Oklahoma State Fair, Part Three; Indian Dances

We had walked through the midway. We had walked through where the rides, the concession stands, and the souvenir shops were. We had seen the jousting. We had listened to a guitar player, a fiddle player, and a banjo player. We had watched a lady make soap and some black smiths at work in the Wild West section, and we finally made it to the Indian dances.

The Plains Indian Dancers

When I used to go to the Indian dances at the fair when I was in high school, the group of dancers was much larger than what we saw this year. This group of dancers called themselves the Plains Indian Dancers. There were the Indian drummers sitting in the middle of the stage like they sit in the middle of an Indian Pow Wow. When I used to come to see the Indian dancers at the fair grounds, they used to just be on a grassy field, and we all sat on the ground around watching, but this year, they were on a stage, and all the people were sitting on benches. I was thankful for the benches.

The guy in the black with all the feathers was the announcer. He explained to us what everyone was doing. At the end, when he did his dance, another announcer said this guy is considered one of the best Indian dancers in the nation, and he has won many dancing contests.
Here, they were featuring the guy in the green. He is from Ponca City Oklahoma, and he is from the Ponca tribe.
This is when they all came down off the stage and danced in a circle inviting anyone in the audience who wanted to come and dance with them.

I actually took several videos beside the snap shots of them dancing, but none of my videos would upload. I was glad that I had taken pictures, but you would have enjoyed it more to see the actual dances and hear the drums and the Indian singing. The drummers are professional drummers, and as they beat the big drums, they are always singing, “Hey-ya, hey-ya, hey-ya!”

Here is another snap shot of when they invited the people to dance with them in a circle.
Here, they are featuring a man from the Comanche tribe. He is doing a hunting dance done by the plains Indians in the north. He is wearing an animal skin with the head of the animal on his head and lots of feathers.
This is another picture of the Comanche man doing his dance. You can see the coyote skin better that is on his head and his feathers on his back.
This little girl was there with her grandmother. Her grandmother was dancing too. She did a healing dance and wore a jingle dress.

There was a story about the dance the little girl who did the healing dance did. There was a little girl who was very sick. Her grandfather wanted to help her get better. He made a dress full of things that jingled like this little girl is wearing in the picture. He took his sick grand daughter to a Pow Wow. He also took the dress. He persuaded his grand daughter to wear the dress. Just wearing the dress perked her up a bit. She pushed herself and walked limping in the circle at the everyone else danced. The next time around, the dress encouraged her so much she actually walked normal while the others were dancing. The third time around, she was dancing with the rest of them. The jingle dress really encouraged her.

This is the fancy shall dance or the butterfly dance. It was beautiful!
This was an old woman dancer they called “Fuzzy Head.” She is the grandmother of the girl who did the healing dance in the jingle dress.
More of the lady who did the fancy shall or butterfly dance.
The lady who did the fancy shall or butterfly dance/ what she did was beautiful!
This is the guy who was the announcer dancing. He was extremely good! I can see why he is considered one of the best in the nation.
The announcer was doing a war dance.
This guy doing the war dance was Okie through and through and spoke with a very Oklahoma accent.
The guy from Ponca City, Oklahoma doing his dance. He is in the green with his back to the audience.
The is the Comanche guy coming back and dancing again a little.
Here is the champion dancer dancing again.
The champion dancer
The lady with the fancy shall danced again.

I really wish my videos would have uploaded, but you can see that these were very interesting. If I can get the videos to upload later, I will add them to my blog. As usual, I really enjoyed the Indian dances at the Oklahoma State fair grounds. My daughter enjoyed them too. We had seen what I promised to show my daughter and more, and she was thrilled! However, after we saw the dancers, we realized that if we just stayed put on the benches, there was more fun to be had. Another show began right away, a Wild West show. If you want to see that, it will be the next blog to keep this one from getting too long.

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