Smoke Dance

Smoke Dance, also called The Fast Floor Dance, is a contemporary pow-wow dance that has evolved from the Longhouse ceremonial and social dances used by the Haudenosaunee Men and Women, familiarly known as the Six Nations. The women’s dance evolved from the social dances, although currently both dances are very similar in fast footwork. The differences between the men and women are in the style and grace portrayed by each dancer. The Smoke Dance has been out of the longhouse for decades now and has enjoyed a renaissance that has taken it from the longhouse to exhibitions to the pow-wow circle. The critical elements that gave birth to the smoke dance have stayed within the longhouse and what is now enjoyed by the public, contest dancers and exhibitioners is an evolved style of dance that began in the longhouse and is unique to the Six Nations People.

 

 

Clothing worn by men and women in the contemporary powwow circle for this dance varies with each nation, i.e. Oneida, Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, or Tuscarora. Commonly, each male dancer will wear a Gustoweh, (a headdress worn by the Iroquois men) but each Gustoweh identifies them as belonging to a specific Six Nations tribe. Also, the men wear ribbon shirts with adornments that vary from simple to extravagant and leggings, breaches, cuffs and moccasins. Additional adornments may be worn for flare and individual style. The women clothing are similar as well. Women’s clothing consists of a tunic that ranges from simple to extravagant, skirt, leggings, cape, cuffs and a head piece that can vary from a simple collection of turkey feathers to an extravagantly adorned cap or crown.

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