Dance for Mother Earth 2013
Only men perform the grass dance. Their regalia is comprised of long strands of yarn, ribbon, or fabric attached to a base outfit to represent grass or, in some interpretations, the scalps of enemies! A "roach" headdress with two feathers that twirl as the dancer moves is also worn. The grass dance is often said to reflect the need for balance in life; each movement that is danced on one side must be repeated by the other side.
My favorite dancers are the traditional women. They step so carefully, moving slowly. With intent. With the Idle No More indigenous rights movement spreading across North America, I can see that prayers whispered across generations are coming to life.
After several years in other locations, the powwow returns to the U-M's Crisler Center April 6 and 7.
[Originally published in April, 2013.]