Nathan, Ron and Jacob do a ceremonial stomp dance after getting off the fire line on the LaBrea fire in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Maria in Southern California

A firekeeper and his assistant begin at dawn building a fire; one intended to last for the duration of the stomp dance. He begins with small slivers of wood from the innermost part of an oak tree (often referred to as the "sponge") using flint and rock to trigger a spark. This fire is sacred to traditional Cherokees. It is customarily built at the bottom of a pit below ground level and is tended continuously so it will burn throughout the stomp dance.

As the sun rises, the men sit around the fire talking about political issues and the women prepare a meal for the day consisting of both traditional and modern food. Later in the afternoon, sermons are given in the Cherokee language. These sermons admonish everyone to have love for all mankind. After the sermon, stickball, an ancient Cherokee game resembling present-day La Crosse, is played.

The sermons continue as the sun begins to set. The ceremonial pipe is passed to each clan member who takes seven puffs from it before passing it on. The chief, medicine men and elders gather together for a meeting, eventually calling for the first dance of the night. This dance is by invitation only and features the tribal elders, medicine men and the heads of clans. A second call for the dance is made.

The dance participants include a leader, assistants and one or more "shell-shakers" wearing leg rattles traditionally made out of turtle shells filled with pebbles. Today some use cans filled with pebbles to provide rhythmic accompaniment while they dance around the fire. The ceremonial observance involves sacrifices made by the ceremonial leaders, prayers, taking medicine, going to water or river for ritual cleansing and smoking of the pipe. (SOURCE)


Responses to " Cherokee Ceremonial Stomp Dance (VIDEO)"

  1. Good to see they guys dancing after working the fire!

  2. Anonymous says:

    They look totally Caucasian

  3. Anonymous says:

    Naw real Cherrokees, visit the Cherokee nation and see them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Okay I will. I'm sorry but the first guy with the bandanna looks totally white. I mean totally. I'm not even exaggerating.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry, I meant the first dancer only, not all dancers.

  6. Unknown says:

    Does it matter what he looks like? You cant test his DNA by looking at him.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn't judge a book by its cover. My kids dad and I are full blooded we have 2 girls one is really pale non native looking and one that is dark and really native there u go

  8. Anonymous says:

    Let me know next time you stomp and how far , and I will bring my turtles. I live in south Florida. I do miss stomping.

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