Native American Dance

Published on October 26, 2011 by Amy

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Native American Dance
Native American Dance

Like other cultural groups around the globe, Indians have their own unique style of dance that accompanies a range of rituals. Native American dance is a valued tradition among the first nation of North America. Various dances are put on for family gatherings. These might include marriage ceremonies and birthdays. Moreover, there are many types of dances intended to help the harvest, and those reserved for religious ceremonies. Of course, Native American dance is not set aside for special occasions only. Hence, many Indians participate in custom dance for fun.

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Because there are several different tribal groups living within the United States and Canada, each group has their own distinct Native American dance which sets them apart. For example, the Indians in Alaska and Canada included many different types of song and dance into their rituals and ceremonies. In most cases, songs are played with instruments. The Indian drum, which is often played, is intended to stir the Native Americans to dance. Those who engage in Native American dance often disguise themselves with masks. This adds to the festive mood. Typical dance maneuvers include a lot of movement in the arms and upper body.

The Indians that reside in the United States are primarily located throughout the Plain states, parts of northern United States, and parts of the South. Similarly, each tribal group adopts their own custom dance. Typically, American Indians participate in powwows. Powwows are a type of Native American dance which is usually held for fun.

Dance powwows are also common at family reunions, wedding, parties, etc. Powwows consist of specific rules. Thus, it is important to follow the rules implemented by each individual tribe. If participating in a Native American dance, it is noteworthy to know that most dances either consist of all women or all men. Moreover, dancers usually move in a circle. This way, they remain symbolically connected to their family and traditions.

Source: indians Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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