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Old 01-06-2004, 01:03 AM   #1
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Question Putting together son's outfit...HELP!

Well finally I may have found a place that may offer the asistance I need.

Well I am doing my best to put my son's outfit together, tradish dancer. I have experience with making girl's/women's outfits but I don't have a clue where to start for my son! Piece by piece is what I am doing. Is there a list of "need" to have and basic designs? He is eleven yearsold and has waited a very long time to dance! Do I sound desparate yet?!
Well I see there are some champion dancers in these forums I hope I can get some assistance.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-06-2004, 02:07 PM   #2
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Get a copy of Scott Evans' book. I started with the ribbonshirt, then aprons and sidetabs. I used ribbonwork on the aprons and tabs on my current set instead of beadwork on them, but I willbe working on hte beadwork shortly. The I completed my bustle, lots ofgood advicein the archives on that matter in the archives. I am working on the beaded kneebands at the moment.
GOOD LUCK!
again my 2 cents worth,
Jerry
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Old 01-06-2004, 05:59 PM   #3
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I can't say enough how much of a help Scott Evans' book will be to you! It's a BEAUTIFUL book with lots of great pics. It will help you to put together a nice outfit for your son.

11 yrs old....
I have a 12" roach for sale that might fit him nicely, depending on his height and taste for the length of the roach. Check out my post in the Trading Post section.

When talking about any style, you dress from the feet up. With that in mind......

1) Moccasins - Plains hard sole with fully beaded uppers
2) Goats - Angora or Icelandic sheep anklets
3) Bells - one or 2 rows worn at the ankle - usually a row of sheep bells w/ or w/o an accompanying row of sleigh bells
4) beaded kneebands - usually beaded in the Lazy stitch style and being 3-6 lanes wide worn at the knee with fringe hanging from the bottom of the kneebands to the top of the mocs (some use shorter fringe).
5) Aprons - decorated on the front and usually left plain in the back, or decorated a bit
6) Belt & side tabs- Beaded, tack decorated, concho - all of these are acceptable. Side tabs fill in the sides of the outfit and add movement with their long, flowing fringe
7) Ribbon Shirt - from plain to VERY intricate. variations are TOO numerous to discuss in this thread
8) Breastplate - usually hanging past the waist nowadays. I'd suggest plastic b/c of the lesser cost and weight
9) Choker - plastic/bone/horn hairpipe & beads. 3-5 rows wide
10) Bandolier - hairpipe or "junk" style. Usually wear 1 or 2
11) armbands - Beaded or metal
12) Cuffs - Usually beaded with buckskin fringe
13) Headdress - BY FAR the most common is the porky roach with a spreader and 2 spinning feathers in a roach spreader. Also seen are Mandan or Hidatsa, sometimes called Dog Soldier Headdresses - affectionately called "mop tops"
14) Hand Articles - Articles in both hands give the dancer balance and things to do with his hands while dancing. Wing or other type fan is the most common and a dance staff decorated with fur wraps, beadwork, and feathers is the other most common item. War clubs, medicine hoops, and shields are also fairly common.
15) Bustle - A single bustle is worn. Size and style of the buslte are up to personal preference of the dancer. Old Style "mess" bustles are seen, but not very common. Variations are very wide and spreading.

Next, I can suggest some substitutions to some of the more labor intensive and expensive pieces of the outfit.

Beadwork: A friend of mine, while he was working on his beaded set (Cuffs, armbands, belt, side tabs, etc) wore painted canvas painted with good, traditional designs and fringed in white buckskin. From a distance, you could not tell they were not beaded. Just make sure you research and put together the designs well.

Moccasins: Canvas deck shoes with painted designs. I STILL wear these when the dance arena is wet. If you think I'm going to dance on a wet dancefloor in my fully beaded mocs, you've lost your mind! Just as with the imitation beadwork, the designs are the most important thing!

I must stress here that these substitutions are some that I would not dance with permenantly. It is important that your son have a COMPLETE set of clothes before he dances. That is out of respect for the style, the other people dancing, and those that have come before us. As he gets older, and as he completes pieces (beadwork, for example) he can replace the substitution pieces with the real thing. Start off small..like with a pair of armbands.

