A description and analysis of Sacrificial Stall Dancing, as practiced by the Plains Cree and Saulteaux of the Pasqua Reserve, Saskatchewan, in their contemporary rain dance ceremonies
Brown, Randall J.
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This thesis, based on ten years of field work and ethnohistorical research, describes and analyzes the beliefs, purpose and practices of Sacrificial Stall Dancing within the parameters of the Rain Dance, with particular reference to the Plains Cree and Saulteaux of Southern Saskatchewan from 1977 to the present. Sacrificial Dancing, being a form of Sacred Dancing involving physical renunciation to gain some significant favor, is a universally practiced method for gaining spiritual assistance from an omnipotent and omnipresent source. Unfortunately, the role and importance of Sacrificial Dancing, especially as it related to Stall Dancing, have not been well understood nor documented by past researchers. Its inclusion, as a form of individual worshiping within the Rain Dance, allows for community participation and contributes significantly to the cultural identity and spiritual unity of both the Plains Cree and Saulteaux. This study will be of interest and value to First Nations bands, Native agencies, and cultural centers, and would be of value to students of history, ethnology, dance, religious studies, cultural symbolism and museum curators.