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Old 09-05-2006, 01:43 AM   #1
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Grass dancing bustle?

So I'm a grass dancer and I've murmers of a bustle for grass dancing, has anyone seen this? If so what did it look like and do you have pictures you could send me or post?

Thank you for any information you have and your time.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:33 PM   #2
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No Way

No feathers, except your Roach, were Grass dnacers we dont need feathers to make are dance look good, no bustles man,
I hope that helped
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:45 AM   #3
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back in the day there were messy type bustles. there is a good example in the Museum in Browning Montana.

Ill see if i cant drag the photos out from my trip in 1995.

not used now tho, it was the original grass dancers that it all started with.

now that i thnk about it, the pics are in the gallery already.

if these dont work, they are named GrassDancer1.jpg (2&3) try searching the gallery.

http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...513&perpage=90

http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...what=allfields

http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...what=allfields
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
back in the day there were messy type bustles. there is a good example in the Museum in Browning Montana.

Ill see if i cant drag the photos out from my trip in 1995.

not used now tho, it was the original grass dancers that it all started with.

now that i thnk about it, the pics are in the gallery already.

if these dont work, they are named GrassDancer1.jpg (2&3) try searching the gallery.

http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...513&perpage=90

http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...what=allfields

http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...what=allfields
Dude I dont know what you were thinking at the time but that's no grass dancer bustle. As per in our tribal history records its shows that those perticular pictures you posted as grass dancers are in fact not grass dancers but early pictures of chicken dancers. Grass dancers of past and current never have worn bustles with their outfits only chicken dancers, traditional dancers and fancy dancers have.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:25 PM   #5
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The museum on the Blackfoot Rez has it displayed as GRASS DANCER. At least back in 1995. If it was a museum somewhere else I would question it, but the museum if on the rez next to the powwow grounds, if it was wrong i would figure SOMEONE would have said something.

There is a museum near me that had a cradleboard displayed as Sioux/Crow, it was actually Cheyenne. They told me that when an item is given to a museum they have to display it as what the person who donated it says it is. (???!!!???!!!) They also had a beaded womans yoke displayed sideways with neck split as the shoulder. Their reasoning with THAT one was that it displayed the beadwork better. I asked them why they would knowingly display things wrongly which in turn gives people the wrong impression of the art and culture. They didnt reply.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob View Post
The museum on the Blackfoot Rez has it displayed as GRASS DANCER. At least back in 1995. If it was a museum somewhere else I would question it, but the museum if on the rez next to the powwow grounds, if it was wrong i would figure SOMEONE would have said something.

There is a museum near me that had a cradleboard displayed as Sioux/Crow, it was actually Cheyenne. They told me that when an item is given to a museum they have to display it as what the person who donated it says it is. (???!!!???!!!) They also had a beaded womans yoke displayed sideways with neck split as the shoulder. Their reasoning with THAT one was that it displayed the beadwork better. I asked them why they would knowingly display things wrongly which in turn gives people the wrong impression of the art and culture. They didnt reply.
Look that dance is early traditional dance, and any dumb ntrad dancer knows that way back what is now called Northern trad was called the grass dance because the dancers would put bunches of grass in their belts to represent scalps. Then in the 1920s some dancers lost the bustle and started putting long ribbon in their outfits, this evolved into the grass dance of today. No modern grass dancers wear bustles. Ego-hut-key is right. Only roach feathers.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:18 PM   #7
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytraddancer View Post
No modern grass dancers wear bustles.
I do. I know three other guys that do to.

Folks, there are TONS of pictures (and not just on the internet) and historical records (by both native and non-native people) of people reported to be grass dancers (and looking very much to be so) where the guy is either wearing a bustle or holding it. Ditto Omaha dancers.

While it may not be how they did it in your area, the record does indicate that bustles were worn in conjunction with the grass dance in different areas across the plains. Perhaps they were no an original part of the dance and the bustles were an influence from dog soldier and warrior societies across the plains - I don't know.

I'll be back late r- I gota go make sugar now - but by all means discuss.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTGrassDancer View Post
So I'm a grass dancer and I've murmers of a bustle for grass dancing, has anyone seen this? If so what did it look like and do you have pictures you could send me or post?

