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Hindi culture is rich in traditions of sacred dance. Source: mihail / Adobe Stock

Embracing the Divine: Eight Sacred Dances in Hindu Rituals

Sacred dance has always been an integral part of Hinduism, intricately woven into rituals and spiritual practices. The Vedas , the holy texts of Hinduism, intermingle performance arts with rituals,...
Dancer at a traditional Theyyam ceremony, India. Source: Dietmar Temps / Adobe Stock.

How Artists Are Keeping the Ancient Practice of Theyyam Alive (Video)

In Kerala , a state nestled in the southern part of India, the age-old tradition of Theyyam persists, defying the relentless march of time. This ritualistic form of worship, deeply ingrained in the...
Mexico’s 600-Year-Old Dance of the Flying Men (Video)

Mexico’s 600-Year-Old Dance of the Flying Men (Video)

For six centuries, the vibrant skies above Papantla, Mexico , have been graced by the enduring tradition of the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers). This captivating spectacle unfolds as a...
Male Hula dance performer. Source: Guntherize / Adobe Stock.

Hula's Male Warriors: Dance, Story, Strength (Video)

Dispelling the common misconception that hula is exclusively a feminine art form, Ke Kai O Kahiki, a renowned male hula school in Hawaii, remains steadfast in preserving the tradition of warrior...
Deer Dance, Mexico. (Public Domain)

Guatemala’s Ancient Deer Dance of the Gods (Video)

Mayan dances hold a significant place in Guatemalan history and religion, with the ancient ritual of the deer dance playing a particularly pivotal role. Celebrated on the Feast of Corpus Christi, a...
Dance platform at a modern but traditional Inti Raymi celebration. Early Andeans created a dance floor to imitate the sound of thunder when danced on. Source: Youenn JACQUIN/Adobe Stock

Ancient Andean Thundering Dance Floor Uncovered in Peru

An open-air “sounding” dance floor in Peru has been discovered, designed to mimic a drum-like sound, perhaps for a thunder god when stomped upon! Built sometime between 1000 and 1400 AD, the site...
Tahtib dance or ancient Egyptian martial art stick fighting being performed in modern Egypt.	Source: Traditional Sports

Egypt’s Ancient Tahtib Martial Arts Form: Stick Fighting Warriors!

Tahtib is an ancient Egyptian stick fighting martial art that dates back to Egypt's Old Kingdom (2649-2130 BC) during the second millennium BC. This martial art emphasizes the use of a long stick for...
Adult male from grave 76a in Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov drawn as if he were alive during a dance session with 140 elk teeth on his chest, waist, pelvis, and thighs rattling rhythmically and loudly.

8,000-Year-Old Elk Teeth “Dancing Rattlers” Are Recreated

Imagine this: 8,000-years-ago ancient hunters ritualistically danced wearing rattling elk teeth to enhance their hypnotic states of consciousness. Now, a Finish researcher has recreated an ancient...
The Route to Secular Art through the Kwakiutl Hamatsa Dance

The Route to Secular Art through the Kwakiutl Hamatsa Dance

“Magic preceded art, art served magic, and art was then liberated from magic.” This was among a number of sometimes controversial assertions made by Scottish anthropologist James Frazer in his 19 th...
Is This Where John the Baptist Was Condemned to Death?

Is This Where John the Baptist Was Condemned to Death?

A courtyard uncovered among the ancient ruins at Machaerus, a fortified hilltop palace in Jordan , may have profound historical significance. According to one prominent academic, this courtyard is...
Reog Ponorogo traditional dance lion and peacock mask

The Reog Ponorogo: A Dance of Rebellion Which Changed History

A fearsome lion monster with peacock feathers on its head charged and twirled about as cavalrymen curtseyed and jumped by. The onlookers were entranced with the story playing out in front of them...
Somalia: The Ancient Lost Kingdom of Punt is Finally Found?

