In the high mountains of Tatenga they dance the dance from which they take their name, in the settling light of spring and summer and autumn nights. In the winter they do not dance, for the snows are fierce and heavy in the mountains, and each keeps to his own house. The women lead in this dance, and the men follow, and so it is a different thing than the muscular, fierce, and flaring dance popular on the lowlands and riverbottoms. The mountain-women are slight and slender, though their arms are sturdy and their fingers calloused from work, and the men shaggy and ponderous, and so it is not by muscle and leverage and charge that the dancers make their intricate and subtle patterns, but through intense and silent concentration, slight changes in the pressure of a hand, variations in the angle of a torso, minute and fleeting expressions. It is nearly a silent dance, without music beyond one small tom drum and one steady guitar, one clear voice and the bells that jangle from the dancers, and wordless, for it is not in the language of fields and farmhouses that the singers of Tatenga regulate the Tatenga, nor in any human tongue, but in strange and meaningful syllables, short and rattling.
This is one of their songs:
a lelli kake, a lelli kake
issif butawany, kappe itzke
uwendy alli, be sossal, be sossal
It is sung at harvest, most commonly, but may be heard on any other night or high upon the air, in the morning or in the evening. The Tatenga sing eternally and pleasantly.