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jarabe

folk dance for couples, popular in central and southern Mexico, notably in Jalisco state. Derived in colonial times from Spanish popular music and such dances as the seguidillas and fandangos, it was also influenced by native Mexican couple dances imitating the courtship of doves. The jarabe is a dance of flirtation, the man vigorous and attentive, the woman coy. In some versions she dances around the edge of the sombrero he tosses to the floor. Jarabe melodies are traditional medleys of earlier popular tunes. One, the jarabe tapatio (a tapatio is a person from Guadalajara), became popularized outside Mexico as the Mexican hat dance. Other jarabes include the jarabe tehuano and the jarabe tlaxcalteco.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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