Hi all, and OMG I finally have had time to copy down some of my thoughts. Sorry it had taken so long, and please forgive me, as i am preparing my 2015 promotional trip.
Anyway, today i wanted to write about one of my favorite Native American dances; the Chicken Dance. Many people would of seen this at a pow wow (wacipi), but the origins is what brings the soul to this sacred gift.
The Prairie Chicken Dance (or Chicken Dance) is one of the oldest forms of Native American dancing. There is some controversy over the origin of this dance, however, most would agree that either the Blackfoot or Cree Nations from Canada where the first to practice it. What can be agreed upon though, is that it was a sacred dance (of the Kiitoki Society), given to a Warrior by the spirit of a Prairie Chicken.
Long, long ago, legend tells of a Warrior who was out hunting. As he was searching for food he came upon a thumping noise that resonated through the earth. The man’s curiosity impelled him to search further and follow the strange vibrations traveling up through him body. As he walked closer, the sound became louder and more intense, and when he reached to area where the noise was resonating from he saw a group of Prairie Chickens dancing in the long grass.
Now, for a bit of an intermittence in this story.
If you have never seen the mating dance of a Prairie Chicken, it is the most amazing thing to see. The males have their heads down and tails up, both wings stretched out on each side, and their little legs are going a hundred to one in circles around the females. There are a number of different types of Prairie Chicken, and where I am from, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, we also call
them Prairie Chicken or Sharptail Grouse (Siyoka in Lakota).
Back to the story now.
So, as the Warrior watches one particular Prairie Chicken doing his dance, he lifts up his bow, aims and kills it. The Warrior takes the Prairie Chicken back to his camp and the women cook it up and everyone feasts on it. As the night progresses and everyone is full, a clam befalls the camp and all settle down to sleep for the night. The Warrior quickly falls into slumber and as he is in a deep sleep, the Prairie Chicken’s spirit appears to him in his dream. “Why did you kill me?” , he said to the Warrior, “for I was doing a sacred dance for my great Nation”. The Warrior replied with great appreciation for the Prairie Chicken’s sacrifice, “My family was hungry and needed to eat”. The Prairie Chicken understood the Warrior’s needs and accepted his humble reply by honoring him and teaching him the sacred dance of the Prairie Chicken Nation. As the sun rose in the sky, and the Warrior awoke from his dream, he told his people about the Prairie Chicken’s visit and the gift he gave to their Blackfoot Nation, and in time, to all Native American Nations.
Thank you to everyone for listening. Have a great day.
Melvin Ferguson War Eagle