W. Douglas Powers is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. He holds the MFA in acting from Ohio University, the MA in dramatic literature and theatre history from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the PhD in theatre from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A professional actor and director, he is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. He is of Cherokee and Chickasaw descent.
2003 0-7734-6620-7 This study considers the Cherokee Booger Dance as a purely religious phenomenon by reinterpreting anthropologist Frank G. Speck’s observations through the lens of Mircea Eliade’s theory of religion. This investigation presents the ritual as a means of acquiring spiritual transcendence, held by Eliade to be a universal human longing. This perspective differs from the assertion posited by Speck that the Booger Dance is little more than a manifestation of sociological or psychological conditions exasperated by historical Cherokee-white relations.