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Captivated by the Two Medicine Dancers

During this year’s annual Lewis & Clark festival in Great Falls, MT the Two Medicine Dancers  performed twice. Most of the dancers were from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation northwest of Great Falls – right next to the east entrance to Glacier National Park.

Several of us went to their first performance at 2pm only to find out that most seating was taken. I ended up standing in the very back of the theater at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and I couldn’t see well, let alone take photos. Lesson learned – we were about a half hour early for the 4pm performance!

It was great watching the dancers perform but, more interesting was the commentary provided by Joe McKay who also danced.

Joe told about the significance of all parts of the dancers’ outfits and gave some amazing oral history.

In the photo above you can see the dancer wearing a traditional old-style warbonnet trimmed with weasel.

This photo shows the drum that was played by the selected drum group. I believe there were five drummers in the drum group when the Two Medicine Dancers performed.

The drum does not stand up like it is in this photo. It has the skin-side up so all the drummers can sit around it and drum.

One of the drummers also danced so he really had a workout. It’s a lot of work to drum, both physically and mentally. Once I get used to the noise of the drum, it can almost lull me to sleep.

I have several more photos to share of the Two Medicine Dancers. Keep watching the blog and you’ll see more!

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