Art has always been an integral part of Blackfoot life. Blackfoot tools, construction of homes and their clothing were all seen as art and respected as such. Historians have long reflected on this understanding of the world and the integration of art with song, dance, ceremony and oral traditions in Blackfoot culture.
Dancing is a very important part of Blackfoot culture. One of their most important rituals has been the Sun Dance. For thousands of years, this ritual consisted of three or four days of dancing, feasting and religious ceremonies. Part of the ceremony was a test of a young warrior’s strength and endurance.
Today, the Sundance is still practiced. Some dances have changed from ceremonies to a combination of a dance, celebration, family reunion, and a festival. Powwows are held all over North America. Powwows are famous for their beautiful costumes, dances and music. Most powwows include First Nations people from many nations. Together they celebrate their native heritage through dance, music, and song. The dance styles seen at today's powwows come from many different regions of North America.
There are different powwow dance styles including Men's Buckskin and Women's Traditional. The dancers in this dance dress in their traditional Blackfoot outfits. There is also the chicken dance, the fancy dance, the jingle dance and the grass dance representing rich cultural traditions
Indigenous culture is global and the Consulate-General of Japan has partnered with the Galt Museum & Archives and the Blackfoot Nation to host a special cross-cultural event called Indigenous Bridges at Fort Whoop-Up. The partnership hopes to entertain and educate with traditional musical performances by cultures of indigenous peoples in Canada and Japan. The Ainu Art Project will be performing. The Ainu are an indigenous people that predominately hail from Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido.
Join us for an afternoon of bridging cultures on Friday, August 11 at 1 pm. Admission Fees apply.
For more information visit galtmuseum.com/fort-whoop_up or call 403-320.7777 .