Southern Utes dance under blue bird skies

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Young dancers don their best attire for Monday's Bear Dance, and the closing afternoon of the Southern Ute Bear Dance.
Lisa Frost, leads younger dancers in the line dance during the opening of the spring celebration in Ignacio, Colo., Friday, May 25.
‘Catman,’ Maez stands at the ready, the ‘Catman” keeps the dancers in line.
Kree Lopez thanks the singers for their songs, as Monday brings the Bear Dance to a close.
Young girls wait patiently, ready to pick their partners in the Bear Dance.
Southern Ute dancer, singer Marvin Pennicoose sports a new ribbon shirt for Memorial Day weekend.
Southern Ute tribal member, Daniel Rohde enjoys a shady spot in the Bear Dance corral.
Bart Powaukee (center) catches up with a friend in the Bear Dance corral.
Girls gather at the start of the song, ready to pick a partner for the next dance.
Conrad Thompson sings with his fellow Southern Ute singers, as the Bear Dance comes to a close, Monday, May 28.
Dedicated dancer, Mia Tallbird take a moment of repose between Bear Dance songs.
Colorful shawls paint a vibrant palette at the Bear Dance.
Randy Herrera breaks away with his partner.
Marcos White, (red shirt), line dances with his partner at the Southern Ute Bear Dance, Monday, May 29.
Northern Ute singers tear it up at the Southern Ute Bear Dance.
Southern Ute Bear Dance Chief, Matthew Box opens the Bear Dance grounds, and invites the Southern Ute Royalty to introduce themselves on Friday, May 25. The first round of dancing is a Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy tradition, where teachers and students make the trek from the school to the Bear Dance corral each spring to take part in the first dances of the weekend.
Young singers learn the Ute ways by taking a hand at singing, Friday, May 25.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
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The Southern Ute Bear Dance brought men and women, of all ages, together over Memorial Day weekend, May 25–28. This spring celebration was held in conjunction with the Bear Dance Powwow, and culminated with a traditional feast of stew and watermelon. The Bear Dance is both spring celebration and social dance. Woman’s choice — dance partners are picked with the flick of a shawl. The four day celebration start out with line dancing, as the dancers hit their stride, the ‘Catman’ cuts them, and dancers’ break into pairs with their partner — careful not to fall as they move to the rhythm of the growlers.

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