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Hoop Dancer

Hoop Dancer

Product #: LE-937
Issue Date: 2010
Height: 10 1/4"
Width: 7"
Edition Size: 100

Price: $375.00

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The fourth offering the the Ceremonial Dancers Collection is the Hoop Dancer.




According to writer Basil H. Johnston in Anishinaabe culture, a manitou named Pukawiss brother of Nanabozho, born to live amongst the people, created the hoop dance. Unlike the other boys, Pukawiss did not show an interest in running, swimming or hunting. He only wanted to watch the animals. His fascination with impractical things drove his father's interest away from him towards his brother Maudjee-kawiss therefore leading to everyone calling him Pukawiss: the disowned or unwanted. Pukawiss learned so much about life in the movements of eagles, bears, snakes that taking their life would have been wrong. The animals had much to teach the humans about values and relationship like loyalty, kindness and friendship. Pukawiss taught his village about the animals by spinning like an eagle in flight or hopping through grass like rabbits or bouncing like a baby deer. He became a dancer. So many villages wanted him to teach them about the ways of the animals that he had to give up his home and became a permanent visitor. Many women wanted him to settle with them in their village but he preferred to keep moving.

Pukawiss and his brother Cheeby-aub-oozoo added drums and flute to the dance. Later, Pukawiss added the stories of humankind to his performances. He invented the hoop dance to help him with this goal. The dancer became a counsellor with the hoops representing a circle that returns each problem back to the responsibility of its creator. According to Basil Johnston,"the hoop is also emblematic of the way things are, in that mischief breeds mischief that eventually returns to haunt and plague the inventor". Eventually many became jealous of Pukawiss - his fancy dress, and his skill with the hoops so they copied him. Like his father, his brother Maudjee-kawiss did not understand his artistic ways and sought to scold him. Pukawiss often provoked his audience by teasing them. As an older brother, he teased his other brothers perhaps once too often. Insulted by a Pukawiss prank involving the theft of his prize pigeons, Nanabozho angrily razed the mountain under which Pukawiss had been hiding camouflaged as a snake. Pukawiss wasn't dead but now he had a new job: to taunt those who are too proud. The Anishinaabe believe that we see him each time the wind teases the leaves and soil to dance.