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  • Dance.....

    O'Siyo. I am a newbie to this posting on pow I have a couple of questions, if I may ask.

    One is this. When I dance, I do not dance in regalia like I see at pow wows, or like any of the dancers I see. I dance mostly in a trance like state or I Totem dance. Is there a "name" for this type of dancing? Would I even be allowed to dance at a pow wow if an open dance was announced?
    I know very little of my Native ancestors and what I do know conflicts with what I've always been told.
    Basically, I am searching for answers to questions I don't even know how to ask. Help??

    Red Hawke Dancing

  • #2
    What is a totem dance?
    Trance dancing.... the name is " a little strange." There are no Indian 'trance' dances at any powows.
    What kind of clothes do you dance in?
    I think You have said it yourself, You do not know much about your native ways! There is a REASON every one else is dressed and dancing as they are.

    well... they will straighten you out around here...
    But you sound a little into New Age, Mystical, romantic image stuff to me. You have too forget all the crap you ever saw in a movie..
    My bark is worse than my bite


    • #3

      What is trance dancing? Well, when the spirit moves you to dance and you are no longer in control of the movement, that is what I consider trance. As for Totem dancing, I consider this to be when dancing as a Totem animal, mimicking it's movements in a dance. I guess it could be called Spirit animal instead of Totem.

      You're right about a few things, I am a bit mystical in my methods. A bit un-learned in "tradition" . I do use far less clothing in my dances, but is it wrong to feel the spirit this way? My clothing consists of mostly breech cloth or comfortable loose clothing. I usually have feathers braided into my hair, bells on my ankles or legs and fans to dance with.I would not attempt to dance at pow wow, like this, until I am able to either learn or watch long enough to know how to dance at pow wow.
      Just me asking questions, you know, the "stupidest question is the one not asked".

      Red Hawke Dancing
      Last edited by RedHawkeDancing; 03-18-2004, 10:27 PM.


      • #4
        Well, then if there are no stupid questions..get ready for the answer...(why am I doing this)..
        You want honesty here it is...Most of what you have said about your dress and style is frankly a bit goofy...
        I do not know what you are dancing but it is sure not our way...
        You admit you would not dance at a powow like you are dancing..that is good, they might hurt you.
        As far as Powow and most of our ceremonies on the plains and praries....there are no spirit animal dances or trances...
        Any one who says there are,,,well I would seriously doubt.
        Once again i tell you, I fear you are into an unreal romantic notion of what is Indian...
        Many folks come this way thinking the romantic baloney sold them by movies and writers about the freedom on Indian religion and real it is not...nothing is more untrue
        Dance, religion and all that goes with this is (was) rigidly controled and ritualized...who danced, what you wore, sanctions to use medicines..all controlled and ritualized.
        My bark is worse than my bite


        • #5

          You're right on some aspects. However, the notion that I am Romantically or otherwise have notions of what a "True Native American"is, is untrue.

          I am as much a true Native as you are, as any of the ones that post on this forum are. The way I dance, is true to my Spiritual path, I do not dance for any other reason. Pow wow would be a way for me to view other forms of dancing, but not to learn for purpose of contest. When I dance, I do so for one purpose. Communication with the Ancients, my ancestors God. Whatever name you wish, this is why I dance. I do not claim to carry on traditions of the Cherokee, although I doubt many of the pow wow dances that happen are really all that spiritual in nature. They are more tradition that was defined by the white man and their laws.

          When dancing like I do, I can surpass any law made by man. I can dance to the rhythm that was gifted by the Creator, no rules, no right or wrong way jut dancing. So you are correct in some aspects. My idea of a dance is somewhat romanticized to a limit. I travel a path of medicine and many I have come across have seen that in my way of expression. Maybe if you were able to see the dance, you would understand.

          I don't mind the honesty either.

          Red Hawke Dancing


          • #6
            Well...How to put this.....first I don't question your blood.
            and let's forget powows, there shows.
            I grew up in the circle, tail dances,clan dances, social dances, (There are other dances than powows) etc, and Iknow a bit about that fire.. stomp dancing. As did my folks before me.
            I was born on the medicine grounds....(literally)!
            ..There is a lot I don't know and have never seen. But these are the two forms of dancing I have seen...Anything else is,is,is...
            I don't know what it is. But it ain't Indian.
            I don't criticise to be mean, but to warn you of harm
            WE do NOT make our own way, it has been made for US!
            Too many folks on this board do not understand THAT fact, the most important teaching of all our folks...
            Wakonta gaxo be axa! God made it!
            Windakshe ninkshe aha, Wakonta axa dak'edide hta axai.
            If you are in earnest, God will pity you.
            Last edited by storm; 03-22-2004, 08:49 PM.
            My bark is worse than my bite


            • #7
              I have seen this. I inquired about this dance this person was doing. She simply said that she was dancing to the beat of a different drummer. This young lady was from northern Ontario from the Gull Bay First Nation.

              If she sees this thread, maybe her and you can hook up to talk further about this. You'd make a fine pair.


              • #8
                O si yo do he gun red hawk dancing.

                I have read some of these things that have been written. I'm not sure about what it is that you are talking about. I am a Straight dancer as was my Dad and my Uncles/Grandpa,my cuz's and my sons. I dance Straight as my Osage family and most Cherokees that have excepted the Osage, Quapaw, Ponca ways, these were adopted ways by the Cherokees. The Cherokees as the Creeks, Shawnees, Choctaws, Chicasaws as well as many others Stomp dance.

