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War Dance - A dance of Indian braves before going to war.  In the West it was called "striking the post,"  or the trunk of a tree from six inches to a foot in diameter, which was planted in the center of the camp.

War parties usually were made up of volunteers.  The chief who was to command the expedition sent criers through the camp, beating tom-toms and calling on all warriors to come up to the post.  The entire camp would become aroused, and the warriors who volunteered would circle the post and strike it with a weapon or a coup stick.

As the dancers became more excited, others would join the circle.  After a warrior had struck the post nothing but death or the worst kind of illness could keep him from fulfilling his vow, as it was a matter of honor with him to accompany the war party.

Related Information within this Site
[ Coup Stick ][ Dance ]