Jump Dance

Thomas Buckley

in Standing Ground

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233584
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936447 | DOI:
Jump Dance

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This chapter examines the contemporary revival of the Yurok jump dance at the village of Pecwan, inaugurated in 1984 and still ongoing, interpreting the jump dance as an arena of social as well as spiritual discourse. The effort to resolve received form and ongoing creativity is seen as the process that fixes the social world by reaffirming and renewing spiritual experience within the Yurok world. This dynamic, narrated in Yurok creation myths, appears to be ancient. A fixed and static constellation of traits that can be totalized as “the jump dance” has never existed; indeed, the dance could neither have survived nor have had any efficacy if it did. It has always, since the myth-time, been a temporal emergence conditioned by individual agency exercised in dialogue. Yurok culture and the jump dance, like cultural anthropology, continue to emerge through constant historical change, negotiated through communal dialogue among individuals.

Keywords: jump dance; spiritual discourse; Yurok; myths; cultural anthropology

Chapter.  7069 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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