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  • Lets talk about armbands... <-:

    Does everyone wear them?

    Are they always made from stamped german (trade) silver?

    Do they always have ribbons hanging from them?

    Are there modern evolutions or fads from the traditional types?

    Are they becoming optional?

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

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

  • #2
    I'm still wearing stamped german silver armbands with ribbon hanging.

    I've noticed people don't really wear the silver wrist bands/cuffs anymore. And I notice a lot more dancers wearing beaded arm bands and cuffs, mostly I see this with younger dancers.

    I wonder if straight dance will be where it is now 50, 60, 100 years from now; and if a dancer can have "too much beadwork" with their regalia? Also, the difference between dancers having 2 roach feathers verses 1.

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    • #3
      I can only speak of what I've seen. When I converted from fancy feather to straight in the 1970's, the arm bands I saw were german silver with stamped designs. My first pair, I ordered by mail from Julius Ceasar. They have a nice central design with an eagle. The sliding strap had a join that was soldered. Many of them nowadays leave the slide with a slight gap. I think at that time, the ribbons were normally one foot long, meaning that on one arm band, you'd have a two foot length folded in half. Most ribbons were and are 1 3/8" wide. Presently, many wear the ribbons of a 1 1/2" foot length. The trendy contestants may wear mulitple strands of 1/2" ribbons, perhaps longer than 1 1/2 feet, and perhaps more than one color. I was taught to wear the ribbons facing to the rear; ie., above the elbow when you're standing naturally. