The Savage Cavy

The guinea pigs who inspired this dance!

Guinea Pig Day

Jul 16

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

World Snake Day
Snakes and Ladders
World Snake Day
The Snake Pass
Guinea Pig  Day
Buckeye's Reel
World Snake Day
Snake Bit
Guinea Pig Day
The Savage Cavy
Show More

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"I have got my people trained to feed me all day, rub my back and praise me, feed me timothy hay!" ~ The Guinea Pig Song, Victoria Brown

Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) became popular pocket pets after being brought back to Europe by seafarers from their native South America. Known by various names in other languages, (German: meerschweinchen, little sea pig; French: Cochon d'Inde, pig of India; and Japanese: morumutto, little marmot), guinea pigs are known for their docile nature and variety of social sounds including the distinctive "wheek wheek" whistle and the purring rumble sound amongst others. Shown are my very own guinea pigs who inspired this dance by Jamie Tanner which includes a signature guinea pig move called "popcorning" translated into Scottish Country Dance pas de basques! The Scottish Gaelic for guinea pig is "muileann ghuine" or "gearra-mhuc". 🐹

The Savage Cavy

Devised by good friend Jamie Tanner (in honor of this author's guinea pig herd), this dance features figures mimicking classic guinea pig behavior, including the "popcorning" behavior of (young) guinea pigs and the rarer sequence of "lefts and rights," guinea pigs favoring neither side.

 

July 16th marks the newly inaugurated Guinea Pig Appreciation Day.

For the dance cribs, click the picture of the author's guinea pigs below in front of their namesake dance.

 

Guinea pigs (cavia porcellus), native to South America, were first introduced into Europe in the 1500s as exotic pets and became an appreciated  popular subject for well known painters to include in natural studies, landscapes, portraiture, biblical and mythological representations, and many other unexpected settings.

 

Click the first 16th century painting on the right below, thought to be the earliest depiction of this fascinating creature, for more detail and an article about its discovery in 2013.

 

And for a link to another fascinating facebook page curated by yours truly, Guinea Pigs in Art - A Pictorial Gallery.  

The Savage Cavy
The Savage Cavy

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The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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