This stately dance draws its inspiration from the women’s historical role as that of caregiver, backbone of the family and mainstay of the community. In this regard, women would often stand at the edge of the dance circle slowing moving in time with the drum as a symbolic show of support for their families. As time progressed, women would join the dance circle in a slow and sedate walk, their feet always in contact with the ground, demonstrating a graceful connection with Mother Earth.
Dresses of buckskin are worn decorated with long fringes and beautiful beading, quillwork, elk teeth, bone or antler or shells. The gentle motion of the shawl folded over the arm is in harmony with the motion of the body and with the drumbeat. Breastplates and chokers made of bone and crystal beads as well as fully beaded purses, leggings and moccasins are sometimes worn.
Women’s traditional dancers demonstrate strength and poise as they move in time with the drum.