Northern Dance

A recent arrival at Ohsweken this dance was brought by Mohawk Chief Joe Logan Jr. (Hastawensera’ta) about 1958-60 from the Quebec Mohawks at Akwesasne and Caughnawaga where it was said to be old. Alternative English translations are: “Dance of the North”, and “Eskimo Dance”. “Mohawk Dance” sometimes hear in English, commemorates the people from whom it came. The songs are characterized by their unusual length and musical form which make them difficult for novice singers to learn. Participants dance a tricky little two foot shuffle around the usual drum and horn rattle accompanyment on the centrally located benches. The dancers are in mixed double file—the male partner on the inside, the woman on his right.

2 or more singers, usually about 6-10, in the middle, water drum and horn rattles

This dance is rarely seen in the community and those elders that were consulted could not remember the whole dance and the proper protocol, such as who leads the dance and how the partners or other dancers joined in the line.

This will be researched and perhaps with this question being raised in the community, the dance will be revived.