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Music & Dance

Metis Historical Society, dancersThe Metis people lived life to the fullest and one of the events that this included was music and dance. At almost all social events of the Metis you can find the rhythm of the fiddle and the bouncing of the feet. When most people think about Metis music they think about the fiddle and forget that the Metis also used the concertina, harmonica, hand drum, mouth harp and finger instruments known as bones and spoons. The fiddle did however make the biggest and longest impression in Metis music history. The Metis even learnt how to make their own fiddles considering how expensive and hard they were to get back then. The beat of the Metis fiddle music is fast, exciting and unique.

Metis Historical Society, fiddlerStories and legends are told through these tunes. They have not been written recorded but have been passed down through generations. The rhythm comes from spoons and toe tapping and creates a sound unlike any other. The only way that the songs have stayed alive is through the oral teachings that people have been given. Metis dance comes from the Scottish and the Irish stepdance but the Metis have made it their own original masterpiece that we call jigging. Traditional dances include the Waltz Quadrille, Square dance, Drops of Brandy, Duck dance, La Double Gigue and the Red River jig. The Quadrille uses the famous infinity shape throughout the dance like the Metis flag does on it. The Red River jig is a more popular dance of the Metis and allows a variety of over 50 dance steps in it.

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