Grand County Historical Association will hosting Skyler Lomahaftewa, a Northern Ute Tribal Member, to explain the Ute Bear Dance. The Bear Dance is an enduring legacy of the Ute, dating back centuries, and a ceremony still performed annually.
Bears are the guardians of the mountains and the Ute did not hunt them. Then and now, the Bear Dance takes place every Spring and celebrates the Ute peoples’ special relationship with Bears.
According to Ute legend, a Grizzly Bear Woman once captured a man and kept him with her all winter. In the Spring, she taught him the Bear Dance. The Utes say that with the first thunder of spring comes the Bear Dance. It is a celebration of new life. The bear awakens from hibernation; the spring sun melts the white blanket of snow to revive the life that has been asleep underneath. It is time to celebrate the rebirth of mother earth, time to be in harmony with everything, time to welcome new members of the tribe.
Everyone is welcome to this free event about the Bear Dance at Cozens Ranch Museum in Fraser.