The Dream Dance, an examination of its music and practice among woodlands and central subarctic Indians

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Kaczmarek, Josephine Agnes
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The Dream Dance religion, which originated among the Santee Sioux of North Dakota around 1870, was subsequently transferred to the Minnesota Ojibwe, where it became an important ceremony of the Indian nations west and south of Lake Superior. The requirement for the transfer of the ceremony, together with the Drum, dance attire, and the special songs and dances which are integral to the ceremony, are believed to have taken the Dream Dance as far north as the Berens River region of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. This belief is based on historical evidence: information pieced together from journals, letters, photographs and personal interviews. In the course of the more recent investigations, former participants in the Berens River ceremonies shared some of the songs which formed part of their ceremony. It is on these songs that this paper focuses. The process involved a comparison of the two ceremonies, and a comprehensive examination and analysis of the musicological features of the ceremonial songs fromboth regions. It was determined that although each ceremony likely served a different purpose, the songs performed in the Berens Rivers ceremony, allowing for certain specified variations, derived from that of the Dream Dance ceremony.