on-line book icon

table of contents

Field Division of Education
The Blackfoot
NPS logo


In addition to the men's societies, there are several ceremonial organizations which include both sexes. the members of which have purchased membership somewhat after the manner of purchasing medicine bundles. Each had its distinctive regalia and functions. These were:

The Crow-Water Society, which is supposed to enable its members to become wealthy and to cure the sick. (McClintock, 1923:p200, shows a photo of the ceremony)

The Black-tailed Deer Dance, which is supposed to function to make the capture of deer easy.

Dance for the Spirits of the Dead, which is supposed to make a dance to which the spirits of the dead are invited.

The All-smoking Ceremony.

The Stick Game Dance, a recently imported dance, in which a stick game set has become a medicine bundle. Wissler, 1913:436-450.)

In addition to these, there are several other loosely organized dance associations. These are:

The Hair Parters or Grass Dance, which is more or less a purely social function.

The Horse Dance, which might be called a War dance in that its chief function was to arouse courage and enthusiasm for war.

The Scalp Dance, which is something of a victory dance, participated in by anyone after a successful war party.

The Kissing Dance and the Tea Dance, which are almost purely social.

The Night Singers.

The Begging Dance.

(Wissler, 1913:451-460.)

Previous Next

top of page

History  |   Links to the Past  |   National Park Service  |   Search  |   Contact

Last Modified: Sat, Mar 22 2003 10:00:00 am PDT

ParkNet Home