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People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads

The Bear Dance

When the Native Americans have large gatherings, called Pow Wows, they often play traditional games. One game involves short pieces of wood, with a black stripe painted on one.  Two people play the game.  One holds a stick piece in each hand, then hides it behind his back while he moves the game piece from hand to hand, then brings his hands in front.  The other player has to guess which hand holds the striped game piece.

At the Pow Wows there is always dancing.  People sing songs, like the Bear Dance song, and they also make music for the dancers.  The "growler" makes a noise like a growling bear by rubbing two sticks together, one smooth and one notched.

Reader: Lily Sanchez

Photo Credits:
1: Nevada Historical Society
2: Lily Sanchez
3: Lily Sanchez