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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Women's Dance Styles > Cloth Dancing T Dress v. Tear Dress T Dress v. Tear Dress

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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T Dress v. Tear Dress

Okay...its taken me a long time to work up the courage to make a regalia. Mostly because my Cherokee heritage has been trumped by my Scottish side I don't feel like I belong. Pale skin and red hair, but anyway....I digress....

I'm not very good with making things so the idea of making a Tear Dress is daunting, that's a lot of fabric for me to screw up. My friend had me try on a T Dress of hers and I liked the way it fit and it seemed to be easy to make.

My question is this...would it be good taste for me to wear something not traditional to my heritage? I don't want to disrespect anyone or offend anyone. I've spent a good chunk of my life at Pow Wows and around the culture but was never brave enough to dance because I never felt like I fit in until now.

Thoughts....ideas....

Ghani
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanimajade View Post
My question is this...would it be good taste for me to wear something not traditional to my heritage?

ghani,

This is an easy one.... no (but it happens anyway).
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanimajade View Post
Okay...its taken me a long time to work up the courage to make a regalia. Mostly because my Cherokee heritage has been trumped by my Scottish side I don't feel like I belong. Pale skin and red hair, but anyway....I digress....

I'm not very good with making things so the idea of making a Tear Dress is daunting, that's a lot of fabric for me to screw up. My friend had me try on a T Dress of hers and I liked the way it fit and it seemed to be easy to make.

My question is this...would it be good taste for me to wear something not traditional to my heritage? I don't want to disrespect anyone or offend anyone. I've spent a good chunk of my life at Pow Wows and around the culture but was never brave enough to dance because I never felt like I fit in until now.

Thoughts....ideas....

Ghani
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanimajade View Post
Okay...its taken me a long time to work up the courage to make a regalia. Mostly because my Cherokee heritage has been trumped by my Scottish side I don't feel like I belong. Pale skin and red hair, but anyway....I digress....

I'm not very good with making things so the idea of making a Tear Dress is daunting, that's a lot of fabric for me to screw up. My friend had me try on a T Dress of hers and I liked the way it fit and it seemed to be easy to make.

My question is this...would it be good taste for me to wear something not traditional to my heritage? I don't want to disrespect anyone or offend anyone. I've spent a good chunk of my life at Pow Wows and around the culture but was never brave enough to dance because I never felt like I fit in until now.

Thoughts....ideas....

Ghani
Go to the powwow people in your community. Sometimes they have workshops that will help you. Take tobacco in hand and ask.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
What do the voices tell you?
I don't know.

I've talked to the Pow Wow people around me but they've known me forever so of course they say it doesn't matter because everyone else wears non traditional things but I don't want to offend anyone. A couple of people that fequent the same Pow Wows as me think I'm a wannabe anyway the last thing I want to do is show up wearing the wrong thing.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanimajade View Post
I don't know.

I've talked to the Pow Wow people around me but they've known me forever so of course they say it doesn't matter because everyone else wears non traditional things but I don't want to offend anyone. A couple of people that fequent the same Pow Wows as me think I'm a wannabe anyway the last thing I want to do is show up wearing the wrong thing.
sounds like you already know what the right thing is..

if you want to do something right, do it right, not halfway.. if its too hard and it wont come together for you, maybe right now isnt the right time
if you want to do something with a semblance of tradition dont wear a t-dress and especially dont wear it because you think it is easy. thats a bad road to go down, but thats just my humble thoughts based on what I have heard.. hope that helps

also as a side note here is a link to a trading post with some tear dresses, maybe it will help you with an idea for making your own or in some other way
Littlecrow Trading Post * Indian PowWow Regalia & Clothing

and ps i think it is cool when i see women from tribes that wear some form of ribbon dresses actually wear them, make a nice looking one and wear it with pride..
its pretty common for people to go with something more contemporary today and i like seeing outfits that are cut or decorated in a way that reflects heritage and tradition, instead of someone copying what they
saw so and so wearing that one time"
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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The Creator made you....

if someone is offended by you going forward in what you know is right between you and the Creator...that's thier issue and none of your business.

If you feel that the Creator is pleased with you embracing your heritage and making something beautiful to honor the way HE made you than do it.

In fact...why not fully embrace putting your Scottish heritage into the dress as well?

There are so many of our people that are mixed with Scots. From Alaska to Chile...the Scots and First Nations have a long history that isn't shameful at all.

And your heritage...the Indigenous side and the Scottish side, are one in you! Don't let ***holes try and make you feel bad about who you are. Indigenous people belong to the Creator...and so do you. Might i add that the Scots are a tribal nation as well...a nation that to this day lives on unceded territory to the Brits...and that is something to be proud of.

It is also something that makes your testimony as a Native American even stronger.

Don't freak out about being "traditional". To a lot of people that means "historical" and we are not a historical people. We are contemporarily Indians. We didn't cease to exist...we go on..and will until the end of time.

