Prince Yuri Lubovedsky
Each part or segment of a branch was connected to the adjacent segment by means of two hollow ivory balls, one inside the other. The outer ball did not wholly cover the inner, so that one end of any segment of a branch could be fastened to the inner ball, and the end of the adjacent segment to the outer ball. In this way, these junctures were of the same type as the shoulder-joint of a man and allowed the seven segments of each branch to be moved in any desired direction. On the inner balls certain signs were inscribed.
There were three of these apparatuses in the room and beside each of them stood a little cupboard, filled with square plates of some metal, on which were also certain inscriptions. Prince Lubovedsky explained to us that these plates were copies and that the originals, made of pure gold, were kept by the sheikh. Experts had determined that the plates and the apparatuses themselves were at least four thousand five hundred years old. The prince further explained that, by making the signs on the inner balls correspond to those on the plates, these balls and the segments fastened to them could be placed in certain positions.
When all the balls are placed as designated, the form and extent of the given posture are fully defined, and the young pupils stand for hours before the apparatuses, regulated in this way, and learn to sense and remember this posture.
Many years pass before these young future priestesses are allowed to dance in the temple, where only elderly and experienced priestesses may dance.
Everyone in the monastery knows the alphabet of these postures and when, in the evening in the main hall of the temple, the priestesses perform the dances indicated for the ritual of that day, the brethren may read in these dances one or another truth which men have placed there thousands of years before.
These dances correspond precisely to our books. Just as is now done on paper, so, once, certain information about long past events was recorded in dances and transmitted from century to century to people of subsequent generations. And these dances are called sacred.