                You should learn more of our ways and use less of these newagers ways. Especially at Powwows. Most of us that enjoy going to Powwows to socialize don't enjoy being embarrassed by these newagers. It has taken many many years to get goffy steriotype images out of the non-Indian thoughts.

                I hope this makes sense, it did as I was typing this message. It really doesn't matter how much Blood you are but what you do with it.


                • #9
                  Redhawk -

                  Having read your posts and taking some time to think things over...

                  I pose a few questions of my own, first being of which nation do you belong? Were you raised with or around these people? Have you spent a good amount of time with these people as an adult? Have you learned about their specific beliefs, ways of doing things? Have you learned what these dances mean in a spirital sense to the nations they belong to?

                  To answer these questions for yourself, you will by and large solve your own questions.

                  In response to earlier comments...I find it very wise that you refrain from dancing at a pow wow till you learn the proper dance techniques, manner of dress, and etiquette. To do so could result in your immediate expulsion from that arena. The people that participate in the arena take this very seriously, as well tend to follow very strict rules as to how things are done in or around ANY arena. As for the idea that these days have been tampered with by white man's law this is a very uninformed statement, universally the intention of the pow wow was for people from all over to get together and share their differences. Of course over time they have evolved to the commercial versions of themselves they are today, but the base of it all remains the same.

                  Now as Storm has stated there is a HUGE difference between pow wow and the other traditional dances (Tail dances and such). In any event no matter in what venue the dances happen they are seen as very spiritual, often called a form of prayer in themselves, in no way to be trivialized or taken lightly. These songs and dances were given to the native people by the creator. When these dances were given so were the "rules" that you claimed to reject.

                  I intend no malice with this post, I only hope to answer your questions and maybe assist in providing information. I do caution however, to be aware of the possible volatility of this topic and not to be surprised by some of the responses you may recieve.

                  (Hey Storm, Cherosage, or any of the many many guys out there if I stated anything wrong...please correct or feel free to add to this)
                  We the unwilling, lead by the unknowing, have been doing so much with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.


                  • #10
                    Hey S'8, Hows the weather up there? tell Bb hi for me. Hope things are going well for all.

                    I believe you touch on that very well. Remember that the Ilonshka was given to us, and it is our problem, oppertunity, and most of all our OBLIGATION to insure the preservation of these ways. IF, we allow these important ways to be basterdised in any way then the basterdisation becomes the standard and will be the tradition to come. This is our legacy to maintain the truth. This is a reason we rely so heavily on our families that are chosen to be the Drum Keepers. (Not the only reason, but an underlying reason). Our Ponca, Omaha, Otoe, Kaw, brothers and Kiowa, Comanche, Apache friends know these truths. They tend to try to maintain. I know that for some reason we tend to scoff at the un-true ways and just leave it at that. The truth never gets corrected anymore. I remember when we (the kids) stepped outside of the norm our Aunts/Grandmas/Moms etc would literally come out and remove us by the ear. This usually ment a horrific talking to or scolding only if we were lucky. The other ways were tooo terrible to mention.

                    I think we should continue to educate the truth, keep the way. Learn the truth and practice it. I for one am still learning and probably always will be learning. I know that I know very little but try to teach what I have been told and have learned. Thanks to all of my Uncles/Aunts that have tried to teach me these truths.


                    • #11
                      Actually, I think this is the wrong thread for this question.

                      I see your from Texas, Red. Would you be related to Superndngurl? Sounds like a dance she might be familiar with.


                      • #12
                        Hey... i cant help it when i get that feeling... makes me wanna do the running man and kick my feet out... I learned my moves from osagesooner ... tho. Hes a REAL str8 dancer
                        The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.


                        • #13
                          Sounds like a good way to get your feelings hurt at a real pow wow or dance. This is too far out for me. LOL Trance dancing, maybe a new contest category, huh?
                          I am thankful for my grandparents, my parents, my brothers, my aunties and uncles, my children, my companion and all of those who influenced me to be strong and proud of being who I am and where I come from. Knowledge is power


                          • #14
                            dance reply.

                            First of all, let me say that I intend no offense by my questions. Storm, I did not intend to sound defensive or put anyone else on the defensive. You are quite correct in saying I am not in touch with any of my native heritage though. I was and have been raised by white parents, with lineage not proven in the Cherokee, Choctaw and Sac-n-Fox tribes.

                            So, for me to go to a Pow Wow, would be a great experience just to be present. As for my style of dancing, it is really my own. I have been influenced by no dancers at any time. I feel a hunger, however, to be drawn to the correct ways of dancing traditionally. I know my resources are limited in this pursuit. I was really hoping to get feedback on my question, which I did.

                            Thanks for the input and not cremating me in the responses. :)

                            I will try not to ask such volatile questions like this again.

                            Red Hawke Dancing


                            • #15
                              Sorry if I sounded defensive..My intention was to explain myself and my do not know me,right?...
                              If you read this site you will see a lot of crazy stuff...
                              My intention is to tell it like I see it, hopefully without being mean or "cremate"anyone...I been wrong before,
                              AS far as not asking volotile questions...why not?..
                              you did not know any better, now you know that you may experience some inner feelings about dance...So do all cultures who have dance as part of ritual; that is why they dance...
                              BUt As you see from all the responses...
                              your form of dancing is be a form of 'self expression'...
                              But is not how Indians (real Indians,even Cherokees) have expressed themselves as a people.
                              My bark is worse than my bite


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