The Fancy War Dance, originating from the Ponca and Comanche Nations in Oklahoma, carries a profound historical legacy. Initially a slower dance exclusively performed by war veterans, it underwent a shift in the late 1800s, becoming a dynamic and contemporary style that captivated audiences in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Today, the Fancy Dance remains a vital thread in the fabric of Native American culture, with dancers expressing reverence for the horse through their intricate and lively movements. This ongoing photo project chronicles the journey of Canku One Star, a Men's Fancy War Dancer, who graces colonized sacred locations in America, where Indigenous history has been forgotten. Through his dance, Canku serves as a poignant reminder that we constantly tread upon Native land, irrespective of our location within America. This ongoing project aims to narrate the story of the Fancy Dance while illuminating its cultural significance, tracing its evolution from a slower war dance to a vibrant contemporary style that pays homage to the horse. While my own ancestors do not hail from indigenous backgrounds in America, I recognize the parallel narratives of erasure between my Taino Puerto Rican heritage and that of Native Americans. This project serves as a heartfelt opportunity to learn, pay homage, and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples.

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