The Grass Dance

A native dance

The name "The Grass Dance" comes from when young boys would tie braided grass on their belts. The dance was really held because before a dance could be held on the prairie the grass had to be stomped down into the ground. This is where most of the moments seen in the dance comes from. When doing these dance they wear very unique costumes. The unique parts of the northern outfit are the shirt, trousers, and aprons, to which yarn fringe, sequins, and beaded rosettes other designs are attached.

It’s a history that’s not lost on today’s dancers: “The most important thing with grass dancing is respect,” says Wanbli Charging Eagle. Like other dances, balance and symmetry are essential. What the body does on one side, it must do on the other. The movements evoke the grass-trampling theory of the dance’s origins, as dancers seem to be stamping down grasses. The most distinctive component of grass dance regalia is the yarn that adorns every piece. From a fringed cape to apron and leggings, sweeping lengths of yarn evoke grasses swaying in the wind, their weight bouncing with every step the dancer takes. The headpiece is usually the only item that uses feathers, keeping two roach feathers secured with a spreader.

Comment Stream