History of the Buffalo Dance

KEYWORDS: history of the buffalo dance pueblo dance animal dance buffalo dances

The buffalo is a symbol of abundance.

Historically, Pueblo Peoples crossed the mountains to the north to hunt or trade for buffalo and bring back meat for the long winter.

Like all Animal Dances, the Buffalo Dance is a celebration of thanksgiving. The hunter takes on the spirit of the buffalo he has hunted during the year. He thanks the spirit of that animal, and he asks for good luck for next year’s hunting. To be asked to dance in the Buffalo Dance is a great honor.

Keep in mind that it is also an honor to be able to attend a Pueblo Dance. The Dances are spiritual celebrations, so please treat these celebrations as though they were taking place in your own house of worship. Also ask at each individual pueblo for any special rules. Most do not allow the use of cameras during sacred dances, for example.

A kilt is worn during Buffalo Dances. These dances are performed in winter. While the number of dancers, their outfits and the dance is different in each Pueblo, Buffalo Dances at every Pueblo are prayers for snow and good hunting.

FURTHER READING:
Origin of the Buffalo Dance

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