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Old 03-30-2006, 03:25 PM   #1
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Breastplates & Cloth Dancing

I have been told that the Northern Women wear a breastplate that comes nearly to the ankles in the front only, nothing in the back. However, I just came across something that said that is only for those wearing buckskin, in cloth there is a breastplate in the front as well as the back. Is this so? Also, if it is true then how long is the part in the back? I have looked on the cloth dancing videos to see for myself, but only see a few women wearing them, and those that do Norhtern, have ribbons down their backs, not breastplates. I am a little confused, so I would appreciate any advise you could offer. Thank you.
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfixesit
I have been told that the Northern Women wear a breastplate that comes nearly to the ankles in the front only, nothing in the back. However, I just came across something that said that is only for those wearing buckskin, in cloth there is a breastplate in the front as well as the back. Is this so? Also, if it is true then how long is the part in the back? I have looked on the cloth dancing videos to see for myself, but only see a few women wearing them, and those that do Norhtern, have ribbons down their backs, not breastplates. I am a little confused, so I would appreciate any advise you could offer. Thank you.

Mrs,

There is no standardized answer to this question.

Whoever told you what you learned, is their way.

"Their way" doesn't necessarily represent the way other individuals do things in Indian country.

"Northern" is a very vague term (ie. northern plains, northern Canada or northern Florida?).
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:48 AM   #3
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Thank you.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:02 AM   #4
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Breast plate question..

Ill anwser this the best I know how-- first of all Im a southern cloth dancer, my breastplate has a front and a back that is the same lenght on the front and back- hanging to my waist, made with the colors in my bead work, the northern style breast plate hangs around the neck "no back" and the ones I have seen go's to the ancles of the dancer but not being northern a northern gal would be better suited to anwser that part of the question. hope this helps
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:44 AM   #5
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Thank you Eagle Plumes. This is what I thought as well. I appreciate you taking the time to help out.
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:42 AM   #6
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Your Welcome..

was this just a question you had or are you wanting to make a breastplate? Just being nosey, because there are alot of good tips here from people willing to help..
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:51 AM   #7
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The Northern Traditional breasplate does not go down in the back. But they are wrapped in soft material to help prevent the wieght of the front from cutting off the circulation. Some do have a decorative sort of counterbalance that hangs from the back of the breatplate that is rows of big beads or something....cannot remember right now. But they are heavy items to wear. These were seen on the Sioux, Arapaho, Cheyenne dancers mostely....in the old days. Today they are made of plastic bone which is much lighter than the bone made.
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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Hi again Eagle Plumes. I am going to make a breastplate for myself, as soon as my supplies come from Crazy Crow. I just wanted to make sure I was going to have enough hairpipe. I can't wait to see how it comes out! Thank you for your help, and any help I can get would be great! I'll post a picture when I'm done. Yakoke!
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:39 PM   #9
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At one time..

At one time there was agood thread going on about breastplate construction not sure if it is still there or not. I dont know how to make nothern style but I know how to make a southern one should you need or want any tips, hey Mrsfixes it if your handy with tools and such doing these things should be a breeze for you because it takes measuing and lots of counting my hubby does alot of math in his trade and he helps me out alot!!! oh just wondering what style of dress are you going to wear? I know nosey again!
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:14 PM   #10
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My daughter is a Northern Traditional Cloth dancer. Her breastplates are all made by my father. They hang to her ankles in the front and are made of plastic hairpipe. It usually takes about 200 - 4 inch hairpipe. He also uses the simulated sinew as it is thinner that the real stuff, but just as strong. Some of the beads used for the designs have a smaller opening. He uses a strip of leather to go around her neck. She wears a back drop of wide ribbons or she wears a beaded back drop. Both reach to her ankles also. I don't know where the term back drop came from it's just what we call it.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:55 PM   #11
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfixesit
I am going to make a breastplate for myself, as soon as my supplies come from Crazy Crow. I just wanted to make sure I was going to have enough hairpipe. I can't wait to see how it comes out! Thank you for your help, and any help I can get would be great! I'll post a picture when I'm done. Yakoke!

I noticed that you indcate that you are associated with the choctaw tribe. From my understanding the Choctaw women did not wear breastplates. HMMM!!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:10 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your advice.

Eagle Plumes - I'll be wearing it with my T-dress that I have in my picture. Go ahead and be nosey...it's how I learn a lot of things! I'm mostly done with the main hairpipe part, now I just have to figure out the beading at the top of each shoulder and a strap for the back of my neck.

Lakota_Lady and tipis - I think the idea of a counter-balance or a backdrop sounds like a good idea after holding it up to me and resting it over my shoulders! Real bone IS heavy!! Maybe I should have gone with plastic. Oh well, live and learn!

KoolNDN - My mothers family traces back to the Choctaw tribe, but I don't have a traditional Choctaw dress...yet. I did however just complete a Choctaw necklace for myself over the winter. It's in my photos. That took a loooong time, but was well worth it! I'm wearing a plains t-dress I made until I learn how to sew better and can make my Choctaw dress.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:43 AM   #13
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Keep doing good..

sounds like you have your hands full but keep tring and youll do fine everyone had to start out sometime somewhere in their life wether it be from birth like me and alot of others on here or those finding their way. Chocktaw dress's are very beautiful I see them every once in a while and really admire them. Do you have a design to go into your breast plate? some do and some dont but I have seen some really pretty designs worked in to their breast plates like flowers, feathers ,stars ect.,using what i call tile beads but dont know what their called elsewhere . And for the botom ? do you have anyhting to finnish the brake with? that is what I know to call the very bottom of the breastplates if there is any question of what a brake is, like bells, cones ,shells? I have a good friend who is a Nothern Tradish dancer and she uses small brass bells she does not like cowri shells at the bottom because she says they tend to shatter after a while from the way the breast plate moves during a dance and found alot of repairing going on even though they are very pretty, I have them on mine but Im Southern cloth and my breatplate does not move the way Nothern ones do. hope to help and not confuse.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:36 AM   #14
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Thank you for your words of encouragement Eagle Plumes! I do have 2 rows of a diamond pattern in my breastplate using crow beads. I use the diamond pattern to honor my Choctaw heritage, and on my fan handle I beaded the criss cross pattern. It means "may our paths cross again and again." I thought that was nice. And I put one 4" hairpipe and a brassy skinny cone (not jingles) at the bottom of each line. I haven't worked out the top beads yet. I have also seen the cowrie shells at the bottom, but I thought they might break, like you said. I appreciate your interest and help. Thank you - Yakoke
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #15
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let us see..

Let us see when your done, its alot of work but well worth it in the long run
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:00 PM   #16
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I will. Thanks again.
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:12 PM   #17
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I finished it!

I have finally finished my breastplate! I wore it this past weekend at a gathering in East Stroudsburg, PA at the University and it felt great. Heavy...but wonderful. I've posted a picture in my gallery of it alone, and myself wearing it dancing. I'll try to get a better picture from the front next time, but you can get the idea. Thank you again for your help and encouragement. Yakoke. Cyndi
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:16 PM   #18
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Im having trouble figuring out where to go so I can see it
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:52 PM   #19
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If you go to Gallery and look under new photos, you'll see it alone and also me dancing in it. But they don't stay in the new photos page for long, so if you miss it you can search in Gallery under my user name - mrsfixesit. I don't know why but all 3 pictures I put in last night came up twice. Good luck and thank you for your encourgement.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:05 PM   #20
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My duhhh sorry dont know why I diddnt thnk of that, so whats next?
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