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Old 02-25-2002, 06:09 PM   #1
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more outfit component questions.

dance stick, mirror board and fans, which hands? Is there a correct hand for each item?

dance stick with bunch of feathers on the end? style or reason?

roach, where on the head should it be? I prefer mine towards the back of my head so the hair sticks out at about a 45degree angle from the middle of the top of my head. Maybe even back more.

I have seen some dancers just get out there and strut but then again I have seen some dancers that run rampant. Ron Good Eagle and Ralph Haymond are good examples. I love their style. Is it something to do with a tribe style or just a personnal thing.

When I dance I prefer the 'all out' style, until i get tired which is very quickly since I am a BIG guy.
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Old 02-25-2002, 10:37 PM   #2
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I have seen variations to the hand positions. At the recent powwow in Gettysburg, I saw two straight dancers carrying their mirror boards in their left hands, and their fans in their right hands. But I have seen other people carry their hand articles differently. For instance, I saw one dancer carry his wing fan so that the largest (tallest) feather was facing out. And then I saw another dancer carry his wing fan so that the smallest (shortest) feather was facing out.
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Old 02-26-2002, 05:49 PM   #3
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i USUALLY CARRY MY WING FAN IN WHATEVER HAND IT THROWS MORE AIR ON ME WITH. iF I HAVE A RIGHT WING I CARRY IT IN MY LEFT HAND. I DO LIKE TO CARRY MY STICK IN MY RIGHT HAND CAUSE IT FEELS MORE COMFORTABLE FOR POINTING AND STICKING.

sorry about the caps.

I just wanted to know if there was a certain way or just whatever is comfortable.
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Old 05-31-2002, 03:14 AM   #4
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I thought I would revive this topic because I've seen and know people that are confused.

The Tailstick is to be given to you by another senior straight dancer. The Mirror board can be carried by anyone. I only know that I carry mine in my right hand because I'm right handed. I carry my fan in my left hand(obviously). Put a leather strap through the handle and hang it on your arm. You wont loose it. If you don't want to wear it on your wrist then just slide it into your belt when your not dancing.

I wear my roach center to just a little foreward on the top of the head when I'm not wearing my beaconrind(turbin). I know that many Shawnees will wear theirs towards the back center of their head(not all Shawnees), I too have seen some Comanches wearing theirs towards the rear. Osages tend to wear ours more centered to front(not far foreward).

The step should be more graceful not simply hopping or running about. I have seen this hopping or running and don't care for it. There are times one might want to pick up the step but no need to run.
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Old 06-01-2002, 11:57 PM   #5
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hmmm....

I sort of use the 4 finger approach for wearing my roach (I didn't consider this until I got to playing with the top of my head and realized where I actually place it when I wear it). Now if it actually stays in place is another matter...I seem to have problems with rope based roaches wanting to "walk" after I have danced a few, my yarn based roach will sit right on top and stay put even through the longest dances.

the hand I hold my fan in differs on which fan I am holding...I have a right sided and a left sided fan, and the dance stick goes in the opposite hand. I put feathers on my stick a few months back, but I'm not sure I really like it...sure it looks good...but it takes out the ability to go down on the stick during the honor beats, and I really like being able to use my stick while I am dancing...

As far as dance styles...I tend to do more of the "strut" that stowic looking tradtional style, but if a particular song moves me I have been known to "break loose" and get "jiggy" with it (backslides, sidesteps, reversing) head bobbin and weavin like I broke my neck to get that roachhairs really quiverin and that feather spinnin....
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:51 PM   #6
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more outfit component questions.

Quote:
Dance stick, mirror board and fans, which hands? Is there a correct hand for each item?
I can't say for other tribal traditions, but among the Ponca in the old days, the Golden Eagle Tail Fan was always carried in the left hand. The tradition relates to the idea that the right hand always carried a weapon or tool of war. (The Tail Stick or Mirror Board would fit into this classification.) The left hand always carried the Eagle Tail Fan, a representation of peace or in some circumstances in the very old days, a prayer pipe would be carried in the left hand.

This also corresponds to what you might have seen in some old movies, when a warrior greets a stranger he would raise his right arm with open hand in friendship. This showed the stranger that he was not carrying a weapon and could be considered as a potential friend.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by CHEROSAGE
The Tailstick is to be given to you by another senior straight dancer. The Mirror board can be carried by anyone.
Actually...if we are getting technical...the "tail stick" is not mearly given by a "senior straight dancer." The way I was taught, a "tail stick" was intended to be carried by tail dancers or past tail dancers, hence the name. Mirror boards where carried by everyone else. Just another osage tradition that has faded out. But times change.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:12 PM   #8
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more outfit component questions.

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Dance stick with bunch of feathers on the end? style or reason?
Depends on the person, and whether the person is following tribal tradition or personal preference. Since the Tail Stick repesents the old Society Coupsticks and were used to count coup on enemy during battle, among other uses, my feeling is that anything in the way of feathers attached to the Tail Stick would probably have a relationship to war or battle honors for the person carrying it. For example, I know a Straight Dancer who was Vietnam Veteran (served in a LRRP unit "Long Range Recon Patrol"), and he carried a Tail Stick with an Eagle Tail Feather attached to represent an enemy VC he killed in hand-to-hand combat.

If not for military reasons, then various feathers may be attached for traditional spiritual reasons.

In any event, feathers of any kind on a Tail Stick are not usually considered mere decoration, but rather usually have a very significant meaning for the dancer.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Actually...if we are getting technical...the "tail stick" is not mearly given by a "senior straight dancer." The way I was taught, a "tail stick" was intended to be carried by tail dancers or past tail dancers, hence the name. Mirror boards where carried by everyone else. Just another osage tradition that has faded out. But times change.
I agree. Among the Ponca, the tradition in the Hethuska Society has been that only appointed Tail Dancers or men who have previously served as Tail Dancers, have the right to carry a Tail Stick as the symbol of that office, rites, duties and responsibilities. In the tradition I am familiar with, when a new Tail Dancer is appointed by the Headman, a new Tail Stick is either made for him and given as a gift or an existing one may be passed on as a gift.
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:23 PM   #10
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tail stick and fan

I agree with MaggieB and Historian. The tail-cane was passed on to a dancer who has nevered been a tail-dancer before. The Omaha Whipman would select his four tail dancers and they would have that right to carry a tail-cane. I myself first started dancing I too carried a mirror board, according to my grandfather Hollis Stabler Sr. told me. only when the Whipman picks you to be a taildancer, a tail-cane will be givin to you to carry for now on, and you have the right to be a taildancer. The last Known Whipman is my uncle Tim Grant and he has offered me a Tail-cane to dance with since then I've been taildancing to this day. I'm glad to hear some people still know where these origins originated. A-ho!!!
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:27 PM   #11
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Hum...
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Old 09-26-2003, 04:32 PM   #12
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