Basket Dance

Basket Dance

Late September or October
The most important of the three harvest ceremonies performed by the Hopi Indians, the Basket Dance includes various ritual activities that serve to remind people that life is temporary and that they must comply with the Creator's plans. It is observed primarily by women who are members of the Lakon and Owaqöl societies. First they spend several days in a kiva (a sacred ceremonial room) to fast, pray, and chant. Other preparations include creating a sand painting, fashioning prayer plumes from feathers, building an altar, and getting costumes ready.
When the women emerge from the kiva, they chant while presenting baskets to the four directions of the compass, lifting them, then lowering them. Their movements are designed to bring cold, wet weather so that the crops will grow the following spring. Afterward, the women traditionally toss the baskets to the onlookers.
CONTACTS:
Hopi Cultural Center
P.O. Box 67
Second Mesa, AZ 86043
520-734-2401; fax: 520-734-6651
www.hopiculturalcenter.com
Frank H. McClung Museum
1327 Circle Park Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37996
865-974-2144; fax: 865-974-3827
mcclungmuseum.utk.edu
SOURCES:
DancingGods-1931, p. 168
EncyNatAmerRel-2001, pp. 154, 208
EncyRel-1987, vol. 10, p. 520
RelHolCal-2004, p. 259
References in periodicals archive ?
Unicorn, lantern, fan and basket dances featured among the programme of dramatic performances for the celebrations held last week.