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-   -   Gifts???? (http://forums.powwows.com/f66/gifts-50838/)

steelemagnolia63 04-19-2009 08:13 AM

When you are asked to be a head dancer do you make gifts for the people that come out and dance with you??? Do you let the committee supply gifts for the dancers????

We make prayer/smudge bundles (sage, tabacco, sweet grass,and cedar tied up in cloth with a feather) with beaded ties for the dancers, and an assortment of gifts for the children that dance.

Any ideas for gifts??

I have noticed that head staff gifting seems to take place less and less over the past few years. What are you thoughts on this??

SuzzeQ4 04-19-2009 10:08 AM

we do the same, little bundles of medicine and also strawberries. Some also give cornbread. I do little gifts for the kids for a special but for head dancing I do beads (lardger for little kids), rattles for babies or if my husband made cornbread for me to take then I get timbits for the kids. I have only head danced the local childrens powwow, but I'm young yet...:lol:

timmy tiger 04-19-2009 12:26 PM

I was only a head dancer once, but we do feasts or you could do a private gifting as well. I've seen it many different ways. But when my son danced for the first time I had brought all kinds of produce and cases of stuff and my friend and I fed all the campers around us and the Vets and anyone who showed up to eat. And then I went and gave cases of produce to each of the drums and left a couple of cases of like apples and banana's for the dancers as well. These are just some things that can be done and that's what we do.:thumbsup:

legalstraight 04-19-2009 12:28 PM

Down here the norm seems to be for head staff to do small giveaways for key folks (drums, committees, vets, etc...) I have only seen a few have something for all comers, and it is usually a big blanket of stuff (socks, small toys, duct tape and so forth)

We had one committee tell us that we shouldn't do a giveaway and that they would take care of it. We did one anyways we just did it low key.

I am thinking about putting together a dance bag emergency kit to give out to people- some elastic hair ties, comb, kleenex, sewing kit, duct tape, shoe laces, safety pins etc... all in a nice little cloth bag.

As for things for kids, two requests- nothing that makes noise, and nothing sticky, worse yet the combination of the two.... yuckkee

SuzzeQ4 04-19-2009 04:39 PM

noise I can handle, my kids are noisey enough to drown out the sounds of the toys. Sticky I don't like unless I am aware of it, then I can keep an eye on it and clean em up. Food that stains, I hate...like grape drink. Off topic it,s cause of this that I don't allow my kids to have ketchup or mustard until the powwow is over.

Josiah 04-24-2009 11:08 PM

Is it your first time to be on head staff? Then it should be a little more elaborate
In okieland at typical powwow it is customary for Headgourd Dancer, Headman, Headlady and Headsinger to only do giveaways
Of course there are specials when somebody wants to acknowledge a special event such as coming back in the arena after being out for a year
Or a graduation

When I was on headstaff my list consisted of HeadLady HeadMan, AD, MC and princesses in attendance also I giveaway to certain people that helped me along the way.
Gifts usually are Pendleton's, Blankets, gift baskets such as makeup, grocery basket, tobacco and water for the drum, cough drops lemon flavored of course
gas cards, money is always welcome. I have received a dance stick, Pendleton's and Fleece Blankets, wash cloths with a design on them, Pillows, a horse (just kidding)
I did see a horse given away a few years back South of Carnegie way.
Gift baskets with goodies in them.
Those little baskets that you can get at Dollar General are great I usually have 4 or 5 made up cause you never know

steelemagnolia63 04-25-2009 08:28 AM

No this isn't our first turn.... I was just wondering if anyone does give gifts? We did a give away for our first time, but we still make small gifts for the dancers and the kiddies that are there. So anyone that comes and dances with us gets a small token of our thanks.

Josiah 04-25-2009 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by steelemagnolia63 (Post 1298918)
No this isn't our first turn.... I was just wondering if anyone does give gifts? We did a give away for our first time, but we still make small gifts for the dancers and the kiddies that are there. So anyone that comes and dances with us gets a small token of our thanks.

Do you mean on top of your giveaway????
Or in place of a formal giveaway??

I have been to a few dances where the committee says Giveaways are not neccessary
And still some of the head staff will have one its just proper and correct to have one...

