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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Pow Wow Talk > Smoke Dance Smoke Dance Help! Smoke Dance Help!

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:10 PM   #1
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Smoke Dance Help!

Hello all! I am trying to set up a few classes for an elementary school class about First Canadians (and Americans) I wanted to include song and dance as a part of the lessons and have decided that the Smoke Dance would be a good start. I am having some trouble with a few things and was hoping someone could help!

I would like to know if the Smoke Dance Lyrics are improvised on the spot or thought out in advance, I would like to know if they lyrics themselves are syllabic or actual sung words, and finally is there any language specific to the smoke dance that you won't find in other dances?

Thanx

Peter
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:10 PM   #2
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So you are wanting to teach a lesson about something you seem to not quite know about?

I'm confused.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigChef View Post
So you are wanting to teach a lesson about something you seem to not quite know about?

I'm confused.
Why would you assume I know nothing about it? I know the history, dance, economics, geography. All i'm missing is language and dress which is why I came here. But if its too much trouble to share your culture then perhaps I won't teach it and another generation will grow up knowing nothing of our first peoples, no skin off my back but I would love to share my music and culture if I were asked.
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boborko View Post
Why would you assume I know nothing about it? I know the history, dance, economics, geography. All i'm missing is language and dress which is why I came here. But if its too much trouble to share your culture then perhaps I won't teach it and another generation will grow up knowing nothing of our first peoples, no skin off my back but I would love to share my music and culture if I were asked.
I didn't say you know nothing about it, only that it seems you don't know much about it. If you don't know that much about the "lyrics" I can't help but to assume you don't know much about the topic.
My people don't smoke dance, so it also is no skin off my back. However I would try to get someone that smoke dances to speak about it (I am assuming that you are in an area in which smoke dance culture is prevalent otherwise you would have picked something relevant to your geographical area). I would'nt ask a couple of questions on the internet and feel I had the right to speak about smoke dancing. If I could'nt get a smoke dancer who would like to speak on it, I would move on to another dance that I could find a person with connections to said dance to speak to the students.

I applaud your wanting to give your students a glimpse of native culture, I just think getting a native to speak on it is best.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boborko View Post
Hello all! I am trying to set up a few classes for an elementary school class about First Canadians (and Americans) I wanted to include song and dance as a part of the lessons and have decided that the Smoke Dance would be a good start. I am having some trouble with a few things and was hoping someone could help!

I would like to know if the Smoke Dance Lyrics are improvised on the spot or thought out in advance, I would like to know if they lyrics themselves are syllabic or actual sung words, and finally is there any language specific to the smoke dance that you won't find in other dances?

Thanx

Peter
ok y don't u tell us what u do know about smoke dancing then we can fill in the blanks. Some people are misinformed about this style of CONTEST dance. As for the songs, the fast paced ones used for contest mostly derive from other social dances and are adjusted to fit the smoke dance style. As for words, mostly syllabic, however some of the slow paced songs do have words. songs are not improvised on the spot. Smoke Dance style of dance is indigenous to the haudenosaunee. So the language comes from that of the haudenosaunee, but the haudenosaunee have 6 distinct languages due to 6 distinct tribes.

But I would agree with BigChief, u should ask someone to come speak to the children or do a dance show. I know alot of ppl/groups who do this for a living. It sure helps in getting rid of stereotypes and myths. U know like dancing so the smoke goes through the hole in the longhouse....lmfao so not true!!!!

But thank you for including us(the haudenosaunee) in ur discussion.

Also, what are the economics of smoke dance that u refer to?
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boborko View Post
Why would you assume I know nothing about it? I know the history, dance, economics, geography. All i'm missing is language and dress which is why I came here. But if its too much trouble to share your culture then perhaps I won't teach it and another generation will grow up knowing nothing of our first peoples, no skin off my back but I would love to share my music and culture if I were asked.
I think you need to hold on a second and chill out. First of all, I'm pretty sure Haudenosaunee culture will continue on whether you teach it or not and young children who are eager enough to learn about Native cultures will seek out what they want to learn anyway. Secondly, You need to talk to an Haudenosaunee person who wants to help you but you seem to have a slight attitude. I am not Haudenosaunee but I go to school in their territory (Cayuga) so I know a lot about Haudenosaunee history and culture but I don't think I have the authority to tell you what you want to know about Smokedance.

I would suggest you pay a visit to a museum on one of the reservations. Oneida Nation has an awesome Museum/cultural center. Also, there are various dance groups who travel through New York State who perform social dances and Smokedance and teach it as well. One I know very well is the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers led by Sherri Hopper. Sorry but I don't know any groups for Canada.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvr_wmn View Post
ok y don't u tell us what u do know about smoke dancing then we can fill in the blanks. Some people are misinformed about this style of CONTEST dance. As for the songs, the fast paced ones used for contest mostly derive from other social dances and are adjusted to fit the smoke dance style. As for words, mostly syllabic, however some of the slow paced songs do have words. songs are not improvised on the spot. Smoke Dance style of dance is indigenous to the haudenosaunee. So the language comes from that of the haudenosaunee, but the haudenosaunee have 6 distinct languages due to 6 distinct tribes.

But I would agree with BigChief, u should ask someone to come speak to the children or do a dance show. I know alot of ppl/groups who do this for a living. It sure helps in getting rid of stereotypes and myths. U know like dancing so the smoke goes through the hole in the longhouse....lmfao so not true!!!!

But thank you for including us(the haudenosaunee) in ur discussion.

Also, what are the economics of smoke dance that u refer to?
Hi Thank you for your response! By economics and history and so on I meant that I will teach the children of those as well. the History of the 6 nations confederation the peace pact, the economics of your people BEFORE Europeans, and the geography, where you lived-live. I wanted to include dance, dress, and language. I wanted to have them learn a song but also understand it hence the questions about the lyrics. I wish I could bring a group in or better yet a trip to a pow-wow BUT the higher up would probably rail me if I even bothered teaching them something outside the box, let alone ask them to pay for it!
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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I guess my real point is... that even with First people in our schools, as our neighbours and friends at work, we STILL teach children as if they were a part of some distant history instead of a living breathing culture in our own back yards! I was hoping to start a change.
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:00 AM   #9
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I love smoke dance.In this thread i got lot of great ideas about Smoke dance.about smoke dance i think smoke dance is a competitive version sped up from the original version which is the war dance instead of dance b4 and after war they made it for competition
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:50 PM   #10
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I'm chiming in a little bit late here but I still think---even if you couldn't get permission to pay someone---that you should try to find someone who would be willing to come and speak to the kids and share a little bit for free who is actually in that culture, not just try to gather information this way and then teach it. I think surely if you talk to people who live it, there will be some who would rather contribute their own knowledge in the interest of educating younger generations about this without charge than just see someone outside trying to give information that's not first-hand.

Sometimes when others try to teach such things, I think it makes First Nations people feel like monkeys in a zoo where they're being taught about as though they're not part of mainstream life right here in this country. It feels like, "Oh look, here are these other species who are so interesting to learn about"---but from afar----when actually they're people just like anyone else and they're living everywhere anyone else lives, with feelings and intelligence and loves and interests like anyone else.

I hope you'll look around, inquire at tribal headquarters, maybe go to some powwows, (but read the etiquette posted here first, of course) and see if you could find someone who would be willing to come and speak to your kids instead of trying to do this yourself. I think it will be a much more rewarding and educational experience for everyone that way.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:00 AM   #11
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Is there any steps about smoke dance?
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