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  • Whatch'yall think??

    Hey fellas I was just curious as to what u think about non-southern people dancin southern. I mean ive been adopted into a couple fams and they have mentioned me dancin southern in the future...but i'm not too sure. I've heard some folks REALLY hate that sorta thing...
    "Out greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us."

    "Never Compromise yourself, Your all you've got"


    "An eye for an eye will only lead to a blind world."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dat1NdnGuy
    Hey fellas I was just curious as to what u think about non-southern people dancin southern. I mean ive been adopted into a couple fams and they have mentioned me dancin southern in the future...but i'm not too sure. I've heard some folks REALLY hate that sorta thing...
    __

    Dat1:

    If a person from a northern tribe has come to the south (Oklahoma) and has publically received the right to wear southern cloths, then there is not much anyone can dispute.

    Case in point.

    There is a man from the Blood reserve in Alberta who came to Oklahoma in the 1950's. He worked along side Indians from many southern tribes doing factory work. While in Oklahoma, a woman named Lottie Pratt made straight dance cloths for him and dressed him publically in these cloths. To this day this man from a northern tribe (Blood) dresses in straight dance cloths at the annual Kanai Celebration in Standoff, Alberta each year.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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    • #3
      What I think.

      Dat1,

      You raise a good question. I am glad to to see people asking questions like this. However, this question in my humble opinion, can be a little tricky to answer directly. The reason being, that many dance styles seen at various Pow-Wows today reflect tribal styles, regional styles, fashion fads, and traditional and contemporary styles in general.

      However, the "southern straight" style in particular is representative of men's warrior societies in many southern plains and prairie tribes, many of which are still in existance today (i.e., Omaha, Ponca, Osage, Pawnee, Comanche, just to name a few).

      What becomes tricky, is that although many members of southern plains men's warrior societies (Hethuska, Inlonshka, Iruska, etc.) also choose to dance at Pow-Wows in addition to their "formal man dance ceremonies," there are a growing number of southern plains straight dancers who are not members of a men's warrior society, but choose to dance in the southern straight style for Pow-Wows only. Therefore, a good question then can be raised, if men from southern plains tribes are dancing at Pow-Wows only in southern straight style clothes, shouldn't men from other tribes be able to also? I have seen guys from southern tribes wearing northern grass dance clothes, so why not the reverse?

      However, I think what might be the meat of the real question beneath the surface is, can men from northern tribes or any tribe other than a southern plains tribe become members of a southern plains men's warrior society, such as the Ponca Hethuska, Osage Inlonshka or Pawnee Iruska? Since these and other southern plains warrior or veteran organizations make their own rules and guidelines, there is no simple answer.

      Bottom line advice would be to keep asking questions, pray about it, then follow what your heart tells you.

      Hope that helps some.
      Historian

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        I want to echo the previous answers. I know of some adoptees that are Southern straights, and they dance in our ceremonials. I believe if everything is done properly you will have the right to dance. Please, know why you dance this way and do justice to our ways.
        BOB

        Comment


        • #5
          Ditto

          Very well written Historian and Cherosage! Fully Agreed!

          It has been mentioned many times at powwows.com that so many people today dance and dress what they want to and what they like to wear.

          It would be great to see more and more of the people dress and dance in the style of their respective clan, band, tribe, nation, or even cultural area.

          It can be rather confussing to some when we dress in ways not of our cultural area. Example: At a recent event some college students were doing reports for classes and asked questions of a guy dressed in typical Northern Traditional Dance Clothes. And some were confused when he said that he was Haida from the Northwest Area. And that is just one example - we all know of many, many more.

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          • #6
            I think itz ok

            I think itz ok. I mean as long as ur in the circle and ask permission to dance the style u want there's nothing wrong wit it.
            *~*BbC-4-LiFe*~*

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            • #7
              Doesn't really bother me...I live in canada and have four daughters who are Cree Kiowa Comanche. Two of the older ones dance southern cloth, different especially in these parts (Saskatchewan). They were given regalia by their grandmother and aunt (who happens to be a well known maker of buckskin dresses and other outfits in OK)
              Watch your broken dreams...
              Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tom Iron Eagle
                It would be great to see more and more of the people dress and dance in the style of their respective clan, band, tribe, nation, or even cultural area.
                This is a nice idea and works well at traditional powwows, but is directly contrary to concept behind a competition. For competition to happen, there needs to be a limited number of dance styles that can be engaged in by people from various backgrounds. Otherwise there would be no basis for people from different tribes to be able to dance together. Powwows would become simply an arena for demonstrations. Interesting, perhaps, but not nearly as exciting.

                I witnessed something unusual last summer at the July 4th powwow at the Oneida reservation in Wisconsin. On Saturday afternoon there was a smoke dancing competition, something specific to the Oneida as part of the Iroquois culture. The young people who engaged in it changed clothes from their "regular" powwow style into Iroquois regalia. There was a special singer with a water drum. This competition was a sort of "rest" from the regular rhythm of the rest of the powwow. Then all of the smoke dance competitors changed back into their "normal" powwow regalia.

