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help, can you suggest?

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  • help, can you suggest?

    I wanna make a chicken dance outfit. I'm asking how can i make a bustle n what feathers are appropriate? Any sales sumwhere or contacts for outfit making?

    Any ideas for designs?

    And please, can someone share where the chicken dance originated from?

    Thks n email me or contact me sumhow ok fr Midnite2;)

    Have n awesome day.

  • #2
    From what I know side bells are essential,

    long pheseant feathers make the dancer look nice and bouncy
    . loud bells, loud ones too for the ankles.

    a mirror.

    depending on your customs some people say not to put eagle feathers on chicken dance outfits and it is an old custom

    but theres some things off the top


    • #3
      Originally posted by upriver_tla View Post
      ...long pheseant feathers make the dancer look nice and bouncy..... some people say not to put eagle feathers on chicken dance outfits and it is an old custom..


      This has puzzled me...

      The pheasant (Chinese in origin) was not introduced to America until the late 1700's.

      Did the story of the Blackfoot warrior and the Prairie Chicken occur after the late 1700's?

      Any Niitsítapi people out there?
      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


      • #4
        Help the guy out w/opinions on dance regalia nstead of gett'n spiritual on him...

        This topic has the potential to become A BIT political...
 4 ur outfit...DON'T GO WITH BRIGHT FLORESCENT COLORS!!! (play'd thee eff out...ppl r gett'n WAY too Hollywood w/it anymore...keep it OG),, in the 20th century, pheasant feathers are quite common and are very jazzy if concocted properly...bustles can pretty much b made out of any kind of feathers nowadays but personally, I think hawk feathers look nice but it depends on what kind of bustle u wish to wear...there's the bush bustles, the roundish/circular bustles...not 2 b confused w/round bustles...but yeah...hawk feathers/sage grouse feathers are, ur gonna need a mirror board n a stick or sum'n...and brass bells are coolio ;) side bells are a pretty good asset too (especially if u have bony legs XD) also...thee most important neccessity ur gonna need is TIGHTS...can't b a chikk'n w/o tights...and they can't b
        Open your eyes and look within-Bob Marley


        • #5
          I don't think "thee" most important neccessity is really the tights. Old style chickens didn't wear them before the dance exploded onto the trail scene.But they do look awsome for the dancer tho. skin tite lol.

          Keep in mind that you should learn the story of this dance which I will not tell on the internet out of respect that it is not my people's story, but I'll tell tell about the part of the outfit. A boy dreamed of being dressed in sage at all his body's joints, all the parts that move. He had it around his head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and alot of feathers on his back. The sage represents the feathers a chicken bears which coveres the entire bird's body. also, some chickens do have feathers on their heads which we represent the roach with. There was not to be any eagle feathers used on the outfit. I was told this from a Sioux Valley Elder who told me he learned it from the Blackfoot.

          Today chicken dancers substitute the sage with the outfits they wear and you see it today. They have parts that cover all their joints or at least near them; Headband and roach (head), choker/breastplate (neck), a cape (shoulders & body) arm bands (elbows), cuffs (wrists) a belt & aprons (hips), leg bands (knees) and bell and fur anklets (feet & ankles) and lastly a bustle (tailfeathers) and lastly bells are worn down the sides. In the boy's dream he had seashells around his ankles and on a band running from his belt to ankles. With these in mind, this is my opinion of what the necessities of a chicken dance outfit are.

          It was and still is a ceremonial dance among the Blackfoot and Cree for the ever ongoing debate from who it originates from the outfits differ too much from each other to be the same. I believe we were given our own dance in our own ceremonies from the Creator, apart from the Blackfoot, but from a similar time of the origins. Perhaps the Cree people did borrow it from the Blackfoot but we have adapted it to our own ways. But don't be confused the outfits are very similar, but Crees wear a vest in place of a cape, and their breastplate is like that of a traditional dancer's whereas the Blackfoots wear the beads as a strands but still a breastplate nonetheless. The Crees also use floural patterns for beadwork because beaded flowers were already a part of our heritage. The colors matter alot, because the chicken dance came from the Earth (outfitwise) Earthly or natural colors (ie/ red, yellow, green, etc..) and it is good to honor that. I must admit I'm not a hipocrite but I do wear alot of neon green on my outfit, my reason for this is that we live in a new age and this is my way of reflecting the present day.

          Now, please don't hound me down if my opinions differ from other peoples I don't know 'everything', besides I am still young and I am learning. I am merely just sharing my opinion from one chicken dancer to someone who is asking for help. I'm not pointing fingers but this all too much happens on in general.

          Nanaskomin, thanks.
          Last edited by upriver_tla; 05-22-2008, 02:03 PM.


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