Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

View Artist Biography
Edward S. Curtis - Singing in the Crazy Dance - Atsina border=
Singing in the Crazy Dance - Atsina
Volume, 9.5 x 12.5 inches
Vintage Photogravure
According to Edward S. Curtis in his volume 5, the ceremonies of Atsina tribe were organized using of a system of societies. Membership in the societies was based mainly on age. They had five important ceremonies which were religious in nature but also contained acts that were for pure amusement and fun. They would be performed at the request of a society member who needed recovery of illness for him or someone else or help in times of trouble.

For the Crazy Dance a man would go with a pipe to an old man who was familiar with the performance. If the pipe was accepted the old man became the “maker of the Crazy Dance". The dancers would be painted and dressed in poncho-like robes. Multiple lodges would be put together and made large enough for a ceremony which would last four days and nights.

In this photogravure by Edward S. Curtis the singers would be stating off the ceremony by "Singing in the Crazy dance".

This photogravure was taken in 1909 by Edward S. Curtis. The piece was printed on Japanese Tissue and is available for sale in out Aspen Art Gallery.
View Artist Biography