The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology

American Indian Dance: Steps to Cultural Preservation

Barbara A. Hughes

Dance has been pivotal in providing American Indians with a method of cultural preservation, a religious connection, and a community function. Out of the traditional ceremonies of the past have grown the various styles of powwow dancing; other traditional ceremonies have been revived and are currently being practiced on the reservations. What follows is a discussion of the origins and modifications of some of those dances that have been resurrected and reformed to better suit the current lifestyle of American Indians. Pan-Indian powwows continue to gain popularity throughout this country, with powwow dancing being used as a cultural instructional tool by public schools in one large western city. Dance, in its many forms, continues to provide a cultural bridge for American Indians.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 2, Vol. 21, Fall, 2001 pp 176 – 181

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