Native American Dance

The techniques of Native American dance have been handed down for generations, and today, Native Americans capture these dances, which represent numerous events and occasions, ensuring this tradition lives on for years and years to come as it has for thousands of years before.

Among all the more than 500 federally recognized tribes, Native American dance is a reflection of their culture and the particular Native American dances vary by region to region and sometimes, the dances will vary from tribe to tribe.

One of the most popularized ways Native American dance traditions have been continued throughout today’s modern societies is the pow wow, which is a gathering of local, regional or national tribes at one location to not only celebrate culture and discuss issues but to perform Native American dance.

Native American Dance Still Performed Today

One of the largest, the Gathering of Nations, is held each year, where thousands converge to participate in native American Dance ceremonies and celebrate their cultural diversity and unity, honor their ancestors, and encourage future generations to continue the traditions of Native American dance and preserve the way of life of the Native American culture.

Dancing played a major role in the traditional Native American culture, and still does to this day. For men, dance was a way to reenact the thrill and accomplishments made during hunting or for warriors to demonstrate their success and skill in battle. For women, Native American dance is done with grace and elegance to demonstrate their commitment and links to family and tribe.

For any Native American dance, regalia, the special and ornamental clothing popularized on TV and in the old Western movies, is always worn. This regalia signifies tribe, marital status, accomplishments, political position and more, and is usually only worn at special ceremonies, such as a Native American dance.

Joseph Paige 2006

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