Please keep in mind that there are still
well over a thousand tribes
in Indian country
this is only my list. Eastern Woodland American Native Dance. We in the east
have lost our dance culture and this is a shame! For years starting around the
middle 80’s we have allowed the plains, the northern tribes and Paganism into
our circles and change so many of our customs and ceremonial dance that many
now would not even recognized them when danced, this is also a shame!
Traditional Eastern Woodland Native American dance?
This blog is only about an Eastern Woodland Native Traditional Matriarch tribal gathering
(powwow). The Eastern Woodland American Native powwow came from the ancient
Traditional Paw-paus as explained in earlier blogs. This gathering started at
sun up and ender at sun down, dancing could however go on for the whole week
day and night. Native American Traditional Feather dance. Traditional Eastern
Native American dance? The first dance that should be discussed is one that has
gotten out of hand in many gathering.
The Feather dance.
What a feather from any bird of prey drops to Mother Earth, that feather now belongs
to our Mother! If this feather drops at a gathering, we must do the following. Every
warrior at this gathering must go to this feather, the head veteran and four of
his/her warriors control this sacred ceremony while the rest direct all dancers
including themselves around and away from the ceremony! If it drops where there
is no dancing every warrior at the gathering circles with their backs to the
feather. The first person protecting the feather and if possible the person
that lost the feather dance in one spot at the head veterans discretion unless
called to the feather. If this ceremony becomes a show, the gathering is
polluted and must be canceled! No one except people involved with the ceremony
is allowed to see the very sacred ceremony.
The Drum dance.
At first light anyone wishing to needs to be at the flag pole with the head veteran for
the flag ceremony. As soon as this is completed the drum needs to go to the
The Drum ceremony (if there is a sacred fire someplace at the gathering, everyone
wishing to be in this ceremony needs to at the east as soon as possible.
The drum walks or dances around with in the circle four times with their choice of song
using any drum they chose, the gathering drum would not be warm this early,
then if they wish dance around with in the gathering to remove evil spirits,
smudging is optional.
The Fire dance.
As soon as the gathering opens to the people in the morning, anyone wishing to goes to the
fire for the morning fire ceremony, a dance to thank Creator for blessings,
health, friendship, gifts and for being at the gathering with the people. This
was also a friendship gathering with coffee and desert served by the host of
Much has changed from the original grand entry also however, the main thing is to have a
grand entry with as little bickering as possible.
After Grand entry and before any prayer or other songs, everyone except veterans form a
single line around the inside and hopefully outside of the circle, warriors
bring a seat for older veterans that need them, older veterans please allow
young warriors permission the show you their respect, then we have the flag
song and prayer.
Everyone around the circle except the veterans dance in place with respect of your
veterans until every veterans is outside the circle, those wishing to do so,
dance behind your veterans. Younger veteran dance a short drum around once then
out the east, The older veterans are helped out the east while younger veterans
continue their dance around the gathering until the drum ends.
A Friendship (round) Dance can and should be on the drums list of songs as often as
possible, this helps keep everyone involved in the dance. A call from the M. C.
for an intertribal friendship dance and anyone wishing should go to the east
and then when the head veteran opens the east into the circle (there should be
no such thing as a arena director). Listen to your M C for fun and instructions
while holding hands because a good M C is going to try to trick you into having
even more fun at your expense.
Men’s and Women’s Eastern Woodland Traditional.
The Head Tribal (clad) Grandmother has the Head Tribal (clan) Grandfather start a
Traditional Eastern Woodland dance first so as to better him with the Eastern
Woodland Women’s dance ( this is all in fun). The elder men start with a dance,
women have formed a circle like with the veterans around with in the circle
ready to dance in place. Each male dancer shows off his best dance, Deer skin
regalia only, knife, bow with arrows, which was danced just outside of the
village during any war protecting the women and children from an enemy.
Then any warrior wishing to danced a traditional dance, usually the sneak up. As soon as
this dance is completed the men would form their circle around the outside of
the circle with respect, while the women dressed in deer skin regalia only,
danced a dance of their choice. No male should leave the circle area until the
last women exits the east.
Remember Matriarch society
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