Thank you for any information you have and your time.
Now I eprsonally have never seen a Grass Dancer today where a bustle, Who is to say that there isnt, I am not sure if it is a Family thing or if you have to have permission. My best bet is to just stick with the Grass dance outfit that everyone else wheres, Grass Dance Trends have changed over the years and are still changing, who knows maybe years down the trail, Grass Dancers will start wearing bustles, hey sookout sh'nob, Im kind of curious of what these grass dancers that wear bustles look like, maybe you could send some pictures. thanks. oh yea, and my first post on this thread was just some grass dancer humor, i hope that did not offend anyone.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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I have one that is made out of fox tails and another out of goose feathers. I know a guy that has a coyote tail bustle and the other two guys have bustles that are flat and grouped tightly on a belt- kinda like a goose tail. They're all fairly small bustles.

As a side note, I was talking to my co-worker about my daughter wanting fancy dance bustles and she (my co-worker) used to wear a grass dance outfit in the 70s when she hoop danced - apparently it was fairly common around this area (MN, WI) at the time.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:24 PM   #11
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Never say never.

Unless.................... you are absolutely, without a doubt.... positive.




There is a ceremonial aspect to the grass dance where they DO indeed wear bustles!


(But ceremony should not be discussed on the internet.)
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sookout sh'nob View Post
I have one that is made out of fox tails and another out of goose feathers. I know a guy that has a coyote tail bustle and the other two guys have bustles that are flat and grouped tightly on a belt- kinda like a goose tail. They're all fairly small bustles.

As a side note, I was talking to my co-worker about my daughter wanting fancy dance bustles and she (my co-worker) used to wear a grass dance outfit in the 70s when she hoop danced - apparently it was fairly common around this area (MN, WI) at the time.
Do you have to have Permission in order to wear A grass Dance Bustle, or is it a family thing, or does your tribe do that, sorry if these ?'s offend you im just curious,
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:32 AM   #13
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Permissions are nice, family history is great... no matter why you wear one, be prepared to give lengthy explanations to concerned audience members or people who are just curious about what exactly you are doing and why you have a bustle (even though you are clearly a grass dancer).

For example, I'm exempt from a lot of questioning in my home area because of who I'm related too and my place in my community. However, when I leave home - I'm generally on my own and have to be able to communicate precisely and clearly what i'm up to, who i am, and why i am doing what I'm doing.

Fortunately, I moved to Minneapolis and only a handful of people know what the hell is going on, nevermind where it comes from and why someone might be doing it (or shouldn't be). Has me curious if other urban areas are the same way.

If this sounds daunting - exhibition and enter with the chicken dancers and no one will say a thing - lmao

Last edited by sookout sh'nob; 03-27-2008 at 12:37 AM..
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sookout sh'nob View Post
Permissions are nice, family history is great... no matter why you wear one, be prepared to give lengthy explanations to concerned audience members or people who are just curious about what exactly you are doing and why you have a bustle (even though you are clearly a grass dancer).

For example, I'm exempt from a lot of questioning in my home area because of who I'm related too and my place in my community. However, when I leave home - I'm generally on my own and have to be able to communicate precisely and clearly what i'm up to, who i am, and why i am doing what I'm doing.

Fortunately, I moved to Minneapolis and only a handful of people know what the hell is going on, nevermind where it comes from and why someone might be doing it (or shouldn't be). Has me curious if other urban areas are the same way.

If this sounds daunting - exhibition and enter with the chicken dancers and no one will say a thing - lmao
"GrassDance" bustles are actualy a special bustle used as part of the "grass Dance" gathering. At the end of winter' when the tribe returned to the spring/Summer village they had a celebration/ Gathering. This was to celebrate: the new season, the new grass, the return of game, and being runited with neighbors after a long winter. The bustles were a small "mess" style, and was designed so it wouldn't get caught in the tall grass as the arena was prepared. Yes, these were the first "Grass Dancers.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:34 PM   #15
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:17 PM   #16
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I had heard of gras dance bustles several years ago. I decided to check it out. Through alot of research I kinda got a solid "possible" as far as there existence. I was able to talk to an elder who had some pix and stories of personal experience. That's how I learned what I posted previously. Also, women were involved in the "Grass Dance" arena. He even showed me his mother's "Grass Dance dress". It didn't look anything like Men's "Grass Dance". I wonder if anyone else has ever seen anything like this. Because as far as I've found several places; women could be grass dancers but had unique outfits.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:40 PM   #17
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Thanks for reminding me of this - I've seen pictures and may even have one or two around of a grass dance dresses. I'll see if i can find them.

