Ute tribes reimagine Bear Dances

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Ute tribes reimagine Bear Dances

As coronavirus locks down reservations, Ute tribes use social media, videos of past dances
In the Bear Dance, even the youngest of dancers often pair up or “break” with their dance partners during the final days of the spring celebration.
Southern Ute elder and Air Force veteran, Austin Box, far right, never misses a chance to Bear Dance in Ignacio, alongside family and friends. Boxer and his fellow singers use bone and iron to sound wooden instruments leaned against the growler box, performing songs passed down from one generation to the next during the Southern Ute Bear Dance.
Men and women line dance to the rhythm of the Bear Dance songs.
Students of the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy have the honor of dancing the first dance in 2019, a tradition at the Southern Ute Bear Dance and an integral part of the cultural component emphasized through the Montessori program. The young students spend weeks, if not months in preparation, often sewing their own moccasins and decorating their Bear Dance regalia together in the classroom.

Ute tribes reimagine Bear Dances

In the Bear Dance, even the youngest of dancers often pair up or “break” with their dance partners during the final days of the spring celebration.
Southern Ute elder and Air Force veteran, Austin Box, far right, never misses a chance to Bear Dance in Ignacio, alongside family and friends. Boxer and his fellow singers use bone and iron to sound wooden instruments leaned against the growler box, performing songs passed down from one generation to the next during the Southern Ute Bear Dance.
Men and women line dance to the rhythm of the Bear Dance songs.
Students of the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy have the honor of dancing the first dance in 2019, a tradition at the Southern Ute Bear Dance and an integral part of the cultural component emphasized through the Montessori program. The young students spend weeks, if not months in preparation, often sewing their own moccasins and decorating their Bear Dance regalia together in the classroom.
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