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View Poll Results: Should they allow Women to dance grass?
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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 02-02-2007, 03:40 PM   #41
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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
This I can accept. If she were to pray and prepare for that long and the creator willed her to do it then I wish her the best. I think most people should find out more about dances and their history before they do it.
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:41 PM   #42
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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
This thread is not about what Chambers has turned into and I don't understand why you're getting frustrated at me. I was also told to respect my elders, but that respect also goes both ways. No need to get mad though.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:04 PM   #43
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First of all my daughters regalia was made by me for her. She isn't wearing anything that looks like someone else regalia. Two ...she has only danced at chambers a couple of times and it is her decision not to come back...even though she was asked to. Third....I am also a women's traditional dancer......if she feels a true calling to do this .... Prayed for years before starting the lessons, got permission from elders, grass dancers, and has backing from vets ...drums.............. I will support her decision to dance. There have always been people who are " different" that tribes have made exceptions for because they felt like the person had a true calling to do what they are doing. If creator put her on this path .......then instead of being neg. About it....maybe we should think about why and what lessons we are suppose to learn from all of this. My daughter is kind, sweet, quiet, spiritual,strong, and respectful. Before talking neg. About people you should at least find out the facts. We would be glad to sit and talk to you at Cox if you are going to be there. I will go into who is backing her etc... If you need me to then but feel that a public forum isn't the place.
I was trying to do somethig nice for my daughter. I really don't think that all this neg. Energy is doing anyone any good.
I don't believe that people have to be disrespectful to talk about issues they may disagree about. If we take the time to listen we might learn something we didn't know before.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:26 PM   #44
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I am not upset with you. The person you were refering to is a good friend. I mentioned chambers because you did. She wears a regalia that is the mens version because there isn't a female version. Maybe it more females were allowed to dance grass then there would be a seperate regalia. Even though she doesn't wear a skirt she is fully covered. She doesn't show arms or legs in her regalia. She wanted it made in keeping with the modesty of a female dancer. She always ask permission before dancing mow. What happened at chambers was that she had danced the year before and it was fine, but she didn't realize that there was a different group of people there who didn't know about her. That is why even at powwows she has gone to before she always ask for permission now before dancing.
I am sorry if I seemed angry. I speak sometime very frankly. No disrespect is intended. If you have any questions I will be glad to answer them.
Allison
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:34 PM   #45
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Thank you. I seemed to have opened a kettle of worms here though. Really not my intention. Just thought it would be nice for her to talk to another female grass dancer possibly older ( my daughter is 15) ....
Again thanks for listening. I won't be on here much the rest of the week. I am making a new regalia for my daughter and I need to have it finished before Cox.
Thanks,
Allison
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:32 PM   #46
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Exclamation Correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl1966 View Post
I am not upset with you. The person you were refering to is a good friend. I mentioned chambers because you did. She wears a regalia that is the mens version because there isn't a female version. Maybe it more females were allowed to dance grass then there would be a seperate regalia. Even though she doesn't wear a skirt she is fully covered. She doesn't show arms or legs in her regalia. She wanted it made in keeping with the modesty of a female dancer. She always ask permission before dancing mow. What happened at chambers was that she had danced the year before and it was fine, but she didn't realize that there was a different group of people there who didn't know about her. That is why even at powwows she has gone to before she always ask for permission now before dancing.
I am sorry if I seemed angry. I speak sometime very frankly. No disrespect is intended. If you have any questions I will be glad to answer them.
Allison
I don't oppose your daughter dancing grass, if she truly feels a calling to do this. My problem is with her wearing men's regalia when she dances. There is a female version of the grass dance regalia and the person who gave her permission should have told her that. I have seen female grass dancers and they don't wear men's regalia.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:44 PM   #47
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A lot of people ask why. I think a better question is why not?
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:16 PM   #48
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I am not of tribal origins so i did some research and could find no tribal traditions that said that grass dancing was only for the men. That being said though, when I was dancing a few years ago I only saw male Grass Dancers. So although I could find no tribal traditons I think we have made a tradition of our own over the years of predominently, if not exclusivley male Grass Dancers. I am one that I feel that raditions should be maintained. I don't think that women should be able to dance grass inside of the cirlce. I do however believe that women should be able to teach young boys and men how to Grass Dance,with permission from the elders of course, provided that no men were available to teach them instead.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:36 PM   #49
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There is a female version of the grass dance regalia and the person who gave her permission should have told her that. I have seen female grass dancers and they don't wear men's regalia.
Hi, I realize this is an old thread, but would like to ask a question, if I may.

Have not seen a female grass dancer and am wondering how their regalia might differ from the men's.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:00 AM   #50
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In a modern sense, they don't. I work with a woman who used to hoop dance in the late 70s and early 80s and wore a men's grass dance outfit when she did.

The old timey version was a specific style of dress, and women and men were not allowed to dance in the arena at the same time - this held up until about the 1900s in many areas. I read one account that stated men and women weren't' allowed to dance at the same time until after WWII in more remote regions.

