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Southern or Northern

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  • Southern or Northern

    Which style has more understood and which style is most popular?
    "I Ahula Ula"
    Enjoying the ride.

  • #2
    I like southern for its perplexing footwork and more controlled body movements.
    Northern I am not really sure what "northern" fancy really is. Some say its spinning, fast and furiously. Some say its keeping your knees high while you dance. So I am not sure. I wonder if the judges know the differences between southern and northern. Seem like the ones who do alot of spinning get the most looks from judges and the ones trying to dance fancy are over looked because most of the action is in the footwork and upper torso.
    I have given in to the spinning and ducking but I also put alot of emphasis in footwork at the same time. Kinda seems empty if you don't put any footwork in your dance.
    "I Ahula Ula"
    Enjoying the ride.


    • #3
      My little brother spins and ducks all day long. He's 7. :D
      That's all I have to say about a lack of footwork in fancy dancing.
      Mii iw keyaa ezhi-ditibiseyaan


      • #4
        what I was told

        Boozhooo niji,

        I was told by a lot of people I spoke to, the main difference is not what you dance but how you dance. Southern dancers pick a spot in the arena somewhere, and stay there like they own it. Northern dancers use the whole circle, like they own it. Myself I use the whole circle.

        Also in the outfit, mostly the bustles, I was told that northern dancers use a extra row of fluff or hackles at the base of the webbing on the spikes. I used to think this was reverse, with the southern guys doing that, but I was told by someone up north that I was wrong about that. Myself I am Ojibwe and it didnt seem right to put in that base row, I didnt like it.

        I believe in something I want to believe, not what someone wants me to believe.


        • #5
          who knows

          I have inquired as to the difference with many people...all of whom provide a different answer...not real sure there is a real difference anymore as characteristics seem to be in both in the North and South


          • #6
            I think the lines are very blurred.

            I think of Southern as lightning quick footwork, very neat outfit with clean lines and beadwork.

            Used to, southern dancers wore lots of loom beadwork.... harnesses and belts, side tabs and cuffs to match.

            Don't forget the rocker.

            I think of Northern as using more floor space with more spins and such. The outfits seem somewhat more shaggy with stuff hanging everywhere. Most beadwork is lazy stitched. Can have rocker or spinners.

            There are some southern guys that have killer beaded capes and aprons. George Alexander and Michael Roberts come immediately to mind.

            But, really, I think its just the style you dance and the music you prefer to dance to, unless you've incorporated tribal specific patterns in your outfit.

            I don't know of any northern dancers that wear loom beaded harnesses, but a lot of grass dancers do.

            That brings up a question.....

            Where did the use of loom beaded or ribbonwork applique harness and belt sets come from for grass dancers. Is that something contemporary that they picked up from fancy dancers. Did fancy dancers pick it up from grass dancers?

            I've seen many instances in which the loom beaded harness on a grass dancer is worn in conjuction with a loop necklace, which is definitely northern.

            Anyone have any thoughts?
            If you are what you eat.... I'm fast, cheap and easy.


            • #7
              I've seen vintage photographs of fancy dancers from the 1940s with some of them wearing beaded harnesses that were simply blanket strips draped over their necks.

              I've also seen very old photographs of Cree men dancers and Chiefs wearing beaded harnesses similar to what is worn today. The Chiefs wore them with the "regular" Chief attire. These harnesses were joined in the middle by a beaded piece (most were rectangles).

              Not sure of exactly when and where these came to be, but these are two possible ideas.
              I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry


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