Friday, August 14, 2009

Pow Wow : The Jingle Dress


A Jingle dress is made from cloth, velvet or leather and adorned with Jingles. Jingles are traditionally made from the lids of snuff cans. The lids are bent and molded into triangular bell shapes. An adult dress can have 400 to 700 Jingles.

The Dance: The steps are very controlled and low to the ground, there is no high kicking or twirling. The dancer may make a zig zag trail to represent the journey of life. The sound of the Jingles jingling is considered a happy sound, a healing sound.

The Ojibwe Legend: A Medicine Mans granddaughter was very ill. During a dream a spirit wearing a Jingle Dress came to him and told him to make a dress for his granddaughter and to have her dance. She had to be carried during the first circle, the second circle she needed a little help, the third circle she walked by herself and the fourth circle she danced.

I attended my first Pow Wow when I was just a little girl, I was intrigued by the colors of the costumes and the Birch Bark Tepee that stood on the shores of Shell Lake. That was in the late 1950's. My second Pow Wow was in Canada, while we were on vacation..we were the only non natives there so we did not stay long. My Father- In- Law said "Let's stay together and walk back to the car quickly..there are no other white people here." This time I thoroughly enjoyed the Pow Wow. The public was invited and welcomed. :)

14 comments:

  1. I remember going as a child too and I have attended a PowWow at Winnepig where the costumes were very different. It really is a very meaningful experience.

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  2. I went to a Pow Wow in Arizona. It was wonderful but I kind of felt like I was intruding on something that probably had more meaning before it became a tourist attraction. But it's how many of the people make money.

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  3. Very colorful and interesting post.
    Sunny :)

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  4. That was very interesting. I'll bet my grandaughters would like a dress like that in a few years. I better get started on the snuff!

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  5. The Duchess wants a jingle dress! Now, where to find 700 snuff can lids???

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  6. Our POW WOW is the third week in September and it always seems to rain. Bummer!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  7. Very interesting and such pretty children and women in their dresses.

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  8. Loved your pictures of the pow wow. Went to one once held by the Cherokees (Oklahoma, Missouri). The dresses were similar to the ones in your pictures. I loved the slow, rhythmic dances -- sort wished I could have leaped into the circle too...

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  9. Beautiful dresses! glad you could enjoy yourself this time..

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  10. The pic of the little girl at the end, holding on to the hand of someone strong and nurturing, is priceless!

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  11. I can just hear them jingling as the dance. Your pictures are great. My neighbor lady is part Lakota, so her outfit is with ribbons. She is getting to old to dance but still will once in a while.

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  12. I have only been to one pow wow when I was little. And my great grandparents are Metis.

    But they lived over a 12 hour drive from us, so I guess that could excuse us from popping over to visit.

    Sounds like you had a great time. Brings me good memories looking at your photos.

    Jen

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  13. The dresses are called regalia not costumes. They are a sacred part of our culture not to be confused with dressing up in a costume. All peoples are welcome at a Powwow as long as they observe protocol and respect the participants.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie