Type of Document Thesis Author Belle, Nicholas Ivan Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04122004-164425 Title Dancing Towards Pan-Indianism: The Development of the Grass Dance and Northern Traditional Dance in Native American Culture Degree Master of Arts Department Anthropology, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title J. Kathryn Josserand Committee Chair Keywords
- Native American
Date of Defense 2004-03-31 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
Many of the dance styles found at modern Native American powwows have their roots within the Warrior Society dances that existed hundreds of years ago. Over time, the dance styles have changed and evolved. Dances have been shared between distinct ethnic groups as Native American tribes have adopted a more intertribal or pan-Indian identity. By comparing elements of the dance styles, including dance steps and accompanying songs, and more specifically, the outfits and materials used in the construction of the outfits, it is possible to track the intertribal movement of a dance style. An example of this process of change is seen in the Grass Dance, as it spread from tribe to tribe, beginning on the American Plains and moving outward. This thesis will examine the history of the dance outfits associated with the Menís Northern Traditional Dance and the Grass Dance. Both of these modern styles of dances derive from the same original Warrior Society dance, the Pawnee Iruska Society dance. During the Reservation Period, tribes began to share dances, and as the dances passed from group to group, their meanings were reinterpreted. These changes are reflected in the evolution of the dance outfits. The pan-Indian movement today is best represented by the contemporary Native American powwow, where the shared history of the dances links previously distinct tribal groups in an emerging pan-Indian ethnicity.
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