Friday, December 5, 2008

French Influence on the New World

Pardon me, Dr. Granade, as I write an extra post not directly related to the class. But I found this so interesting, I had to share:

I was studying for the upcoming Exam on the Baroque era, when I read in detail a description of the courante in the French Dance Suite:

"The courante was a French dance whose choreography included bending the knee on the upbeat or offbeat and rising on the beat, often followed by a step or glide:"

This seemed terribly familiar from my experiences with learning Native American dance and culture. My father, who studies Native American culture almost religiously, was sure to bring me up taking me to Pow Wows, teaching me the proper wear and use of regalia, and treating me to fry bread tacos. There are different dances, depending on one's gender and regalia, that one can find at a Pow Wow. My father's dance of choice is the straight dance, which could be described as, well, "bending the knee on the upbeat or offbeat and rising on the beat, often followed by a step or glide:"

Very similar, but not identical... I also remembered then the two-step, which is a common couples dance found at Pow Wows:

Can we be all that surprised when considering the alliances between the French and the Indians? Consider this said about the Prelude to the French and Indian War:

"The French were more apt to cultivate a friendship with the natives; French traders would often marry into a native tribe to solidify a good commercial relationship. The British, on the other hand, were often seen as interlopers who came to steal land. But as the Indians came to rely more and more upon European trade goods, their alliance would change depending on whom they thought they could get the most from. As the Native Americans began to play one country off against the other, the Europeans began to try to manage the alliances more powerfully to their own advantage."


At December 8, 2008 at 1:29 PM , Blogger Dr. Granade said...

Completely fascinating. Thanks for sharing, Victoria, and no problem blogging on other topics.


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