Ghawazee, ghazeeya and ghazee
The manners and customs of the modern egyptians
In the historic book "The manners and customs of the modern egyptians" of Edward William Lane, Lane dedicated an entire chapter of Egypt's' public dancers.
EGYPT has long been celebrated for its public dancing-girls; the most famous of whom are of a distinct tribecallede "Ghawázee". A female of this tribe is called "Gházeeyeh" and a man, "Gházee"; but the plural ghawazee is generally understood as applying to the females.
The misapplication of the appellation "Almehs"(1) to the common dancing-girls of this country has already been noticed. The Ghawazee perform unveiled, in the public streets, even to amuse the rabble. Their dancing has little elegance; its chief pecularity being a very rapid vibrating motion of the hips, from side to side. They commence with a degree of decorum; but soon, by more animated looks, by a more rapid collision of their castanets(2) of brass, and by increased energy in every motion; they exhibit a spectacle exactly agreeing with the descriptions which Martial and Juvenal have given of the performances of the female dances of Gades. The dress in which they generally thus exhibit in public is similar to that which is worn by women of the middlle classes in Egypt in private; that is, in the hareem; consisting of a yelek, or an anteree, and the shintiyán of handsome materials. They also wear various ornaments: their eyes are bordered with the kohl (or black collyrium); an the tips of their fingers, the palms of their hands, and their toes and other parts of their feet, are usually stained with the red dye of the hennà,accordingg to the general custom of the middle and higher classes of Egyptian women.