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Old 06-18-2004, 02:08 PM   #1
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Eastern Blanket and Eastern War Dancing?

I am wanting to know more about the Eastern Blanket Dance and the Eastern War Dance. I have seen it for a number of years at Schmitzun but would like to know more about the dances so I can appreciate them and understand them more.

It seems they are done primarily by the Northeastern tribes. When it is time for the winners to dance under the spotlight at Schmitzun, so many non-mainstream (powwow) people come up to congratulate the winners of these catagories.

Do they have many powwows in the Northeast where there are a lot of Eastern Blanket Dancers and Eastern War Dancers?

I for one am glad to see these dances as part of Northeastern powwows. It is very interesting to me as a visitor and showcases the tribes whose homeland's we are powwowing on. Tribal diversity is what makes the intertribal powwow.

Does any body know history and information about these two dances?
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Old 06-18-2004, 04:35 PM   #2
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I saw eastern blanket and war at schemitzun start around 1994 or so. I have never seen it before. I thought they just made it up so they could have their own style. This pertains mainly to the blanket. the eastern war dance looks like the people in the period clothing dancing. plain and simple.

the blanket dance is supposedly a womans growing story. shy and hiding when a young girl and slowly openning up until they blossom like the butterfly....something like that. What I dont understand is the throwing down of the blanket on the ground at the end of the song. Shouldnt they be desqualified for that? I mean, if they want to competition dance?
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Old 06-18-2004, 04:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
What I dont understand is the throwing down of the blanket on the ground at the end of the song. Shouldnt they be desqualified for that? I mean, if they want to competition dance?
:uptosomet And all this time i thought that was to collect $$$ for thier performance!

Jks....i had no idea this even existed until i went up to the Mohegan powwow....my 1st thought was "geez these guys got snaggin down to a category in a powwow!" even contimplated runnin' out there....JUST IN CASE!

:Blush
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Old 06-18-2004, 11:17 PM   #4
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BP....you're too funny girl...

Hey...quick question....was Stoney Creek singing "Snaggin' Again Tonight"? :dating: LOL

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Old 06-22-2004, 01:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
What I dont understand is the throwing down of the blanket on the ground at the end of the song. Shouldnt they be desqualified for that? I mean, if they want to competition dance?
throwing the blanket on the ground signifies the woman being of age to marry or the final stage of a wonan's life, i can't remember which one
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:08 AM   #6
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The Blanket Dance is telling of a woman's life, and what she has had to endure in it from birth. Just like the seasons, (Spring) newness, she is born from the womb, hence the shawl totally covering the head and birth the shawl opening up.

(Summer) is like adolescence and teenage years going into young adult. You pick up your dance step and on the honor beats your shawl is twirled around your head and body. Showing off, or shakin' ya tail feathers in a sense. This signifies that you are looking for a mate, and you ready to wed.

(Fall) you're an adult now and your dance becomes more calm, and

(Winter) Golden Age, your dance begins to slow down and you are ready to rest and enjoy the rest of your life. At the end of the song the women drop their shawls, just as you would dancing in other categories in Competition. If it was a Social the Lady would drop it in front of the gentlemen she had her eye on. But in Competition you have to be careful of trick endings, because you could drop and the song keep going, and you just have to stand there.

I know I am misssing some about this dance, but it is wonderful and pretty when done corrrectly. One of my Elders explained this dance to me and she dances it at Schemitzun every year, and I thank her for sharing it with me. Her husband does the War dance and goes off with it! I hope that I have helped you some, if there is something that I did not clarify well enough, let me know I will go more in detail.
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Old 06-22-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
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Sewickly,

Thank you so much for sharing this information on the Eastern Blanket Dance. I had sort of heard an explanation that was interpreted by Schmitzun emcee Dale Oldhorn. But when something is interpreted, it doesn't have the same impact as coming from someone who's culture it is a part of.

Now I can emphathize with the people in the audience who are attending a powwow for the first time and are clueless about the powwow dances that they are seeing. If they are not explained, they are simply "another nice dance" and cannot be fully appreciated.

Does anybody have any information on the Eastern War Dance? Also, are the accompanying songs for the Eastern Blanket Dance and War Dance lost and forgotten? I noticed that they have the powwow drums sing for their catagories.
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckskin pantyhose
:uptosomet And all this time i thought that was to collect $$$ for thier performance!

Jks....i had no idea this even existed until i went up to the Mohegan powwow....my 1st thought was "geez these guys got snaggin down to a category in a powwow!" even contimplated runnin' out there....JUST IN CASE!

