Analysis Of The White Deerskin Dance

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The White Deerskin Dance was a ritual known to be practice by the Yurok, Karok, and Hoopa tribes that is, by certain tribes, still practiced until this day. The ceremony is part of three ceremonies held in three sections with the ultimate goal of re-creating and restoring the natural balance and order to the world. The White Deerskin Dance itself is meant to be the cleansing part of the overall ritual and generally lasts for ten days (National Museum of the American Indian). Despite the pure intentions behind such traditions, it is also known that many dances were held by multiple parties with the intent of making a big display of the tremendous amount of wealth a certain man has. The more valuables displayed at a dance the better as the different…show more content…
The finest of the obsidians blades were often owned of chiefs of tribes and generally passed down through generations. These blades were a representation of wealth that also elevated one’s social rank, and they would be used as part of the ritual. To stress the importance of obsidian blades, the owners tend to keep their blades well-hidden (some even ensuring to take them out only at nightfall so as to keep their hiding places a secret from other families) except for during important ceremonies, one being the White Deerskin Dance. As with the aforementioned tradition of allies lending valuables to their friends for the purpose of a dance, a man losing his well-known obsidian blade could potentially be seen as him failing to contribute. With the White Deerskin Dance, two fine and preferably similar looking blades would be used as one of the main part of the dance, where they would be shown off in the most obvious way possible. Smaller blades would still have a role in earlier songs but were not the main attraction…show more content…
Many so-called “high societies” around the world often hosts gatherings and parties in the form of auctions, celebrations, and exhibitions in order to show off their wealth. On a more religious side of things, many Asian religions, such as certain sectors of Buddhism and Hinduism, host ceremonies that often include ritualistic dances and, to a certain extent, a showing of wealth as people would bring different things to donate to a temple or monastery. That being said, we would be hard pressed to find a religious ceremony that is knowingly done, in part, to show off wealth. Works Cited Aikens, C. Melvin. Archaeology of Oregon. Goldschmidt, Walter, and Harold E. Driver. The Hupa White Deerskin Dance. Berkeley: U of California, 1940. Print. "Hupa Na´wehch - Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian - George Gustav Heye Center, New York." National Museum of the American Indian. Web. 02 Sept. 2016. Rust, Horatio N. "The Obsidian Blades of

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