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Buffalo Dance (1894)

Three Sioux Indians perform a 'buffalo dance', while two others use drums to supply a rhythm. The three dancers move around in a circle as they perform the various actions that are part of the dance.

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(uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Hair Coat ... Himself (uncredited)
Parts His Hair ... Himself (uncredited)
Last Horse ... Himself (uncredited)
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Storyline

Two drummers are seated near the back edge of a small wooden stage behind three warriors in full costumes. As the musicians play and chant, the three men dance, always moving their feet, in a counterclockwise circle. They often look at the camera, seeming to seek the spotlight. The each wear feathers in their headband and two wear decorative tails. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

24 September 1894 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buffalo indiánok tánca  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives (2004)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. This film is preserved by the Library of Congress (the Gordon Hendricks collection), has a running time of 16 seconds and an added piano score. See more »

Connections

Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Probably Entertaining To Its Original Viewers, Interesting For Different Reasons Now
9 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

As one of several features that the Edison Company made of performers from the Buffalo Bill Wild West exhibition, this was probably interesting to its original viewers as a chance to see a more or less authentic 'Indian dance'. As is often the case with the earliest movies, it's of interest now mainly for other reasons.

Like the companion feature "Sioux Ghost Dance" made at the same time, this movie shows several Sioux performing one of their rituals for the camera. This "Buffalo Dance" differs slightly in having only three dancers, while two others accompany them with drums.

What stands out in this one is the unfeigned interest in the camera that the dancers show, frequently staring right at it. It certainly doesn't seem to fit in with the dance itself, and it looks like an unintended but honest reaction to being filmed - which was just as novel an experience for these Sioux as it would have been for anyone else at the time.

These frequent stares at the camera, plus the somewhat artificial background of Edison's 'Black Maria' studio, make it hard to determine to what degree the movie portrays the dance as it would have been done on its own. But it does give this little feature a point of interest.


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