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Yoeme Deer Dance headdress
ca. 1910
Sonora, Mexico
Deer hide, glass eyes, antlers
31 x 25 x 33 cm
Collected by Edward H. Davis

Brought to life with the music of deer singers, this headdress is worn by Yoeme deer dancers dancing to the beat of the songs. Shaking gourd rattles, the deer dancers also wear deer-hoof rattles around their waists, as well as cocoon rattles around their lower legs. Yoeme have always believed they exist in close communion with all the inhabitants of the Sonoran Desert, and the deer dancers help them feel this connection. Contemporary Yoeme regard the Deer Dance and Deer Dance songs as the most essential expression of what it means to be Yoeme—that is, to be entrusted with the well-being of the earth, its animals and plants.

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