Sun Dance In American Culture

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The sun dance is a unique ceremony that is central to the religious identity of the Indigenous peoples (although it is practiced by many tribes today as a prayer for life) of the Great Plains. This ceremony began around the eighteen and nineteenth century and has become one of the most important practices done by Native Americans done today. The tribes that practice that Sun Dance at the time and now are the Arapaho, Arikara, Asbinboine, Cheyennem Drow, Grow, Ventre, Hidutsa, Sioux, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibway, Sarasi, Omaha, Ponca, Ute, Shoshone, Kiowa, and Blackfoot tribes. Off course the ritual varies from one tribe to another.

The Sun Dance is usually performed once are year at the end of the great buffalo hunts, which is also around the same time as the Summer Solstice. This ceremony is performed to call that Sun upon the Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous peoples believe that if the Sun Dance was not performed each year that the Earth would lose its touch with the creative power of the
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The entire community takes place in the preparation of this festival. The tribe then finds that Sun Dance leading, who is usually one of the elders. Once the leader is chosen there is a large circular area that is cleared and prepared for where the festival will take place. The following day, bright and early, the dance leader, Chiefs and elders are dressed in all their attire ready to begin the ceremony. Before the main sacrament, anyone who desires to dance can do so. Those who dance during the time of the day dance represent their families by wearing costumes of important leaders/ animal spirits, or they wear body paint and traditional clothing. During this time of day dancing there is a variety of different traditions being taken place, some of which include drumming, traditional songs being sung, gift exchange and pipes being

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