Indian Dancing Should I? -  dancing is therapy (43 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: blackgold511/9/02 9:43 AM 
To: Guest unread  (8 of 12) 
 4.8 in reply to 4.5 

I was told once by an indian woman that I met that pow wows were for the purpose of "gathering" and were more of a "social affair," in which anyone was welcomed. I always thought the dancing had a religious significance but was told otherwise. Has this tradition of native dancing changed from what its original intent was years ago?

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Edited 1/13/02 10:32:06 AM ET by BLACKGOLD51
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From: Numunugirl1/12/02 5:13 PM 
To: blackgold51  (9 of 12) 
 4.9 in reply to 4.8 
I think that was a good question blackgold...Personally, I believe and know to be true that pow wows or gatherings in some places are different to different people. The ones that are "commercial" in which everyone are invited are more of a social gathering. Honor pow wows and some pow wows that are held for particular reasons (ex. Prayer for a family, or sick individual, honoring elders or veterns, recognizing someone that has achievement that is worthy of recognization)..a lot of different reasons. The pow wows that are for spiritual and religious/cultural reasons..these are the ones that are kept private..and are not held in public places for all to see..some of the dances may even be different than traditional pow wow dances.



From: blackgold511/12/02 5:50 PM 
To: Numunugirl  (10 of 12) 
 4.10 in reply to 4.9 

Thank you for being so open and free with your explanations. In the past, I have been confronted with animosity for asking about "sacred things" (ceremonies, included) of native peoples. I was a bit leery about asking such a question here about pow wows.

I think it is important for native people to remember, as much as some of their gatherings are of a social nature, that people will want to know the significance of such things. I was not raised indian and will try to understand privacy issues in relation to native peoples form of worship. As I am sure you know, worship in this country, is an affair that is open to the public. However, within the religious organization of which I am a part there are many nationalities, which speak many languages. At their meeting places, their particular language is spoken freely (and may not be English). Participants of our faith, therefore, feel most comfortable being in the congregation that speaks their particular language. Even though the same Bible is used for study/worship (printed in their language) with corresponding literature as well- everyone, regardless of their language, is learning the same information about God.

In traditional native culture, even today, it seems the various tribes have their own form of worship, which is separate from mainstream society and may always be that way.

I hope I have explained myself correctly in trying to understand about pow wows and sacred ceremonies; and will try to respect the right native peoples have to their culture.

Forum site: - Job Hunting Made Easy

Edited 1/13/02 12:16:37 PM ET by BLACKGOLD51

From: Numunugirl1/12/02 7:09 PM 
To: blackgold51  (11 of 12) 
 4.11 in reply to 4.10 
Hello again blackgold...Thanks for writing back. I totally understand what you are saying, and I do agree that there is a lot of animosity at times too. At times i believe there is a lot of animosity by people or persons who have no right to have this animosity toward people who are willing and wanting to learn the ways.

Again in a different sense, I can also understand how some people are weary when people are wanting to know about spiritual practices...that is because of exploitation and mis-using and distortion of ancient cultural practices that have been passed down and learned. A lot of people who do not respect or care about preserving cultural practices of Native peoples or any culture..will distroy it and try to "sell" it...and make a mockery of something that is truely sacred to the practicing peoples. ( If that makes any sense)

I have relatives that are members of the Native American Church... (popular among many plains indians)..because of the use of peyote in the ceremonies, this is a spiritual practice that attracts a lot of non-natives who just are interested because of the intoxicating and hallucinogenic aspects of other words.. they can get high off the peyote and "have visions"( excuse my spelling)... so in that sense i can see why it is not an "open" practice... it is actually illegal for anyone not member of NAC to have possesion of peyote.

I hope i didnt jabber too much..maybe something i said makes some sense.



From: blackgold511/13/02 2:49 PM 
To: Numunugirl  (12 of 12) 
 4.12 in reply to 4.11 

Yes, what you have said makes a lot of sense. From reading issues of Indian Country Today (newspaper) I have also read of those who would dishonor traditions, seeking to profit, from performing ceremonies which had no validity on unsuspecting persons - done much in the same way you described as making a mockery of traditional values.

It has been great conversing with you. Please visit my site sometimes.

Forum site: "Job Hunting Made Easy."

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