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View Poll Results: Should they allow Women to dance grass?
YES 15 32.61%
NO 16 34.78%
unsure 3 6.52%
depending 12 26.09%
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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Men's Dance Styles > Grass Dancing Women Dancing Grass????? Women Dancing Grass?????

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Old 04-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #21
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gaawiin

I think it's fine to do some switch dancing every now and then. Just for some fun, or see what grass dancing skills the ladies have. But we shouldn't try to change things that aren't meant to be changed. It's just as ridiculous as men trying to switch to fancy shawl. We should keep things the way they are. The way they aren't meant to be. The way we were taught.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:02 PM   #22
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Hello everyone,
My daughter is a grass dancer here in cetral fl. She has danced at several powwwows and has been mostly well received. She has only been asked to not dance at one powwow ( Chambers farm). There are people who at first weren't sure if she should dance, but after seeing her and meeting her realize she dance's for all the right reason's. She has perrmission from her elders and was given her rights by one of the best grass dancers in the country. I don't believe that any girl should be allowed to be a grass dancer..... they need to have permission from elders and given rights by a grass dancer, plus i believe they need to have a true calling to do this. I daughter prayed about this for years before finally agreeing to do this. She has to sometimes take some nasty comments and always be polite and respectful and always conduct herself like a lady. She reprsent's a lot of women and it is a huge responsibility that she gladly takes and respects. People at this point judge all female grass dancers by how she acts in all situations esphally in situations where the adults are acting badly.
If anyone has any questions I'll be glad to answer all that I can.
Thanks,
Allison
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl1966
Hello everyone,
My daughter is a grass dancer here in cetral fl. She has danced at several powwwows and has been mostly well received. She has only been asked to not dance at one powwow ( Chambers farm). There are people who at first weren't sure if she should dance, but after seeing her and meeting her realize she dance's for all the right reason's. She has perrmission from her elders and was given her rights by one of the best grass dancers in the country. I don't believe that any girl should be allowed to be a grass dancer..... they need to have permission from elders and given rights by a grass dancer, plus i believe they need to have a true calling to do this. I daughter prayed about this for years before finally agreeing to do this. She has to sometimes take some nasty comments and always be polite and respectful and always conduct herself like a lady. She reprsent's a lot of women and it is a huge responsibility that she gladly takes and respects. People at this point judge all female grass dancers by how she acts in all situations esphally in situations where the adults are acting badly.
If anyone has any questions I'll be glad to answer all that I can.
Thanks,
Allison
I would say she has about equal responsiblities as a pow-wow princess, and trust a few of the girls, it can be a handful sometimes
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WocusWoman
We have a female grass dancer here that is currently a student at the University of Alaska. She is very traditional and is very good. She was the subject of ridicle among some folks down in Anchorage, when she was attending school there. The way her family explained it to me; she was brought into grass dancing the traditional way by a well known grass dancer down in the states. Would it be something I would consider, NO. But I sure love to watch and appreciate the grass dance.

She was'nt the subject of ridicule.. she was asked who gave her the right to dance and she would never say. She's also Navajo.. I don't remember grass dance being a navajo tradition. As for her family, are you talking HER family or the family that brought her up here? Because the folks that brought her up here to go to school and dance did'nt exactly do it from "the goodness of their hearts" and are'nt exactly her family either.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:24 AM   #25
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My belief goes back to the "origin" of the grass dance. I believe that the WARRIORS and brave MEN performed this dance to flatten the grass to build a village, all the while scaring off all evil spirits and animals such as snakes. Not many women were warriors and so I believe it should be just a mens/boys dance. No offence to da ladies though, ya gotta love 'em.
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WocusWoman
We have a female grass dancer here that is currently a student at the University of Alaska. She is very traditional and is very good. She was the subject of ridicle among some folks down in Anchorage, when she was attending school there. The way her family explained it to me; she was brought into grass dancing the traditional way by a well known grass dancer down in the states. Would it be something I would consider, NO. But I sure love to watch and appreciate the grass dance.

A woman grass dancer that is traditional is an oxymoron.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:03 AM   #27
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I know a lady that grass dances....she and her husband both do. I do not know her reasoning behind it....and I could not tell you if it's "right or wrong"...i guess if it's your style go with it.....just like I've seen men daning fancy shawl.....i guess thats theur style....it's not up to me to say whether its right or worng....its 2006 personalities are shining in the arena!
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:26 PM   #28
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My friend Audrey danced Grass for many years...her outfits were beautiful, and her family and our tribe backed her completely. She competed all through the country and nobody ever told her to change. She was given respect because everything she did was in a respectful manner. She was even chosed Jr. Miss Oglala Lakota Nation, and we were all so proud of her. I still remember on outfit in particular, it was red, pink, orange, and white. It was so beautiful, and she was such a graceful dancer.

