Vintage NAVAJO Sterling Silver TURQUOISE MOP CORAL Inlay BELT BUCKLE Gan Dancer. DESCRIPTION: Inlaid Gan Dancer with turquoise, coral, jet, and mother of pearl, on a foundation of heavy gauge vintage sterling silver. This belt buckle will be a cherished addition to your collection of fine vintage Native American jewelry. MEASUREMENTS: Buckle measures 3"inches x 2"¼. Buckle will accommodate a 1?
WEIGHT: 36.9grams no marks but tested as sterling silver. The Gaan dance is a healing and renewal ceremony to protect the Apache from disease and their enemies. The performers are the embodiment of the Mountain Spirits (the Gaan); they become them. They wear hooded masks with elaborate painted crowns and wield painted wands during the dances. The Gaan dancers are a structured group, consisting of four members and a clown, who have specific roles in the dances.
The leader is recognized as having the highest crown. The "clown" may wear the smallest crown, or in some way stand out as different in the group. Gaan dancers perform a Gaan Dance on the final night of the Sunrise Dance ceremony.
The Gaan dancers chant and keep beat with the same dance step as the girl, while in motion they lead the participant guests about the plaza. Eventually the girl follows the "clown" Gaan around the plaza and the guests fall in line after her. Upon returning to her original position, the Gaan surround the girl. The "clown" holds a mixture of ochre and corn pollen that is sprinkled or brushed over the girl by the other Gaan. Any remaining pollen may be emptied from the basket over her head and body.The Gaan bring a powerful spirituality to the ceremony as the Apache girl is transformed and attains womanhood.