Southwest Apache Devil Dancers in Olden Times Illustration

Daily Life in Olden Times
for Kids

Southwest Apache
Apache Devil Dancers

Devil Dancers: Devil Dancers were not deities or gods. They were more like men with special abilities. One of those abilities was to be invisible. Devil Dancers would show up after a dance had started. No one could see them, since they were invisible. But, they were responsible for a lot of racket.

To honor the Devil Dancers, some Apache men dressed up like Devil Dancers. Their costumes had bells sewn on the elbows and sleeves and leggings.

They would hide behind bushes or trees. When the dance started, they would come running out from wherever they had been hiding. They would yell and scream and shake their elbows and stomp to the beat of the drums. The bells on their costumes added to the noise.

One was always dressed like a clown, much to the delight of the children. The clown would do all kinds of clownish things like fall over or chase a youngster. Everyone would laugh.

Because dances went on for days, new Devil Dancers might take the place of the old ones, to give them a rest. It was a lot fun. People loved all the Devil Dancers - the invisible ones, and the costumed Apache men.

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