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Old 06-20-2002, 01:14 AM   #1
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Jingles and Time

This may have been covered before. If so, I apologize.

I am making my first jingle dress and I want to do it properly.
I have been told that the traditional number of jingles on the dress is 365, which represents the number of days of the year. I have had some dancers tell me that I should place a single jingle on daily with a prayer to go with it to be traditional, while I have had other say that they place the jingles on at their own pace with time not being an issue. Is there a consensus on this? Is one more right than the other?

Sorry to be so confused or confusing.

Any and all help appreciated.

Last edited by Choctawgirl; 06-20-2002 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 06-20-2002, 07:00 AM   #2
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:39 AM   #3
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Trying to claify

Understand that my learning of the traditional ways has been greatly hindered in the past due to lack of my family's involvement in NDN activities and me living in areas that have a had an unseen Native presence. I am starving for knowledge.

I want to make my first jingle dress in the traditionl manner. Is it traditional to take 365 days to make the dress and apply all of it's jingles or is there no time issue?

Last edited by Choctawgirl; 06-20-2002 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 06-20-2002, 10:51 AM   #4
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Well, that's what I did for my first jingle dress. I used 365 cones and took a year to make it and to prepare myself to wear it. I had been dancing fancy shawl before. That's the way that everyone in my family did it as well. Now with my dresses I use at LEAST 365 depending on the design of the dress. I was taught that since it is a medicine dress, just as our ceremonies - making a pledge to do something sacred you prepare yourself for a year. Hope this helps. ;)
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Old 06-20-2002, 10:56 AM   #5
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Thank you for your response. I appreciate your help in my journey.:)
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:04 AM   #6
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I hope more of the jingle dress dancers reply to this thread as well. I used to think that an adult dress needs 365 cones, placed on one per day, everyday for a year to make the dress the traditional way.

I've been corrected in my thinking by those who descend from the area where this originated. There was a thread out here about 9 months ago that I was going to quote from, but I couldn't find it anymore.

Don't flame me, but I have been told that the original story of the jingle dress did not have specifications for the number of cones, number of lines of cones, and the length of time to make the dress.

My daughter's dress doesn't have many cones, but that's because she's only 9 years old. When I make her next dress, she will put a prayer into each of the cones, but I'm not sure if I need to follow the protocol that we hear about today.

Someone else please comment on this also!!!........
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:28 PM   #7
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?

Well, I've heard several stories but never any that deviated from the amount of cones. My daughter is 10 and her dress does have significantly less cones than mine, as most young girls do but in the 17 years I've danced I guess I missed the story you are referring to
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:35 PM   #8
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I know... that's what I've always heard, too.

.... that's why I'm asking for other input here. I heard this here, in the Jingle Dress section. There was discussion about the jingle dress story.

I was just opening the gate to the other side of the fence...

I personally am in no position to be an expert on this subject.
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:55 PM   #9
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I've heard alot of different stories about the jingle dress. I think that over time things (stories) change....especially spanning across different Nations. They deal with anything from the origin to preparation to the way you should/shouldn't dance to the reasons for dancing.

I've heard that it doesn't matter how many prayers/cones you attach to your dress. I personally like my dresses heavy. Doesn't feel right with less than five rows to me. I've heard the 365 rule. Then the 365+4 or +7 or +12. I've heard alot of different things to do to the dress itself.

Nativewife, I think it's awesome that you made it up there to talk to folks. :) I'm headin up later this year. It didn't take me a year to put the cones onto the dress but it did take me over a year to prepare. Just as it is again, only different circumstances.... I'm not an expert by any means on anything. I'm just one of the ones that keeps an eye out and tries to help when I can. There was a lady on here a while back named Miigwan. She was/is awesome. She would have been an awesome one to ask. See if you can check out some of her past posts in the archives.

I don't know the one right answer that you are looking for. I guess I can tell you what somebody told me. You're gonna hear alot of stories of what came from where and who invented what, but if you REALLY want to know....go to the source.
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Last edited by Singing Otter; 06-20-2002 at 08:01 PM..
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:29 AM   #10
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Okay, I'm not Anishinabeg so I'll qualify my remarks right off the bat. I don't know the traditional story. But here's my two cents: Why would traditional Native people make a rule about their medicine dress that corresponds to the days of the white man's calendar?? What's the significance of 365 days to us?? Nothing really since, traditionally, we didn't use a calendar. We went by the seasons.

I don't know where the rule came from but it doesn't make sense to me. Some Anishinabeg that I've talked to have said the same thing but others go by this rule so I don't have a definitive answer either. I'm just wondering...
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:24 PM   #11
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Good point... you have to remember too the year that this started in we were in contact with the whiteman and living under his calendar timing so yeah, it would make sense then.

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Old 06-21-2002, 02:18 PM   #12
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Here's something interesting: Steve Eagles form White Fish Bay and also a leading supplier of jingle cones has been quoted as saying that there is a jingle dress society at White Fish Bay and this society designates rank by the number of jingles worn. One officer in the society wears 365 jingles. And as Mato Winyan said historically the jingle dress itself is dated to 1920 so we did have the white mans calendar at that time. Another point I was making in saying that it was like with our sacred ceremonies, we pledge to start to fulfill a committment to do something and then we prepare ourselves to do that in the next year. In saying that it was just known that it was the same time of year that this ceremony would take place and if you added the days up - it was one year or 365 days. Season to season, not necessarily anyones calendar.
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Old 06-21-2002, 02:55 PM   #13
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Um guys all people groups who watch the earth revolve around the sun knew how long it took. Its not a white mans calendar, the cheyenne knew how long it was, its just a fact 365 and 1/4 days aproximately. Geez dont dumb down your ancestors. Natives have some of the greatest astronomy knowledge in the world except maybe the Chinese. Man just go down to the SW settlements and look at their star, solar and lunar cycle calendars they are better than anything I have seen until modern times.

Geez the white man dont control the earths orbit LOL

This isnt an opinion on the story just about the calendar.
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Old 06-21-2002, 04:13 PM   #14
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Point well made. I by no means was saying that we didn't know squat until the whiteman came. OK? I do have some knowledge of even the ancient aztecs and all the marvels they did concerning the sun and moon.
I was just addressing the point that was made previously, in the context it was made.
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Old 06-24-2002, 11:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
What's the significance of 365 days to us??
My point wasn't intended to imply we didn't know what a year was (AS IF). My point was why would 365 DAYS be important to us? That number is based on the white man's calendar as he has made sense of it. If we just went year-to-year (for ceremonies, as redhorse says), we wouldn't be caught up in actual number of days since the number of "days" in a "year" actually varies (that's why even the white man's calendar has a leap year).

So, if the guy that originally dreamed of the dress had some reason for using the white man's calendar year of 365 days, then it has some validity. But if this is just one of those "rules" that came out of some misconception somewhere, then why would you follow it? My point is that our "rules" should make sense to us as Native people. We shouldn't just follow blindly.
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