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Old 04-08-2009, 10:57 AM   #1
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Earrings

In early times both men and women of the Omaha/Ponca had their ears pierced for the first time at a very early age, usually about 3 or 4 years old, when they could walk on their own. Ear piercing was considered a “rite of passage” and the family of the child would gift the person doing the piercing in a very generous manner. Both male and female would then wear earrings the rest of their lives. (Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage, 1986)

Consequently, during the Hethuska dance ceremony it was only natural for men to wear earrings.

For other tribes, such as the Pawnee, the amount of ball and cone silver earrings worn, at one time had to do with war honors. (JoJo Lane, Pawnee, 1988)

The most common early style of earring wwere:

1. A silver wire loop.

2. A silver wire loop with a number of variations of items either threaded through the silver wire loop, or dangling from the silver wire loop, such as:

a) a silver bead or beads
b) a trade bead or beads
c) a silver bead and dangling silver cone
d) a piece of shell
e) a length of silver chain hanging from the loop
f) a length of silver chain hanging from the loop with stamped silver dangle
g) a bone hairpipe or hairpipes

3. Hook earring with a number of silver dangle variations.

Today, stamped trade-silver or German silver pieces linked together in a variety of shapes and patterns, or silver ball & cone earrings, are the norm for most men’s earrings used by straight dancers.

Some examples from the past:

















The Watchful Fox - Sauk & Fox - 1847


Sauk & Fox man - 1858


Woman's Heart - Kiowa - 1867


Sitting In The Saddle - Kiowa - 1867


Kicking Bird - Kiowa - 1868


One Who Strikes The Chiefs First - Pawnee - 1868


White Horse - Pawnee - 1868


Gives To The Poor - Pawnee - 1868


Long Dog - Pawnee - 1868


Wah-Com-Mo - Sauk & Fox - 1868


Medicine Horse - Otoe - 1869


Knife - Iowa - 1869


Kicking Bird - Kiowa - 1870


White Horse - Kiowa - 1870


Bird Chief – Arapaho – 1871


Chewing Elk – Comanche – 1872


Lone Wolf - Kiowa - 1872


Black Dog – Osage – 1876


Black Crow - Ponca - 1877


Standing Bear - Ponca - 1881


Standing Bear - Ponca - 1881


White Swan - Omaha - 1883


Yellow Smoke - Omaha - 1883


Bright Eye - Omaha - 1883


Cannot Do It - Sauk & Fox - 1890


Shining River - Sauk & Fox - 1890


Comanche man – 1892


Ne-kah-ka-lah – Osage – 1893


Tall Chief – Osage – 1894


Prairie Turtle - Otoe - 1894


Bushy Tail - Otoe - 1894


Frank Corndropper, Paul Buffalo, and Pierce St. John - Osage - 1895


Willie Gray Eyes - Sauk & Fox - 1896


Eagle Chief - Pawnee - 1900


Bacon Rind – Osage – 1900


Ma-Chet-Seh - Osage - no date


Man Of Courage – Osage – 1904


Black Dog – Osage – 1904


Little Soldier - Ponca - 1906


Bacon Rind – Osage – 1906


Red Eagle – Osage – 1908


Wolf In The Middle – Southern Cheyenne – 1908


Little Village Maker - Omaha - 1909


Standing Bear - Omaha - 1909


Standing Elk - Ponca - no date


Generous – Osage – 1913


Walking Dog – Osage – 1923



Bailey, Garrick, and Daniel Swan.
2004. Art of the Osage. St. Louis Art Museum, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

Callahan, Alice A.
1990. The Osage Ceremonial Dance, I’n-Lon-Schka. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.

Feder, Norman.
1957-a. Costume of the Oklahoma Straight Dancer. The American Indian Hobbyist Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1.
1957-b. Costume of the Oklahoma Straight Dancer. The American Indian Hobbyist Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2.
1961. Plains Indian Metalworking, Part Two. American Indian Tradition Newsletter, Volume 8.

Hail, Barbara N.
1980. Hau, Kola!: The Plains Indian Collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Brown University, Bristol, RI.

Howard, Dr. James H.
1965. The Ponca Tribe. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 195, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
1976. Ceremonial Dress of the Delaware Man. Special Issue, The Bulletin of the Archeological Society of New Jersey, No. 33, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ.

LaFave, Edward J.
1998. Straight Dance Clothing: How to Dress a Straight Dancer. Whispering Wind: American Indian Past & Present Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 4, Folsom, LA.

Smith, Jerry.
1982. Straight Dance Clothes: Getting Them On. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, April Issue, LaPalma, CA.

Stewart, Tyronne H.
1968. Dressing a Straight Dancer. The Singing Wire Newsletter, February Issue.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
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cool photos. too bad our lil men with long hair already get teased for having long hair. imagine long hair and earrings...
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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Interesting...thanks for sharing
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
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John Straight - Osage - 1912


John Straight - Osage - 1912
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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"Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:48 AM   #7
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I read about earrings before! They were worn by both men and women. The richer the tribe, the more expensive earrings. And pierced ears sooner children!
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