I also have to say that this is an outline of basics. It's by NO means an end-all be-all list. Go to dances, look at pictures, watch videos, talk to other dancers to decide on the direction to take the outfit. Also, do whatever you can to learn the proper ways to make the pieces. A lot of times, it takes just as much time and effort to do something wrong as it does to do it the right way.

Ok, now I'm having second thoughts about posting this thread :p

I just noticed your tribal affiliation. That book will be VERY applicable to you, considering Scott dances with the Lakota a lot. His clothes are VERY traditional Lakota, and that's what he wrote his book about. ;)

Good Luck!!

P.S. I heard a nasty rumor that the Traditional Dancer Book was sold out of print... I'm not so sure, though.

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Old 01-06-2004, 09:18 PM   #4
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I recommend the same book.
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:28 PM   #5
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Cool Putting it together

C_Rock77

That is an impressive list! Here is a pic of my sons applique and beadwork traditional outfit.

d
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the compliment on the list. That is a VERY nice outfit for your son. I like beaded capes, but a vest would be more MY style. It's just an example of personal preference. That is a good example of the contemporary Northern Traditional outfit. IMHO, it has a lot of oklahoma influence as opposed to Northern tribes (as mine does).

It's just a comprehensive list on some of the bare necessities. It's by NO means and end-all be-all list. There are quite a few different options for different items and there are different styles of Northern Traditional. Crow-style traditional is one example of this.

Important notes I neglected to include:

Beaded Set: Kneebands, Belt, Side Tabs, Cuffs, Armbands, Vest - these are a SET and there's a reason they're called a SET. They should match when they're beaded. Moccasins CAN but do not have to match the beaded set. Usually, the colors will match, but the designs seldom match completely.

Bone Set: Breastplate, Choker, Bandoliers - same goes for the bone set. They're a SET. If I had my dance clothes and a digicam here at my apt, I could easily show you what I mean.
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:36 PM   #7
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In my part of the world we have a lot of men's traditional dancers that start out with just the following:
- Ribbon shirt (or a vest)
- Moccasins
- Apron

Many of these freshly minted dancers also come into the circle with dancing sticks, bells, and a feather or two. Sometimes they hold the feathers and sometimes they are in hair ties or barrets. We honor and respect the heart and vision of these dancers just as much as any dancer with 3 yellowhammer tails, 6 kilos of beadwork, and double row bustle with matching fan.

We believe it is possible to show deep and profound respect for somthing without carrying it. Just like the pipe and the drum, you can love and respect somthing without carrying it around with you or carrying it on your back. It is generally held that it is the heart of the dancer that's important, not the extent of his or her Indian paraphanelia.

...but maybe they do it different where you are.
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Old 01-09-2004, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by GJJudd
Get a copy of Scott Evans' book. I started with the ribbonshirt, then aprons and sidetabs. I used ribbonwork on the aprons and tabs on my current set instead of beadwork on them, but I willbe working on hte beadwork shortly. The I completed my bustle, lots ofgood advicein the archives on that matter in the archives. I am working on the beaded kneebands at the moment.
GOOD LUCK!
again my 2 cents worth,
Jerry
What's the name of the book?
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Old 01-09-2004, 03:35 PM   #9
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The book is in the powwow.com shop it's called the Northern Tradtional Dancer

http://www.powwows.com/shop/product_...products_id=61
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Old 01-09-2004, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sookout sh'nob
In my part of the world we have a lot of men's traditional dancers that start out with just the following:
- Ribbon shirt (or a vest)
- Moccasins
- Apron

Many of these freshly minted dancers also come into the circle with dancing sticks, bells, and a feather or two. Sometimes they hold the feathers and sometimes they are in hair ties or barrets. We honor and respect the heart and vision of these dancers just as much as any dancer with 3 yellowhammer tails, 6 kilos of beadwork, and double row bustle with matching fan.

We believe it is possible to show deep and profound respect for somthing without carrying it. Just like the pipe and the drum, you can love and respect somthing without carrying it around with you or carrying it on your back. It is generally held that it is the heart of the dancer that's important, not the extent of his or her Indian paraphanelia....but maybe they do it different where you are.
I agree. I still haven't finished my first set. If I waited until I had a completely beaded set....I'd either have to pay someone to make it for me (then is it really mine?) or I'd have to wait to dance until I was 45 or 50 LOL Putting together a complete set on limited income and with only one person working on it takes a lot of time.

