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A Dance History

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The role of dance in native culture has changed greatly from the buffalo days to the modern powwow. Various dances have been existent in the Indian culture with Ghost dance and Sun dance being the major dances widely known. These two dances in the modern powwow have changed a lot with the major change being felt in the role they are playing currently. 

In the native culture, dance had specific purposes and there was a reason behind every dance. Dances in native culture played the role of boosting morale when one felt down. It was also meant for the sick as after dancing one felt much well. Nowadays in this modern powwow, dance is usually conducted for commercial basis. The dance thus has become an aspect of competition with various tribes being involved. In the buffalo days native culture a tribe could dance to a successful hunt, success in war while nowadays in the modern powwow this has changed with various tribes being engaged. In the modern powwow, change has been experienced with anyone being allowed to dance. In the buffalo days only specific people had the right to dance and with such restrictions not being in place, dance in the modern powwow days has being conducted with less spirituality being involved.

The dress code in the modern day powwow has become less attached with any form of magical or religious connotations. Designs are no longer associated with dreams as symbolism in design in modern powwow dances do not matter much. The Sun dance is the only traditional dance that has survived in the modern powwow. Its survival has being coped with alterations with people engaging in it due to its relationship with the modern life. Fancy dancing has being incorporated into the modern day powwow dancing which has contributed to the change in the role of native dance. Fancy dancing has been accompanied with changes such as women taking the place of drummers while in the buffalo days they were never allowed to touch the drum. Women could also not be allowed to touch eagle feathers won by men as a costume while dancing as the eagle feathers were associated with warriors. Nowadays the women are wearing these bustles thus indicating great changes in the role of dance in the modern powwow.

This book is of great use in identifying the changing role of native dance from the buffalo days to the modern powwow. It greatly teaches on the loss of meaning attached with native dance and highlights this as an existing problem in the Indian society.

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