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Eastern Men's Traditional Bustle

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  • Eastern Men's Traditional Bustle

    My brother, Lenape heritage, has a traditional bustle of turkey feathers with fluffs and horse hair, circular shape. He wants to try competition and change his look. He feels he shouldn't use imitation eagle feathers because he hasn't done anything to deserve the wearing of them. His latest idea (seems to fit under fancy dance to me) is to paint feathers in the bustle: tip-red, next layer white, next, black, then yellow. He wants his regalia to be proper in every way, but needs a man's opinion and advice. May I humbly ask for your help? Should he be using only natural feathers? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Wanishi

  • #2
    Natural if at all Possible.

    Try to stick with natural colors if at all possible. That can be hard with all the use of colors that you see in some Traditional Bustles in the past 3-4 years.

    I do have an idea that you might be interested in - Hybrid Feathers. It eleminates the need to have many different feathers from various birds and completely elemintates dying and painting.

    There are some traders that specialize in the new Hybrid Feathers. I met one at the Keekeeonga Gathering back in 1998 and another one at the Ann Arbor Powwow in 2001. I may have some information on them - I will check.


    • #3
      Mens Traditional bustle--ignore 'Eastern'

      Oops, please accept my apologies ..I may have used the wrong wording when I had asked my question. I meant to ask for my brother about the bustle he is making.. He is a Men's Traditional Dancer and wanted this for use in competition. I put the word Eastern in there not thinking.. I should have said he is from an Eastern tribe..and not put it in the title of Mens Traditional bustles. My reasoning..I didn't know if there may be differences in the styles used by Eastern and Western Tribes. Sorry for the confusion. Is this lady forgiven?


      • #4
        forgiven yes or course but yes there are diffrences the eastern bustles are made wit turkey feathers and have no extenders
        they use the natural quill of the feather



        • #5
          well it is eastern style because they are smaller then the regular bustels u are use to seeing out of the powwow circut. also tribs that would use them would be lenape,iroquois,rockaway(on li)
          many tribes would use them
          also they are eastern because of the face that they are turkey feathers,most feathers use but northern trad dancers are immitaion hawk or egale and things of that sort. tukey is used because we have an abundance of it here in the north east



          • #6
            Sorry, but most northern traditional dancers do not wear immitation hawk or eagle. Unless their non-native, most wear the real thing.
            If you are what you eat.... I'm fast, cheap and easy.


            • #7
              Oh, yeah, I forgot. If we are talking northern traditional, most bustles are traditionally smaller anyway. I've seen some mighty keen northern traditional clothes with smaller black and white eagle bustle, ie. no extensions or very short extensions.

              The long extensions and big bustles that look like satellite dishes are nice looking, but that seems to be more contemporary. Just my observations. Take it for what its worth.
              If you are what you eat.... I'm fast, cheap and easy.


              • #8
                Some Lenapes dance S. Straight b/c we were removed west to OK. I have never seen a Lenape dance eastern sorry.


                • #9
                  All Great Points and Wonderful Information

                  Kudos to all that have already posted. Very Good Points and Information.

                  The Eastern Bustle (for those that did and still use it) was small. The use of a Bustle at all among the Eastern Tribes was not very common and for this reason many think that it is a new fad or something.

                  From what I have discoverd, the Eastern Buslte was usually Turkey Feathers because it was originally just the Tail Turkey Feathers that were spread out in their orignial shape and mounted on some kind of belt or strap. Much like a hunter would mount the tail feathers showing his trophy.


                  • #10
                    I asked around the NMAI collections department about any early descriptions or depictions of a feather bustle in the east, and did not find anything that could have evolved into the common bustle that we see within men's regalia today or even older styles of bustles that are worn by the omaha and other tribes. Mississipian cultures have depictions of men dressed as birds. but some depictions seem to be more about cosmology rather than actual dances. who knows though, it's all been such a long time ago...


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