Girl Dance

Encyclopedia Article


A portion of the Enemyway ceremonial held after sundown at the end of the first day of the ceremony. It is dance where girls can choose with whom they wish to dance, and their partners must pay for these dances. Girls are not allowed to dance with members of their clan or closely related people. A colloquial name for this dance is the Squaw Dance.

The Enemyway is sung in order to protect Navajos from harmful ghosts of slain warriors, or in more contemporary parlance, to protect Navajos from the deleterious effects of non-Native influences. This ceremonial can be used for returning military personnel to rid them of the harmful effects of evil spirits, or chindi, of the slain, as well as the associated harmful effects of modernity both on and off the reservation.

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"Bonfire with Navajos inside the desert of Monument Valley, May 26, 2011" by Moyan Brenn is licensed under CC BY.

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