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  • Tail Sticks

    I know they're pretty common in Straight Dancing.

    But would it be "wrong" for me to use one since I'm mens traditional?

    I'm working on a new set of regalia and wanted something kind of different this time.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by tedder17 View Post
    I know they're pretty common in Straight Dancing.

    But would it be "wrong" for me to use one since I'm mens traditional?

    I'm working on a new set of regalia and wanted something kind of different this time.

    Thanks in advance.
    yes !
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    • #3
      Originally posted by tedder17 View Post
      I'm working on a new set of regalia and wanted something kind of different this time..

      tedder,

      Try wearing your breechcloth on sideways. That will be "different!"
      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tedder17 View Post
        I know they're pretty common in Straight Dancing.

        But would it be "wrong" for me to use one since I'm mens traditional?

        I'm working on a new set of regalia and wanted something kind of different this time.

        Thanks in advance.
        Its only common because some that carry it are only doing it because they think its neat looking not that they understand why they carry the tail stick??
        There is a very important reason why they are called "Tail Sticks"
        ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
        Till I Die!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
          tedder,

          Try wearing your breechcloth on sideways. That will be "different!"
          No thanks, I already have side tabs

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Josiah View Post
            Its only common because some that carry it are only doing it because they think its neat looking not that they understand why they carry the tail stick??
            There is a very important reason why they are called "Tail Sticks"
            Well I've heard "origin" stories but I'll take all of this as a no.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tedder17 View Post
              Well I've heard "origin" stories but I'll take all of this as a no.
              It was possible at one time to look at what a Traditional Dancer was wearing and fairly accurately know what tribe the individual was from...
              Not one of them was carrying a Tail Stick
              ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
              Till I Die!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tedder17 View Post
                I know they're pretty common in Straight Dancing.

                But would it be "wrong" for me to use one since I'm mens traditional?

                I'm working on a new set of regalia and wanted something kind of different this time.

                Thanks in advance.
                Before the forced removal of the Ponca to Oklahoma Territory in 1877, appointed Tail Dancers among the Hethuska Society would carry the long-shafted, crook-ended Society Coup Sticks in battle and at Society Dance Ceremonies.

                When the Hethuska Society would go out as a group to fight their enemies, the two appointed “Tail” men would carry the two society “coup sticks,” which served as banner staffs displaying the society’s war honors. These crooked staffs would be used to touch enemies in close combat, thus proving the Tail men’s bravery.

                The crooked staffs would also be used to hoist a wounded companion off the battlefield and onto a horse without having to dismount. During a battle with their enemies, the Tail men of the Hethuska Society were said to have been “the bravest of fighters,” and would stay toward the back end of a war party and defend the “tail” of the group.

                On rare occasions, if the enemy strength became too overwhelming these men volunteered to stay behind and fight the enemy, frequently sacrificing themselves, while the rest of the war party escaped to safety.

                Usually there are at least two Tail Dancers appointed by the Ponca Hethuska Society Headman who are considered at the peak of their skill and strength. It is said that they are “all together.” The Tail Dancers serve as role models for the younger members of the society and act as representatives for the general membership, through which the opinions and desires of the members are made known to the Headman and Committeemen.

                Today, the long crooked coup-stick, which sometimes reached a length of eight feet, is represented by a shortened, straight version about two and a half to three feet long called a “tail stick.”

                Traditionally, this tail stick is carried as a symbol of his office only by the appointed Tail Dancers, by men who previously served as Tail Dancers, or by visiting Tail Dancers from other War Dance organizations.

                During the Ponca Hethuska dance ceremony the Tail Dancers are obligated to dance on the repeated last verse or “tail” of all appropriate songs. This obligation represents the historical practice of the Tail men going back to the scene of a recent battle, at great risk to themselves, to recover any wounded or dead companions. It is further said that the practice of more traditional Tail Dancers, is to kick up one foot at the last beat of the drum at the end of a song’s tail. This would symbolize the way the Tail men warriors would kick the bodies of their fallen enemies on the battlefield to make sure they were dead and no longer a threat, while recovering their dead and/or wounded from the battlefield area. (Paul Roughface, Ponca, 1985)

                Today, tail sticks are often made from wooden gun cleaning rods, and can be ornately carved with bits of otter fur and gourd-stitch beadwork decoration. Among the Ponca and Osage at one time, tail sticks were only carried by appointed Tail Dancers or men who had served as a Tail Dancer in the past. (Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage, 1986); (Archie Mason, Jr., Osage, 1987)

                Tedder17,
                Now that you have this information, what do you think you should do?

                "Be good, be kind, help each other."
                "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

                --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

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                • #9
                  a question

                  Greetings: If I could ask a question , I am trying to find video of Al Conklin a northern traditional dancer. If you have any idea where I can find such it would be greatly appreciated. Its for my son's speech class.
                  Thank You for your time
                  HEA

                  Comment

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