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An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians$
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Edward William Lane

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165603

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165603.001.0001

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Serpent‐Charmers, and Performers of Legerdemain Tricks, &c.

Serpent‐Charmers, and Performers of Legerdemain Tricks, &c.

Chapter 20 Serpent‐Charmers, and Performers of Legerdemain Tricks, &c.
An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians

Edward William Lane

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter opens with derwishes who made a living by charming snakes out of houses, and then moves on to the “Howah,” who performed tricks in the street for voluntary contributions—for example, sleight-of-hand and magic tricks using snakes, knives, and fire breathing. It also looks at fortune telling, done by women who were mostly gipsies, ropedancers and tightrope walkers, who were also gipsies. Finally, this chapter describes the “Kureydatee,” who performed with monkeys, dogs, goats; the ‘farce-players,’ were male actors who performed (often vulgar) comical plays; and puppet-shows done in Turkish.

Keywords:   Charming snakes, Magic tricks, Fortune telling, Performances, Plays, Puppet-shows

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