Not to mention our ancestors didn't have fully beaded sets!!!

I agree in order to compete you are going to have to a complete set.
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Old 01-14-2004, 04:45 AM   #11
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That's one of the best reasons I have reccomended fabric applique and painted canvas in substitution of beadwork. I still think the fully beaded outfit is what most people desire. This is a way to get on the floor before you get those beaded sets finished.

Things are done differently in different regions, but I'd suggest not dancing as a "Northern Traditional Dancer" until you have a complete outfit to wear into the circle. I am by NO means an expert in these ways and only offer this as the way I was taught by my friends that came before me.

In my area, Intertribal dances and songs are just that, intertribal. They're for everyone. Where I'm from, everyone is welcome to dance these songs. I've danced at many dances wearing my street clothes.

My advice is if your son is going to dance as a Northern Tradish dancer, to do so only when his set of clothes is complete. I'm not saying it's essential to have every item on the list, but I feel it's important to be completely dressed in the style. Until then, I'd ENCOURAGE him to participate in intertribal songs and the like.

Good Luck and best wishes!

If I can do anything to help you, I'd be more than happy to do so in any way I can.

Always remember to follow the ways of the people in your area and the ways of the people with whom you dance.

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Old 01-14-2004, 03:02 PM   #12
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C Rock, Aren't you a white hobbiest dancer?
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:26 PM   #13
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Wolfdream, you are Nakoda and from Sask.

There are many resources at the powwows there. Resources that you cannot see. Just talking with powwow people and telling them of your sons desire to dance can yield enormous results. Some can point you in the right direction and just maybe, your son might get a gift from someone who has a spare of this or that. Indian people are the same all over and can be very helpful.

Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2004, 04:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kakeeya
C Rock, Aren't you a white hobbiest dancer?
I am white, yes..... Your Point?

She asked for help. She's obviously ignorant as to what to do to put her son's outfit together...so, she asks for help. That's a gesture I applaud. Rather than trying to do something without knowing, she seeks help.

While I'm not an expert, NOR do I claim to be, I'm offering what knowledge I DO have in efforts to help.

Kiwehenzii reemphasizes one point that I made...that's talking to other dancers that dance that style. In your region, ESPECIALLY, you'll have the opportunity to speak with MANY great Traditional Dancers. Don't be afraid to talk to them--they're people just like anyone else. Tell them you enjoy how they dance and think their clothes are beautiful. As Kiwehenzii stated, express your son's interest, or better yet, have him express it. Most dancers I've met would be nothing but happy to help you and your son.

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Old 01-14-2004, 05:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by C_Rock77
I am white, yes..... Your Point?

She asked for help. She's obviously ignorant as to what to do to put her son's outfit together...so, she asks for help. That's a gesture I applaud. Rather than trying to do something without knowing, she seeks help.

While I'm not an expert, NOR do I claim to be, I'm offering what knowledge I DO have in efforts to help.

Kiwehenzii reemphasizes one point that I made...that's talking to other dancers that dance that style. In your region, ESPECIALLY, you'll have the opportunity to speak with MANY great Traditional Dancers. Don't be afraid to talk to them--they're people just like anyone else. Tell them you enjoy how they dance and think their clothes are beautiful. As Kiwehenzii stated, express your son's interest, or better yet, have him express it. Most dancers I've met would be nothing but happy to help you and your son.
Ki said talk to other NDN dancers in her area - NDNs are the experts!

I think it is a good point to let people know that you are not NDN - it's an even more important point to say - let the NDNs reply to questions about being NDN!
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:41 PM   #16
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I didn't see many NDNs replying to her post.... All I was trying to do is help. She asked for a list, so I took the time to make one. You know, MAYBE she'd have trouble finding the Traditional Dancer book. I had HEARD it sold out of print, recently. Thus, I hoped to give her a list so that she might better understand what makes up a Men's Tradish outfit.

This whole philosophy of "You're white, so what you're saying must be wrong." and "I'm Indian, so I KNOW I'm right." is getting tiresome.

