Duck Dance

A playful dance in which men in two lines hold hands and dance a gadatrot-like jog contraclockwise as pairs of women dance backwards at the head of the men’s column. When signaled by the drum they dance toward the men who raise their clasped hands allowing them to pass under. With another change from the singers the arms come down capturing a pair of women in front of the men. The women stay here, dancing backwards while the men continue forward. Soon another signal and the arms rise to let the women continue toward the end of the lines of men. As they pass beyond these last men they are free to dance forward round the Longhouse (while the rest of the ‘captured’ women dance backwards) until they again approach the oncoming lines of men. At the end of each song some men will quack in duck fashion. This dance always provides frequent occasion for jostling and playful banter. The ducking action below the mens arms signifies a duck dipping its head below water; the backing up of the women represents the current pushing against the swimming duck. It is though that the Duck Robin and Pigeon dances were part of a former spring Thanksgiving ritual welcoming the return of edible wild birds.

“Stomp” Step dance style

Singers in the middle water drum and horn rattles

Pairs of men side by side dancing around the singers forward

Pairs of women dancing side by side backwards facing men

The beat slows, the men raise their arms in arches, women run through, the beat speeds back to normal men lower their arms women stay where they are until the beat slows again

Once through the end women go back to the beginning

During some socials a man can be heard vocalizing a duck quack