A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains

Clyde Ellis

Published by Univ Pr of Kansas, 2003
ISBN 10: 070061494X / ISBN 13: 9780700614943
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Synopsis: Everywhere they are dancing. From Oklahoma City's huge Red Earth celebration to fund-raising events at local high schools, powwows are a vital element of contemporary Indian life on the Southern Plains. Some see it as tradition, handed down through the generations. Others say it's been sullied by white participation and robbed of its spiritual

significance. But, during the past half century, the powwow has become one of the most popular and visible expressions of the dynamic cultural forces at work in Indian country today.

Clyde Ellis has written the first comprehensive history of Southern Plains powwow culture—an interdisciplinary, highly collaborative ethnography based on more than two decades of participation in powwows. In seeking to determine what "powwow people" mean by so designating themselves, he addresses how the powwow and its role in contemporary Indian identity have changed over time—along with its songs and dances—and how Indians for nearly a century have used dance to define themselves within their communities.

A Dancing People shows that, whether understood as an intertribal or tribally specific event, dancing often satisfies needs and obligations that are not met in other ways—and that many Southern Plains Indians organize their lives around dancing and the continuity of culture that it represents. As one Kiowa elder explained, "When I go to [these dances], I'm right where those old people were. Singing those songs, dancing where they danced. And my children and grandchildren, they've learned these ways, too, because it's good, it's powerful."

Ellis tells us not only why and how Southern Plains powwow culture originated, but also something about what it means. He explores powwow's cultural and historical roots, tracing suppression by government advocates of assimilation, Indian resistance movements, internal tribal disputes, and the emergence of powerful song and dance traditions. He also includes a series of conversations and interviews with powwow people in which they comment on why they go to dances and what the dances mean to them as Indian people.

An insightful study of performance, ritual, and culture, A Dancing People also makes an important statement about the search for identity among Native Americans today.

From the Back Cover: "A valuable and well-documented ethnohistory of reservation era and post-allotment dance traditions and gatherings on the Southern Plains."--Morris W. Foster, author of Being Comanche: A Social History of an American Indian Community

"Ellis has a gift for telling a good story well and a complex story with great subtlety. But he also listens, filling his work with the voices of Indians explaining the nature of the powwow and the meanings of being Indian, past and present."--David Rich Lewis, author of Neither Wolf Nor Dog: American Indians, Environment, and Agrarian Change

"A landmark synthesis and defining moment in the modern era of Plains Indian studies."--Daniel J. Gelo, translator and editor of Comanche Vocabulary: Trilingual Edition

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Title: A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the ...
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Everywhere they are dancing. From Oklahoma City s huge Red Earth celebration to fund-raising events at local high schools, powwows are a vital element of contemporary Indian life on the Southern Plains. Some see it as tradition, handed down through the generations. Others say it s been sullied by white participation and robbed of its spiritual significance. But, during the past half century, the powwow has become one of the most popular and visible expressions of the dynamic cultural forces at work in Indian country today. Clyde Ellis has written the first comprehensive history of Southern Plains powwow culture--an interdisciplinary, highly collaborative ethnography based on more than two decades of participation in powwows. In seeking to determine what powwow people mean by so designating themselves, he addresses how the powwow and its role in contemporary Indian identity have changed over time--along with its songs and dances--and how Indians for nearly a century have used dance to define themselves within their communities. A Dancing People shows that, whether understood as an intertribal or tribally specific event, dancing often satisfies needs and obligations that are not met in other ways--and that many Southern Plains Indians organize their lives around dancing and the continuity of culture that it represents. As one Kiowa elder explained, When I go to [these dances], I m right where those old people were. Singing those songs, dancing where they danced. And my children and grandchildren, they ve learned these ways, too, because it s good, it s powerful. Ellis tells us not only why and how Southern Plains powwow culture originated, but also something about what it means. He explores powwow s cultural and historical roots, tracing suppression by government advocates of assimilation, Indian resistance movements, internal tribal disputes, and the emergence of powerful song and dance traditions. He also includes a series of conversations and interviews with powwow people in which they comment on why they go to dances and what the dances mean to them as Indian people. An insightful study of performance, ritual, and culture, A Dancing People also makes an important statement about the search for identity among Native Americans today. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780700614943

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Everywhere they are dancing. From Oklahoma City s huge Red Earth celebration to fund-raising events at local high schools, powwows are a vital element of contemporary Indian life on the Southern Plains. Some see it as tradition, handed down through the generations. Others say it s been sullied by white participation and robbed of its spiritual significance. But, during the past half century, the powwow has become one of the most popular and visible expressions of the dynamic cultural forces at work in Indian country today. Clyde Ellis has written the first comprehensive history of Southern Plains powwow culture--an interdisciplinary, highly collaborative ethnography based on more than two decades of participation in powwows. In seeking to determine what powwow people mean by so designating themselves, he addresses how the powwow and its role in contemporary Indian identity have changed over time--along with its songs and dances--and how Indians for nearly a century have used dance to define themselves within their communities. A Dancing People shows that, whether understood as an intertribal or tribally specific event, dancing often satisfies needs and obligations that are not met in other ways--and that many Southern Plains Indians organize their lives around dancing and the continuity of culture that it represents. As one Kiowa elder explained, When I go to [these dances], I m right where those old people were. Singing those songs, dancing where they danced. And my children and grandchildren, they ve learned these ways, too, because it s good, it s powerful. Ellis tells us not only why and how Southern Plains powwow culture originated, but also something about what it means. He explores powwow s cultural and historical roots, tracing suppression by government advocates of assimilation, Indian resistance movements, internal tribal disputes, and the emergence of powerful song and dance traditions. He also includes a series of conversations and interviews with powwow people in which they comment on why they go to dances and what the dances mean to them as Indian people. An insightful study of performance, ritual, and culture, A Dancing People also makes an important statement about the search for identity among Native Americans today. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780700614943

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