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  • A matter of preference???

    I've been lookin around trying to figure out where I can post this question....this seems like a good spot, so here goes...
    I went to a pow-wow a few months ago in Naperville and saw a dancer wearing a derby (?) hat. My question is whether that is a matter of preference or is that a tribal/regional thing? I don't believe I have seen Native dancers wearing derby hats before, but then again, I haven't been to many pow-wows! hehe
    If anyone can answer that question for me, I would be most appreciative.
    Thanks...
    **Touch the fibers of time and will them to be still**

  • #2
    Should I have posted this question elsewhere...lol....or does no one have an answer?
    **Touch the fibers of time and will them to be still**

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    • #3
      Not being there, it's hard to know the context of the rest of the clothes. However, there is (was) a dance style called "Old Style." You don't see it much anymore, especially among natives. It seems that hobbyists and OA will still dress and dance this way. My understanding is that old style was updated and has morphed into Northern Traditional. In the Old Style outfit, you might find a dancer wearing a roach, a derby, a top hat, or ?? The clothes often represented what might be available 1880's-1930's or so. Whereas today's traditional dancers use modern materials.

      This is just my understanding, others may know better.
      "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Hobbs49 has made a good assessment. The "old-time" northern dance clothes that were popular in the "reservation period" in the early 1900s, allowed for head ornamentation of many variations, including on some rare occasions, hats. The reasons for this vary depending on the tribe.

        In the 1960s, the northern dance clothes styles split into modern and traditional styles. The modern styles evolved into the northern fancy dance; the traditional styles split again. The traditional styles became modern traditional and old time. It is this "old time" revival in the 1960s and 1970s that recreated the look of the reservation period. However, it seemed to be most popular with hobbyists.

        The "old time, reservation period" style has not gone away, but is not as popular as it once was. Now-a-days, it is widely considered to be rude or bad manners to wear a hat of any type while in the dance arena.

        "Be good, be kind, help each other."
        "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

        --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

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        • #5
          Hi Hobbs...thanks so much for answering. Got to the point where I thought no one knew....I can tell you that he was wearing a red shirt with some kind of design on it, if I remember correctly, arm bands, the black derby hat, but I can not recall the pants exactly. The reason I was asking was that the style was quite similar to that of Polish Highlanders, with a difference here and there, but similar indeed. I thought it curious....got me wondering how the two could be connected.
          **Touch the fibers of time and will them to be still**

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by FatesOracle View Post
            Hi Hobbs...thanks so much for answering. Got to the point where I thought no one knew....I can tell you that he was wearing a red shirt with some kind of design on it, if I remember correctly, arm bands, the black derby hat, but I can not recall the pants exactly. The reason I was asking was that the style was quite similar to that of Polish Highlanders, with a difference here and there, but similar indeed. I thought it curious....got me wondering how the two could be connected.
            Again, hard to determine exactly what was going on. But, as Historian points out, during the timeframe of "old style" northern dancers, there could be and were European influences. Not being an expert on anything, much less Polish Highlanders, it is difficult to say how much contact and therefore influence there might have been.

            An alternative explaination might be that this gentleman was simply at the wrong cultural event that weekend
            "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

            Comment


            • #7
              I have had the priviledge of viewing many, many old photos of dancers from the "reservation period" and I can't remember ever seeking one wearing a top hat. By no means am I contradicting anyone here as I've seen these worn at modern pow wows as well, but I would really like to see one in a vintage photograph to see how they worked it into the rest of the clothes.
              I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd like to know how they keep those hats on if their dancing hard or in a wind. Can't image wearing a big stovepipe in much of a wind while dancing hard.
                "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wojapi4Me View Post
                  I have had the priviledge of viewing many, many old photos of dancers from the "reservation period" and I can't remember ever seeking one wearing a top hat. By no means am I contradicting anyone here as I've seen these worn at modern pow wows as well, but I would really like to see one in a vintage photograph to see how they worked it into the rest of the clothes.
                  It seems that Whispering Wind or one of it's kind ran a article on decorated hats, seems that they had a couple of them that were pretty well decked out. I'll see if I can't find that info and maybe post a vintage picture if they had one.
                  "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The article titled, "Top Hats On The Plains" by Peter J. Durkin appeared in the May 2006 issue (Vol. 35, No. 6) of Whispering Wind magazine.

                    "Be good, be kind, help each other."
                    "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

                    --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hobbs49 View Post
                      Again, hard to determine exactly what was going on. But, as Historian points out, during the timeframe of "old style" northern dancers, there could be and were European influences. Not being an expert on anything, much less Polish Highlanders, it is difficult to say how much contact and therefore influence there might have been.

                      An alternative explaination might be that this gentleman was simply at the wrong cultural event that weekend
                      You crack me up...I am a Native-ski American-ski! LMAO
                      I have seen pics...old ones...of Natives wearing hats, mainly derbies. I had forgotten about that till I saw that dancer and started to wonder. I will have to look for a pic of the Polish Highlanders and attach a link here. I've also searched pics that have been posted online of current pow-wow gatherings, mainly of that dancer, to attach that link, but have so far been unsuccessful. If I do find a pow-wow pic of that gentleman I will let you know. But thanks to all that answered/commented....greatly appreciated.
                      **Touch the fibers of time and will them to be still**

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All Kinds of Head Gear

                        Natives have been wearing European and later American Head Gear since contact. Some of this has been by trade, some were presentation gifts and of some was because of war (battle trophies).

                        This includes but is not limited to:

                        Tricorns
                        Derby (all kinds)
                        Top Hat (all kinds)
                        Grenadier
                        Glengarry
                        Calvary Slouch

                        and so much more (including the many types of military head wear for both European and American forces).

                        You can see this is early woodcuts to oil paintings to early photographs and late photographs.

                        Regardless of how it was acquired, in most cases the Natives highly prized the new Head Gear and usually re-decorated it in various forms and ways.

                        Comment

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