The San Juan Pueblo Indians have an extremely unique and authentic culture and world view. They incorporate symbolism into their dances, songs, and their basic way of life.
The San Juan Pueblo Indians have a dance called the Pogonshare. Pogon, in the San Juan Pueblo language, means "cloud." Share means "dance," in their language. So the Pogonshare is the "Cloud Dance" of the San Juan Pueblo people. This cloud dance is developed by a group of elders, not by a single person. Every year the San Juan Pueblo people develop a new Pogonshare to keep the gods pleased with them. The Pogonshare is a dance which is intended to worship the Earth.
The process of the Pogonshare is not simply that of music and dancing, but there are many other aspects involved. The people would drink certain herbs to give themselves an energy boost, or other "powers." During the dance, the dancers would wear feathers which represented Ritualistic Power, and would make them stronger. The women would play on turtle shells, and it was believed that the turtle shells represented fertility and would in turn make the women more fertile.
The Pogonshare was written by the elderly males, and also sung mostly by the elderly males. Since it was sung by the males, it had a very low pitch. It was also characteristic of very long phrases, sung in an undulating pattern. The males also played on drums, bells, rattles, and sticks while singing.
Through the performance, there was believed to be a "transformation," and that those involved would be taken into a state of ecstasy. This belief of a "transformation" is evident in many cultures all across the world, and we can find them in other Native American Indian cultures, African cultures, and even Asian cultures. The people did not believe so much in a transforming into ecstasy, but that their spirits were lifted from the Earth, and in the heavens they found e…

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