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    Ok, so i'm not Native American but my husband is. We attend powwows every so often and I just love to watch the dancing. He wants to be a dancer and i'm supportive of that, however, our daughter is 15 months old and we'd both like her to be a dancer too someday if she chooses to. Not now, she's young, but a little later. Here's my question: Is it wrong of me to want to dress her up in traditional clothing for the powwows even if she's not going to dance yet? I see some people dressed up, mostly white people lol, except the dancers who of course are dressed up beautiful. I mean, I don't want to go all out, just a simple wing dress with a few beads dangling. I think they are so pretty.

    I thought i'd ask in case this is not correct. I don't want to offend anyone. I guess I just want my daughter to embrace as much as she can of the traditions while she is young and to continue on with them and learn more as she gets older. I know i'm an outsider, but I don't want her to be, even though she is half blood she is still who she is. We try to teach her both sides of our cultures in language and traditions, exposing her to as much as we can, the mexican side and the native side. What do you guys think?

  • #2
    Welcome Rouss,

    You say your daughter is "half blood" which would imply that your husband is full. Also your husband attends and participates in powwows. So I guess my question might be why are you asking this question to a bunch of people you don't know on the internet? I only say this because so many people come on here asking for permission and they get negative messages or mixed messages and they go away either angry or confused because it wasn't the answer that they wanted.

    I would think that your husband would likely know what his people do in this situation. My best recommendation is to follow the ways and customs of your husband's people or if you are remote, talk to some of the older native folks at the powwows you attend. You may still get mixed messages, but at least you can have a meaningful dialog.

    That's just my opinion, I'm sure that others will have theirs :-)
    "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."


    • #3
      I agree too, it would be a shame to deny your daughter her life! She is a part of both of you and should be given the respect to do just that, in fact as a mother you could be smiling when she does wear her first dress!!!!

      Judgement is not for us to decide, we were never granted that option by Creator so tell me wh do we see so many judgemental people???

      All I can say is make her happy! Life is too short to live in a world to please every one, start at home and be happy, making sense??????????
      Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

      It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

      Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
      Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.


      • #4
        Well, i'm asking because my husband doesn't really know. Even though he's a member of a federally recognised tribe (he's 78% btw, not full) and was born there and mostly raised there his mom (who is full blood) took him away at age 8 and she never looked back. He went back and forth from her to his dad on the res for a few years after that and then she moved them out of state. She never taught him the language she knows, never taught him any traditions she was taught, pretty much shrugged the res off her shoulders and rejected it. Now that he's out of her house and has his own family he yearns to learn about his culture and his mom doesn't want to help him so we have to go outside the family. I don't know why this is, I don't ask and i'm sure she has her reasons but through all of it my husband suffers by being denied education of where he comes from and education about his culture. We don't want this for our daughter, we want her to have pride in who she is and both sides of her culture, not to be ashamed and deny it.

        I asked him about getting her a dress and he said he said he thinks its ok but he's not sure. I know the powwows we go to here are different than what he is used to and they are very lax in their rules...which I guess benefits us because we are always welcomed (even me) to be in the prayer circle and to dance if we want. I don't, I just watch and I do go in prayer circle, but I don't want to deny my daughter this opportunity, she should be in there with her daddy. He doesn't really know what the rules would be if it was a powwow like on the res though, they are a little more strict he says so that's why i'm asking here. Hope that makes sense? I want to stick to the traditional rules as much as possible and don't want my daughter to dance where she's not supposed to or wear clothing disrespectfully, you know? It's just that i've heard people comment at the powwows I go to about how the "white people" wear traditional clothing and they laugh at them and think it's rude. I don't want people seeing my daughter like that and I definitely don't want to be rude. Thanks guys for your answers!


        • #5


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rouss3 View Post
            Hi Rouss, I have a feeling that this test message was sent because you didn't see your previous message come through. I use this opportunity to remind everyone that in the Spectators forum, all messages are moderated. That means that the moderators, Singing Eagle and Hobbs49 currently, get the chance to read them first before they go public. We are not censoring, only trying to catch SPAM and unduely harsh messages in response to often innocent postings from those new to powwows and Bottom line, there will be a delay from when you submit and when it shows up.
            "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."


            • #7
              Your husband will have alot to learn, I know because i was adopted out & grew up knowing nothing. He needs to learn from those he knows who can teach him (his Dad's family maybe), same for the powwows. It takes longer this way, but real life isn't instant and it is best in the end, especially when he gets support for doing things the right way. When he is ready your daughter can dance with him, she doesn't need the skills yet. Until then a more basic ribbon dress would be appropriate without stepping on toes cause it all may be different in different places, also it would be nice for her for socials and ceremonies (where your husband will learn much more). Be supportive, cause it's more then just beads & feathers, it is a whole different culture, and that's not an easy change for anyone, no matter how romantic and wonderful it may seem. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if your husband is going back to his roots, it's not always easy, and a realistic view makes it easier (I think). Good luck to your family and if you guys are interested in doing something, learning something he doesn't know much about, it is always best to slow down & learn a bit about it first, go in and have him explain how he was removed from his culture when his Mom moved him away & is trying to find his way back, he is so not alone in this. Also watch out for charletons who are ready to turn him in to an all knowing medicine man over the weekend, these types are looking for real ndn's to make themselves look more ligitimate, but ones without a lot of knowledge so that they won't question them.


              • #8
                You know I'm bi-racial like your daughter. My dad is full-blood, my mom had only 1/8th blood in her, so she is mostly caucasian. I have to say if it weren't for my mom's persistance and understanding of my dad's ancestry, I would not have learned or be a practicing native now. My dad was way too busy with his alcoholism in my childhood, heck he still is. She went out of her way to make sure we learned and practiced our ways as children and made many good native friends, especially with elders, so that she could be a good mother to us. Do what you can, ask questions, learn the ways of your daughter's people and don't let others tell you it's wrong. Your daughter will grow up one day and will look back at her childhood as good.


                • #9
                  It's really great that you ask for opinions before you do anything. Some people will just go through with it instead of doing some research, and it's really shady to just wear whatever and not know the true origin of the outfit.

                  It's great to research, and go with the particular style(s) of the tribe that your husband is from. It's best that he ask himself, and go from there. Now that he's an adult, he should be able to do as he pleases. If he wants to go back to the rez and get more insight to history, protocol, or other cultural aspects, then he should. He shouldn't have limits. I'm sure he has relatives that would be happy to help.
                  Bead All You Can Bead


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