Feast Day at the
Santa Clara Indian Pueblo

I have a few photos to show you of a dance from the lesser Feast Day, on August 12th. In that instance a War Dance was performed, that was adopted from the Plains Indians. Given that it actually isn't a part of Tewa/Santa Clara historic ritual, they didn't mind photographs being taken of that dance. I think that if you view these pictures you will see that the ritual traditions of the Santa Clara Pueblo are alive and well, even in these days of rapid technological change. I was particularly fascinated to learn that some of the best dancers are professional people, such as surgeons, who return to the Pueblo to dance each year.


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The dancers are preceded into the plaza by the ceremonial drummers


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The leaders of the dance groups come into the plaza with ear-splitting whoops & yells.


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The dancers form a long line completely across the plaza, and move in a snake-like procession. The rhythm of the drums and the movements of the dancer's banners create an entrancing and hypnotic effect. On the roof of the Kiva (Indian Religious House/Church) the clan leaders watch their clan dancers with great pride.


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Dancers are encouraged to start very young, often as young as three years old!


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The enthusiasm of the young dancers is quite inspiring. It is clear that they take great pride in their clan traditions.

Chucks Pottery

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