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Old 05-30-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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In the beginning...

I have heard different versions of when this dance originated.

Some say it's origin began in pre history.

Some say it began in the 1800's.

Others say Maggie White is the original jingle dress dancer.

I have also heard the original jingles were either made of bird bones, deer toes or small metal objects.




What have you heard?
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:52 AM   #2
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I have heard that a jingle dress was made for a young girl that was suffering from some illness. Her father had a dream that if he made it for her to dance then she would become better. He made the dress, she danced it and became well!

I have always been told that a jingle dress is a medicine dress and that you should pray while making the dress and dancing it.

I have only danced jingle once and that was at the request of a friend that wasn't able to dance due to needing knee surgery. I prayed for her while I danced the dress she made and consider it a great honor that she asked me to dance for her. I am happy to say that she was able to dance it herself later that year.

I feel that it is very important to understand the importance of this dance before making a dress and dancing it. It's not about liking the style...it's about understanding the priviledge (and responsibility) of praying to the Great Physician for those who are in need of His healing touch & dancing with the faith that He can provide that healing.

As for the items that the jingles were made of...in the pics that I have seen, the jingles appeared to be made of small bits of metal (similar in shape & size to bullet casings- just my opinion)and sewn in a row around the collar and another single row around the hem of what appeared to be a cloth dress. The pics were black-n-white so I can't be certain of the exact items used.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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At a powwow in Eagle Lake Ontario I saw very old dress made from deer toes which gave it a beautiful sound. More of a "shik shik" sound rather than a tinny sound - if you will. It's hard to describe the sounds, but if you put your imagination there it'll tell you.

Whether the jingle dress originated in the 1800's, whether the late Maggie White was the first lady of the jingle dress, or whether it originated in Minnesota, doesn't *really* matter. When I dance with the Ojibway Ikwe in Minnesota, or the Ojibway Ikwe in Whitefish Bay and area and especially in the Midewin Lodge when the jingle dress ceremonies take place, I still get that same feeling of happiness, good healings and I end up feeling the strength of our dress which makes me happy and extremely proud to be a part of it all.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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I've heard both versions as well and I have many objib and Chippewa friends who tell me all about the dress and the dance.

I agree with ojibwaysweetie here, I don't know if it matter's as much when or who started it just as long as it is respected and honored in the way that it's supposed to be.

Recently it was asked if I would be able to make a jingle dress for a woman who has permission to dance this dance. I've made dance outfits for many in the past. She has not come to me in the correct way to ask, but I'm not going to do it anyway---it wouldn't be done right. They want it completely done in a month. And that's not what's been shared with me about the dress. And there are still some things that I just can't do on it.
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:54 AM   #5
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