Dance of the Americas

Dances of the Americas

Dances of the Americas showcases traditional and cultural dances from Cherokee, Mohawk, Apache, Navajo, and Git-Hoan tribes.

About Cherokee Dance

In this video John Bullet Standingdeer a member of the Warriors of AniKituhwa of Cherokee, NC, describes the cultural importance of the ceremonial Eagle Dance, performed by the Warriors of AniKituhwa, and the social Beaver Dance, performed by the Raven Rock Dancers.

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Cherokee Beaver Dance

In this video The Raven Rock Dancers perform the Beaver Dance, a social dance depicting the actions of a hunting party, at the 2006 Festival of Native Peoples. The Raven Rock Dancers is a family group founded by Walker Calhoun, a respected Cherokee elder.

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Cherokee Eagle Dance

In this video The Warriors of AniKituhwa perform the Eagle Dance at the 2006 Festival of Native Peoples. Like other dances from Cherokee culture, the Eagle Dance serves as a catalyst for people to come forward and share their memories and a way to preserve cultural traditions.

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About Mohawk Dance

Curtis Lazone, a member of the troupe, describes the dance tradition of the Mohawk as a form of service, offering an opportunity for everyone—community members and outsiders alike—to share in the nation’s rich culture.

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Mohawk New Women's Shuffle Dance

The New Women’s Shuffle Dance is a fairly simple, shuffle-style dance. Dancers move in a counterclockwise direction, representing the cycle of life and the direction of the earth’s movements. The idea that through this life cycle life constantly renews itself helps honor the special connection women have to the earth as “Life Givers.”

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Mohawk standing Quiver Dance

Watahtshero:ton, or the Standing Quiver Dance, is a Mohawk dance that was traditionally performed to honor the men of the tribe. Before a hunting party departed or a group of warriors left for battle, men would place their weapons and hunting gear in the middle of the dance area. Then, the group would dance around the pile of weapons in single file.

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About Apache Dance

The Apache Crown Dancers are enrolled members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and live in Whiteriver, Ariz. In this video segment, the group leader, Joe Tohonnie, Jr., talks about the long history of the dance and its role in Apache culture as the dancers perform Crown Dances.

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Apache Performance 1

The Apache Crown Dancers are enrolled members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and live in Whiteriver, Ariz. In this video segment, they perform a traditional Crown Dance in full regalia to music sung by the group leader, Joe Tohonnie, Jr.

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Apache Performance 2

The Apache Crown Dancers are enrolled members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and live in Whiteriver, Ariz. In this video segment, they perform a traditional Crown Dance in full regalia to music sung by the group leader, Joe Tohonnie, Jr.

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Apache Performance 3

The Apache Crown Dancers are enrolled members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and live in Whiteriver, Ariz. In this video segment, they perform a traditional Crown Dance in full regalia to music sung by the group leader, Joe Tohonnie, Jr.

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Apache Performance 4

The Apache Crown Dancers are enrolled members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and live in Whiteriver, Ariz. In this video segment, they perform a traditional Crown Dance in full regalia to music sung by the group leader, Joe Tohonnie, Jr.

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About Navajo Dance

Albert Brent Chase, artistic director of The Pollen Trail Dancers, explains the purposes of dance in Navajo culture. He notes that dance is a form of honoring one’s self and the connection with one’s surroundings; that dance has a healing purpose; and that dance and songs are ways of carrying on traditional teachings and history of the Navajo people.

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Navajo Shaker Dance

In this video The Pollen Trail Dancers perform the Navajo Shaker Dance, also called the Buffalo Dance. Artistic director Albert Brent Chase explains that the Shaker or Buffalo Dance is a healing dance that is part of the Fire Dance Ceremony, which lasts nine nights.

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Navajo Bow and Arrow Dance

Pollen Trail Dancers from the Navajo Reservation north of Joseph City, Arizona, perform a dance that uses movement to tell of hunting parties and protection.

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Navajo Sash Dance

The Pollen Trail Dancers from the Navajo Reservation north of Joseph City, Arizona, perform a dance based on the story of Spider Woman’s teaching of weaving to the Navajo people.

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Navajo Dance of the Deities

The Pollen Trail Dancers from the Navajo Reservation north of Joseph City, Arizona, perform a dance inspired by the Navajo teachings of the four directions as sacred pillars of Mother Earth.

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About the Git-Hoan Dances

David Boxley of the Git-Hoan Dancers discusses dance traditions of the Tsimshian, whose descendants live on the Northwest coast of northern British Columbia and in southeastern Alaska. He discusses the use of masks and other handmade regalia in the dances.

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Git-Hoan Shaman and Land Otter's Dance

The Git-Hoan Dancers perform a dance of the Tsimshian people that tells the story of evil land otters who disguise themselves as beautiful girls in order to trick a group of young men. A powerful shaman finally defeats them.

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Git-Hoan Raven Dance

In this video the Git-Hoan Dancers perform the Raven Dance, a celebration of the Raven Clan. They wear masks representing the clan. In Tsimshian culture, the wearer of a mask is said to take on the spirit of the creature it signifies.

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Git-Hoan Eagle Dance

The Git-Hoan Dancers perform a traditional Tsimshian dance that tells the story of an eagle and a young chief.

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Git-Hoan Chief's Headdress Dance

In this video three dancers of the Git-Hoan troupe perform the Chief’s Headdress Dance celebrating the meaning found in the leader’s ceremonial headwear. The Git-Hoan are descendants of the Tsimshian people of northwest Canada and Alaska.

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The Sun Ceremony

The Totonac Sun Ceremony or Dance of the Voladores (Flying Dance) is unique and thrilling to watch. It is part of a long ceremony performed in honor of the sun.

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