In the Mohawk nation, a matrilineal society, women receive a great deal of respect due to their relationship to Mother Earth as child bearers and keepers of the family lines. Therefore, most Mohawk dance gatherings will include a performance of a dance dedicated to women.
The New Women’s Shuffle Dance is a fairly simple, shuffle-style dance. Dancers move in a counterclockwise direction, representing the cycle of life and the direction of the earth’s movements. The idea that through this life cycle life constantly renews itself helps honor the special connection women have to the earth as “Life Givers.”
Performed in public arenas as a very sociable dance, the New Women’s Shuffle Dance urges everyone to enjoy and explore new friends and relationships within the dance circle. The Mohawk name for the dance is Tsionhathonwisenhneha.