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Old 09-16-2008, 01:24 AM   #22
Fat Albert
Eater of all frybread!!
 
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Hey Hey Hey! I must say that this has been a good read! The point was made about doing things for show and all and something hit me like a brick -ouch-!

The idea of wearing medals that you did not earn is important. I know in other discussions I have heard of sons wearing dad's/ grandpa's etc. Purple Heart, Bronze Star and what not to honor dad/ grandpa etc. But no matter how good those intentions were, the vets I know said that it took a little something away from all the men (and women) who earned the right to wear it. In addition it was misleading to people because you had to ask a person to get the low down. I was taught that these clothes once told you everything about a man and those clothes were his medals. In some places I have been it is right for a female relative (mostly wives in my experience) to wear those honors but not a son... the son has to make his own way. I am sure this is not always the case though... depends on who you talk to as I have heard different things.

Now today things have changed and I have been told that you don't wear what has not been given to you. Now something like a beaded belt might be innocent enough, but those folks told me to make yourself a old style quirt and carry it around without the honor of being a whipman is wrong. Same for tail sticks and other 'badges of office'. So when a young boy is roached, he has the right to wear that symbol and that blade feather. It was paid for in a manner that is different, but related to the older way of paying for it. Furthermore the headman of an organization often might give a person taking a new position that symbol to make it official. Even now, many people are dressed by family and the clothes were made for you and show everyone the type of support you have. A little different from the older meanings but things changed when the tribes were told where to live and the freedom to earn those old honors disappeared. Instead of giving it all up, it started to change and take new meaning.

Now every tribe does do it different and some things that mean something to one group might just be clothes to another. That is why it is important for a dancer to pay attention to more that just what they see.

Asking questions is important but how you do it is even more important I have found. Now keep in mind that I know only what has been taught to me so I am willing to bet that I am waaayyy wrong on all of this so please take this with a teenie tiny grain of salt.

Last edited by Fat Albert; 09-16-2008 at 01:28 AM..
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