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September 19, 2018

Sandra Scott Travels: Immerse Yourself In Native America Culture At Smokin’ Joe’s


Last week I asked: Where is Smokin’ Joe’s Native Center?

In Niagara Falls, USA

John and I love to stop in Niagara Falls whenever possible.

The Hiawatha Belt

The Hiawatha Belt

The Seneca Niagara Casino is our favorite place stay because of the many things to do in the hotel and nearby.

Besides the gaming, the restaurants are excellent and so is the spa.

I also like all the Native American touches.

In the lobby there is a large statue of an eagle with the Hiawatha Belt carved in the wings.

The Hiawatha Belt has a pine tree in the middle to represent the sacred tree and the Onondagas who are the “Keepers of the Flame.”

The symbols on the side represent the other four nations of the original Iroquois confederacy: the Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas and the Mohawk.

 the Hoop Dance

The Hoop Dance

There is a lot of Native American artwork throughout the casino.

After we checked in, I had time to go to the spa for a relaxing manicure/pedicure and then we set out to check out one of the newest attractions in The Falls.

From the hotel we walked down the pedestrian mall to Smokin’ Joe’s Native American Center for their show.

It is the newest attraction at Niagara Falls and a favorite tour bus stop especially for foreign groups.

It is difficult to connect with the Native culture so this is a great new venue for Americans and foreigners.

The show called “The Spirit of the Mist” is billed as the “Longest running Native American Dance Show in Niagara Falls, USA and North America.”

Native American attire

Native American attire

However, it has only been open since 2013.

That is an indication of the dearth of Native American cultural experiences available anywhere.

Such a presentation is great for learning about and preserving a culture.

The multimedia show is vibrant in costuming, music and dance.

The presentation is called a “spirit” journey.

One dance calls on the power of thunder before heading off to battle.

Another invokes the lilting sounds of the native flute to woo a loved one.

The eagle, an important symbol in native culture, carries all prayers to the Creator.

Native American artwork

Native American artwork

During the dance of the buffalo hunt, the buffalo is honored for providing food, clothing and tools.

The dancers are all professionals in elaborate costumes with the Hoop Dance being an amazing display of dexterity and skill.

The sound of the drum in all the presentations helps to tell the story and is said to represent the heartbeat.

Smokin’ Joe is the tag name of Joseph Anderson who started a smoke shop that has now grown into the Native Center with a retail area divided into one featuring handcrafted Native American articles while the other is basically Niagara Falls souvenirs.

There is also a restaurant and other facets of the Center.

The show is a do-not miss with at least one presentation each night and an excellent addition to Niagara Falls USA.

Enjoy Native America culture at Smokin' Joe's

Enjoy Native America culture at Smokin’ Joe’s

On the way back to Seneca Niagara Casino we stopped in the pedestrian mall to listen to some excellent country music.

It is another example of fun things to do in Niagara Falls besides all the thrilling experiences associated with the waterfalls – most of which we have done but they are always fun no matter how many times they are experienced.

At the hotel the musical evening continued at the new trendy Stir Stage, where they feature live performers.

It is adjacent to the casino floor.

Our musical evening included Native American, country and ended with an all-girl group from Canada playing contemporary rock.

Trivia Tease™: Where the Grand Canyon of the East?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!

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