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Video: Shipibo-Conibo Sacred Black Drink Dance

Video:  Shipibo-Conibo Sacred Black Drink Dance


The Panoans of Peru and the Creeks of the United States are among the few indigenous American peoples in which men and women regularly dance together . . . often making physical contact.  The Panoans also do the Stomp Dance, just like the Creeks.  Note that the Shipibo and Conibo wear turbans and long shirts identical to that of the Seminole of Florida.

The Panoans and Creeks use exactly the same word for the Sacred Black Drink . . .  spelled ase . . . pronounced  Ä : shē .  In the Creek languages, the Panoan word for chief, orata,  became the Creek word for a leader of a small village or an appointed official.

In this dance, the women have prepared fresh ase as there men are getting ready to go to war against the Incas.  Apparently, the Panoans were the only people that the Incas could not conquer.  There was a separate civilization in eastern Peru, which built mounds and maintained more democratic traditions.

A Seminole mikko (above) wears identical clothing to a Shipibo orata (chief).


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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Okay. I want one of the guys’ dresses. Love them. Also, the Miami Indians of Indiana do stomp dances, too, as do a lot of woodland Indians, right?

    Have you ever drank the sacred black drink? It’s holly tea of sorts, right?

    • Hey Carla . . . the other Native American tribes have picked up the stomp dance during the past two centuries. The dance actually symbolizes the journey of the Creeks from Mexico to Georgia, but other tribes don’t know that. Yes I have drunk Yaupon Tea many times, but not the type, which has herb added that make you throw up. Sacred Black Drink tastes like Black Tea. They are all members of the Camellia family.


    Hey Richard,
    Love the videos you post. These guys would be fun to party with. I can not understand the plains indians dances. It would be boring to shuffle around a bunch of guys beating a drum and chanting. This music makes you want to join in and celebrate and say LETS PARTY!!!!

    • That’s exactly how all the eyewitness accounts of our dances describe them. They has some slower moving dances for the older folks . . . such as the Stomp Dance.


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