Dan Isaac, Director

Philadelphia, MS

Led by Daniel Issac, the Mystic Wind Choctaw Social Dancers perform traditional Choctaw social dances, many of which imitate animals. Issac’s group also demonstrate a kind of drumming frequently found at powwows, a popular Native American event that focuses on Native American culture in general.

Choctaw dances are intended for participation and not performance. For many years, Choctaws danced for entertainment after community ball games and other gatherings. Community groups still gather sometimes just for the fun of dancing. Competition has never had a place in Choctaw dance.

Traditional dance also fosters a pride in being Choctaw. Contemporary social dance groups represent most of the Choctaw communities and their styles of dancing will often reflect their community of origin.

Choctaw dances also exemplify a spirit of cooperation, because of the way the chanters, dance leaders and dancers work together. There are three kinds of Choctaw dance: war dances, social dances, and animal dances that recognize creatures that were important to the Choctaw people.

Source: Betsy Irwin, Moundville Archaeological Park Education Outreach Coordinator

Courtesy of: UA Media Relations