Night Dance: The Book Title


 Night Dance - Haŋwáčhipi



Reading Clark Wissler's description below of the Lakȟóta Night Dance (Haŋwáčhipi) inspired the title of my tetralogy. Since my book series is not only about making collective and individual shadows visible, but also about ancient soul connections and the power of hearts, the title seemed more than fitting to me on several levels: "shadow dance", "shadow work", "courtship", historical reference to the Plains cultures in book 3 of my trilogy.

"Night-Dance. The members were unmarried, but two men acting as leaders were usually married. They opened the ceremony by recounting their deeds. The young men sat on one side of the tipi, the young women on the other. As the songs for this dance were sung, a man would rise and dance with a present which he then presented to one of the young women. In the same way the young women danced with presents for young men. […] At the close a feast was made”.

Source: Lakota Classics (Facsimiles of the earliest publications on Lakota history, language, and culture): Societies of the Oglala, reprint of Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History Vo. XI, Part I: Societies and Ceremonial Associations in the Oglala division of the Teton-Dakota von Clark Wissler (1912)


"Haŋwáčhipi - Night Dance. One of the societies was common to both young man and young women and it was called Night Dance, they would get together and dance almost all night long. [...] they usually dance[d] holding each other in the arms (men with women).

Source: Lakota Dictionary, Lakota Language Consortium (2nd edition, 2011)