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Size: 3" x 5"
Copyrighted: 1893
Lithographer: Kaufmann & Strauss

Portugal - mandolin playing, children's games

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PORTUGAL has much in common yet differs greatly from her neighbor Spain. A different language is spoken. The Portuguese are a very musical people, dwell in a fertile country and imbibe from its soil a great love of nature, are content to dwell amid her haunts, and learn through her inspiration to express their thoughts rhythmically and beautifully. They are graceful, happy-go-lucky and charming people. Yet notwithstanding their quick response to the diversions and recreations of life, they are a hard-working and easily contented nation.
Of their love for music, the ubiquitous mandolin and guitar player is a proof. After Vespers he can be heard everywhere. In the long May twilights the young man with his mandolin will take his way strumming careless chords and snatches of those strange airs in the minor key which the Portuguese call Fados, and which are of lineal descent from the music of the old Moorish times. Young and old delight in this charming string music.
The favorite game of the children is that played with the bowl. The bowl is placed on the ground, and each participating girl or boy in turn is blind-folded and given three lunges at the bowl with a stick. The child who strikes and breaks it, is given a prize.
The Portuguese notwithstanding they are gentle, mild, humane and courteous, have such a pleasure-loving temperament that the first of April, April Fool's Day, is observed throughout the country with much more spirit and humor than it is in any other country. Every one is on the alert, yet nearly everyone becomes the victim of some clever trick or joke. And all is taken good-naturedly and with the proper spirit.
There are so many poets throughout the land, that matches of improvisation are frequently arranged. The bards improvise ballads, and invariably play the guitar to them as an accompaniment.

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