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The Butterfly Dancers

image by Leonard Peltier


Under the hot sun the dance arena of hard packed earth stands ready. We all wait to see who will be in the dancers for the butterfly dance. This dance takes endurance and many women do not dance after 25 years of age. The Butterfly Dance is mostly one of the younger women.

The young women come into the arena, their bright colored shawls wrapped tight around them as they stand ready for the drum to start the beat. How colorful they are and beautiful in there regalia. Slender and graceful they stand with down cast eyes as the announcer speaks. Soon the drummer start the song of the dancers, the arena busts into a brilliant display of color and movement.

We all sit and watch as these women rein act the life of the butterfly. The dancers dainty feet hardly touch the ground it is like watching a swarm of butterflies, as they first transform. The dancers spin and twirl with the shawls held like wings floating in the wind. The shawl fringe flashing in up and down to the beat of the drum.

Each dancer a separate individual yet all butterflies. The dance goes on as they spin and float on the earth kicking and spinning until the drum stops. All the people stand to show respect and approval with cheers and applause. Each dancer in turn stands like a statue until they prepare to leave the arena. Faces soft and sweet not showing a sign of exertion they gracefully walk away.

When we watch a caterpillar on the branch of the tree we do not see the lovely butterfly it will become we only see a leaf eating insect. We do not see this still as it enters it cocoon stage the spinning of the cocoon can take a day or more. Then comes the rest while the changes to the body are performed. This is the time of sleep when the Creator is working the magic that will one day bust forth into brilliant and glorious color, is not seen by many people.

We tend to take all of this beauty and magic for granted in our every day lives. Yes we see the butterfly but we do not think of the way it was created.

The time comes when the cocoon is opening and the wet and still small body of the butterfly emerges. The struggle takes many hours and much strength slip the now restricting cocoon. The wet and weak little butterfly hangs upside down from the empty cocoon while it fills its wings with the life fluid that will make it a full fledged butterfly. Weak and helpless it trust that Creator will keep it safe from all harm while this the last stage of its life is performed. Soon it flexes it wings and flies away in the sun a thing of beauty and grace.

We too are like butterflies we are transformed each day of our lives in many ways. The transformation of the body as it grows through the stages of life are wonderful to the mother who watches her child. We watch the baby become the child who becomes the teenager, and the young maiden, who then becomes the woman. These are all the work of the Creator, and so it goes on this our Earth Mother as we transform.

The transformation of the body is only one of the changes we undergo. We then have the changes of the spirit and the growth of the mind and soul. All of these too go through many changes in our life time.

When we women reach the ages of fifty or maybe even younger now, we start to transform again. This time we become like the spiritual Dragonfly the mature and strong teacher. Our lives become focused on the people and we use the wisdom gained from the Earth Walk, to heal and to council.

This is a powerful time in our lives and can help to reach many of our people for healing and learning. I send this out to all of the women and men who transform into the warriors and and leaders. The women who heal and are teachers in many ways it is an honor to be a part of all you do. Stand tall and strong and with heads held high, keep your eyes are on the horizon as your feet dance in respect and grace on the face of our Earth Mother.

Blessings and Love, Mitakuye Oyasin Waynonaha and Lynn


Here we come dancing here we come strong dancing. Our feet dancing in respect on the Mother Earth here we come dancing.

Here we come strong here we come strong my brothers and sisters stand together our eyes our faces for Creator to see.

Here we come singing here we come singing this song for Wonkan Tonka for you to hear we sing for the people we dance for the people may our days be of the red and blue days.

From Plenty Horses my Father.

Some fun links for you:
Tanasi Powwow Dance Group
Paumanauke Dance Team
Pojoaque Butterfly Dancer

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