At any rate, the dress appears to be long gone and may or may not come back. I've yet to find out anything beyond a single picture (also lost) of a grass dance dress... which in the end, could have been a mislabeled anthropological item OR.... it was really common to call powwows grass dances a long time ago... it could be a woman's traditional dress or a ribbon dress or whatever form the time that happened to be worn for dancing and had no real links to the early grass dance societies - but because powwows were referred to as grass dances, it was then labeled as a grass dance dress.

Nest pas?
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #51
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Ahh. Thank you kindly.

Should be a little something extra in your paycheck.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:58 AM   #52
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Let me point out one concept of why women do men's dances, Two Spirited people have both the spirits of a male and a female. This is one reason the is a big homosexual scare in the world. Its upto the individual to choose what they wish to dance. So don't go presuming why they do what they do, most traditional people have reasons for what choices they make.

I know one girl who seems very tomboyish, dances with the teen boys fancy and kicks their a$$es too lol, but i dunno if shes two spirited. And for men who dance womens categories, I heard of a male jingle dress dancer who looks what would you say it for a guy? pretty?
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:06 AM   #53
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:11 AM   #54
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:40 PM   #55
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Thats not true, there are quite of few well know, and very good grass dancers in florida that I know of that would teach the boys how to grass dance, I personally dont mind teaching them, if they want to learn and do it the right way and put the time and effort to learn I have no problem teaching them, Grass Dance is a MANs dance, and Men should teach it, I just visit florida recently, saw some family that use to live on rez and some friends that just moved, and they are kickin dancers who would be more then happy to teach, one of which who was taught and given a couple of outfits be John Windyboy, and in turn helped to teach me. so if you need help send my a pm and Ill see about wat I can do, otherwise its not wise to say there arent grass dancers in florida, because you might make the ones who are there , unhappy. no disrespect and thank you.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:07 AM   #56
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Your ignorance is showing. I'm a single dad and have to teach my daughter everything about being a woman from my band and clan because her mother cannot (she's from a different band and clan and never bothered to learn our ways.) There are times; especially in urban areas, where it is not only appropriate, but fortunate that anyone is around to teach kids at all.

Play nice young pup, or stay home.

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If you have no heritage and no Native tradition yourself, your opinion is all but worthless here. Women should not teach men tasks meant for males no more than men should teach women tasks meant for females. Though you dance, you do not know as much as you think you know. Your amateur observations at powwows are not backed up by personal experience in tribal communities.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:37 PM   #57
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Let me point out one concept of why women do men's dances, Two Spirited people have both the spirits of a male and a female. This is one reason the is a big homosexual scare in the world. Its upto the individual to choose what they wish to dance. So don't go presuming why they do what they do, most traditional people have reasons for what choices they make.

Quote:
I was always taught that gender roles and indentities are more important than anatomical sex. If a woman lives her life as a man, and takes on those traditionally male roles, than of course she should do male style dancing. The same goes for men who live as women and take on those roles. These cases are rare, but they happen. Many think that two-spirited people are very strong and will one day be called upon to save their people in the hard times to come. If the creator calls them to that life style and that dance, then so be it.
Thank you both.

Unfortunately, those values are being lost or at least not respected...even on this very site. I realize that not all Nations have the same beliefs, but, wow.

Anyway, it would take an incredible amount of strength to be willing to save people who wouldn't listen, anyway.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:58 PM   #58
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Gender roles are tribal specific, and gender is not the same as sexuality. Gender roles are culturally constructed, cultures assign meanings and those meaning may in time be contested. For example, american culture says that girls like pink and boys like blue. Those are just arbitrary assignments. Many Americans (and many ndn's too), confuse sexuality and gender, esp when searching for them in native cultures. For example, some tribes have multiple genders beyond male/female. Wait, back up, we need to mention biological sex as well, because biological sex (penis/vagina) has nothing to do with a cultural construction of gender. Just because a tribe has multiple genders beyond 2 does not automatically assume variation in sexualities beyond heterosexuality. In native cultures that have more than 2 genders, typically members of the additional genders (beyond the 2) have their own roles in the culture, including their own roles in dance. Do women dance like men? Do men dance like women? We would have to look at each native culture individually and take into account each cultures definitions of their gender categories. Generic statements cannot work for this topic, and simple assumptions cannot be made, to do so would be to disrespect the traditions of each tribe.

For example, since the topic was do women grass dance, here's a pic from the mid-1900s of a woman from the Spirit Lake Reservation wearing (and dancing) a women's grass dance dress. Yes, a women's grass dance dress, it was, if I can draw a parallel, the women's "modern" dance of that time, just as the grass dance was the "modern" dance for men.

Enjoy. Serious responses to pm only.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:11 PM   #59
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Man, I've been looking for that pic forever, thanks!
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #60
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Yah, it's good to finally get to see that pic. Thankya.

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Do women dance like men? Do men dance like women? We would have to look at each native culture individually and take into account each cultures definitions of their gender categories. Generic statements cannot work for this topic, and simple assumptions cannot be made, to do so would be to disrespect the traditions of each tribe.
Agree with simple assumptions not working. Well, except for the simple assumption that a person might be doing what they're doing for a good reason. I think we can get too caught up in our own expectations and not take time to consider what another person's world is about. For example, Sookout being a single dad. I'm not even a parent, so have no idea what that is like. Instead of assuming, I can allow him to say what his world is about, and maybe learn something.

Thanks to all for the discussion.
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