:Blush
LOL...same....been just dying to 'try it' - practicing on those 'cold' nights' with my blankey. But really, is this dance made for the EAST COAST tribes (i.e. Mohegan, Shinnecock, etc...) because I don't believe us Eastern Iroquois dance like that.
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
Does anybody have any information on the Eastern War Dance? Also, are the accompanying songs for the Eastern Blanket Dance and War Dance lost and forgotten? I noticed that they have the powwow drums sing for their catagories.
WhoMe, I dont think that there are specific songs for these categories cuz the Eastern Blanket dance was "invented" probably within the last 20 years or so. I know the lady who started this dance and since then many Northeastern tribes have picked it up. I think its a similar situation for the Eastern War Dance.
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAXstarMom
LOL...same....been just dying to 'try it' - practicing on those 'cold' nights' with my blankey. But really, is this dance made for the EAST COAST tribes (i.e. Mohegan, Shinnecock, etc...) because I don't believe us Eastern Iroquois dance like that.

A Ramapough Lady taught it to me. Shinnecock, Narrangansett, (please forgive me for any and all mis-spellings) Mohegan, and I am missing a few more that do this dance. It has started to come down south.

No, it is not a Traditional Iroquois dance, but it is a fun one to do though.
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Old 06-23-2004, 11:07 AM   #11
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So at the end of the song the ladies THROW DOWN!
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Old 06-23-2004, 01:19 PM   #12
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yyuuuuuuuuuuuup!That's right...we throw down on the east coast.ha
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:13 PM   #13
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Have you ever sat in a school auditorium......

And whispered a story in the ear of someone on one end of the room and by the time you get to the other end you have a story that at best is off the proverbial deep end.....

Reading this thread left me with that impression.....

People if you don't know, and that's okay too...ask.....Better yet if you think you know well do your homework....

The Blanket dance comes from the Northeast region. It has evolved....(*NOTE* I did not say "made up") from older traditions. It is unique to several of the coastal tribes....The blanket is used in several variations...With several representations, i.e. a young woman's role. Blankets have several uses and in a symbolic way denote the well being, or taking care of one's family. You can look at it in stages and wheras a story is shared, although from what I know initially the dance reflected the coming of age of a woman.....so i'm not too sure as far as seeing it as a life long representation? When I asked my children's relatives....They said it is a dance of courtship....Here you may see newer or contemp nuances...It is clear that the dance comes from the Northeast region and is indeed a contribution from those peoples. There were times when the blanket was placed in front of......... if I may an "eligible Bachelor".....

Stay tuned for the War dance explanation, although please i'm open for entertainment do tell......
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Old 06-25-2004, 08:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyot_In_The_House
And whispered a story in the ear of someone on one end of the room and by the time you get to the other end you have a story that at best is off the proverbial deep end.....

Reading this thread left me with that impression.....

People if you don't know, and that's okay too...ask.....Better yet if you think you know well do your homework....

The Blanket dance comes from the Northeast region. It has evolved....(*NOTE* I did not say "made up") from older traditions. It is unique to several of the coastal tribes....The blanket is used in several variations...With several representations, i.e. a young woman's role. Blankets have several uses and in a symbolic way denote the well being, or taking care of one's family. You can look at it in stages and wheras a story is shared, although from what I know initially the dance reflected the coming of age of a woman.....so i'm not too sure as far as seeing it as a life long representation? When I asked my children's relatives....They said it is a dance of courtship....Here you may see newer or contemp nuances...It is clear that the dance comes from the Northeast region and is indeed a contribution from those peoples. There were times when the blanket was placed in front of......... if I may an "eligible Bachelor".....

Stay tuned for the War dance explanation, although please i'm open for entertainment do tell......
Hello there Coyot_In_The_House! I do think that you explained yourself well. Yes, this is a dance of courtship, but it is being done at PW's as an Exhibiton and as Competition. So each woman has to take into consideration her life and express it the way she knows. If she is married, is she single, is she older and her husband or mate or has passed on, all of these things.

But if you're at a Social and if you are an "eligible Bachelor".....then I guess you can be up for grabs.

It is a beautiful dance! And it is a beautiful story of a woman's life, only she can explain that.

I'm not being ugly in any way in this post and I don't want anyone to take it that way. I just happen to enjoy this dance, because someone shared it with me, and I am thankful for her teachings.
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Old 06-25-2004, 04:44 PM   #15
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Hel - Lo Dare......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewickly
Hello there Coyot_In_The_House! I do think that you explained yourself well. Yes, this is a dance of courtship, but it is being done at PW's as an Exhibiton and as Competition. So each woman has to take into consideration her life and express it the way she knows. If she is married, is she single, is she older and her husband or mate or has passed on, all of these things.

