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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Men's Dance Styles > Fancy Feather Dancing Northern vs. Southern Fancy Northern vs. Southern Fancy

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Old 01-30-2007, 04:01 PM   #1
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Northern vs. Southern Fancy

I just finished researching some powwow interviews by some very knowledgable powwow people.

One of the interviewees stated, "Today, there is really no distinct difference in northern and southern fancy dancing. The division of the two is a formality to give one or the other a chance to win prize money depending on the geographical location of the contest."

Is there a difference between northern and southern fancy dancing styles now?

If not, should they be combined from now on?
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:30 PM   #2
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I won't say what I heard the difference was between northerin and southern fancy b/c it's just rugggggg. *L* But I think it's becoming similar these days. Good topic. I'm curious to see other responses.
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:17 PM   #3
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boozhoo niji,

This was agood topic in another thread, but i never got any concrete answers on which was which and am still confused about it. Most of who posted on there said it didnt matter anymore so in my opinion I suppose it doesnt. Most of the competitions I have been in differentiate more for age than northern or southern.

I have watched what I can of fancy dancing, its hard because I usually am out there dancing with them, but I dont see a lot of differences between other dancers styles, or my own.

If a pow wow decides to put dancers in northern/southern catagories, it will be interesting to see how many dancers actually know and dance the different styles, or end up dancing in the wrong catagory and embarass themselves. I would probably be one of them, because as I said, I dont know the difference, and would probably enter Northern because I am Anishianaabe.

This is what I have heard... tell me if I am right. Southern fancy dancers have more elaborate beadwork, all matching loom beaded drops, suspenders, and clean bustles. Northern have a simpler outfit, maybe applique beadwork, but fluffy bustles.

As far as the dance style goes I am lost. I have heard both ways and dont know which is right. I do know it depends on either staying in one spot or dancing the whole arena. I lean towards the Southern dancers "owning" and spot. I heard that speed is another factor, Southern is faster, while Northern is more elaborate footwork. I dont know if thats right, but its where I lean.

Someone enlighten me, please.

Derek
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:34 AM   #4
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as a spectator of Fancy Feather, the only differance i see is the colors used, bright neon colors versus the calmer colors.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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Derek,

Yes, no, yes and no. *L

Fancy dancers today have outfits that all look similar according to the times. They all are also able to dance to both northern and southern songs.

Owning a spot is the dancers individual preference for both northern and southern fancy dancers.

If you will notice, most experienced contest dancers will work their way in front of where most of the judges are congregating and "put on a show with their best moves."



Bahn,

Since this is a contemporary dance, color choices is subject to the individuals preference. Both northern and southern fancy dancers can be observed wearing bright colored neon outfits.



Again, my personal opinion is that "there are not to many visual lines separating northern and southern fancy dancing at this point in time."


One direction of new category, which may come up in the future, is regressing to a retro look. There are three dancers that I already know of that can do early southern style dancing and have the outfits to match. They are:

Kevin Connywerdy
Mike Pahsetopah and
Morgan Tosee


Also one champion southern dancer, George Alexander, is starting to use his interpretation of the old feathered headdresses with his contemporary fancy dance outfit.

Garland Kent Jr. has also said expressed that he would like to come back in his dad's outfit which includes the feathered headdress.

Tuffy Chaino is still hanging in there also. He is still placing now and then.

I think Lydell Yazzie is also trying to incorporate a retro looking outfit as well. I liked his look and voted him high on my judging list at last year's GON.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:37 PM   #6
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feather crest

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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
Garland Kent Jr. has also said expressed that he would like to come back in his dad's outfit which includes the feathered headdress.

Tuffy Chaino is still hanging in there also. He is still placing now and then.

I think Lydell Yazzie is also trying to incorporate a retro looking outfit as well. I liked his look and voted him high on my judging list at last year's GON.
Hey just wonderin,

is that what they call the feather crest? I saw on a video once about fancy dancing that back in the 60s I think, they had such a thing, was like bustle spikes but aranged sorta like a roach. Or are they using like a war bonnet style headdress. Just clarifying.

Derek
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:56 AM   #7
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Hey just wonderin,

is that what they call the feather crest? I saw on a video once about fancy dancing that back in the 60s I think, they had such a thing, was like bustle spikes but aranged sorta like a roach. Or are they using like a war bonnet style headdress. Just clarifying.

Derek
I never heard it called a feathered crest but what you described is what I was talking about. The bustle spikes match the bustles but are arranged like a roach and sit on top of the head.

The last person who wore one when he danced was Dixon Palmer who is recently deceased.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
One direction of new category, which may come up in the future, is regressing to a retro look. There are three dancers that I already know of that can do early southern style dancing and have the outfits to match. They are:

Kevin Connywerdy
Mike Pahsetopah and
Morgan Tosee
I'd be real interested to see some video of these guys. I'll be searching the interweb today, but if anybody has links or knows of any videos I could buy - then that info would be much appreciated. I'm a Northern Ojibwe kinda guy, but I LOVE the contemporary southern fancy songs I've heard (mostly Sizzortail, Youngbird). Something about them just feels right to me. We don't see much of this in Minneapolis, nevermind NW Ontario.


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Also one champion southern dancer, George Alexander, is starting to use his interpretation of the old feathered headdresses with his contemporary fancy dance outfit.

Garland Kent Jr. has also said expressed that he would like to come back in his dad's outfit which includes the feathered headdress.
Would this be the feather "roach" headdress or something different? I have one of these on the workbench as we type. I should take some pictures someday and put em in the gallery, ina.


