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Old 08-09-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
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Chiefs and Maidens in Indian Country Today

Check this out:
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096413427

I'm surprised to see this in an indian publication, but am also wondering why I'm not a Chief yet? I have "full regalia" LOL
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:07 AM   #2
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do you think someone sponser them?,to teach them how to dance and the teaching behind the dance?
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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Blind folded hoop dancing? Sounds kinky. j/k
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:39 AM   #4
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All I have to say is it's a big bunch of BS!
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:45 PM   #5
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Boozhoo niji,

I am not going to say anything negative about this group because I have not seen them perform, do not know their intentions or beliefs, and I do not know any of them personally.

I will say, that if they are teaching kids to be better people, in any aspect, then thats a good thing.

On the flip side, we have a group like this down in Florida, I dont remember the name exactly, something like the Talaka dance team or something like that. What I do know is, that this particular group does a few pow wows a year (show up at, not put on) and they do dances to "wierd" drum beats, not even songs. Some of the kids dance pretty hard, some of them have spirit. All of them are restricted.

There is one man that runs the whole troop, he makes the outfits, picks the dancers and tells them how and when to dance. The kids are not allowed to dance on their own, or use the outfits to go to pow wows on their own. If you ever try to approach any of them, to give some creative criticism, he interjects himself, tells you his kids dance just fine, and just who the heck am I for telling them how to dance?

Well... I am ndn for one thing, and he isnt. And if he would learn some songs and cut those kids loose, I bet those kids could dance good.

What I am trying to say is... being a part of a group and learning to dance is all fine and dandy, and putting together your own outfit is a great assett to that end (500 hours wow! I think I got that in mine, with no beadwork) If it opens the door so these kids can explore the pow wow world and learn respectful ways, even if they were taught the wrong things in the beginning, then its a good thing. Wrong things can be unlearned as I have learned.

Now I need to ask a question. Do we have programs similar to this in our schools on the reservations or within our tribal structures? I have no idea, I am not from a reservation. But the continuation of our culture to me is as important as breathing air. If we stop doing these things then it dies and we die with it.

I heard a man say once at a pow wow, a very respected man too, "We need to keep our kids here, in this place. We dont need to let them go out there."

Out there is drugs, violence, gangs, crime, and on and on and on and on. Our ancestors did not know these things in the extremes that we know them today. At this point we still have the ability to control our future and protect our culture, and programs like these help. Even if they do use the wrong words like costume, head maiden or clan chief, it still promotes Native Americans as a culture. All kinds of people will see these dances and remember them. Maybe those people will eventually wind up into politics? Can you see where this is going?

Derek
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:35 AM   #6
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I have strong feelings about groups like this.

I BELIEVE THEY ARE HARMFUL!!!!

Many times this is the one time in a visitors life that they will see Indian dances. I would hate for them to think this is how Indian people dance and that Indian people refer to each other as "chiefs" and "maidens."

Groups like this perpetuate harmful stereotypes and encourages myths about Indians to continue.

If the leaders/sponsors have no cultural integrity to Indian people, they are simply "playing Indian for the public" and - "this is plain wrong."
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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I was reading this article yesterday. I decided to write a letter to the editor.

editor@indiancountry.com
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:23 AM   #8
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I agree with WhoMe.

Crazywolf, I don't think it matters if they can dance and sing or not. I wasn't basing my opinion on whether they were any good or not, but simply by the stereotypes of Chiefs and Maidens they were perpetuating. And, this is not based on race either. Could care less what the racial make-up of this group is.

Hey, when the girls attain "maiden" status do they get assigned a wolf and some type of fur to sit on like those ultra-keen postcards you seen in truck stops?
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singerdad
Hey, when the girls attain "maiden" status do they get assigned a wolf and some type of fur to sit on like those ultra-keen postcards you seen in truck stops?
Yep right after they receive the ceremonial low cut buckskin dress adorned with hella fringe and pony beads.

u ain't right. hahahaha
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:47 PM   #10
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I agree that this is wrong. According to tehir website they are currently on tour. in the US and Canada, They are taping a BBC speical about their troupe and so on and so on.... For many who watch then this is the only time that they will see this typw of performance so they will go away thinking that this is the norm. I am not sure why these people who book them can't just get the real thing. They are booked up through out ontario canada and the advertisements read tha they are providing authentic first natioin performances. How can it be authentice if those who are performing are not authentice indians? Besides there are lots of native dance troupes out there who are native. Why not leave it to them. If the goal is to inspire leadership skills why not do it without stealing someones culture. Use theatre, use other forms of dance use community service or whatever. I looked at their website and I saw the pictures of their costumes. I say costumes because for them they are costumes. A Costume is something that you wear when you are being something that you are not. Anyway I have said this before and I will say it again when these kids grow up feeling the sense of entitlement to native culture and pass that on to their children how many generations will it take before they will claim the culture (or what they have mutated it into) as their own?
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:45 PM   #11
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I have never heard of anyone obtaining, or becoming, a Chief after they have a full set of regalia. If that's the case, the p/w trail should be full of them then. There would be more Chiefs than anything else.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:59 PM   #12
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thats soo crakked .. lol
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:56 PM   #13
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
I have strong feelings about groups like this.

I BELIEVE THEY ARE HARMFUL!!!!

Many times this is the one time in a visitors life that they will see Indian dances. I would hate for them to think this is how Indian people dance and that Indian people refer to each other as "chiefs" and "maidens."

Groups like this perpetuate harmful stereotypes and encourages myths about Indians to continue.

If the leaders/sponsors have no cultural integrity to Indian people, they are simply "playing Indian for the public" and - "this is plain wrong."
I didnt think about it like that, not that someones experience with us might be a one shot deal. But I see your point. I guess in that way its a bad thing.

