Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore
How do Karen people define themselves as Karen? This question has particular import for one community in New York State—the Karen of Utica. The two hundred members of this group affirm their distinctiveness in part by celebrating a day that is special to Karen people worldwide. Since their arrival in Utica in 1999, every January they dance the don dance, a dance created and practiced only by Karen people. This article will discuss the performance of the don dance in another context: in a refugee camp in Southeast Asia, the dance functions to create and reinforce a particular ideal of Karen nationhood.
Copyright © 2006 by New York Folklore
New York Folklore
MacLachlan, Heather, "The Don Dance: An Expression of Karen Nationalism" (2006). Music Faculty Publications. 34.