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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Women's Dance Styles > Cloth Dancing Question about Shawl Question about Shawl

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Old 08-26-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
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Question about Shawl

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum and I have a question concerning the shawl. I started dancing a few years ago and then due to military moves out of the states I was not able to continue dancing or learning. When I was taught to dance the only thing that I was taught about the shawl was how it was folded and placed on the arm and that I always had to have a shawl in order to dance. I as not taught the story behind the shawl other than it was a symbol of femininity. I have learned since then that some shawls have meanings for the individuals that carry and/or wear them.

Well, today while dancing at the pow wow I had several individuals ask me about what the item was called and what the symbolism of the shawl was in my style of dress. I felt that my answer was inadequate and I am interested in knowing more about the story behind the shawl. I have never been asked any questions about any other item except for the dress itself. If anyone can assist me, it would be highly appreciated. Thank you ahead of time.

Leahta1379
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatha1379 View Post
Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum and I have a question concerning the shawl. I started dancing a few years ago and then due to military moves out of the states I was not able to continue dancing or learning. When I was taught to dance the only thing that I was taught about the shawl was how it was folded and placed on the arm and that I always had to have a shawl in order to dance. I as not taught the story behind the shawl other than it was a symbol of femininity. I have learned since then that some shawls have meanings for the individuals that carry and/or wear them.

Well, today while dancing at the pow wow I had several individuals ask me about what the item was called and what the symbolism of the shawl was in my style of dress. I felt that my answer was inadequate and I am interested in knowing more about the story behind the shawl. I have never been asked any questions about any other item except for the dress itself. If anyone can assist me, it would be highly appreciated. Thank you ahead of time.

Leahta1379
Hello, how are you and welcome.

Sometimes, when people ask questions, they also create questions. I've bolded your words that caught my eye. I don't think I can answer your question, but I have a question.

Who taught you to dance and who taught you about the shawl?

You don't say where you are from or your background. I'm sure others will agree there is no generic answer to every item you wear in your outfit.

Perhaps, if you gave an indication of what region you learned to dance, someone from that area can give you a more precise answer.

Hope you get your question answered and dance on!
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:14 AM   #3
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Hi Joe's Dad,

I am sorry that I forgot to include that. My mind has been racing lately with getting ready for the Fall semester at school. My background is Cherokee/Shawnee and German. I live in the Great Lakes area of IL. The elder that was teaching me to dance was Potawatomi and she danced Buckskin Women's Traditional. I realize that there is not one answer to everything that is worn but I also realize that I am still learning and that I lost contact with those I had made friendships with when I had to move away from the area to Germany with my husband ,who was in the military. I just recently moved back to the area and began to dancing again. I hope this additional information helps. Thank you for replying and reaching out to me. I will keep learning and dancing. :)

Take care,
Leatha
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:06 AM   #4
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I already have the traditional regalia; dress, collar, medallions, misc. jewelry, apron, moccasins, etc. but I do not have a fan or purse. Thank you for your information!

Any advice on how to integrate into the ring? I do not want to disrespect my elders or tribe in anyway and would like to learn as much as possible!
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