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  • Chicken Dance History

    Undoubtedly, Chicken (Prairie) Dancing is becoming more popular coast-to-coast.

    I have seen Navaho, Comanche and Lumbee chicken dancers.

    Anybody wanna' venture out and explain this dance? Perhaps the who (tribe/s), what, where, whys and how?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    the history

    I know for a fact that it had originated in Cree and or Blackfoot territory in what is now Canada. It is disputed between the two of who created it, mostly by the Blackfoot, who absolutely want to lay claim to it. I know that both tribes have their own ceremonies and societies, but it shouldn't come down to attempting to lay claim to it. The Cree have their own, and the Blackfoot have their own: the two tribes can meet and dance together, besides pow-wow was created elsewhere. Today chicken dance at the pow-wow is for everyone that wants to dance it, enjoy it. It is nice to see chicken dancers from all over turtle island. Heck, there is even a Negro chicken dancer in Canada!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, this dance did originate with either the Cree or Blackfoot people...which one I'm not sure. But this is (or was originally) a society dance, and I've been told that it still exists in this societal form in some Cree communities (Battleford).

      Now, the question: If this is still considered a society dance by the Cree (or Blackfoot or both), is it proper for anyone to just decide to make a Prairie Chicken Dance outfit and start dancing without going through the proper measures?
      I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

      Comment


      • #4
        the chicken dance came from the Blackfeet confederacy...... let me reaffirm everyone that the chicken dance (and it's songs) is a sacred dance and not merely a dance style.. it is a dance that must be learned and taught in the appropriate way, with the dancer being initiated into the chicken dance society. the dance is imitating the prarie chicken in mating, no bustle is worn.
        there is also a dance called the roundbustle which orginated from the yakama and nez perce and other northwest tribes which was a warriors dance. that dance was performed at National Powwow by Nakia Williamson with the duck and dive......that dance also has right.


        most things that the dancer carries when he dances have a meaning like the otter skin that is a part of a society, there are alot of things that some ndn people don't understand about this dance. to me i think this dance is very sacred especially with my blackfeet roots, it kinda p***es me off when i see it done the wrong way, when it should be done the right way.

        This dance was very popular in the northwest area and canada and still is.......
        Last edited by CloudN9ne; 09-27-2005, 10:56 AM.
        "Go Make Sweat!!!" -Sonny Kennedy- 2003


        don't get mad at me im just a critic

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the recognition Dennis, the fella that taught me is Arnie Mc Donald whom is BlackFoot, he is over in Afganistan right now, but stationed here in NC at Fort Bragg. And he was told that you must be taught by another Chicken Dancer, sort of handed down..

          Comment


          • #6
            Arnie is not blackfeet he is a salish/pueblo.... i know because i come from the same place he does........i am flathead/cree/blackfeet but enrolled flathead, my dad is flathead and my mom is blackfeet/cree.............just to let you know it doesn't count.......
            "Go Make Sweat!!!" -Sonny Kennedy- 2003


            don't get mad at me im just a critic

            Comment


            • #7
              On the lines of the above comments... what happens when the dance is brought to people who dont know it and ten inturn are taught by some1 who doesnt really know it?

              And end up teaching it wrong? or giving them the right to wear certain items, when they dont have the right to give???
              Oh yeah, I used to know Quentin...He's a real...He's a real Jerky

              ~Flat Beat~

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Emmy
                On the lines of the above comments... what happens when the dance is brought to people who dont know it and ten inturn are taught by some1 who doesnt really know it?

                And end up teaching it wrong? or giving them the right to wear certain items, when they dont have the right to give???
                Ask the Kiowas, this is exactly what has happened with THEIR gourd dance.
                I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

                Comment


                • #9
                  dance style

                  It's intersting that you all bring this up, and good. I believe one needs to know where their dance style comes from and originated. My family use to powwow a lot in ALberta and I remember seeing this dance done by some elderly men. It was awesome because you can see their story and the prarie chicken itself. But I believe that this dance was done in different forms depending where you were at. It is found primarily in the northern western area of the US & Canada. I seen the Blackfeet (primarily) and the salish tribes do this dance.
                  I moved to Kansas a while back and I knew Prarie Chicken was coming back in the west, but when it reached the midwest, everyone there, that was dancing it, looked and danced like a Crow dancer. LOL! I tried to asked & tell a few of the guys they were dancing it sort of wrong, but who's going to listen to a woman? But I can tell u I don't like it when a guy spins a lot. I was told by some Blackfeet/Blackfoot friends how it should be done and I relayed it to my brother-in-law and he went and asked more about it. So it was all cool. But learn and get the right/permission, instead of going out there without knowing anything..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Right. Just like grass dancing,hoop dancing, jingle, gourd, and men's traditional dancing.



