Thursday, November 19, 2009
The stick dance
The stick dance is when a men of the tribe put a tall spruce pole in the center of their community hall. The family and friends then decorate it with their gifts, once that is done everyone joins in and dances around the pole that is slow and shuffling in character. They chant ritual songs all night long while doing this and meditating about those that have died. The next morning the pole gets taken down and carried past each home in the village on it's way down to the Yukon River. There it is broken up and thrown into the river. The stick dance isn't done annually, so even though a few years may go between the actual death of a loved one and the Stick dance Ceremony to honor his memory.