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Old 07-11-2003, 12:31 PM   #1
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Grass Dance Antennas

I'm wantin' to do things right.

I want to know why I am wearing something before I put it on.

I have been trying to find out why some grass dancers wear the antennas.

I saw some real old photos and none of the grass dancers had antennas.

Nobody seems to know the answer.

Is this a new thing that happened in century before this one?

All right grass dancers, can someone help me out?
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Old 07-11-2003, 03:57 PM   #2
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just emulates waving grass. nothing spiritual about it. i had them, gave them away to a newbie. i keep my 2 roach feathers for all my outfits.

anyone else?
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:17 PM   #3
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Speaking of legend's..

Let's hear the famous, "Waving grass," myth of where the grass dance came from??

By the way, where did those old school dudes get them springs to make "antenna," out of??
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:00 PM   #4
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Steve: another legend

There was this old travlin' circus going through the middle of Nebraska about 1820 or so. The reason they were lost is they turned left instead of right at St. Louis.
In this circus they had a monkey who would collect money while being chained to a music box. While they were camped near the O-Mah-ho Indians, the music box accidently got smashed by wagon wheel, thus freeing the monkey.
The monkey grabbed two springs from the music box and headed toward Freedumb (that's near 'Liberty', MO). On his journey, some little O-Mah-Ho boyz saw the monkey and scared him. So he dropped the springs.
The little boyz grabbed the springs and took them back to their camp and gave them to a grass dancer that happened to be standing there doin' nothin. He asked the boyz where they got the springs. The boyz told him, from a "Strange Animal" who had a face like a little boy and a tail like a cow.

The grass dancer gave a loud war hoop and said .....

"Oh you got them from a ........... COWBOY!~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by WhoMe; 07-11-2003 at 05:07 PM..
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:05 PM   #5
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Now, back to my original question.

Does anybody have any information about the antennas some grass dancers wear???????
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:33 PM   #6
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Re: Speaking of legend's..

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve StopsOnTime

By the way, where did those old school dudes get them springs to make "antenna," out of??
Guitar strings.
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Old 07-12-2003, 10:20 AM   #7
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I've heard of guitar strings, or piano wire. But, the ones I've seen up close were bigger than that. Like a spring you can buy from a hardware store - maybe 1/4" wide, but probably closer to 1/8" or 3/16" wide(I never measured them before, so I'm not positive.
I watched a video last night from the early 80's - a Native American Dance Theater show. They had a long bit about grass dance. Two of the grass dancers had two Eagle Feathers, the other two had 'antenna'. I don't know of any significance to it, other than it is a way to get some extra swaying motion in the outfit, though.

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Old 07-12-2003, 11:36 AM   #8
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Piano wire or a car choke cable are things I've heard of using. Sorry I don't know the story or history behind it. I read they were real popular around the 60's (I think) But slowly they've died off you just don't see them much anymore. OHH just remembered I heard this story. Mind you I don't know if it's true so correct me if I'm wrong. That the antenna are remanicant of the roach feathers that were used that all but the top of the feather was shaved off. Also don't remember where I heard that one.
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Old 07-13-2003, 12:00 AM   #9
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i was told that it just had to do with the waving of the grass

also i used bass strings instead of guitar they work better and r more stable


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Old 07-13-2003, 02:37 AM   #10
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Korean War

Somebody told me once that during the Korean war some people thought it was unpatriotic to use a lot of feathers on an outfit because our boys overseas needed the feathers for down in blankets and stuff. That didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to me.

Somebody also told me that they came about because they reflect the style well and look good when you dance, thus they get attention in competition.

Somebody also told me one time that I was kind of attractive, so we can be sure that some people are full of crap.
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Old 07-13-2003, 07:33 PM   #11
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I once hear a boy scout say grass dancers made sure all the bugs would leave the arbor so they didnt get squished.

I had spiral notebook springs, guitar strings, bass strings, choke cable, and settled on screen door springs stretched out.

