Once a young man,
lame in one foot, longed ever so much to dance. He took that longing out onto
the prairie, praying for guidance as he limped up a small hill.
On top of that
hill, it came to him - he should develop his own style of dance.
As he pondered
this revelation, he looked down over the prairie with its swaying and swooping
grasses. This, he realized, this could be his dance.
And thus, so it is said, is the origin of the grass dance one might see at a powwow. Men wear strands of yarn or ribbon, hanging from their arms and waist to
represent grass in the spirit world. Their graceful dance flows like the
rippling prairie grasses.
Men's Fancy Dance
The youth of the
Men's Fancy Feather dancers and the brilliantly colored outfits, with double bustles behind and
at times small bustles on the arms, are clues to spectators of this energetic
In this dance
in particular, a friendly competition may develop between the singers and the
dancers because stopping with the end beat can mean winning or losing points.
The singers perform "trick songs," with unexpected last beats.