Autumn Dance Celebration
On Sunday, November 14, 2021 the farm will be holding an Autumn Dance Celebration featuring the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. Among many Native American tribes, it is a tradition to celebrate and give thanks in autumn for the bountiful summer harvest. Autumn Dance Celebration at Queens Farm includes dance performances by eight Indian Nations, a Native Food & Craft Market, the Maple Experience presented by New York State Maple Producers Association and the debut of Discover NY Dairy, a promotional partnership with the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition.
Autumn Dance Celebration celebrates American Indian Culture through music, dance, authentic Native-made food and crafts. Thanks is given to reflect with reverence and appreciation for the wonderful things we find in nature. The dance program will be presented at 2:00 pm in the farm’s pasture. Tickets for the dance program are $10-$15 at queensfarm.org. Grounds admission to the farm is free, including admission to the Native American Food & Craft Market and the Maple Experience. Visitors can enjoy the farm grounds and the food and craft market from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Dancers from the Hopi, Winnebago, Lenape, Choctaw, Mayan, Seneca, Santo Domingo and Chickahominy Nations will present a program that includes over ten different dances.
A sample of the performances include:
- Smoke dance (Iroquois): During the winter months the people had to build fires in the longhouse to keep warm. On certain days there wasn’t enough wind that came in the doorways to help keep the fires burning. The people would get together and dance near the fires to create enough wind to stoke the fires, and they called this dance the Smoke dance.
- Grass dance (Sioux): Before a group would move into a new camping area to follow the buffalo herds they would first send out a group of dancers to go to the new camping area. The dancers would dance to crush down the tall grass that grows out on the Great Plains so when the other members of the tribe arrived they would have a smooth area to erect their teepees. They called this dance the Grass dance.
- Buffalo dance (Hopi): This is a winter dance the people perform to ask the creator to help them have a successful hunt. The movements of the dance copy the movements of the buffalo, looking for water, searching for grass, etc.
- Hoop dance (Toas): This dance was created to test the skills of the dancers – how well they handle the hoops, how well they keep in time with the music and how many hoops the dancer uses. They may use anywhere from 3 to 30 hoops!
The dancers will perform in full regalia and each dance will be explained to connect the public to the origins of each dance and these beautiful Native traditions. Visitors will experience how the original inhabitants of this great land celebrate their legacy. The outdoor Native Food & Craft Market will feature Native American vendors; a large selection of authentic Native American art, crafts, jewelry and food will be available for sale.
Tickets for Autumn Dance Celebration must be purchased in advance at queensfarm.org. There is free event parking, neighborhood parking and bicycle racks are available on-site.