I think that thoughout history, there are always exceptions to every rule...just ask the elders. There always were and always will be, exceptional people doing exceptional things, even if they go against the norm. Our tribes are not as black and white as EuroAmerican societies, so we don't have STRICT RULES to adhere by...again, just ask the elders. Sometimes, to accomodate special circumstances, "different" is required, and we should all just accept the calling that some people have. Our tribe has "Heyoka", and nobody questions their special, peculiar ways. They just are who they are.

I think that if a young lady feels led to dance grass, it must mean something, even if we don't all understand it. Who knows, maybe she is just fulfilling a challenge or test in her life, stepping out of the norm. No matter what way our young people find to express themselves, or fulfill their destinies, we should all support them and show them compassion and respect. Like I said, we don't understand everything, so maybe lady grassdancers NOW will be a significant thing in the future!

I send respect and best wishes to all the young people who are helping to continue the circle...especially my girl Audrey, and my friend Jamie...you keep the highstepping and bootie shaking, and I'll keep cheering you on!
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:19 PM   #29
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AS FOR THE WOMAN GRASS DANCER IN ALASKA:
She is half Navajo and half Southern Cheyenne. She is a direct decendant of
Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle and she was given the right to grass dance at the age of 12. It took two years to prepare for her to be brought into the arena and everything was done correctly. She had Lakota elders bring her in with the help of some of the Clairmont boys who are a part of the Boyz drum group from Minn., MN. She followed the footsteps of Audrey LittleSky and earned her right to dance grass.

Blackbear; I thought about not informing you of this, but changed my mind after thinking about the problems this young lady put up with in Anchorage. She is doing very well up here at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She has become really involved with the local native community. I can not speak to what happened in Anchorage; but I can say that if she and her family had been approached properly, maybe they would have more willingly shared this information with you or the people you are associated with. From the other threads and posts I have read on this website, over the past couple of years, I have fully decided that you are a good person. So it is not my intention on creating hostility again between us. I hope this information helps, as this young lady has moved on to better and bigger things in her life.
As for tradition; what is tradition? I most certainly, as a northern traditional buckskin, would not be using some of the materials in my outfit, if I were to stick to strickly traditional items!! Remember we adapt as time goes forth; that's the only means of our past and present survival.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:11 PM   #30
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I think I would just cry and be so ashamed and embarassed for the person who would make fun of any dancer for doing what they choose to do. It's not OUR place to judge anyone for their choices, so why publicly humiliate someone for following their own path? I sure hope that Sask. isn't that harsh of a place...

I agree that all tribes face evolution and influence, especially in the dance and song aspects of their heritage. We move around so much now, we travel to each other's celebrations, we share our stories and our traditions with each other. I've only witnessed respect and compassion at powwows.....I hope that continues for my kids and thier kids and their kids and their kids.........
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:09 PM   #31
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you know, I think the girl I know, went thorugh a lot to be a grass dancer with her husband....as far as what other people thought.....but I respected her more and more everytime she danced.....because she continued to go on putting that reg. on and held her head high the whole time!
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Old 05-04-2006, 06:09 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WocusWoman
AS FOR THE WOMAN GRASS DANCER IN ALASKA:
She is half Navajo and half Southern Cheyenne. She is a direct decendant of
Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle and she was given the right to grass dance at the age of 12. It took two years to prepare for her to be brought into the arena and everything was done correctly. She had Lakota elders bring her in with the help of some of the Clairmont boys who are a part of the Boyz drum group from Minn., MN. She followed the footsteps of Audrey LittleSky and earned her right to dance grass.

Blackbear; I thought about not informing you of this, but changed my mind after thinking about the problems this young lady put up with in Anchorage. She is doing very well up here at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She has become really involved with the local native community. I can not speak to what happened in Anchorage; but I can say that if she and her family had been approached properly, maybe they would have more willingly shared this information with you or the people you are associated with. From the other threads and posts I have read on this website, over the past couple of years, I have fully decided that you are a good person. So it is not my intention on creating hostility again between us. I hope this information helps, as this young lady has moved on to better and bigger things in her life.
As for tradition; what is tradition? I most certainly, as a northern traditional buckskin, would not be using some of the materials in my outfit, if I were to stick to strickly traditional items!! Remember we adapt as time goes forth; that's the only means of our past and present survival.
You know.. had this information been told when it was asked, there might (and I say might) not have been any kind of a problem. Instead we got told how stupid we were, had games and head games played with us, I got called everything from homophobic to wannabe. I still don't agree that grass dance should be done by women, but when the people of who the dance comes from gives the ok to a person, then my mouth is shut on the matter... that's all that needed to be known.
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Old 01-29-2007, 12:03 PM   #33
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female drass dancers

I am looking for the names of some female/girl grass dancers. My daughter is a female grass dancer. she got permission from Elders and dances for the right reasons. I think she would greatly appreciate being able to talk to other female grass dancers.
Thanks,
Allison
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:32 AM   #34
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I've seen that girl who grass dances here at the Chambers Farm powwow. There were alot of people here who were upset by that and won't acknowledge that because powwows here follow southern protocol. But mainly people were upset because she was dancing in men's regalia. Now I don't know the whole story behind this, but if the one female grass dancer I know she doesn't wear men's grass regalia. She wears something similar to fancy shawl without the shawl but alot of fringe.

