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Old 06-15-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Are there tribal differences?

Osiyo! I hope there is someone on who can answer this question in a hurry! I am leaving soon to head to a powwow in Hinkley, MN. It is held by the Mille Lacs Band of the Ojibwe. The only powwows I have attended, many years ago, were in West Virginia and North Carolina held by the Cherokee (my mother's people were Cherokee).

Are there any differences I should know about?
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Err... yes there are differences. Probably best if you just pull up a lawnchair and watch.

I'm curious as to why you need to ask this question? Pan-Indianism is a creation of the whiteman and new ager.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningDove56 View Post
Osiyo! I hope there is someone on who can answer this question in a hurry! I am leaving soon to head to a powwow in Hinkley, MN. It is held by the Mille Lacs Band of the Ojibwe. The only powwows I have attended, many years ago, were in West Virginia and North Carolina held by the Cherokee (my mother's people were Cherokee).

Are there any differences I should know about?
so what you are saying is that Hinckley is your first real powwow?
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
so what you are saying is that Hinckley is your first real powwow?
Okay ... I don't know if that's tongue-in-cheek or serious .

Hubby and I were at the powwow for only about 3 hours when it was deluged with a heavy storm! I must say, however, I have never been to a powwow that had the number of dancers this one did! I was truly amazed! What was also amazing was how few vendors there were . The dancers and spectators far outnumbered them! There were also about 10 different drum groups! Wow! I will definitely plan to attend again next year.

I did not join in during the intertribal dancing, as this was my Hubby's first powwow (and, according to you, mine as well ) and I didn't want to leave him by himself. Also, I wasn't dressed in traditional clothing, so wouldn't have felt right. It has given me a desire to make a traditional tear dress or feather skirt and shawl in time for the next one.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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I think it's perfectly okay to dance social dances like round dances and inter-tribals when you're not fully dressed out as long as you shawl-up if you're a lady and are not dressed too provocatively (with your lady lumps showing a bit too much or something)

Actually, pow-wowing isn't tradish for Cherokees... stomp dancing is but Cherokees do host powwows, they just usually have stomps with them too. As you should know, Cherokees dance holding hands more too (like in the round dance) which is unheard of in other tribes. Pow-wows are inter-tribal with many different dance styles (both southern & northern) so you just do what is your tradition/style. I guess powwows as viewed on a whole can have regional differences or are tribe specific depending on who is hosting it. Like if I go to an Otoe powwow, I expect to hear otoe flag songs at grand entry and what not (and my otoe friend says they dance round dance more conservatively, straight up and down with the shawl just off the shoulders... none of this crazy turning round dance step I see lately and definitely not holding hands lol). If I went up to Schemitzun (although I've never been), I would probably see some smoke dancing or shuffle dance or eastern war which I wouldn't see here and therefore the powwow may be organized differently. In the end, you follow your traditions and look to the head dancers and listen to the MC for how you are to conduct yourself.

I gather that what you are familiar are the powwows of the southeast and I must say I've never been to a pow-wow where vendors outnumbered dancers so I guess I learned something new about SE powwows. Usually I just see the typical powwow vendors that are there for the regalia making supplies I usually have to order or for cool street wear like Rez Dog or for your fav new drum group CD (which I'd also have to order lol). However, I know some pow-wows like Red Earth have a lot of artists and such to appeal to non-natives who aren't interested in regalia making, who don't keep up with the different drum groups, and who can't really pull-off Rez Dog threadz lol.

Just remember, if you learn your culture well, you'll know the tribal differences. And be careful claiming your tribe because ultimately, it’s really your tribe that has to claim you. Nothing about being Cherokee has anything to do with the individual... it's about the community (that’s what the hand holding is about, yo… it’s not just a way to snag a sugar lol) You have to support the community by doing the hard work of learning and practicing the culture properly and being involved with the actually tribe itself (not just powwows and interest groups). Sometimes it is very difficult and time consuming to learn correctly, but if you care then the difficulty is moot. After all, traditions are for a lifetime, so it’s no wonder you have to give your whole lifetime to learning them.
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Last edited by JinglnCrazyLilBird; 06-18-2012 at 12:38 AM..
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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Also, I have to ask, what is a feather skirt… Cherokee women have feather mantles (Miss Cherokee rocked a sweet one at last year’s National Holiday) but I’ve never heard of a feather skirt. Like does it have actual feathers or is it just a cloth skirt? The closest thing I can think of is like a woven hemp or mulberry bark skirt but that’s like WAAAAY old school and I’ve never in my life seen one at a powwow… although that would be really cool.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Thank you JinglnCrazyLilBird for your thoughtful, and considerate, reply.

As I'm sure most reading this will have already realized, I am of mixed blood. I was raised in a typical middle-class white neighborhood in a town on the outskirts of Los Angeles. My mother's family originated in the hills of Kentucky (Tyrone on the Kentucky River), and resettled to California when my mother was 18. For unknown, at least to me, reason our Cherokee heritage was never discussed. In fact, it wasn't until I was in my 30s that my mother mentioned it to me. She had assumed I just "knew" about it! I knew of the whispers of my father's side having Indian blood, but not of my mother's.

