The Sioux have a "Sun-Dance," in which the dancers move their bodies from side to side, forward and backward, so as to stretch the gashes in their breasts and shoulders to the fullest extent. "To see one undergoing this fearful torture called dancing," writes Mr. Beckwith, "naked, painted black, hair streaming, blood trickling from their gashes, is a dreadful sight indeed."
Let us next observe a remarkable feature of early dancing. There are dances that women may not see, on pain of death. So, too, the women have dances from which the men are rigorously excluded. The Aleuts, according to Mr. Dall, have mysteries sacred to the males and others to the females. He says that "hundreds
Fig. 3. Shaman's Shirt. (Back view.)
- Smithsonian Report, 1886, Part I, p. 250. In Harper's Weekly, December 13, 1890, there is a full-page picture of a Blackfeet brave undergoing the torture in the sun-dance. The spirited drawing was made by Mr. Frederic Remington on the spot.
- Third Ethnological Report, p. 139.