So what about some of these other dance troops out there? And I dont mean the ones that are put on by amatuers and other people. I mean people that are us, and travel around putting on theatrical performances like Robert Miribal, or Kevin Locke. I have seen both of these shows, but I do not know enough about Taos to know if its true or not, or of Lakota. I can only say that I enjoyed the performances. I have heard both good and bad about both.

I have also been asked to join a theatrical performance, as a fancy dancer. I cannot do it, because I am getting ready for a move and I have a lot of things to do. After the move I thinkI would enjoy participating in something like this, so long as it was in a good way, something like a pow wow on stage.

Derek
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazywolf
After the move I thinkI would enjoy participating in something like this, so long as it was in a good way, something like a pow wow on stage.
I have been reading this thread with interest (as well as the one about women dancing pregnant).

I received teachings about what dancing is and what the circle is about which seem to put me at vast odds with most of the posters. Up until now I have kept my silence.

I have been puzzled at why what I hear is so different from what I was taught... and the puzzlement raises questions:

Is no one taught about personal power? About the importance of controlling one' s power in the circle? About how the circle is a place of energy - which can hold both good and bad depending on who and what has been let into the circle?

Or is what people are doing now like the chimookemon dances, where it's about the right steps and the right clothes, the right beat and singing words that please the ear?
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing Otter
Yep right after they receive the ceremonial low cut buckskin dress adorned with hella fringe and pony beads.

u ain't right. hahahaha
Thats funny! Ive seen my fair share of interesting in this case costumes! one gal had on a kilt wich is fine if thats your thing im not knockin it but what really got me was she had her kilt and over her shoulders she wore what i would call bullet belts for lack of better words liek I see some wear in the spegettie westerns. and one huge osterage plume worn like we do and she looked at me and said how do you keep your plumes so nice and straite? cant seem to keep mine up, I said dunno weight? never had that problem with my eagle plumes.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #17
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Dead on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by between2worlds
I received teachings about what dancing is and what the circle is about which seem to put me at vast odds with most of the posters. Up until now I have kept my silence.

I have been puzzled at why what I hear is so different from what I was taught... and the puzzlement raises questions:

Is no one taught about personal power? About the importance of controlling one' s power in the circle? About how the circle is a place of energy - which can hold both good and bad depending on who and what has been let into the circle?

Or is what people are doing now like the chimookemon dances, where it's about the right steps and the right clothes, the right beat and singing words that please the ear?
Well put, I beleive many of the things that have been taught to us (blanket statement covering everybody) have lost the shine. Or we have heard them so many times it sounds like cliches. For Example, not bring bad feelings/thoughts intot he circle. People do it more now than ever. Competitions most of the time do not foster bad feelings. But it happens.
B2W that would be a good discussion, you should start the thread.
Lostsalt
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by between2worlds
I have been reading this thread with interest (as well as the one about women dancing pregnant).

I received teachings about what dancing is and what the circle is about which seem to put me at vast odds with most of the posters. Up until now I have kept my silence.

I have been puzzled at why what I hear is so different from what I was taught... and the puzzlement raises questions:

Is no one taught about personal power? About the importance of controlling one' s power in the circle? About how the circle is a place of energy - which can hold both good and bad depending on who and what has been let into the circle?
I usually joke around on the board but (in reality) I am usually serious (waaaaaaaaaaay too serious) and really introspective. I'm really glad that you brought this up. I'd like to see how others respond to the questions you posed. I was taught about personal power and responsibility... and that you remain true to those principles nomatter where you are. I'm peculiar about a lot of things... for example touching people or their stuff (vice versa). My parents were right about alot of things. As a child, I accepted but didn't always understand. As an adult, I understand more of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by between2worlds
Or is what people are doing now like the chimookemon dances, where it's about the right steps and the right clothes, the right beat and singing words that please the ear?
That's a tough one. I need to marinate on this a bit more.
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lostsalt
Well put, I beleive many of the things that have been taught to us (blanket statement covering everybody) have lost the shine. Or we have heard them so many times it sounds like cliches. For Example, not bring bad feelings/thoughts intot he circle. People do it more now than ever. Competitions most of the time do not foster bad feelings. But it happens.
B2W that would be a good discussion, you should start the thread.
Lostsalt
Good post!

Ditto on starting the thread.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by between2worlds
I have been reading this thread with interest (as well as the one about women dancing pregnant).

I received teachings about what dancing is and what the circle is about which seem to put me at vast odds with most of the posters. Up until now I have kept my silence.

I have been puzzled at why what I hear is so different from what I was taught... and the puzzlement raises questions:

Is no one taught about personal power? About the importance of controlling one' s power in the circle? About how the circle is a place of energy - which can hold both good and bad depending on who and what has been let into the circle?

Or is what people are doing now like the chimookemon dances, where it's about the right steps and the right clothes, the right beat and singing words that please the ear?
This is the main reason I am moving up north. Down here that is no one to reaceive teachings from, no one to ask questions to. I know I have to go to these people, they are not going to come to me.

As far as knowing the right steps, or best singing words, down here people seem to be very critical on how dances are done, what your outfit looks like, drum protocol, etc. Its one reason I started fancy dancing, with it, it seems like just about anything goes. People quit being critical of me, and I could concentrate more on dancing and what goes on in the circle. Up north this year I met an old friend that told me to look out for him, he made a new "headdress". When I lined up for the grand entry this guy came up to me wearing a birch bark mask. I thought it odd first till he raised it up and I saw my friends face. I actually thought it was one of the coolest things I saw ata pow wow. Would not go over well down here though.

Derek
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