So, yes, I am coming to this at a late stage in my life. I was fortunate that while living in West Virginia, I was accepted into a group of inter-tribal people there, most of whom are of Cherokee decent. The woman who lead the group, a Superior Court judge of more than 75% Cherokee blood, taught me some things ... including that Cherokee women do not jump about during powwows, but rather step-and-bounce slightly. With my knees, that's about right for me :).

I would have liked to have learned more, but was transferred overseas (I was in the military). Sometimes it seems life gets in the way and important things get placed on the back burner. I've never forgotten my heritage, of Indian and White, but it's not the be-all and end-all of living. I have a recently acquired husband, and am a new grandmother. Life is full.

I will learn what I can of my heritage and celebrate it. I don't consider myself a "wannabe" ... I am what I am and don't require outside validation. I must say, however, I've never been treated with anything but friendliness and acceptance by people of all blood percentages.

As to the question of the feather skirt: Unless the women were pulling my leg, I was lead to believe that Cherokee women of old would weave turkey feathers onto strips of either leather or some kind of plant material, then sew the strips overlapping to make a skirt. Sounds interesting to me, but I guess I'll do a little more research into it before possibly making a total fool of myself :p.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Awesome posts here! Thank you all...

I found this bit about "Cherokee feather dresses":

http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/education-faq.htm

3.The Cherokee have never worn feather headdresses except to please tourists. These long headdresses were worn by Plains Indians and were made popular through Wild West shows and Hollywood movies. Cherokee men traditionally wore a feather or two tied at the crown of the head. In the early 18th century, Cherokee men wore cotton trade shirts, loincloths, leggings, front-seam moccasins, finger-woven or beaded belts, multiple pierced earrings around the rim of the ear, and a blanket over one shoulder.

At that time, Cherokee women wore mantles of leather or feathers, skirts of leather or woven mulberry bark, front-seam moccasins, and earrings pierced through the earlobe only.

By the end of the 18th century, Cherokee men were dressing much like their white neighbors. Men were wearing shirts, pants, and trade coats, with a distinctly Cherokee turban. Women were wearing calico skirts, blouses, and shawls. Today Cherokee people dress like other Americans, except for special occasions, when the men wear ribbon shirts with jeans and moccasins, and the women wear tear dresses with corn beads, woven belts, and moccasins.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link! I shall spare myself any strange looks and leave the feather skirt idea on the shelf!
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:40 PM   #10
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From 2009 Bluecorn Comics comments section:

FRYBREADGURL said...
pre contact cherokee woman's clothing consisted of a wrap around skirt made of deer skin, an under skirt woven of hemp,in those times the women were bare breasted wearing necklaces of shell beads or other natural adornments. In colder weather both men & women worn Deer hides with the fur worn next to the body for warmth. Moccasins were up to the knee. Bear grease was used to make moccasins water proof. Fibers were also made of mulberry inner bark for cloakes with feathers attached.

1:29 PM
FRYBREADGURL said...
The contemporary Cherokee Teardress, was fabricated by Virgina Stroud, a young Cherokee woman who was entered into a pagent around 1969. This came about because previously she wore a borrowed dress from a friend of another tribe ( kiowa) I believe...Since there was no official Cherokee Dress,Virgina Stroud made one of fabric, which became the Western Oklahoma Cherokee official dress. Some Eastern Cherokee women have opted to wear the cloth dress, but it is not a traditional precontact style.
I myself prefer to wear more traditional style of deer skins, and natural accesories without any european influences.

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:14 PM   #11
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http://ushistoryimages.com/cherokee.shtm


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Old 06-18-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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I had heard Cherokee women went topless ... don't think that would fly today! As for the deerskin, I remember having to help the judge "peel" her dress off after a ceremony on a particularly hot day! LOL!
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigoKumeyaay View Post
Alot of these old pictures were not a true representative "accurate" clothing or tribal wear. In some cases the photographer would guess what tribe they were later or would use a mishmash of "accessories" to augment the picture or make it more dramatic.
The closest "picture" of what Cherokees wore was actually a painting done by Catlin in the 1830's of a Cherokee Girl
She had a Wrap around skirt of wool and a cotton shirt with puffy sleeves hair worn loose.
Much has been written about what Cherokees wore but this interest has only risen because of Powwows and for some to find what manner of Dress we wore traditinally...
The problem is you have to go back so far in the past there is no pictures. What pictures I have seen of my Great Great Grandmother (Full Blood) made her look like an extra on the set of Little House on the Prairie!! LoL

Here is the Modern interpretation of our "Traditional Dress"



Ani Kituwah (NOTICE THE CAPE OF FEATHERS)



These are Nighthawks



Museum of the Cherokees

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:41 PM   #14
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Awesome! Let's keep the thread going, thanks to all for input and info!


