Ring Shout!


Background

Ring Shout is a form of dance and song that was performed by enslaved African people in the southern United States, Caribbean Islands, and other countries. It is performed by a group, who after starting to sing, form a circle in the center of a space and begin to move counterclockwise.  

                                

Examples of Ring Shout

Is it Spiritual or Secular?

Ring Shout, historically, has been performed as praise during Christian worship services. However, this expression of dance can also serve as a form of entertainment and have no spiritual direction.

 

Therefore, the Ring Shout is a versatile expression being both spiritual and secular. Today examples of this polarity can be found in many African American churches, where a similar shout is done, and Gullah festivals, where the traditional Ring Shout is performed by traveling groups. 

Conclusion

In the end, the Ring Shout is a historic dance that is deeply rooted in African tradition. Its versatility, in being both secular and spiritual, has impacted the expressions survival. Today, the Ring shout can be seen at African American churches in a more modern form and at Gullah festivals, where it is preformed traditionally. Overall, the Ring Shout is a versatile form of dance and song with deep roots in the African American community. 

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