“The hoop is an important symbol to all American Indians.  The circle of life, with the continuous cycle of life and death, summer and winter, day and night, male and female, is linked to this image.  While continuously dancing, the dancer manipulates the hoops to make shapes such as eagles, butterflies, various flowers and insects.  Dancers also make geometric shapes such as the “ladder of life” and the world.”  Following are photos I captured during this Saturday’s Hoop dance contest at the Heard Museum.

portrait hoop dancer w hoops

7 hoops for this young lady

young boy with hoop

count the hoops on this little guy