It’s interesting what can be learned in the course of research.
I don’t recall reading about the Squaw Dance during any of several classes required for a minor in anthropology. Yet I recently came across an interesting bit of information regarding the Squaw Dance. In the online catalog for the American Indian and Western Art auction held by Cowan’s Auctions on September 9, a listing for an Aleta Tsosie Navajo pictorial weaving noted that the Squaw Dance was “the only ceremony where men and women dance together.”
I guess it stinks to be a lonely Navajo teenager on a Friday night.
The weaving offered at the auction depicted 52 individual figures and 15 paired figures, as well as 18 horses, sheep, and cows. From the fourth quarter of the 20th century and measuring 47 by 59 inches, it sold for $5,287.50.
By the way, Squaw Dance wasn’t my favorite textile of the day. What caught my eye the most was a Tree of Life weaving by Virginia Nez. Depicting 43 birds perched on branches, the Navajo piece measured 60.5 by 47 inches and dated to the third quarter of the 20th century. The colorful birds were spectacular, yet the weaving, estimated at $3,500 to $4,000, went unsold.