The Lakota Hoop Dance as Medicine for Social Healing

Kevin Locke and Benjamin D. Koen

in The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756261
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 The Lakota Hoop Dance as Medicine for Social Healing

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The Lakota Hoop Dance is a choreographed prayer that aims to create health and healing at the individual and collective levels of human life through an expression and manifestation of the principle of unity. For instance, at first glance, the dance might be seen as an incredible physical feat. It is also emotionally fulfilling, psychologically centering, spiritually uplifting, and socially unifying, bringing forth joy, happiness, knowledge, peace, understanding, compassion, love, and unity. This article is concerned with the underlying belief and meaning of the Hoop Dance, which is viewed as a healing medicine to remedy the cause of social illnesses. It gives an introduction to the Hoop Dance as a social, medical intervention, not as a comprehensive and concluding statement on the subject. It helps to generate further interest across disciplines in the Hoop Dance and other traditional arts that can serve to benefit people across cultures.

Keywords: Lakota Hoop Dance; choreographed prayer; healing medicine; social illnesses; medical intervention

Article.  7359 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Ethnomusicology

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