During the first four days, everyone sets up the large dance floor together. This sometimes involves intensive physical work. The atmosphere is filled with joint ‘tackling’, joyful working together, discovering and forging new friendships and meeting old friends. Preparatory sweat lodges are held on some evenings.
Then it begins.
The guardians light the kindling fire. They nourish it throughout the
n three days and nights. With heart, hand and presence, they serve the dance and the people, take care of any work that needs to be done and look after the space. The singers and drummers on the large frame drum weave a tapestry of sound with ancient power songs from the indigenous peoples of North America and many other cultures, from sunrise to deep into the night. The dancers dance their dreams, intentions and their salvation back to the tree and back to their place. Most dancers fast during these three days of the ceremony, others nourish their bodies with as little food as necessary. Again and again, they dream silently under the dancing shield of their painted visions.