But if you're at a Social and if you are an "eligible Bachelor".....then I guess you can be up for grabs.

It is a beautiful dance! And it is a beautiful story of a woman's life, only she can explain that.

I'm not being ugly in any way in this post and I don't want anyone to take it that way. I just happen to enjoy this dance, because someone shared it with me, and I am thankful for her teachings.
Thanks Sewickly, although I explained the dance......not myself....Smile...Play on words, I like to play .....I certainly agree that when competition or exhibition comes into it we see a transformation of several dances. The bottom line is, it is an expression and that is a personal thing that boils down to each individual...I respect that. Over the years dance styles have evolved in several directions and it's just good to see this contribution to the Powwow way of life. It is educational and informative. Sometimes people are not aware or have overlooked Indian Peoples experiences. So none the less it is good to see Tribes come together and share with each other and express that common denominator of pride.
I like looking at what we have in common as well as how we differ....But that's what makes it interesting....

Now may play on words as far as the "eligible bachelor" reminded me of a time when I was on tour and an elder explained it in that way.....Although that is the cornerstone of the dance.....Courtship....

I like conversation like this....It is informative and enlightening....I'm still kind of waiting for a War dance explanation....?
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Old 06-28-2004, 01:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyot_In_The_House

I like conversation like this....It is informative and enlightening....I'm still kind of waiting for a War dance explanation....?
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Mee tooo!
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:16 PM   #17
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Eastern War Dance

Unfortunately, many feel that the things done in the East are brand new and made up within the past 25 years or so. But that is so not the case. We must all remember that the "powwow" as we see it and hear it today is relatively modern when put into the perspective of Native America. And many that don't visit or see other Dances of Native America think that these Dances are new the first time they are seen at a Powwow.


Eastern War Dance:

Harkens back to before the Europeans. Many Eastern Tribes, specially those of the South East were separated into "Septs or Towns or Clans." Each one repsonsible for some type of Government in the whole Tribe. And there was always one of these Groups for Peace and one for War. When the whole Tribe agreed on War there was a War Dance in the War Sept or Town or Clan.

This Dance took place in the center of the Village where there was usually a tall single pole set into the ground. The pole was rather large and painted blood red. Dancers entered the area by Senority of Age and Battles. They carried their weapons of battle with them and as they danced they did moves and gestures that would be seen in battle (thrusting and slasing moves, and pretend shooting moves upon acquiring the gun).

As the Dance progressed, the Dancers were to invole themselves totally into the Moves to the point that they could feel the enemy right there. It was no longer Dancing for they were to see, hear, and feel the blow to the enemy - complete immersion into the happening. For doing this it was thought that the battle would go exactly the way they saw it in the dance. If they did not immerse themselves like this it was believed the battle would go badly for them.

As the Dance continuted, each warrior was to strike a blow upon the the War Pole at the point of total immersion into the now "Battle" that he was doing.

Now of course, things were done differently among Tribes, but in general this continued well into the invasion of the Europeans and well into the continuing push of the Americans.
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
I am wanting to know more about the Eastern Blanket Dance and the Eastern War Dance. I have seen it for a number of years at Schmitzun but would like to know more about the dances so I can appreciate them and understand them more.

It seems they are done primarily by the Northeastern tribes. When it is time for the winners to dance under the spotlight at Schmitzun, so many non-mainstream (powwow) people come up to congratulate the winners of these catagories.

Do they have many powwows in the Northeast where there are a lot of Eastern Blanket Dancers and Eastern War Dancers?

I for one am glad to see these dances as part of Northeastern powwows. It is very interesting to me as a visitor and showcases the tribes whose homeland's we are powwowing on. Tribal diversity is what makes the intertribal powwow.

Does any body know history and information about these two dances?
Hey Who Me check this site out
http://spirit-bears-tipi.50megs.com/dances1.html

I was checking some sights, and ran up on this one. I don't the person that has the site, but you can still check it out if you want!
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:05 AM   #19
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I don't think the hyper link worked. U know what to do, just copy and paste in the address bar. It still should get you there
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:41 AM   #20
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there was a show on PBS recently about the deciding war in the American and not the one you think it was. Movie dealt with the French and Indian War. in a few scenes there were natives that were dancing what i swear is the Eastern War dance!
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