                    Originally posted by CloudN9ne
                    the chicken dance came from the Blackfeet confederacy...... let me reaffirm everyone that the chicken dance (and it's songs) is a sacred dance and not merely a dance style.. it is a dance that must be learned and taught in the appropriate way, with the dancer being initiated into the chicken dance society. the dance is imitating the prarie chicken in mating, no bustle is worn.
                    there is also a dance called the roundbustle which orginated from the yakama and nez perce and other northwest tribes which was a warriors dance. that dance was performed at National Powwow by Nakia Williamson with the duck and dive......that dance also has right.


                    most things that the dancer carries when he dances have a meaning like the otter skin that is a part of a society, there are alot of things that some ndn people don't understand about this dance. to me i think this dance is very sacred especially with my blackfeet roots, it kinda p***es me off when i see it done the wrong way, when it should be done the right way.

                    This dance was very popular in the northwest area and canada and still is.......
                    Mii iw keyaa ezhi-ditibiseyaan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Check this out!!!!!!!!!

                      This is my thought on the topic. Some people know what they are talking about and some people just like to talk like they know. Much respect to the people that still use this dance in their cermonies and do it in the right way but for yall that take your outfits and dance at pow-wow's (FOR MONEY) then try to preach aat people about how sacred it is and cut others down for dancing chicken in the arena I think yall are full of ****!!!!!! Once money is put up for the contest I think all religious meaning is gone. If the dance was ment to be sacred it should have never been introduced into the pow-wow arena and put on display for others to follow. That is my thoughts on the topic. WHAT DO YOU THINK????????

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stylin
                        This is my thought on the topic. Some people know what they are talking about and some people just like to talk like they know. Much respect to the people that still use this dance in their cermonies and do it in the right way but for yall that take your outfits and dance at pow-wow's (FOR MONEY) then try to preach aat people about how sacred it is and cut others down for dancing chicken in the arena I think yall are full of ****!!!!!! Once money is put up for the contest I think all religious meaning is gone. If the dance was ment to be sacred it should have never been introduced into the pow-wow arena and put on display for others to follow. That is my thoughts on the topic. WHAT DO YOU THINK????????
                        stylin,

                        That is a good point.

                        "Money changes things." It is out there now and there is no way stop the spread of contest chicken dancing.

                        __


                        Anybody else have some theories, facts or thought concerning the history of Chicken Dancing?
                        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cree stuff....

                          http://www.sicc.sk.ca/saskindian/a99pow14.htm

                          and

                          http://www.sicc.sk.ca/saskindian/a99pow03.htm

                          George has passed on - but that's what those old guys do . Lucky for us we still have some of his words around.
                          Mii iw keyaa ezhi-ditibiseyaan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            2 b honest me @ mah sis lauffed when we heard chicken dance 4 da first tyme but den dis guy who dances it met us @ explained 2 us what its bout n all. It's pretty koolerz!!!!
                            dubble your pleasure~ surfs up babie~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CloudN9ne
                              Arnie is not blackfeet he is a salish/pueblo.... i know because i come from the same place he does........i am flathead/cree/blackfeet but enrolled flathead, my dad is flathead and my mom is blackfeet/cree.............just to let you know it doesn't count.......
                              Uh oh folks....we have....an "EXPERT".

                              many of our "ceremonies" are taught and shared w/those who may not be from the spacific tribe it originated from. BUT it is passed on & shared for a reason & depending on the sitation that person can be given the right to perform &/or teach what's been shared w/them.

                              Who are you to say "It doesn't count?"
                              *BE EASY*

                              Comment

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