Beloved Stomp Dance

Aug 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Student 2009
By Tricia Fields
Sparkling embers–whirl in the night sky
Carry our prayers and songs up to Creator
Sparkling embers–from a ceremonial fire
Dance lightly to a rhythm with no drum

Men sing ancient songs of long ago
Women and girls keep the rhythm
Turtle shells tied to our legs
Pebbles rattle loudly within them

Men lead, women support
Equal but with different roles
It’s not oppression, but helping one another
That’s the way our people are

Sparkling embers–whirl in the night sky
Carry our prayers and songs out to Mother Earth
Sparkling embers–from a ceremonial fire
Glow warmly around those who gather

Colorful ribbon shirts, vests and hunting coats
Custom made with love and care
Ribbon skirts with lace and family patchwork
Represent who we are, by those who care

Cowboy hats with beaded hatbands
Ball caps with beaded brims
Delicate feathers pinned securely
Worn proudly by fathers, brothers and sons

Sparkling embers–whirl in the night sky
Carry our prayers and songs up to Grandfather Sun
Sparkling embers–from a ceremonial fire
Will never die if we carry on

We dance counterclockwise, one behind another
Songs fast and loud like thunder
Some soft and slow, Native lullabies in the night
These songs I always want to remember

Each time we dance is special
Hardworking hands fan our sacred fire
Bodies dance and sway like waves of water
Then stop quickly, right on beat

Sparkling embers–whirl in the night sky
Carry our prayers and songs up to Creator
Sparkling embers–from a ceremonial fire
Crackle softly with delight

Our eyes sting sweetly from the smoke
Our bodies drip with sweat
Exhausted legs dance every song
Proudly embracing every step

Near and far we migrate home
Friendships made that last for life
Until we greet a brand-new dawn
We’ll dance and sing throughout the night

Sparkling embers–whirl in the night sky
Carry our prayers and songs up to Creator
Sparkling embers–from a ceremonial fire
Dance lightly to a rhythm with no drum

Let us dance for those who can’t
Singing songs for those who’ve gone
We teach our children all these ways
Making sure to pass them on

Beloved stomp dance, our dear friend
It’s time for us to leave
We’ll dance one more song
It’s now our turn to lead!

Tricia Fields (Yuchi, Creek, Pawnee, Chickasaw and Choctaw) is studying Tribal Services and Native American Studies at College of the Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee, OK. She also attends Oklahoma State University. Fields loves reading and writing Native American poetry and storytelling.

Fields, a shellshaker from the Polecat Ceremonial Grounds and a southern cloth dancer from the Pawnee Nation, wrote her poem about the Muscogee (Creek) and Yuchi stomp dance. The proud mother of four children, says, “I am thankful for my grandparents and great-grandmothers. They were all so encouraging and overcame so much. I hope that I can be just like my grandmothers and make my children proud of who they come from.” Fields adds,I encourage my Native American people to write down their stories and memories.”

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