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Old 02-23-2011, 03:03 PM   #1
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So much beading...

I am just starting to design my first buckskin outfit. I have been dancing cloth for a couple of years. Around here, the buckskin dancers wear very simple outfits without a lot of beading. Sometimes they are unadorned and only have the simple beaded jewelry to go with it. As I design mine I think I want to keep it pretty simple as well, but I see pictures of the competition style buckskin outfits and there is soooo much bead work. Is there meaning to the different pieces of bead work? I've read about the history of crowns, but I have only ever seen two dancers in this area wearing crowns. What about the other beaded pieces in your regalia. Can anyone tell me if there is specific meaning to it or if it is just for decoration? Is some of it traditional for the specific tribes or is this just the competition style? I'm excited to learn more as I love to do beading, but it is just not something that I see much of at the pow wows around here.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Woodlands Daughter View Post
I am just starting to design my first buckskin outfit. I have been dancing cloth for a couple of years. Around here, the buckskin dancers wear very simple outfits without a lot of beading. Sometimes they are unadorned and only have the simple beaded jewelry to go with it. As I design mine I think I want to keep it pretty simple as well, but I see pictures of the competition style buckskin outfits and there is soooo much bead work. Is there meaning to the different pieces of bead work? I've read about the history of crowns, but I have only ever seen two dancers in this area wearing crowns. What about the other beaded pieces in your regalia. Can anyone tell me if there is specific meaning to it or if it is just for decoration? Is some of it traditional for the specific tribes or is this just the competition style? I'm excited to learn more as I love to do beading, but it is just not something that I see much of at the pow wows around here.

Wood,

Once upon a time...

You could see a women's beadwork and tell what tribe she was. The designs, how they were stitched and even the bead colors were tell tale hints to tribal identification.

Today, this is only true to some extent. With so many individuals conforming to "powwow style," tribal uniformity is being compromised.

An elder recently told me, "once we forget our ways and dress like everybody else, we will become white."

I can relate to his metaphore to some extent.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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In the old days, a lady would keep her essential tools in pouches tied to her belt. This was often a knife, a fire-making kit and a sewing awl with sinew thread. Each of these had a specially-shaped bag to carry it. Nowadays, a few dancers still wear these pouches (empty ones) on their belts while others do not or have some generic substitute. This was the custom of several of the nations of the northern and southern Plains.
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