Sovereign Amonsoquath Band of Cherokee

RACCOON DANCE 



Raccoon Dance

A singer at the side of the group accompanies himself with a gourd rattle.

First movement---A close single file of dancers has a leader, followed by a woman partner wearing tortoise shell leg-rattles. They circle counterclockwise in a shuffling trot.

Second movement---The leader, while dancing backward facing his partner, goes through the motions of killing a raccoon with a club, scraping fat from the hide with a knife (of with the fingernails of both hands), and rubbing the grease on his partner's front and sides.

Third movement---The first movement is repeated.

The Raccoon Dance has not been regularly performed since about 1890, and few besides West Long knew the song. There are no answers, singing, or yells by the dancers, but whether this is due to loss of these elements is not known.

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