Brooksville Native American Festival

Today we joined Pete and Donna again and went to the Brooksville Native American Festival. A big dance area was set up, surrounded by bleachers and ringed by vendors. The vendor booths were full of Indian crafts and foods, and Donna bought a few items, but mostly we enjoyed the dancing. There were dancers from several different tribes and different parts of the country. Each one had his own costume, dance and music (although the drums sounded pretty much the same to me).
The costumes were amazing. The announcer said that although the earliest outfits were made of buckskin, bones and feathers, the Plains Indian, like the southern Seminoles,  incorporated other materials into their clothing as they became available. Sometimes Indian culture is referred to as if it were stuck in one epoch, but Indians, of course, constantly change and adapt by incorporating what they like into their lives. 

Several costumes had big feathered pieces. The announcer said these feathers would be awarded for acts of bravery, and only warriors could wear them. 
This guy was as spectacular from the back as he was from the front!
Each danced separately, then joined in a communal dance.
A couple of small boys were on the field the whole time, doing their best dancing with the big guys. 
At the end of the formal dancing, the announcer invited visitors from the stands to join the dancers on the field. Several people did, and the drummer played something that everyone could follow as they marched around the circle.
Then for a change of pace, some Polynesian dancers came on. The first man did a great job of dancing the traditional Maui warrior dance.
Then a young woman demonstrated the Hula, knowing very well she was how cute she was.
A fire dancer finished that part of the show. He was very good too, and every time the crowd applauded louder, he would do more. 
Women dancers had significant roles. This lady had a beautiful outfit with a bone-breastplate that went down to her shins and was covered with a shaw with a 3 foot fringe. The dance was stately; mostly she moved her feet to the beat while staying in the same place, except when everyone marched around the ring in a Friendship Circle. 
A young medicine dancer wore a dress with 400 metal cones, which caught the light and jingled with every move she made. The announcer made it clear that although the dance was to encourage health, healing comes only from the one Great Spirit Father. 
One of my favorite dancers was a young lady who did a "modern" dance. In this case, "modern" refers to the time of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, when Indian men updated their dances. The women wanted to do the same, and this pretty number is what they came up with. Her deep-fringed shawl represents butterfly wings, and she danced so lightly that sometimes both feet were off the ground. I thought she was amazing. 
So it was a great day. When we headed home, we stopped at a gas station to use the restroom. Donna came out last and decided to ask Pete something, so she opened the driver door and stuck her head inside the car. Unfortunately she had a senior moment and opened the door to the wrong car. The guy in the passenger seat was speechless; the rest of us laughed hysterically and will never let her live it down!

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