                Something along these lines, a combination of the culturally specific and the (dare I say?) pan-tribal, could prove a useful model.
                When you are born into this world you reach for either a bow and quiver, which is blessed by the Sun, our Grandfather, or you reach for an awl and sewing bag, which is blessed by the moon, our Grandmother. From that time on you will follow that vision and be blessed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great post WisconsinBlackBear. I have seen similar things done like the The Smoke Dance incident that you spoke of.

                  I can see your point with the comparisons to Competitions and Non-comp dances too - very good.

                  I am Creek/Seminole and I dress according to the South Eastern Clothing of a man in the years 1800 to about 1835. I guess what bothers me the most is that as I travel and run into other Creeks and some Seminoles they have no idea what I am wearing. Not to mention that many others also have no idea what I am wearing.

                  I guess what I am trying to say is that I fear that many of the young people are losing track on what their Cultural Dress is. We all know that they will dress and dance the style they like but we need to make sure they know of what style is indigenous to their tribe.

                  This forum on Straight Dance is a great one as in many parts of the country is it still very unknown to people.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tom Iron Eagle
                    I am Creek/Seminole and I dress according to the South Eastern Clothing of a man in the years 1800 to about 1835.
                    That's fascinating. I'm Cherokee and would love to do something similar. But then do you dance only intertribals?
                    When you are born into this world you reach for either a bow and quiver, which is blessed by the Sun, our Grandfather, or you reach for an awl and sewing bag, which is blessed by the moon, our Grandmother. From that time on you will follow that vision and be blessed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dance

                      The Regalia I use is very unique. While many do not know how I am dressed, I have to say that many older Elders always stop me and compliment me on dressing the very, very old way of the South East People.

                      One could say that my Regalia often confusses people. I don't compete and only attend a few competition powwows each year.

                      I have danced when the Traditinal and Straight Dancer Exhibitions are called. To date I have received no complaints or talk from anyone about where I line up for Grand Entry or if I dance with either the Traditional or Straight Dancers. It might have something to do with my age or as said before my Regalia is confussing to some.

                      I have been to Dances all across the country where the Straight Dancers insisted that I join them even though I felt that I should stay with the Traditional Category and vice versa.

                      The look is similar to Straight, but has a much longer Long Shirt and lots of FingerWeaving, but the look is also very Traditional being the time of 1800 to 1835 and can have the look of a Traditional Dancer with no Bustle if one has leather leggins and some other accourtrements.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Old Time

                        Tom,
                        I am glad to see that some folks are helping to preserve the old-time or what I refer to as the "historic" style in dance clothes. There is a lot of interest lately for these historically acurate outfits. They take a lot of time, effort, and painstaking research to get it right. I know of many who have put together such clothes that also take part in re-enactments or help out in making History Channel type documentaries. It seems the further back in time one goes, the more tribally specific the dance clothes become. I have seen some that look like they might have just stepped out of a time machine or a museum.

                        One other thing I have noticed lately, is that among Straight Dancers especially, there is a trend to incorporate tribally specific artwork or craftwork into their set of clothes. Some, like myself, may choose to use older, more traditional components in their set of clothes. For example, I wear a Turkey Beard Hair Roach with a "clipped deer tail hair" base, with a carved Elk shoulderblade and Eagle wingbone Roach Spreader, instead of the more common Porcupine Hair Roach with stamped German Silver Spreader. Wearing the Turkey Beard Roach and bone Spreader sometimes raises questions amongst fellow dancers or spectators, which provides the opportunity for education and sharing information about traditional ways.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have to compliment all of you on a very good thread here...good posts from one and all...
                          To add my two cents here... I am Mohawk by blood..but taken in by a Kiowa family..here in Texas...I am expected to dress in their family style....and out of respect,I do...so far I only dress out to Gourd Dance,but one day I am hoping to start Straight Dancing...fortunatly for me...I have many who I call family guide me in the proper direction...
                          sigpicWe spend a lifetime worrying about if we make a difference....Marines don't have that problem.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is a great honor for you P-83. I hope some day for the oppertunity to get to straight dance with you. the family will sponsor you and do everything necessary to make it right,I'm sure.

                            I'm glad to hear that many are starting to dress approprately as a straight dancer. BUT, I believe that everyone I know that straightdances and is an Inlonshka/Halushka dancer is dancing correctly dressed.
                            BOB

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Excellent

                              Yes, this is a wonderful thread and all have contributed greatly. Historian, that is just awesome. Where were you when we got into a heated debate on the Roach a while back in the Traditional Dance forum? That Turkey Beard Roackh with a Deer Tail Base is just awesome. I envy you there - that is a great piece and I respect you greatly for knowing all about it and wearing it correctly!

                              I have seen more Staight Dancers wanting more designs of their Tribe or Clan in their FingerWeaving and such also. And many that are looking are very surprised when I tell them one of the first places to find what they want is at a Living History Trade Show. I had to literally drag some to a show a few years ago under much protest. But when we got in and they saw the Vendors I then had a hard time getting them to leave at the end of the day. They were simply amazed at what they saw - old time beads, old time bead colors, old time trade cloth and old time trade cloth blankets, authentic fingerweaving, real trade silver, real calico, all brain tanned leathers, and much, much more - And the fact that not all the Vendors were White either!

                              Kudos to you and all they are keeping the really old ways and helping to educate in the old ways.

                              Comment

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