As for small gifts for dancers and kiddies, do you not want to take up alot of time during the dance???
In that case its fine to go around passing the gifts out on the side and not interrupt the dance
Usually these would be small bundles of goodies
Small Towels rolled up
Or cold wet wash clothes rolled up and kept in a cooler is a nice one to give on a hot summer day and gets the dust off

I have recieved a flag pin being a veteran they are fairly inexpensive at dollar general
Have also recieved a bag of mescal beans
Navy Hankerchief
These are gifts that they called up certain peoples such as gourd dancers or veterans

Baggie full of:
Nuts or
Crackers or
Mints or
Road mix

Maybe a stick of gum
LOL just kidding

steelemagnolia63 04-25-2009 01:28 PM

We do it through out the day one of us will slip around with our basket of goodies... and right after the colors are pulled.... Jim and I don't allow many things to disrupt the dancing.... Most of the time it's pretty hot and I don't want to hold the dancers any longer swaying in the hot sun than is necessary.... but before the weekend is over everyone that dances with us gets a gift from us...and a lot of the time one of the drums is hanging at our campsite waiting for Jim's famous ribs or his venison sausages, they are like a pack of wild dogs....

We don't do the big give away anymore, we head dance to many to do big give aways and most of the dances that we do are for fund raising powwows, so we either won't take any money for them or what we are given goes back in to the fund for the charity.....

Your ideas are good ones. I think that some of them will find their way in to the basket of gifts.... for this years dancing....

NO GUM!!! I am still somewhat miffed about gun from the candy dance at one event last year ending up on the back of my 'skins....

SuzzeQ4 04-25-2009 08:19 PM

candy dance? Haven't seen this. Don't want my kids to, but i'd like some :)

Josiah I love the idea of a cold wet cloth!

steelemagnolia63 04-26-2009 07:06 AM

Suzz they are very popular here for the kids, it is normally done just before the afternoon break half way between grand entry and pulling the colors... we throw candy all over the the place and invite the kids in to dance, give them all a paper bag to put their candy in, when the drum plays you dance when the drum stops you pick up all the candy that you can until all the candy is picked up...

I had not seen one before I moved to PA, and I had been away from dancing for about 10 years then .... So I don't know if they do it everywhere or not.

Isn't the cold cloths idea one of the best that you have ever heard??? I put a ziplock of baby wipes in our cooler, I started last summer when I got the idea from one of the drums at a gathering.....but I am going to invest in some cheap wash cloths for gifting cool rags to dancers.....

SuzzeQ4 04-26-2009 09:30 AM

love the cool cloths. I'm allergic to baby wipes so I keep wet cloths in my diaper bag for cleaning up the baby. And last summer kept one for keeping the baby cool but apperently I'm to daft to make the leap and keep them for everyone :lol:
Up early this morning steele?

SuzzeQ4 04-26-2009 09:31 AM

oh yeah, the candy dance sounds fun...terrible idea (from the mommy perspective) but fun. Maybe I'll host one at the local powwow this year.

steelemagnolia63 04-26-2009 12:47 PM

up way early trying to get a hunter's frock coat finished and finish fringing my new shawl too....

I love the candy dance.. I love watching the kids get involved with the dancing... especially the little ones...

Just buy the big bags of assorted candies.... and the lunch bag size paper bags at the closest dollar store and viola you got yourself a candy dance and a lot of fun....

ojibwakwe 04-27-2009 10:22 PM

I have seen head dancers do giveaways, specials, spot dances. I think it depends on what the head dancer prefers. No matter what way you do it, somehow you are still giving back to the powwow.

tribaltagz 06-10-2009 11:27 AM

I think probably Josiah and I will have similar teachings about this. I was taught that when you're head staff or any time you have been given an honor, you then share in that blessing by having giveaway. I think it depends on your family and how you were taught but I was always taught to give what you have. I was also taught that you don't give to family; blood or adopted, during the formal giveaway but reserve that for a private time.

I try and give privately to folks that have come out to support me, including family. Last time I was head staff I made arrangements to provide the Friday evening meal, since they weren't going to feed that day. My family put on a feed in my uncle's honor who paid my way in when I was young. I was also taught there are certain things you always give. Pendletons are always good, tobacco for the drum and singers, we always include food baskets and shawls as well as take things out to the drum throughout the dance, such as cough drops, drinks, etc....
Also some tribes have giveaway out through the camps, such as the Quapaw, then just have a small giveaway in the arena.

Again, I think it just depends on how you were taught, where you are, and the honor given to your family or the purpose of the gifting. Just my two cents.

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