her West 37th Street apartment in 1908 of “gas asphyxiation.”

for more info on Little Egypt or others see:
or on Belly Dance and more:

————————Music used in this clip is by:
“Old Road” by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a CC Attribution 3.0.


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