Roundy’s On The Road

“To dance is to pray, to pray is to heal, to heal is to give, to give is to live, to live is to dance.” – MariJo Moore 

In 2013 four college boys on a road trip to a powwow were singing, drumming, and having fun.  Antoine Edwards Jr., Butchie Eastman, Doug Thomas, and Elton Wayne recorded this round dance tune, uploaded it to social media, and it became a viral sensation.  The steady heartbeat of the drum underlies a love song sung in traditional round dance style, but with lyrics in English.

Despite colonialism’s attempt to put an end to the rituals and traditions of native people, it did not prevail.  Powwow drummers, singers, and dancers join with their ancestors in these ceremonial celebrations.  Cherokee poet and author MariJo Moore’s poem “They Dance Round Still” remembers and honors round dancers of past years who were harassed, repressed, scattered, and destroyed.

They Dance Round Still

The drums are dead

They beat the drums to death

The people are dead

They shot the people to death

There are drum beats still

Beats from the dead drums

The people are dead

But they do not know this

They believe still

They believe still

They tend to their young still

They tend to their young still

They dance round still

They dance round still

They dance round still

They are ghosts who do not know they are dead…

Find a powwow to attend in the U.S. and Canada, or watch live videos here.  

Native Land Digital – discover the traditional native territories beneath your feet.

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