I've said many times that I'm no expert. I'll scream it from the rooftops of the world. But when someone asks for help -- and that's what this post was, a call for help from anyone on the board that MIGHT be able to help -- I'm going to offer my help where I feel it may be appropriate.

I made that post with nothing but the best intentions, and you jump on me about not posting that I'm white?
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Old 01-15-2004, 02:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by C_Rock77
I didn't see many NDNs replying to her post.... All I was trying to do is help. She asked for a list, so I took the time to make one. You know, MAYBE she'd have trouble finding the Traditional Dancer book. I had HEARD it sold out of print, recently. Thus, I hoped to give her a list so that she might better understand what makes up a Men's Tradish outfit.

This whole philosophy of "You're white, so what you're saying must be wrong." and "I'm Indian, so I KNOW I'm right." is getting tiresome.

I've said many times that I'm no expert. I'll scream it from the rooftops of the world. But when someone asks for help -- and that's what this post was, a call for help from anyone on the board that MIGHT be able to help -- I'm going to offer my help where I feel it may be appropriate.

I made that post with nothing but the best intentions, and you jump on me about not posting that I'm white?

You can shout until you loose your voice - you're still not gonna convince me or anyone else that you have a right to say anything about our culture - you are white!

Do you see people who want to learn about highland dancing asking anyone who isn't Scottish how to do that - NO I don't think so! And do you see anyone who isn't Scottish trying to teach it? No I don't think so!

But every Tom, Dick and Harriet white hobbyist thinks that they can do whatever they want, say whatever they want and no one will question it!


I AM QUESTIONING IT! And I'm asking you to knock it off!


Leave the teaching to the ndns!



And BTW!!
REAL ndns don't get their outfit designs and instructions from books!

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Old 01-15-2004, 02:33 PM   #18
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Exclamation Ooooooooh now you know I have to get up in this piece!!

First of all, if I see one more white person telling a Native person ANYTHING about our culture, I may just have to cheat on my cyber snag!:Yell

First things first, I have NEVER, EVER, EVER witnessed a REAL NDN using a book to put their regalia together. Now, don't get me wrong, I have sighted people, including myself, referring to books for designs or troubleshooting for their sewing machine, but never for the complete construction.

Second thing, the book is BULLCHIT!! It cleary implies that one has to have a FULL set before being able to enter the arena. BOOOOOOOO!! Like sookout said, what is important is the desire to dance and the willingness and determination to put your rig together as you go along. Shooooo, I have seen Anisshinaabe men out there with a ribbon shirt, mox and a braid of sweetgrass. AND IT WAS LOVELY! Thie heart was in it, and the blood running through their veins was enough criteria to be out there with men with intricately detailed outfits.

C_Rock, you need to shut your pie whole. Yeah, I said it. Don't come up in here trying to act like the expert when all you did was make it look like this woman had 6 years ahea of here before she could have her son out in the arena. Please do not deny that you said this because I will rip your post apart letter by letter.

To the person that originated this thread. I hope you do not feel overwhelmed and keep up the determination to get your son out there!
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Old 01-15-2004, 02:53 PM   #19
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Man, I just can't believe they way these white people just jump in there for some ndn glory. Got to be the first to tell another ndn how to do things..just can't be respectful and sit back and allow the native people to respond to each other.

Wolfdream..you are Nakota..and in Saskatchewan. There is a huge ndn population out there with lots of rez's and powwows!
Talk to these ndn people and elders. You will get lots of good information.
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Old 01-15-2004, 05:08 PM   #20
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Rip my post apart letter by letter, huh? Have at it. Like I said, I didn't see any of you NDN "experts" helping her, so I was going to help.

6 years to get into the circle? LOL You must be about as proficient as a 2 yr old at making clothes if you think it would take THAT long to get a complete outfit together. By complete, I didn't mean every piece on the list. I meant enough to make you completely dressed.

Oh, and BTW, if Indians are THE experts, i.e. the ONLY experts and the ONLY people who know ANYTHING about these things, HOW did two of my best WHITE friends work their way through school building bustles and beading belts, around half of which were sold to INDIAN people?!

You think Scott Evans' book is crap, huh? I know PLENTY of NDN people that have quite the opposite opinion. There are also plenty that hold him in pretty high regard. How else would be be asked to be Head Traditional Dance Judge at United Tribes in Bismarck?

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