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Grass Dance help

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  • Grass Dance help

    Question 1: I was just at the Wesget Sipu Pow Wow in Fort Kent, Maine, and I was talking with a vender and he said that I wouldn't want to dance year after year. He also told me that I should look more into Men's Traditional. Why can't I Grass Dance year after year?

    Question 2: What is the best material for the headband string?

    Question 3: Could I have one Roach Feather or should I have 2?
    'Dance grass, don't smoke it.'

  • #2
    I don't know why he would have said that.
    If you love grass than grass dance.
    How old are you if your young he may think you'll get bored with it. But as you get older dancers knees and joints sometimes tend to not work very well. Thats why they invented straight dance J/K. I'll tell ya dancing diffrent styles is fun. It's more work but it's worth it. You might want to look into it and maybe try it one time. Who knows you might like traditional dancing.

    For headbands do you mean the string to tie it off? Maybe shoestring or leather. I know somepeople who bead it directly to an eleastic band. So it will stretch.

    I think you should have two Most dancers do. I have seen some with only one though.


    • #3
      I am not a Grass dancer, I am a Traditional dancer. But, I have seen even teenagers lose energy when grass dancing. and after time, I've heard them say they are tired of dancing. I think it may be a matter of physical stamina, more than someone saying you wouldn't want to or couldn't. If you're a weakling, then you probably won't want to dance year after year. But, apparently this vendor thinks Traditional dancing is easier on the body or something. Whatever. Maybe he just wanted more potential sales from you if you switch to Trad. :)
      I don't think any one style is more stressful on the body. I've heard fancy dancers complain about pain in their backs when trying to learn Traditional. I've heard Straight dancers complain about the weight of a bustle, too, when learning about other styles.
      One of the last powwows I went to, there was a man, at least in his 80's - had WW2 ribbons on his outfit, and a full eagle head and breast as the centerpiece of his bustle. Anyway, he danced every dance. I figured, since I was 50 years his junior, I should be out there for every dance too. And even though the drum was on, and I lost myself in the dance, it was tough! One set was 7 songs long, and none of 'em short. People called it a marathon. I don't know who was being tested - the drum or the dancers, but it was awesome!

      As for the headband string, I use leather thongs. I've seen shoelaces. I've seen twine used and nylon cord too. I would guess, you'd probably want something with a little stretch to it, so when you tie it tight the stretch will keep the headband tight on your head.

      You don't need 2 roach feathers. I never have. and some Grass Dancers I've seen don't even have one. I've seen a fluff on a spring that moves all over the place. I've seen them dance without a roach even. In fact, now I think about it, I don't recall many grass dancers around here wearing their roaches all the time(in every dance).

      Hope that helps a bit.


      Quick to judge,
      Quick to anger,
      Slow to understand
      Ignorance and prejudice
      And fear walk hand in hand.
      --Neal Peart(from the song Witch Hunt)


      • #4
        Hey Derek. Just would like to tell you that When I first started dancing my teacher said that year after year, if you dance than you will have some knee problems when you are older, not all the time, but some. I cant help you with your other 2 questions, because as you know I am just starting too! Good Luck Buddy!


        • #5

          Tell the vendor in Maine to, "get a real job" and quit giving goofy advice. If the vendor really wants to give that kind of advice, tell him to come to North Dakota and talk stuff.

          Back your head band with cotton material that matches the background of your beadwork. It can be easily washed.

          Use two antennas made of piano wire and plumes. Real eagle if your ndn and maribou if your a white guy.
          Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


          Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

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