If you are making a dress...and are worried about what ppl will think...i suggest starting off with a T-dress. Some day, when you are ready...make a tear dress. Just make your dress...make it you...and you STAND there...even amidst the criticism of others and be who the Creator made you to be. Especially when others have something to say about it...it's that dose of bravery in you standing that maybe they need a dose of.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:09 AM   #8
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I know this post is a year old, but I haven't been on for awhile and just saw it. I am in pretty much the exact situation you are- Cherokee on my father's side & Irish on my mother's- guess which genes took over?? I was taken from my parents when I was 9 yrs old and I'm just now finding the people of my tribe and getting back involved again for the past two years.

Alot of people on here may not have gone through the ridiculing, etc. to understand, but I know how discouraging it can be and make you question who you are when all you hear are the negative comments from people who tell you that you arent' Native.

I'm kinda new to this (as an adult), so there are much more valuable opinions on here than mine... and I posted something very similar to this when I first joined Powwows.com because I too was afraid to be who I am. My opinion is the same as you've already got- if you know you are Native, and you feel that Creator is leading you toward that part of who you are, do it. And if it takes a long time to get everything like it needs to be, so be it. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if it is what you're meant to do, it will happen for you. Just do as I've had to do and continue to seek advice of your elders and tribal members and above all, pray and ask Creator's blessings and guidance.

I'm totally not trying to tell you how to do things because as I said, I'm nowhere near as experienced as everyone else on here... just trying to lend some support to someone on the common ground as me. :)
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:28 AM   #9
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I also have some Cherokee heritage, although I am more Yaqui. I have considered the tear dress, but to tell the truth I don't care for that style simply because it speaks to me of how much our ancesters tried to assimilate to avoid persecution. I wear the T style, which is much more in keeping with how our clothing was done before european invasion.
That is a personal opinion and a personal choice.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanimajade View Post
My question is this...would it be good taste for me to wear something not traditional to my heritage? I don't want to disrespect anyone or offend anyone. I've spent a good chunk of my life at Pow Wows and around the culture but was never brave enough to dance because I never felt like I fit in until now.

Thoughts....ideas....

Ghani
I am Cherokee/mulatto - I wear a t-dress. The tear dress is beautiful. However please keep in mind that it was adopted as the offical dress of the OK Cherokees only some 40 years ago. As a South Eastern Cherokee, I do not feel obligated to wear one. My gggranmother something simular to a tear dress my great and ggreat grans wore a t-dress. Pray on it. Let your ancestors speak to you. Do what feels right in your heart. Blessings...
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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I think the idea jesuslovesongwehowe mensioned of incorperating your Scot heritage into your new regalia along with your Native heritage is a fabulous one. After all, it is our heritage which gives us our identity, and not just a part of it, but all of it. I think there are alot of us who are in the same catagory. I am Cherokee, Cayuga, Scot, and Irish. And I can understand your concirn, I feel the same way. But ultimately what you do is between you and the Creator, and if you follow your heart the only people who will be offended, will be those who look for reasons and oportunities to be offended, and will find a way to feel like that no matter what, because they are unhappy with themselves. As long as you are respectful and knowledgable about what not to do, it should be fine. I would make it suttle though, so that it flows and doesn't look like you are trying to through a bunch of things together. For instance, you could incorperate the Thistle, big in Scottish history, and culture. but this is only my opinion... you have to represent what you feel is the right path.
Be encouraged and be blessed.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #12
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanimajade View Post
Okay...its taken me a long time to work up the courage to make a regalia. Mostly because my Cherokee heritage has been trumped by my Scottish side I don't feel like I belong. Pale skin and red hair, but anyway....I digress....

I'm not very good with making things so the idea of making a Tear Dress is daunting, that's a lot of fabric for me to screw up. My friend had me try on a T Dress of hers and I liked the way it fit and it seemed to be easy to make.

My question is this...would it be good taste for me to wear something not traditional to my heritage? I don't want to disrespect anyone or offend anyone. I've spent a good chunk of my life at Pow Wows and around the culture but was never brave enough to dance because I never felt like I fit in until now.

Thoughts....ideas....

Ghani
I see this thread is two years old, but I have an answer (thanks to Okwataga): Neither T-dress nor tear, unless you are from Western Band. The new Cherokee dress for the Eastern Band is totally different.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #15
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I see this thread is two years old, but I have an answer (thanks to Okwataga): Neither T-dress nor tear, unless you are from Western Band. The new Cherokee dress for the Eastern Band is totally different.
The Dress has made it over to Oklahoma also, a few years back the Eastern Band came to Tahlequah during the Cherokee Holiday and made a presentation some have embraced it some have not...
What does confuse some peoples about Cherokees we are all one tribe by Language and Culture it is only Politically have we been seperated into 3 tribes, (Eastern Band, Cherokee of Oklahoma and United Keetoowah Band we are the same peoples)!
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #16
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i know folks like your self who have native and other ancestry. their regalia combines both (or more).
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