Native American Dance

The Native Americans used dance as a way of celebrating and they were also a aprt of many specific types of ritual ceremonies. Outsiders witnessing these dances are often surprised to discover that they look more fluid and less rehearsed or forced than traditional dances. The purpose of the dances is to show the participants and their connection to nature and the other elements, not to make a specific point.

Dances were often used by the Native Americans during celebrations. Marriages, birthdays, and gatherings were all cause for celebration and marked by a dance involving nearly everyone in the tribe. They also expressed themselves through dances to celebrate the harvest, particularly in the fall months. Other events that brought about dancing including funerals and religious celebrations, as well as celebrations prior to a large hunt and celebrations after the men returned from a hunt.

Resources on Native Americans dance and dancing include:

People still have the option of watching traditional Native American dances today. Events known as powwows are held across the country by those still involved in local tribes. The Seminole and Cherokee are only two examples of tribes that host powwow type events. These involve using traditional dances and costumes to celebrate the upcoming harvest or just to celebrate the history of the tribe. The powwows are typically open to the public and they also include other events such as storytelling and art exhibits. Those interested in attending one make a small donation to the event, with the proceeds going back to the tribe. It's the perfect way for modern day people to see traditional Native American dancing.

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