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Stage Name

Birth Name

Little Egypt Farida Mazar (Spyropoulos)
Fatima  
"Step right up, see Little Egypt and Pharaoh’s harem of harlots bare it all live on the inside.”

         Legend has said ( Not verified) that Little Egypt was to have scandalized and delighted visitors when she danced at the 1893 Colombian Exposition's Egyptian Theater for the infamous Sol Bloom, who was the entertainment director of the Expo and the person who coined the Misnomer " Belly dance," ( Correct term is Raks Sharki) which was known prior to many Americans as the Hootchy-Kootchy dance or  " Danse du ventre."  The song that made her famous was " The Streets of Cairo" and is said that that song gave rise to Hootchy-Cootchy. There were many "dancing girls" in this theater but " Fatima" aka "Little Egypt  ( Farida Mazar - Spyropoulos)" was said to have stood out and outright "STOLE THE SHOW." Anthony Comstock tried to shut the Expo's midway dance hall down, but only made it more popular.

    It is said that because of her infamous dance in Chicago, Little Egypt (Farida) changed Vaudeville into Burlesque with her "striptease," as many promoters tried to cash in on her ( Or its) popularity, although today, it is said (like Gypsy Rose Lee) she NEVER actually STRIPPED, only TEASED ( Also see Lydia Thompson.)

   Farida started traveling the circuit and by 1897 was dancing on Broadway. At the late age of 62, Spyropoulos even danced as Little Egypt at the 1933 Century of Progress in Chicago. Many years later, many people would claim to be the famed "Little Egypt," trying to cash in on her fame, but they were not, and today, most agree it was Farida. Some have even went so far as to claim they were her daughters or even granddaughters, however Farida never had any children.

   Another Little Egypt named Ashea Wabe  (Catherine Devine) see clip ... became the talk of the town and made front page news in December of 1896 after she danced for Fifth Avenue, NY's "Seeley bachelor party" held at Sherry's Restaurant which was raided by the vice squad. The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, held in 1898 in Omaha, included performances by a dancer advertised as Little Egypt, it was verified that she was Ashea Wabe ... Wabe stated: "It's just this way. There are four 'Little Egypts' in this country, three in Chicago and one in Minneapolis. They claim to be 'Little Egypt,' but I am the only genuine one." Wabe died in her West 37th Street apartment in 1908 of “gas asphyxiation.”

   A third by the name of  Fatima Djemille  (1890-3/14/1921) appeared at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. It is said but not confirmed that this Fatima was the subject of two early films, Edison's Coochee Coochee Dance (1896) and Fatima (1897). performed at Coney Island for many years.

    There may be even an older fourth --- "Fatima", as pictured in the Bird Cage Theatre painting in Tombstone, AZ. photo of her which is dated as 1881, which would put Spyropoulos as ten years old when she performed at the Bird Cage or those dates may be incorrect on the photo or Birthdates reported for her are wrong (below,) we may never know.

... Another reason there might be some confusion on who exactly was "Little Egypt" at the 1893 Colombian Exposition's Egyptian Theater then and after is that one dancer could or would not want to dance 20 hours a day, seven days a week. As we are aware there were many dancers (100's) that danced there and the "Streets of Cairo" exhibit needed to run wether a certain dancer from the show was present or not, and as the event created the entire show ( Not a single dancer) and any one of a number of the ladies could have been "Little Egypt" at one time or another since it was showing to a new audience over and over again.

   We also are aware that Mr. Bloom hired alot of the girls from an earlier show he saw before the Expo began. Plus the fact that after the success of The Cairo shows, the other promoters of the expo quickly added their own versions of Little Egypt. However, I think the best little Egypt got praised over others and that would have been Farida Mazar (Spyropoulos). Some of these "Little Egypts" were most likely hired after the Expo was finished at other venues in different towns, cities, states. But as time marches on, new items/info. being found might shed more light.


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

? Syria ? b.1871-4/5/1937 Mr. Spyropoulos none
     

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Related Music Titles

Belly Dance ( Raks Shark I) Egyptian Ghawazee Dancers (Fair) Cooch-Coochy polka
Hootchy-Cootchy dance!       Dance of the Midway
Oriental Dance       Danse du Ventre
Salome Dance       Echos du Temps Passé (1857)
Striptease / Burlesque       Little Egypt ( Coasters)
            Little Egypt ( Sailor Martin)
            Poor Little Country Maiden (Streets Of Cairo)(Clip)
            Rockin' Little Egypt
            Snake Charmer, the
            Streets Of Cairo, the (1895)

Night Clubs

Theaters

Stage

Little Egypt Cocktail Lounge (name only) 50's Egyptian Theater 1893 - Chicago Columbian Exposition (The Algerian Dancers of Morocco)
  Birdcage Theater, Tombstone AZ? (1881)
      Olympia Theater (NY) 1903 - St. Louis Fair
        1933 Century of Progress in Chicago

Video Clips (pop-up)

Films

Television

Related Publications

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1896 - Little Egypt (Mutoscope) [at top] n/a Looking For Little Egypt - by Donna Carlton
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1896 - Little Egypt [at top]       9/4/1893 - Puck Magazine (cartoon)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1949 - Little Egypt (Rhonda Fleming)     1/1896 - Dramatic Mirror
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Elvis Presley sings "Little Egypt" 1     7-1900 - Figaro illustré Magazine
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1964 - Elvis Presley sings "Little Egypt" 2      

Other Terms / Words to help your searches

Pantaloons The Poor Little Country Maid Nini Pattes en l'air Egyptian café of the Rue du Caire (1893)
Fathmas and Feridjees Aichas, Zohras, La Goulue Môme Fromage Narghile (Candlelabra)
Tunisian section    
  • The" Poor Little Country Maid" song is also known as "The Streets Of Cairo" song.

  • NOTE: Special thanks to: Carolina Varga (Moracco) for added information on Little Egypt.
  • Also ... The Hootchy-Cootchy dance is sometimes spelled or referred to ... 50 different ways... Hootchie-Coochie, Kootchie, Hootchie, Coochy, Hooch, Cooch etc.

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