The Hopi Snake Dance Part 1
As the title says this is a video that was taken in 1913 on First Mesa (Walpi, AZ) on the Hopi reservation. This is a snake dance that was performed not for Theodore Roosevelt although he did happen to be in attendance. Some interesing things to notice is of course that you will see members of the snake clan holding the snakes in their mouth while members of the Antelope clan use a feather tool to calm the snake while they walk in partner groups. The other interesting thing is during the video you will be able to notice the members of the snake clan stomp their feet on a board towards the right hand side of the video. This blog post is mainly in reference to the "Stamping of Feet"
According to Tom Cryers "Visual Testament" the stomping is so forceful that it appears the intention is to break the board. This stamping is a signal to the underword. It informs the ancestors below that a ceremony is taking place. It also impacts with emphasis the prayer offerings that had previously been deposited below the board. This ceremony takes place the same time every other year, it is believed the underworld is performing the same ceremony at the same time. In a Jewish wedding ceremony, a small board is placed at the foot of the groom , upon which is placed a wine glass. The groom stamps upon it, dashing the glass to pieces, and the people cry "Mazzletouv! Mazzletouv!" Good Luck!, Good Luck! The Egyptians smashed a green stone of glass and flaming torch, which are then buried as an act of consecration and renouncement of earthly passions and desires. (Nibley 1975:124) The Prophet Ezekiel stamped with his foot to warn backsliding Israel of the famine and pestilence that would befall them. (Ezek6:11) The Masons ritually clapped their hands and stamped their feet at once to emphasize "light" as a candidate's "hoodwink" is removed and he becomes "intellectually illuminated."