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Rabbit Dance

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  • Rabbit Dance

    Just thought I'd open up a discussion getting back to northern singing and talk about the origins of the rabbit dance and the songs included therein. I was told that the Lakotas received this dance from the Cree People we refer to as the Mastincala Oyate (rabbit people). Mastincala is the Lakota word for rabbit so that makes sense. I learned that the Lakotas got this dance and songs from the Crees around 1890s or 1900s; somewhere in there. Does anyone have any other information on this dance's history? Scott

    [This message has been edited by BPlenty (edited June 16, 2000).]

  • #2
    Your Rabbit Dance information comes from Bill Powers. He gives no time frame for this informatiom.
    From other sources, Pine Ridge stated the dance in 1921. Here at Spirit Lake (Ft. Totten, ND) the date is Fall 1919, the dance coming from Standing Rock, ND. Later that Fall Spirit Lake (Devils Lake) taught it to Ft. Berthold. It is called Kahomni (spinning) up here.


    • #3
      It was definitely during the reservation period, because the story involves a building in which the dance was held. The story is that a wagon pulled up to a community house with and old man and old woman in it. They got out, came into the community house and said they wanted to teach the people a dance. After they taught them, the old couple got back in their wagon and left. Down the road just a bit, they turned into rabbits. It is said that because of the steps, if you danced this way in the snow, the tracks would look like rabbits. That’s all I know. Sounds like your dates are pretty close to when it must have come about.


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