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  • Southern and Northern Styles

    So what is the difference between Southern and Northern Style of Dance, How did they get determined North and South, Pretty much, what is the history between the Two?

  • #2
    Northern style is common to mostly plains and woodland tribes, technically I'm not 100% sure where the modern Northern style originated from, every northern tribe (Sioux, Cree, Crow, N Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Anisshabe) all had their own style of dance, one thing everyone can agree on is that the tribe who brought what we know of as pow-wows today is the Omaha (Uma'ho), they are the originators of all pow-wows. Southern style is common to the tribes removed to Indian Territory. When the terrible events of the 1830s-1840s occurred in the southeast, many tribes from the area were forcibly removed to Indian Territory, after the tribes learned to settle into their new life way, say between 1880s-1930s, when the whole 'kill the indian save the man' ideal was prominent in the US, many restrictions were placed on Natives and their practice of their cultural ways, a thing called Dance Houses were implemented, all older person were allowed in these dance houses, but not the young people, though most probably did. This forced situation grew into the southern style, granted I am a Lakota (Sioux) so I only know this from my studies at college, I hope an Oklahoma tribal person can expound on the situation. I do know that from my own tribal background the Lakota/Dakota had been at war with the Omaha sometime back in the 1600s and no clear winner was ever claimed, so they stopped fighting, (most likely because of the American expansion), and when the fighting stopped, they traded things from within their culture to show they had made peace, the Omaha gave the Lakota/Dakota the pow-wow and we gave them the pipe. Growing up on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian reservations I always heard the Grass dance style came from the Lakota, I have yet to hear of any other tribe make this claim, the modern Fancy Dance came from the Oklahoma tribes, what specific one I am not sure, the Northern style of mens traditional we see most common present day is attributed to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the southern mens style does come from the Omaha and Oklahoma tribes. The Jingle dress dance comes from the anisshabe, the fancy shawl was a culmination of the modernization, every tribe in the time period of the 1880s-1930s had some example of this, from the stories I heard growing up, for the Lakota, it was younger women wanting to show off their newly made shawls with fancy footsteps that evolved into fancy shawl among the Lakota. Women's traditional northern or southern is subject to their respective tribe, all tribes had some form of dance for women.

    I don't know everything, but I hope this helps, if others know something else, it all adds to the overall knowledge that can be shared. A-ho, heccetuelo.

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    • #3
      Good Info.

      Thanks for your side of history.... Not many people would offer such knowledge to just anyone, but I am not Caucasian either... I am looking into War dancing so my son can have some motivation to start also.... I Heard that the Bustles that look like eagle feathers is a northern style and not southern, on the other hand, I heard it was only a matter of preference and opinion.... I would like to make these Bustles for my son and myself, but don't want to end up in an argument because I made them and they are specific to one region of tribes that is not my own.... Honestly, I could care less, but I want to set a good example for my kids so they do better than me when they mature.... I have asked some of my family and they don't know the answer to this question..... So are the War dance (Fancy Dance) bustles specific as such.... Or is this a matter of taste and style??? Thanks in advance.



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      • #4
        I do believe the fancy dance bustle with eagle feather spikes did come from the northern tribes, but up here I see both styles.

        BTW what tribal affiliation do you claim?
        Last edited by IyanHoks'ila; 11-30-2011, 12:40 AM.

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        • #5
          The Modern Fancy dance with two bustles. That's what I meant.... LMAO!!!! My bad

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SMILEY WATTZ View Post
            The Modern Fancy dance with two bustles. That's what I meant.... LMAO!!!! My bad
            I reread ur post, sorry my bad too...edited mine to suit.

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            • #7
              I am Kiowa and Choctaw. i don't claim I just am.... LMAO!!! I grew up in the city and my parents and grandparents moved around in the military before they settled down in Texas. I just got out of Active duty Military and went reserve status so now I am trying to learn as much possible before they try and send me off some where....

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              • #8
                Thats cool, then the war dance is probably something you will have no problem finding out about, and being a person who served in the military that will help, people on the pow-wow circle do treat veterans and active service people really well, it just has to do with the fact the majority of tribes in the USA, pre-reservation, were based in a warrior society. Good luck to you and your sons, the pow-wow circle is a good thing to be a part of, its a good way of life in this modern world.