This could go a long ways towards explaining how the ladies got into grass dancing in the 70s - I'll have to get a couple of the locals to lunch and ask em about their time grass dancing.

Good thread - when we're done with it I'll use it to update the FAQ!


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I had heard of gras dance bustles several years ago. I decided to check it out. Through alot of research I kinda got a solid "possible" as far as there existence. I was able to talk to an elder who had some pix and stories of personal experience. That's how I learned what I posted previously. Also, women were involved in the "Grass Dance" arena. He even showed me his mother's "Grass Dance dress". It didn't look anything like Men's "Grass Dance". I wonder if anyone else has ever seen anything like this. Because as far as I've found several places; women could be grass dancers but had unique outfits.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:40 PM   #18
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Glad I'm not the only one.

I'm happy that someone might have pix. I do kinda recall seeing back in the late 80's or maybe early 90's a woman by the name of Tammy LeQuay who danced Grass. Her husband had spent several years studying the tradition of it, and had made her a dress. She only danced it 1 powwow though. She got a lot of flack for trying to "change" a men's dance. The dress was beautiful. It sort of looked like a shawl dance outfit. The thing that stood out to me was that she didn't wear a shawl' but did have cuffs. I always wondered how true to the past this was. It would be interesting to see what some of our most Honored (and aged) elders had to say. We need to seek this info before it is lost.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:20 AM   #19
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Now to those that are much older, they can remember when the term “powwow” was unheard of and a dance was called a Doin’, Gathering, Feast, etc. and among many on the Plains it was called the Grass Dance, Hot Dance, Buffalo Dance, Omaha Dance and more.

In fact some of the older folks have a hard time with what is called the Grass Dance today. They still think of the “powwow” as the Grass Dance and use the term “Buffalo Dance” and later “Buffalo Grass Dance and even later “Shake Dance” and “Shake Suit Dance” for what is called the Grass Dance of today.

When the "powwow" was known as the Grass Dance the dancers did have BUSTLES! Many were made of actual braided grass and only certain Warriors were allowed to have bustles made of feathers. And contrary to popular believe the bustles were not always made of bird of prey feathers. In fact some of the earliest bustles were made of entire crows (whole birds) that were attached to the dancer's belt. This is why there were first called "Crow Belts" then "Crows". It was the White Man that gave them the name "bustle" referring to something worn at the base of the back because it reminded the White Man of the "bustle" used in 18th and 19th Century fashion.

Lewis and Clark brought one of these bustles back to the East after their Discovery Journey in 1803. These bustles of the early 19th Century were very small and completely circular compared to the massive ones and often U-shaped ones of later times and today.

By the the time of early photography more and more dancers were allowed to wear the feather bustle instead of just the grass bustle. But you must remember that the event was still called the "Grass Dance" and that is why in photos they are called Grass Dancers and they are wearing bustles.

As the name of the gathering changed from "Grass Dance" to "Powwow" so did the name of the dancers that used bustles. As mentioned before what you call Northern Traditional since the mid 20th Century was called Grass Dance in the 19th Century and late 18th Century.

It can be very confusing to those that don't know that the "powwow" used to be called the Grass Dance. And it was not until the very late 19th Century and even really the 20th Century that the unique style of "grass dancing" as we know it got the name Grass Dance.

Hope that this helps.

Last edited by Tom Iron Eagle; 04-10-2008 at 01:21 AM.. Reason: Content
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:52 AM   #20
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Lewis and Clark Bustle

The crow belt mentioned by Tom. Note the quill-work strips mounted to the wings and tail. Appears to be a hollow/unstuffed skin. Easy as hell to make, except the raven skin tears easy if you get pushy when you take it from the bird. I'm inspired enough to make a couple - if I can get a hold of the ravens.


KEELER I can't find the pics man -IT reminded me a lot of a southeastern ribbon dress with a few pendants with long ribbon fringe hanging from the pendants - that's the closest contemporary analog i can think of. Sound about right to you?

Last edited by sookout sh'nob; 04-12-2008 at 09:05 AM..
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