Lakota Dancers at Red Rocks Park

A grass dancer follows a traditional dancer across a ridge at Red Rocks Park in Colorado. The first image of the series on dancers, this photograph of Lakota Clairmont and Walter Freemont was made in the Spring of 1990. It remains one of the most popular of the series.

The grass dance evolved from when men tucked long grasses into their belts to today's colorful outfits which are covered from shoulder to ankle with long flows of brightly colored cloth fringe. The steps and movements are very old and are believed to have originated from an old warriors dance to express victory over an enemy.

The traditional dance is one of the oldest dances of the Indians of the Northern plains. Some say it originated when war parties returned to the village and would dance out their story of the battle. The outfit typically consists of a coup stick, eagle feathers, furs, porcupine quills, beads and bells and may include pieces handed down over generations.

This image and others are available as archival prints.

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