Apache Gaan Dancers

Linda Sparks

Green Valley, United States

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Artist's Description

Apache Crown dancers, also known as Gaan (with various spellings) represent the four winds. The dancers paint their bodies white and decorate their costumes with bells. Each headdress or crown represents a specific wind. A fourth dancer wears a white headcovering.

Apache religion is cure oriented. It is based on the notion that a series of powers exist in the universe which may be acquired and used by man. One of the most potent of these powers is the power of the gaans. The gaans are supernaturals who live inside mountains and caves throughout Apache country and who manifest themselves as masked dancers during the gaan ceremony. They are often compared to pueblo kachinas who appear in much the same way.

The dancers are junior high school boys from San Carlos, Arizona, photographed at the Tumacacori Festival. The school teaches the Apache language and traditional customs as well as modern academics.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

9/10/15 5050 views

Featured in The Wild West Show 9/26/10
Featured in Cowboy/Cowgirl Art 8/15/10
Featured in Cowboy/Cowgirl Art 8/5/10
Featured in American Southwest 12/15/09
Featured in Cowboy/Cowgirl Art 12/11/09

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Artwork Comments

  • Daniel J. McCauley IV
  • Linda Sparks
  • Kay Kempton Raade
  • Linda Sparks
  • Daniel J. McCauley IV
  • Linda Sparks
  • Linda Gregory
  • Linda Sparks
  • Di Jenkins
  • Linda Sparks
  • Barbara Applegate
  • Linda Sparks
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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