FROM TENNESSEE STATE DEPT:

http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/in...?find=Cherokee

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Old 06-19-2012, 01:59 PM   #15
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I would say, judging by the top photo, I was dressed in a manner very close to the ladies on the left. I wore a turquoise-colred broom-stick skirt, a white button-down blouse with sleeves rolled up to just above the elbows, and my Cherokee-made moccasins. For adornment, I had on a Cherokee-made choker, and in my hair a small feather group I made myself; plus some items that are probably not traditional: A beautiful (and heavy!) silver concho-link belt with turquoise and red coral stones, a silver and turquoise bracelet and ring, plus silver and turquoise earrings.

I received a few compliments on my clothing, and no one asked me to leave :-D .


It's not quite clear on the post with FryBreadGurl's quotes: Is she saying the tear dress is not traditional Cherokee? I have always heard it was, with the explanation being that the ladies had no scissors on the Trail of Tears, so had to tear the fabric to make their dresses.

If it is traditional, does anyone know where I can find a pattern to follow? While I would love to have a deerskin dress, I have found them to be rather costly and really wouldn't want to wear one in the summer heat and humidity!
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MorningDove56 View Post
I would say, judging by the top photo, I was dressed in a manner very close to the ladies on the left. I wore a turquoise-colred broom-stick skirt, a white button-down blouse with sleeves rolled up to just above the elbows, and my Cherokee-made moccasins. For adornment, I had on a Cherokee-made choker, and in my hair a small feather group I made myself; plus some items that are probably not traditional: A beautiful (and heavy!) silver concho-link belt with turquoise and red coral stones, a silver and turquoise bracelet and ring, plus silver and turquoise earrings.

I received a few compliments on my clothing, and no one asked me to leave :-D .


It's not quite clear on the post with FryBreadGurl's quotes: Is she saying the tear dress is not traditional Cherokee? I have always heard it was, with the explanation being that the ladies had no scissors on the Trail of Tears, so had to tear the fabric to make their dresses.

If it is traditional, does anyone know where I can find a pattern to follow? While I would love to have a deerskin dress, I have found them to be rather costly and really wouldn't want to wear one in the summer heat and humidity!
That is excatly what she is saying the Tear Dress is not TRADITIONAL.
It was made up
That is why I did not post any pictures of it...
That is a myth that has grown up around that dress.

BTW Concho Belts and Turqoiuse would not be found on someone that is trying to emulate Traditional Cherokee Womans Dress
If you truly want to dress properly look at the photos again
Notice No Turqoius
Concho Belts
Chokers

Belts wrapped around them and tied they are woven
Skirts are cotton or Wool shirts are cotton
And also notice that some of the woman are carrying baskets those are VERY Traditional and perhaps one of our one remaining traditional craft
Notice that women do not adorn their hair with feathers
Nor do they braid it
No leather skirts no Leather Bucksin

The Eastern Band did a ton of research on this dress they involved many many elders and after much debate found that these were as close to what would have been worn. A delegation made their way to Oklahoma a few years ago and attempted to present this dress to the CNO's and UKB it was met with indifference.

When I dressed my daughter and paid her way in a few years ago, I dressed her in these clothes along with my wife and that is that...
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #17
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Wow! That tear dress myth is rampant, then! I shall do my best to not perpetuate it!

I knew the silver and turquoise wasn't traditional for Cherokee, but I sure do like it :p . Since my mother died a couple of years ago, I inherited all of her southwestern jewelry and anything having to do with American Indians ... society staffs, masks, jewelry, etc. I will remember not to wear any of it next time I go to a powwow.

As for the hair, mine is short, short, short! I'd love to have it long, long, long, but it is not smooth ... more of a wild wavy texture ... and quite thick :( . Can't do a thing with it when it's long.

Thank you so much for taking the time to educate me. I truly appreciate your patience!
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #18
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so what you are saying is that Hinckley is your first real powwow?
There are real powwows in Cherokee, NC.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:35 AM   #19
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
Alot of these old pictures were not a true representative "accurate" clothing or tribal wear. In some cases the photographer would guess what tribe they were later or would use a mishmash of "accessories" to augment the picture or make it more dramatic.
The closest "picture" of what Cherokees wore was actually a painting done by Catlin in the 1830's of a Cherokee Girl
She had a Wrap around skirt of wool and a cotton shirt with puffy sleeves hair worn loose.
Much has been written about what Cherokees wore but this interest has only risen because of Powwows and for some to find what manner of Dress we wore traditinally...
The problem is you have to go back so far in the past there is no pictures. What pictures I have seen of my Great Great Grandmother (Full Blood) made her look like an extra on the set of Little House on the Prairie!! LoL

Here is the Modern interpretation of our "Traditional Dress"



Ani Kituwah (NOTICE THE CAPE OF FEATHERS)



These are Nighthawks



Museum of the Cherokees


Oh hey! I know some of those people. I mean the modern pics.
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