Bear Dancing in Towaoc

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Many gathered at the Ute Mountain Ute Bear Dance held in Towaoc, Colo. — Sunday June 4. People come from all over to enjoy the annual spring gathering.
Woman’s choice, members of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, and Ute Mountain Ute representatives take a moment for a group photo before selecting their next dance partner during Friday’s Bear Dance, Towaoc, Colo.
Sporting a straw hat and traditional ribbon shirt, this young dancer sits alongside the singers on the first morning of the spring celebration.
Ute Mountain Ute girls represent in Towaoc, Colo. for the first day of bear dancing.
Ute Mountain Ute singers smoke tobacco between songs, Bear Dance songs are passed down from generation to generation.
Southern Ute Chairman, Clement J. Frost and CCIA member-at-large, Lucille Echohawk find some shade during the Bear Dance.
Calvin Levato participates in the Bear Dance in Towaoc, Colo.
Trennie Collins | 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
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
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Bear Dance songs brought Utes and dignitaries from the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs together on Friday, June 2. It has become a running tradition to open Friday’s Bear Dance with an invitation to the visitors in attendance at the Commission meeting, sharing Ute culture first hand with those who work alongside the tribes in Colorado.

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