Parade Dance

The Parade Dance The Ashéeleetaalissua/Dance Through Camp, called the Parade Dance in English, is a ceremony which was a spiritual gift to the Apsáalooke. This dance invokes the power of the young eagle. According to tradition a warrior went to fast in the mountains. After several days he saw his people cease their activities and become various birds, their leaders being young eagles. They flew in a circle around their camp. The people were very happy in this way and their hearts were singing. When the warrior returned to camp, he told his people what he had seen. Since that time, whenever the Apsáalooke break camp, they perform the Dance Through Camp. This dance is a blessing and prayer for future good camps, where people are happy and successful. The embodiment of this prayer is the pipe carrier, who must be an individual who has seen combat and returned uninjured. The four dance leaders, representations of the young eagles, follow the pipe carrier.

[Adapted from, Dale D. Old Horn, and Timothy P. McCleary, Apsáalooke Social and Family Structure. Crow Agency, MT: Little Big Horn College, 1995]