The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE EGYPTIAN TOM-TOM - At the doors of the University of Chicago, for nearly seven months during the summer of 1893, there came out of Midway Plaisance the incessant sounds of drums, with a peculiar and not entirely familiar rhythm, and probably the man represented in the engraving made as much of this tiresome noise as any other visitor to Chicago. He is portrayed on a camel, caparisoned for the wedding procession which daily passed through the Street in Cairo. There preceded this group, on another camel similarly bedecked, a half-naked warrior, and it was to furnish music for his shoulder-dance or contortions that our beater on these drums followed behind. The kettle-drums of the Western operatic orchestra offer, in their form and different sizes, an almost exact counterpart of these tom-toms, but the rhythm or tune in its exactitude was never before heard by the masses of the people, and was soon taken up as a popular symbol for Midway Plaisance, along with "Hot-Hot-Hot!" and "Alla good bum-bum!" The camels of Cairo Street were taken away from their amateur riders long enough to carry on the wedding parade, and two of the beasts carried huge howdahs on their backs. Seated in one of these frames on high was the bride, dressed in white, her lips and cheeks brilliantly painted, and a veil partly concealing her eyes. She waved a scimitar and screamed, and with her cries our drummer pounded his kettles the harder.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998