FYI, I know who that "one of the best grass dancers in the country" is, but his name is not associated with good things.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:25 PM   #35
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This might come across as a bit sexist and maybe it is but I think we should stick to tradition and let the men do men's dances. You don't see men wanting to do fancy shawl and buckskin do you? lol I am learning grass and I have seen plenty, so when you say there aren't any left I can assume you aren't from around here in OK. It is true though, that there aren't as many as there once was. I was going to learn fancy feather until I looked into grass and I have decided on it. I in 16 years of attending powwows have never seen a female grass dancer. It strikes me as a bit strange.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:00 AM   #36
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We live in fl. And there are a few grass dancers ,but there are more time then not powwows we go to where there are no grass dancers. For the most part she is very well excepted because she went through all the teachings and got elders and grass dancers approval. Usually if someone has a problem with her dancing it is the women's traditional dancers. She has already inspired a few boys to start grass dancing. Any boy can go and grass dance wether he's out there playing around or not. She at least learned about the the dance and goes about all of this in the right way. Knowing traditions is important but every society evolves and adapts to the times they live in. I am not saying that all women should be able to grass dance.....I think that if they have a true calling and got through the process of learning the teachings and getting elder approval that they should be allowed to dance. She truly believes that this is the path creator has told her to walk. She prayed on this decision for two years before even starting her training.
We have only met one other female grass dancer and have heard that there are more but have not heard of them directly. I just thought it would be nice to find others for her to talk to.
Thanks for your response.
Allison
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:29 AM   #37
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Actually the problem at chambers wasn't about her regalia it was that she was female. To be honest that is the only thing that anyone has ever a problem with. As far as who has given her rights to grass dance now .....it is not who you are thinking of. I would also caution you on saying anything about that particular person. He is still your elder and unless you know from personal experience what went on with that person you don't know what really happened. I was there and know what happened .....it is far from what you hear from the gossipers. Some people love to speak ill of people. She no longer dances or attends chambers. we attend Hart springs. It is a good energy powwow.
Thanks,
Allison
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl1966 View Post
Actually the problem at chambers wasn't about her regalia it was that she was female. To be honest that is the only thing that anyone has ever a problem with. As far as who has given her rights to grass dance now .....it is not who you are thinking of. I would also caution you on saying anything about that particular person. He is still your elder and unless you know from personal experience what went on with that person you don't know what really happened. I was there and know what happened .....it is far from what you hear from the gossipers. Some people love to speak ill of people. She no longer dances or attends chambers. we attend Hart springs. It is a good energy powwow.
Thanks,
Allison
Allison
Yes I do know from personal experience and I don't consider him my elder because of that. But like I said before, powwows here follow southern protocol and don't take kindly to things like this.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:46 PM   #39
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Personally I think it is energy wasted on something that has nothing to do with what chambers turned into. Wether you like or dislike him he is one of the best grass dancers in the country. I was told to give respect to all my elders not just those who's opinions I agree with. They may not be my teacher, but they still deserve my respect. Especially as an elder and Vet who is almost 40 years older then you!
This is not what I wrote this group about and I won't reply anymore to this neg. Issues about people who aren't here to defend themselves. You may write me privately if you need to speak more to me. I will be glad to speak with you more frankly then or if you are at Cox then I will be glad to talk to you more there.
Allison
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:31 PM   #40
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Agreed!

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Originally Posted by MayChe View Post
I've seen that girl who grass dances here at the Chambers Farm powwow. There were alot of people here who were upset by that and won't acknowledge that because powwows here follow southern protocol. But mainly people were upset because she was dancing in men's regalia. Now I don't know the whole story behind this, but if the one female grass dancer I know she doesn't wear men's grass regalia. She wears something similar to fancy shawl without the shawl but alot of fringe.

FYI, I know who that "one of the best grass dancers in the country" is, but his name is not associated with good things.
I have also seen this girl who grass dances at Chambers Farm powwow. I saw her wearing men's regalia and wondered who gave her permission to do this. I know exactly who you are saying is an elder because I have seen this regalia before. First of all, you say he is from your reservation -- I am sorry to say that is not a federal reservation. Second, please tell me what your definition of an "elder", because this person has no right to give anyone permission to become a grass dancer.

By the way I am one of those female traditional dancers who is the keeper of the traditions.
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