                I maybe enrolled with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, but through my tribal lineage I'm just a mutt, I could claim Oglala/Sicangu Lakota, Jicarilla Apache, Comanche, and Cheyenne. Plus I do have european heritage too, german and french. I'm pure bred 'American' mutt, being enrolled is just a advantage.

                Deep down I am Lakota, thats how I was raised and how I will raise my children.

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                • #9
                  SMIL,

                  What is the difference between N and S?

                  Today, unfortunately, not too much. Much has evolved, been exchanged and appropriated.

                  It is true that the fancy dance began in Oklahoma ... among the Ponca. It spread up north in the 1960's or slightly earlier. I remember the names of some of the earliest popular Lakota dancers; Timothy Hail, Tyrone Head and later Acorn Tyon.

                  I actually did a scholarly paper on this subject using first person quotes. That will tell you that the fancy dance is not that old. I am still adding and updating information to it to this day.
                  Last edited by WhoMe; 12-01-2011, 10:47 AM.
                  Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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                  • #10
                    Acorn Tyon heard that name a lot growing up...he was older by the time I was introduced into the pow-wow circle, I remember Chico Her Many Horses when he was a fancy dancer, he was always was one of my favorites, and Luke Dubray, he was one of the first fancy dancers I remember seeing do a cartwheel, that was wild back then, but now with a lot of the hip-hop fusion that doesn't seem so out there, but because it is fancy dance, anything goes as long as you can make it look good, at least thats the thinking up here in Lakota Country.

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                    • #11
                      So.... would it be safe to say that it is okay for me and my sons to wear the northern style bustles???



                      Also.... I was wondering.... I have seen some of the younger generation, if not all fancy dancers, have their regalia look like that of a rodeo clown with abunch or bandannas.... I am not trying to diss or make fun of them but it looks WAY to Cluttered.... Does anyone one know the knowledge behind this style??? Or is it a new TREND (FAD)??? Once again, I am not trying to upset anyone about this... just learning....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SMILEY WATTZ View Post
                        So.... would it be safe to say that it is okay for me and my sons to wear the northern style bustles???
                        I'm not really sure how you tell the difference between N and S bustles?




                        Originally posted by SMILEY WATTZ View Post
                        if not all fancy dancers, have their regalia look like that of a rodeo clown ...

                        *L @ your interpretation....
                        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SMILEY WATTZ View Post
                          Also.... I was wondering.... I have seen some of the younger generation, if not all fancy dancers, have their regalia look like that of a rodeo clown with abunch or bandannas.... I am not trying to diss or make fun of them but it looks WAY to Cluttered.... Does anyone one know the knowledge behind this style??? Or is it a new TREND (FAD)??? Once again, I am not trying to upset anyone about this... just learning....
                          The shaggy cluttered look is a Northern thing. Or at least thatis what I've always been told and believe. The southern boys are cleaner looking. If your a northern dancer and it moves, tie something to it. Lots of flowing stuff in the Northern style(or that s how it used to be). Just my opinion, but the clean look emphasizes footwork of the legs(southern), the full cluttered look emphasizes the upper body work and dance moves of the Northern dancer.
                          I know you can now find dancer examples of both that would speak against that, but thats how it used to be.
                          "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW

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                          • #14
                            Thats funny, yeah some northern fancy dancers are all out there with hanging stuff all over, even though I'm from up north, I always did prefer footwork over gaudiness, thats how I remember good fancy dancers = good footwork...

                            I think nowadays its just more of personal preference, but I would try to find an elder fancy dancer in your area and ask his opinion, that would be the proper thing to do.

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                            • #15
                              SMIL,

                              Through a series of adaptations and evolution both Northern and Southern bustles can be made of plain eagle feather with ribbons, flagging tape and long horse hair. The more popular style at the moment is to have white turkey feathered hackle bustles with long flagging tape at the ends. This is worn by both styles of fancy dancers.
                              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                              Comment

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