Somalia: The Ancient Lost Kingdom of Punt is Finally Found?

Tourists from all over the world are welcomed in Upper Egypt to admire temples and learn about the fascinating history of ancient pharaohs. However, the pharaohs’ true origins are not told and our...
A Maori Warrior

The Maori: A Rich and Cherished Culture at the World’s Edge

New Zealand was one of the last landmasses to be colonized by humans. When Pleistocene megafauna had gone extinct elsewhere in the world, New Zealand was still inhabited by the moas, giant flightless...
‘The Nine Muses - Terpsichore (Dance) (1782) by Johann Heinrich Tischbein.

Terpsichore: The Muse of Dance Who Moved in Time with the Rhythm of the Cosmos

In ancient Greece, nine goddesses were believed to rule over all the major literary and artistic spheres. They were called the Muses. The Muse ruling dance and choral music was Terpsichore. In...
This is an artist's copy of a mural at the Temple of the Murals at Bonampak, a Maya archaeological site showing examples of heavy jewelry.

New Discovery Suggests That Maya Elites Danced Wearing As Much As 25 Pounds of Jade Jewelry

A five-pound jade head pendant has been found at Ucanal, an archaeological site in what was once the Maya city of K’anwitznal. The massive jade pendant, the heaviest of its kind ever found, once hung...
Left:  Hopi snake dancer ( adobegallery) Right: A Hopi male during the annual snake dance and ritual prayers for rain, 1946 (public domain)

Dances with Snakes: The Real Reason for the Hopi Snake Dance – Part II

The day prior to the final Snake Dance performance in the plaza, before sunrise with Orion and Sirius rising, two warriors of the Snake society make several circuits around the Snake and Antelope...
Detail of ‘Hopi Snake Dance’ by Cornelia Cassady-Davis.

Dances with Snakes: The Real Reason for the Hopi Snake Dance

For thousands of years the Hopi tribe of northern Arizona has performed a secretive, sacred ceremony that embodies the manifold and richly evocative archetypal nature of the serpent. In modern times...

A Hopi Hero’s Journey: How the Snake Clan Came to Arizona

Joseph Campbell, in his classic book The Hero With A Thousand Faces explores in depth the universal mythic narrative of the culture-hero (traditionally male) who goes forth not to conquer but...
16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
A Strange Ancient Dance with Unknown Origins – How Far Back Does the Morris Dance Really Go?

A Strange Ancient Dance with Unknown Origins – How Far Back Does the Morris Dance Really Go?

Morris dancing is a type of folk dance from England. It is unclear as to when Morris Dancing began to be performed, though there is evidence that this dance has existed for several centuries, the...
A Dance for Gods, Wars and Beauty: The History of the Elegant and Deadly Ancient Art of Sword Dancing

A Dance for Gods, Wars and Beauty: The History of the Elegant and Deadly Ancient Art of Sword Dancing

The study and practice of sword wielding has been developing for over 4,000 years and continues to fascinate. Its mastery demands a great deal of a person’s physical and spiritual capacity. Like any...
The Four Great Beauties, and the Arts of the Courtesans in Ancient China

The Four Great Beauties, and the Arts of the Courtesans in Ancient China

The Four Great Beauties are four ancient Chinese women renowned for their beauty which they skillfully exercised to influence Chinese history. Although each of the Four Great Beauties frequently...
The Royal Ballet of the Dowager of Bilbao's Grand Ball, 1626.

Displaying Sophistication with Masks and Curtsies: The Early History of Ballet

Ballet has been described as an art form created by the movement of the human body . It is a type of dance performed on a stage in front of an audience. The word ballet is derived from the French...
Painting of Orixas dancing.

Candomble: The African-Brazilian Dance in Honor of the Gods

Candomblé (meaning dance in honor of the gods ) is a religion found primarily in Brazil with a number of elements derived from African cultures. It not only incorporates some religious aspects of...

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