Southern Ute Tribal Sun Dance

Southern Ute Tribal Sun Dance

Mid-July
The Southern Ute Tribal Sun Dance is a ritual ceremony of ancient origin held by the Southern Ute Indians in Ignacio, Colo., often on the Sunday and Monday after the Fourth of July. The dancers who perform the ceremony are chosen from those who dream dreams and see visions, and they fast for four days before the dancing. While the public is allowed to attend, dress must be circumspect, and women are not allowed who are "on their moon," that is, having their menstrual period.
The Sun Dance was at one time performed by most Plains tribes, and usually involved self-torture. The Utes, however, did not practice this.
See also Arapaho Sun Dance; Sioux Sun Dance
CONTACTS:
Southern Ute Tribal Council
P.O. Box 737
Ignacio, CO 81137
970-563-0100; fax: 970-563-0396
www.southern-ute.nsn.us
SOURCES:
EncyRel-1987, vol. 14, p. 143
IndianAmer-1989, pp. 121, 360
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