You know what else comes to mind, I know a lot of fancy dancers from the 70s and couple of them talk about bustle sets made out of deer tail hair dyed and tied to wires and whatnot. Anyhow, I made some and they look really good - but they don't really move, kinda stiff... like a shield. It may just be a BSA thing; I think remember something like this from my scouting days, have you ever heard of this, WhoMe?

I'd be curious to know.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:44 AM   #9
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I'd be real interested to see some video of these guys.
I think Full Circle Videos (produced by Sandy Rhoades and Scott Swearingin): "Man's and Womans Dance Styles" Volume I, video my contain some pictures of the feathered headdresses in question.

I like to talk early fancy dance with Sandy. He knows his stuff. He also constructed the outfit the Kevin (Connywerdy) wears.



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You know what else comes to mind, I know a lot of fancy dancers from the 70s and couple of them talk about bustle sets made out of deer tail hair dyed and tied to wires and whatnot. Anyhow, I made some and they look really good - but they don't really move, kinda stiff... like a shield. It may just be a BSA thing; I think remember something like this from my scouting days, have you ever heard of this, WhoMe?.

Actually, the Meskwaki of Iowa used to wear these types of dyed deer tailed bustles. Tokana_49, who posts on here from time-to-time, used to own and dance in one.
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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Actually, the Meskwaki of Iowa used to wear these types of dyed deer tailed bustles. Tokana_49, who posts on here from time-to-time, used to own and dance in one.
Ah, these were guys from Iowa that I was talking too. I'll have to bring it up to my buddy Preston next time I'm down there. Good deal. Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:17 PM   #11
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Well I am surprised some that know more than I have not responded.


In the past northern fancy dancers had more of a shaggy look. Lots of ribbons and dangles etc. Also many northern dancers wore their beaded suspenders outside there belt. Southern Dancers wore loom beadwork with a cleaner look. I dont think one or the other wore more or less beadwork. Some of those northern guys wore those looong suspenders.

Nowadays as soon as you try to categorize you will possibly be wrong. From what I can observe most have gone to the more many fringed northern look.

Is this how others understand what the difference once was? Or am I off track?
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sookout sh'nob View Post
I'd be real interested to see some video of these guys. I'll be searching the interweb today, but if anybody has links or knows of any videos I could buy - then that info would be much appreciated. I'm a Northern Ojibwe kinda guy, but I LOVE the contemporary southern fancy songs I've heard (mostly Sizzortail, Youngbird). Something about them just feels right to me. We don't see much of this in Minneapolis, nevermind NW Ontario.




Would this be the feather "roach" headdress or something different? I have one of these on the workbench as we type. I should take some pictures someday and put em in the gallery, ina.


You know what else comes to mind, I know a lot of fancy dancers from the 70s and couple of them talk about bustle sets made out of deer tail hair dyed and tied to wires and whatnot. Anyhow, I made some and they look really good - but they don't really move, kinda stiff... like a shield. It may just be a BSA thing; I think remember something like this from my scouting days, have you ever heard of this, WhoMe?

I'd be curious to know.
Boozhoo niji,

I wore a hackle roach for the longest time, ever since i started dancing fancy. Mine was really easy to make and good if you need a roach in a pinch, only took me about a day to make it. It was also pretty durable. I wore only one for around 6 years. Its pretty ratty looking now but still usable. My new roach is porky, but the hairs are breaking off one by one. I store it on a bat like you are supposed to, and every once in a while put in some leave in conditioner, but it seems like this prolongs the enevitable.

It took forever to sort the hairs and a couple of months to make the thing. If it doesnt last as long I will seriously consider making another hackle roach. I was told that I inadvertantly used young quill in my roach, I bought the stuff at a pow wow, I guess not really knowing what exactly I was looking at, but whats done is done, and for me its hard to find porky hair.

Derek
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:33 AM   #13
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ahaw ge-giin... Moscow Hide and Fur might have what you need. I've shop there fairly regularly since I moved to town - yet to be dissapointed.

http://www.hideandfur.com

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I bought the stuff at a pow wow, I guess not really knowing what exactly I was looking at, but whats done is done, and for me its hard to find porky hair.

Derek
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:24 AM   #14
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Boozhoo niji,

I wore a hackle roach for the longest time, ever since i started dancing fancy. Mine was really easy to make and good if you need a roach in a pinch, only took me about a day to make it.

Derek,

Was your hackle roach a foot tall? The feathered fancy dance headdress' that I am talking about is a foot tall or taller.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:40 AM   #15
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Derek,

Was your hackle roach a foot tall? The feathered fancy dance headdress' that I am talking about is a foot tall or taller.
Northern Fancy Dance champion Poncho Brady was wearing a feather roach at Prairie Island this past summer. His was hella keen though as he had a spreader in it and wore two spinner feathers in it. Looked nice!!

As for the differences - you have to go back to the 1980s I think. Today's outfit is just a fancy outfit - no real difference. The difference in northern and southern today is the song.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:58 PM   #16
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Northern Fancy Dance champion Poncho Brady was wearing a feather roach at Prairie Island this past summer. His was hella keen though as he had a spreader in it and wore two spinner feathers in it. Looked nice!!

As for the differences - you have to go back to the 1980s I think. Today's outfit is just a fancy outfit - no real difference. The difference in northern and southern today is the song.

Wojapi,

I totally agree with what you just said.

It is becoming a homogenous powwow society. You can't tell tribal differences in contemporary dancers, especially the fancy dancers (Men and women).

It is also becoming homogenous with the singing.

There are plenty of "northern drums" that can sing a good southern style fancy dance song.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:10 PM   #17
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the difference between a southern and northern dancer is that the southern dancer usually makes sure he has money to get home from powwow BEFORE he hits the powwow trail
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