Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2012


Great Plains Quarterly 32:4 (Fall 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


This is a thoughtful, helpful, somewhat unusually focused book that looks at K'iche Maya Traditional Dance in Guatemala, Native American Powwow (particularly in the Upper Midwest), Folkloric dance in the Chicago area, and at the University of Illinois's "Chief Illiniwek" dancing mascot from an anthropologically informed ethnographic perspective. The section on Maya dance comes from the author's dissertation research, while the sections on Indigenous dance and "playing Indian" in the Midwest are from fieldwork he has undertaken, postdissertation, while teaching at North Central College in Illinois. Krystal brings these diverse performance practices into dialogue with each other by looking at them all through anthropological discourse around ritual and the enactment of identity, as well as through insightful considerations of how these practices relate to discussions of such topics as "authentity" and "tradition."