DANA, s. H. dana, literally ‘grain,’ and therefore the exact translation of gram in its original sense (q.v.). It is often used in Bengal as synonymous with gram, thus: “Give the horse his dana.” We find it also in this specific way by an old traveller:

1616.—“A kind of graine called Donna, somewhat like our Pease, which they boyle, and when it is cold give them mingled with course Sugar, and twise or thrise in the Weeke, Butter to scoure their Bodies.”—Terry, in Purchas, ii. 1471.

DANCING-GIRL, s. This, or among the older Anglo-Indians, Dancing-Wench, was the representative of the (Portuguese Bailadeira) Bayadère, or Nautch-girl (q.v.), also Cunchunee. In S. India dancing- girls are all Hindus, [and known as Devadasi or Bhogam-dasi;] in N. India they are both Hindu, called Ramjani (see RUM-JOHNNY), and Mussulman, called Kanchani (see CUNCHUNEE). In Dutch the phrase takes a very plain-spoken form, see quotation from Valentijn; [others are equally explicit, e.g. Sir T. Roe (Hak. Soc. i. 145) and P. della Valle, ii. 282.] 1606.—See description by Gouvea, f. 39.

1673.—“After supper they treated us with the Dancing Wenches, and good soops of Brandy and Delf Beer, till it was late enough.”—Fryer, 152.

1701.—“The Governor conducted the Nabob into the Consultation Room…after dinner they were diverted with the Dancing Wenches.”—In Wheeler, i. 377.

1726.—“Wat de dans-Hoeren (anders Dewataschi (Deva-dasi)…genaamd, en an de Goden hunner Pagoden als getrouwd) belangd.”—Valentijn, Chor. 54.

1763-78.—“Mandelslow tells a story of a Nabob who cut off the heads of a set of dancing girls…because they did not come to his palace on the first summons.”—Orme, i. 28 (ed. 1803).

1789.—“…dancing girls who display amazing agility and grace in all their motions.”—Munro, Narrative, 73.

c. 1812.—“I often sat by the open window, and there, night after night, I used to hear the songs of the unhappy dancing girls, accompanied by the sweet yet melancholy music of the cithára.”—Mrs. Sherwood’s Autobiog. 423.

[1813.—Forbes gives an account of the two classes of dancing girls, those who sing and dance in private houses, and those attached to temples.—Or. Mem. 2nd ed. i. 61.]

1815.—“Dancing girls were once numerous in Persia; and the first poets of that country have celebrated the beauty of their persons and the melody of their voices.”—Malcolm, H. of Persia, ii. 587.

1838.—“The Maharajah sent us in the evening a new set of dancing girls, as they were called, though they turned out to be twelve of the ugliest old women I ever saw.”—Osborne, Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh, 154.

1843.—“We decorated the Temples of the false gods. We provided the dancing girls. We gilded and painted the images to which our ignorant subjects bowed down.”—Macaulay’s Speech on the Somnauth Proclamation.


(a). A boatman. The term is peculiar to the Gangetic rivers. H. and Beng. dandi, from dand or dand, ‘a staff, an oar.’

1685.—“Our Dandees (or boatmen) boyled their rice, and we supped here.”—Hedges, Diary, Jan. 6; [Hak. Soc. i. 175].

1763.—“The oppressions of your officers were carried to such a length that they put a stop to all business, and plundered and seized the Dandies and Mangies’ [see MANJEE] vessel.”—W. Hastings to the Nawab, in Long, 347.

1809.—“Two naked dandys paddling at the head of the vessel.”—Ld. Valentia, i. 67.

1824.—“I am indeed often surprised to observe the difference between my dandees (who are nearly the colour of a black teapot) and the generality of the peasants whom we meet.”—Bp. Heber, i. 149 (ed. 1844).
—(b). A kind of ascetic who carries a staff. Same etymology. See Solvyns, who gives a plate of such an one.

[1828.—“…the Dandi is distinguished by carrying a small Dand, or wand, with several processes or projections from it, and a piece of cloth dyed with red ochre, in which the Brahmanical cord is supposed to be enshrined, attached to it.”—H. H. Wilson, Sketch of the Religious Sects of the Hindus, ed. 1861, i. 193.]

—(c). H. same spelling, and same etymol ogy. A kind of vehicle used in the Himalaya, consisting of a strong cloth slung like a hammock to a bamboo staff, and carried by two (or more) men. The traveller can either sit side-ways, or lie on his back. It is much the same as the Malabar muncheel (q.v.), [and P. della Valle describes a similar vehicle which he says the Portuguese call Rete (Hak. Soc. i. 183)]. [1875.—“The nearest approach to travelling in a dandi I can think of, is sitting in a half-reefed top-sail in a storm, with

  By PanEris using Melati.

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