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Navajo Spin Dance

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Catalog No: IH 1506

New release! Available on CD-R
30 Navajo spin dance songs from nd'


Boniface Bonnie, Autsidy Smith, Ben J. Johnson, Roy Bonnie, Donald Deal, Stella Bonnie, Winnie Bonnie, Nellie Curley, Mary Deal

Recorded at:

Klagetoh, Arizona, February 24, 1968




CD-R (Soundclips)

About this Recording
About this Recording

The Navajo spin dance, íích’xoshi, is one of several kinds of social dances traditionally performed during the three or five night ceremony of ndáá’, a healing ceremony usually held in the summer months.

On each night of the ceremony, sway singing is begun soon after dark, and continues for two or three hours. Then the singers may change to social dance songs, such as the spin dance, skip dance, or two-step. The family sponsoring the ceremony decides which dances are to be done, or the choice may be left to the singers. Each dance may last anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending upon the popularity of the dance and the number of songs known by the singers. Sway singing is resumed during the night between the dances and after the last dance until sunrise.

The spin dance, as shown on the cover, consists of couples facing each other, rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise to the rhythm of the song. As in the skip dance and two-step, it is customary for the woman to ask the man to dance. At the end of the dance the man must give the woman a dollar or a small gift.

It is important to note that although these songs have a social nature, this singing is an important part of many people’s efforts to help a patient get well, and brings spiritual renewal to everyone present.

In this album we are very pleased to present some of the old-time Navajo spin dance songs sung by Boniface Bonnie and group.

Spin dance songs led by Boniface Bonnie

Spin dance songs

"Sounds like a round dance, but it's a spin dance"

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