Native Americans and a Peace Dance
I think we can learn something from our Native Americans. And I hope their cultures and identities will never be smothered. I see wholesome beauty among them, not only in their traditional attire, but in their customs and attitudes. To me their old, wrinkled and lined faces, cracked and hardened by the sun and oppression are expressions of intrinsic and spiritual beauty. Elsewhere in the world, you usually see a beaten soul when someone is bowed down with age. But I’ve never seen that in a Native American.
This article will introduce my plans to study and report on the philosophies, history and important facts about Native Americans. I hope to discover important details about our neighbors and either write them down here, or reference them within the pages of our own HubPages system.
I had an experience with a man doing a peace dance that has, since, caused me to ponder my own culture, and to appreciate the attitude of these nations that we have trampled and oppressed. I was at a mall in New Mexico, and came upon a Native American, dressed in full traditional attire, teaching the people about his culture. He was within an arena he had built with bails of straw, some of it strewn on the floor to give a more natural effect within the mall. I wish I could remember which tribe he was from, but unfortunately I can’t. Maybe some day my research will narrow down my conclusions as I can still remember two things: the fact that he had a peace dance, and the steps to it.
One of his presentations was a dance for peace. As he introduced it, he told us it was an invitation for peace by including persons from other nations in the dance. He therefore invited us to join him. He taught the dance steps, then began the dance.
I waited for people to step into the arena. But nobody did. Time passed as I grew uneasy. As I watched, I thought to myself: We have taken this man’s lands away from him. We have smothered his culture, and broken their dreams. Yet here he is, offering peace, in his beautiful attire that was probably difficult to come by.
I was never one to initiate a trend or an action within a crowd. I have always been timid and shy among many people, especially when I was in strange territory, as I was then. It was almost a fear I had of such things. But my sense of fairness and rightness for what this man represented became so great that I - with great effort - stepped into the arena and began to dance. I felt extremely self-conscious in my poor garb as compared to this colorful Native American, and I almost left the arena prematurely. But I held my ground, sometimes looking at the people as if willing them to follow suit.
After a while, a woman pushed a young boy into the dance area, who then began his best effort at the dance. I relaxed greatly, thanking heaven that I finally wasn’t the only one.
Since that occasion I wondered - sometimes with horror - that this man had likely done the same thing in other malls where he received no response. By this I am reminded of our collective passive nature concerning these things. The people of the United States of America have seemed to reach a point where they think mostly about themselves, and have pushed aside the things we have done to other cultures and nations. It seems we have thoughtlessly crushed the noble traditions and dreams of good people, without considering their feelings or understanding their ways and philosophies of life. I’ve since read of some of their philosophies - not only of the Native Americans, but of the African Americans - and I have been awestruck by them.
I hope you will come often to read about what I put down in these pages, so that we may sufficiently learn important lessons that I think are waiting for us from these worthy nations.
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See Native Americans in 3D
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The link for 3D pictures is near the bottom of the article, called "Native Americans and the Wild West in 3D."