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Starting out

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  • Starting out

    Hey everyone!
    Im here posting in your neck of the woods now. MY brother wants to start dancing straight. Hes never danced before and of all the styles he has gravitated tworads straight. Which will be easier on him to start cause he is a big guy, not bubba big just big barrel chested 220 type of ndn-lol

    I know nothing about straight other then what Ive seen at powwows. My question is what are the basic things he needs so we can start making them for him.

    Its a given that I will find someone for him to learn from, another straight dancer but we wanted to get at least the beginings right for him as far as clothes, bandoliers, etc.

    Last edited by Tvskekee; 06-05-2002, 09:37 AM.
    A Warrior without character is nothing more than a brute.

    I have lots of freinds, you just cant see them:)

  • #2

    I would suggest that your brother start out in tab leggins since those are a lot easier to make than all that ribbon work. I will work my way up from bottom to top and give you the basics. To have a very nice straight set he will need accessorize a bit too.

    Ok here we go...Mocs, tab leggins, bells or deer toes, apron, Shawl wrap (if dancing kiowa/comanche style, if not then skip), if not using shawl wrap then a trailor and fingerweaving set, belt (beaded, tack or concho), ribbon shirt, pair of bandoleers, breastplate (optional), scarf and slide, dragger (silver or otter hide w/beadwork), hand objects (fan, tailstick, mirror board, pipebag, etc.), roach w/socket spreader (one or two sockets).

    This is the basics to mid-line of this outfit.

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

    My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


    • #3
      The best thing your brother could do would just be to attend some dances and simply watch. Learn what this dance is about. Observe the clothing down to the mocs. What is your tribal particulars if any? He could even purchase some Powwow video tapes. Some video tapes walk you through the different dance styles. He might also try to find a good straight dancer to help him out personnally one on one. This is important if he wasn't born into this event or style of dance.

      Good luck!!!!!!!!!


      • #4
        I would say try to borrow things for a dance session if he's just starting out. If you're friendly with any dancers who would let him borrow their suit for a dance, that would help him get the feel for dancing and a better sense of what straight dancing is all about. I straight danced for the first time last week, and to me it always looked pretty boring until I got out there and did it. Remind him that he doesn't need the complete outfit to dance. Unless its a really special occasion, he can probably get away with mocs, shirt, leggins, apron, and bells. To me, it doesn't make sense to wait till your clothes are completely top notch before you dance in them, since he's just starting out. Good luck.

        Oh yeah, auctions at powwows can be great places to buy stuff.



        • #5
          Dancingraccoon59---I am gonna have to agree with others about watching and talking to other dancers. We never borrow anyones clothes just to "try it out". Here we are taught by others the hows and whys, and what not to do. Here you have to pay for the right to dance, we (my family anyway) doesn't beleive that you just throw yourself out there - especially in someone elses clothes.

          If you or any other dancer would like more info on this dance - please pm me and I will explain what I have been told and how I have danced for 40+ years.

          If you are gonna do it -- do it right! If you just throw yourself out there - you are likely to be classified as "wannabe" or "hobbiest" and we have enough of them in the arena as it is. Thank you.
          this is all i have to say


          • #6
            I dont know about the hobbiest or wannabe thing..we are straight up skins..Ive never heard a native person being called a wannabe-lol

            We got most of his stuff together, and we are living so far from any other ndn communities its hard to have family and friends help out and since I dance grass, I really coudlnt help him with the whole straight thing.

            Anyways, it all good and all the help and comments have been greatly appreciated. Ill have him pm you pawtoeman, thank you for the offer:)
            A Warrior without character is nothing more than a brute.

            I have lots of freinds, you just cant see them:)


            • #7
              eager for knowledge

              Was wondering if there were any dancers in the Central Texas area that would be willing for questions, etc:Angel2

              Its been hard for me to find people willing to help out. I have finally meet some through the American Resource Center in San Antonio (AIRC) {{and I am currently the web master in trade for knowledge, etc}}

              It would be nice to meet someone hopefully near Pflugerville, or anyone else who would like to be email pals are welcome.



              • #8
                I dont know about the hobbiest or wannabe thing..we are straight up skins..Ive never heard a native person being called a wannabe-lol
                Tvskekee -- didn't mean to offend or call names - just not sure who we were talking to. Wasn't aware that you are skin as well. I can tell you though that we do know some skins that haven't got a clue and are considered hobbiest and wannabe. It's not just other races that don't have a clue sometimes. LOL!

                Heard from your brother and have replied. Hope the info I gave him was helpful. Hopefully we will meet somewhere along the pow-wow trail and dance together.
                this is all i have to say


                • #9

                  There is a dance November 2nd for the Austin Independent School District. Their website is According to the flyer I have several Oklahomans are on staff and from talking to some that have been there it is a real good dance. Contest also.

                  There is also a dance in Corpus Christie August 17 and 18 at the Memorial Coliseum - It is called "Pow-Wow by the Sea"
                  this is all i have to say


                  • #10

                    thanks for the info, I plan on going to the one in Corpus, after I return from the Sundance in Rosebud, South Dakota 4-11 of August. I have attended the one in Austin as a specator only. I will have to hunt and see if I can find a contact person to tell me more:(


                    • #11

                      Would be glad to share what I know if you are interested. PM me and maybe we can get what you need

                      this is all i have to say


                      • #12
                        The suits need to reflect your families tribal affiliation if possible. If your tribe doesn't have any customs as this any more, which some don't, you can adopt a style. Around here many of these Indians adopt our Osage or the Kiowa, or Comanche suits. The tab leggins, and the wool with Osage ribbon work is quite common.

                        Good luck in your persuit of the truth, haha.

                        Just Stomp dance 'til sun up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                        • #13
                          persuit of the truth

                          I have to agree with CHEROSAGE on pursuit of the truth. I was discussing my regalia with an elder this past weekend who makes them for others. I found out there are some out there that will tell you WRONG about your regalia. Due to human nature and competition I guess, but this is NOT right...choose wisely who you seek counsil. Attend many pow wow's... watch, listen, and ask to whom are receptive and then ask others to validate.

                          I have also learned that is it helpful to carry a notebook of sorts depicting regaila. Document other regaila that you choose to be similar in. Because I choose Choctaw (decendant of 'OLD BLUE NOSE' I'm told) this is 'plain' regaila, white muslium pants, ribbon shirt, shapo, &c... I am often mocked by those who do not know before grand entry.

                          If you are seeking to be traditional, grass, &c, expect a years time to piece together everything, unless you have the means to purchase out right. The best regalia is not delivered by the Fed Ex man:Angel:

                          A good regalia takes time, thought, engery to become who you wish to express. I have found that having others to help you or donate their experience, brings more meaning to the regaila and you should dance to repsect those that have helped you enter in the circle.

                          Take this for whatit is worth in much respect.



                          • #14
                            maybe you can have him watch straight dancers at the powwows and have him go from there. :)


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