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Indians and WannabesNative American Powwow Dancing in the Northeast and Beyond$
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Ann M. Axtmann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049113

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049113.001.0001

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Inner and Outer Influences

Inner and Outer Influences

(p.36) 3 Inner and Outer Influences
Indians and Wannabes

Ann M. Axtmann

University Press of Florida

Powwow history continues in this chapter, picking up from the early colonial dance societies and moving to discussion of the performance genres of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As part of its effort to destroy Indian culture, the U.S. government prohibited Native dance during these decades. Indian dancers resisted repression and preserved their cultural traditions covertly. They also participated in ceremonials, world’s fairs, and wild west shows. This chapter examines intertribal and transcultural venues where body actions and performance practices were learned by and shared among Native Americans. Axtmann also identifies sites where Native Americans and other indigenous peoples were “exhibited” and discusses the distinctions between Native and non-Native notions of power. When the colonial period transitioned to the postcolonial, and John Collier became Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1934, Indian dance was once again permitted. Powwows as we know them today began to emerge during the 1930s and 1940s.

Keywords:   ceremonials, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, cultural repression, intertribal venues, John Collier, power, transcultural venues, wild west shows, world’s fairs, wild west shows

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