Thread: tail dances
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:54 AM   #23
Gledanh Zhinga
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Santa Fe, NM
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In the powwow scene, each tail dance that I have witnessed has been a little different, depending, I guess, on the committee's interpretation. It seems there is a lack of understanding or consensus about what tail dancers really do at their home society dances.

At the recent Black Eagle Powwow held at Santa Ana Star Casino, New Mexico, there was a pseudo, quasi something or another which the committee thought was a "tail dance". The announcer tried to explain it, but his explanation was a misch masch. After Grand Entry, four Northern Traditional dancers were chosen to be in the four directions within the circle. Four Southern hethushka songs were sung for them, and they kind of danced in their own quadrant of the circle. The four songs had tails, but there was no idea of real tail dancers coming off a bench to dance the tails. Some Northern Traditional dancers were dancing in place at one side of the circle, as though honoring the four guys. There were a number of straight dancers at the powwow, but I could not see that they were included in any of this. I was seated and to tell the truth, I was surprised and numbed by the whole thing. I hope it doesn't become an instant tradition.
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