Coon-I dont know, I've seen you straight dance and my girlfrined was checking you out. ;)
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by billyjoejimbob
I once hear a boy scout say grass dancers made sure all the bugs would leave the arbor so they didnt get squished.

Some kind of combination of Grass Dance and Buddhism? Never heard of that before, but it's funny! If that's the case, the Grass Dancers didn't do a good job this past weekend. I got bit by all kinds of ants, and so did my entire family. My feet and legs ITCH! grumblegrumble grass dancers not doing their jobs grumblegrumble.... LOL
;)

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Old 07-14-2003, 03:54 PM   #13
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That same scout did a fancy dance example wearing his doc martin shoes. and the kicker was that he said an indian elder gave him an eagle feather and named him "sungmanitu tanka obwaci" (sp?)

i almost shytted myself.:Chatter
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:35 PM   #14
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ONE story I've heard says the grass dance celebrates warriors who held handfuls of prairie grass above their heads to camouflage themselves. One grass song describes the warriors as "all broken up" (obscured from view).
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:17 PM   #15
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Okay,

From what I have read on this thread, there are no clear answers about why grass dancers wear antennas.

So can anybody answer when or where they began?

From the earliest of photo's, Grass dancers wore tufts of grass in their belts and moccasins. They resembled the modern Crow-style dancer in the way they looked.

From what I have researched, the antennas first appeared in the Dakotas about the same time that dancers wore chainette fringe.

Can anybody verify this?

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Old 07-28-2003, 12:30 PM   #16
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I heard it came from the plains and was a remeinder of the high grass and its power to signify its power the actual grass is held higher then the dancer themself I don't wear them but haven't seen to many wear them as much as the 70s or early 80.
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Old 07-28-2003, 02:45 PM   #17
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thanx NAPEW:

Now we are beginning to get somewhere with this thread. Any idea which tribe started the antennas?

They were also real popular in the early to mid 90's. But as trends go . . .

"the powwow champions dictate what direction other powwow contestants will go."
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Old 07-28-2003, 11:47 PM   #18
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Cool Hmmmmm

For serious pow wow people you guys don't seem to know about the orgin of stuff?? Why is that? My goal is life is to educate the masses, so here is the orgin story of the grass dance "feelers."

When we last left Wapescha he had just invented the roach. Well after the "Wapescha" went north to the river tribes, they took the porky hair idea and used a deer tail for a base. Everyone was wearing the Wapescha and everyone was looking for a new gimmick to stand out from the crowd. As luck would have it Wapescha was on his way to the wacipi and he had on his finest 40 porcupine roach. He was running late, so he cut through the forest again. As he was nearing the edge, he walked under a near sighted, amourous porky who was eating red willow. Well the near sighted porky sees the 40 porcupine wapescha and thinks it is the sexiest porky he ever seen so he drops down on top of the wapescha. This of course scares Wapescha and starts running. Well as luck would have it, the near sighted porky held two supple red willows branches that he had been chewing on the ends. This was spring in cotton wood country and as Wapescha ran the sticky ends of the willow caught the "cotton," that was blowing off the cottonwood trees. As Wapescha came running into the arbor the willow branches were bouncing with the cotton on the ends and it looked CHO. Well everyone seen this and you know how everyone copy's. The next week end everyone had "feeler's." They were adapted to choke wire because all the Indians owned car's and it seem like the logically evolution. The cotton was changed to feathers by the guy that invented the chicken dance but that is a story for another time.
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:25 AM   #19
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Now your saying he uses a deer tail base and porcupine hair, YET you say the roach is made from the porcupines being stuck to his head. How do you do this?:dontknow: A great story none the less maybe you could teach or sell it to Tom Netz
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:46 PM   #20
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Cool

Quote:
Now your saying he uses a deer tail base and porcupine hair
Now I KNOW you seen a deer tail base?? Hey maybe you could tell us some of the choctaw grass dance origin stories???



:Angel:
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