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Buffalo Dance by the Serpent Trail Dance Group

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In celebration of New Mexico‘s second statewide Indigenous Peoples’ Day, The Serpent Trail dancers from the pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh perform a Buffalo Dance. The group’s virtual performance was hosted by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque on October 12th, 2020. It’s one of many videos shared from center’s virtual event.

serpent trail dancers perform a buffalo dance
Traditionally, a buffalo dance gives thanks to the buffalo as a resource for food, clothing, shelter, tools, and more. Some background from The Gallup Sun:

Located 75 miles north of Albuquerque, Ohkay Owingeh, founded around 1200 A.D., is one of the 19 pueblos in New Mexico. Formerly known as San Juan Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh returned to its pre-Spanish name in November 2005. The Tewa name means “place of the strong people…”

“In our creation stories,” explains Serpent Trail leader Ashkia Trujillo explains, “the serpent helped us get to the top of the land. We rode on his back and got to get where we live now.”

“I thought a lot about it, and wanted to give remembrance, so I guess you can say the serpent helped my people, and if it wasn’t for the serpent, we wouldn’t be here…”

The group performs many dances that hold unique stories about their tribe

young serpent trail dancer
Watch more videos with Native Americans, New Mexico, and dance traditions on TKSST, including:
San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers
• Māori dancers of New Zealand perform a Haka dance
A Música Portuguesa a gostar dela própria
• Moko Jumbie On 9-Foot Stilts

Plus: Buffalo ≠ Bison, a Smithsonian American Art Museum video.

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