The annual summer pow-wow took place this past weekend and I thought I might enlighten you, my dear reader, on the different types of dance outfits. Of course all of these styles are rooted in the past, but we have much better materials to work with, and we only have to trade money for things, instead of the ancestral homeland or a bunch of beaver pelts.
First up is a Plains style dance dress, a jingle dress. Traditionally the metal cones that give this dress it’s name are made from the lids of snuff cans. That would be an awful lot of chaw if you couldn’t purchase these ready-made.
Here are a couple of ladies. The woman on the left is wearing a beaded buckskin dress. She has a beaded crown and she is carrying a beaded feather fan and a dance shawl. The lady with the fur covering her braids is in a ribbon work dress. And the lady on the right is in a traditional Navajo outfit of a velveteen blouse, tiered skirt and turquoise jewelry. In the background are a couple of grass dancers.
The woman on the left is wearing a wool trade cloth dress that is decorated with elk teeth (either real or made of bone). The other ladies are just dancing.
I don’t recall ever seeing a dance outfit like this one with the apron, perhaps it is what a white captive might wear. The round collar on the blouse is more typical of Eastern tribal wear.
This little guy is wearing a grass dance outfit, with a feather headdress.
The guy in back is wearing a fancy dancer outfit, with a headpiece made of the fur from a deer’s tail.
And this is my dance shawl, with hand dyed multicolored fringe. I wear this whenever I feel like dancing to the drum.