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date: 22 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Oklahoma is home to 67 American Indian tribes, each of which has its own cultural heritage. The result is a wealth of parallel traditions, from powwows deriving from Plains warrior societies to stomp dances of Woodland tribes that were forcibly removed to Indian Territory (present Oklahoma) in the 19th century. Song and dance around the powwow drum contrast sharply with the stomp dance tradition, where all-night singing and dancing around a sacred fire, accompanied by the percussion of the female dancers wearing turtle or can rattles strapped around their lower legs, form the backbone of the Green Corn religion. This chapter will compare and contrast the powwow and the stomp dance in their historical cultural contexts as symbols of Native identity, and examine how these parallel dance traditions continue to reinforce a sense of ethnic pride for Native American communities in Oklahoma.

Keywords: American Indian, drum, Green Corn, Native American, Oklahoma, powwow, rattle, religion, song, stomp dance

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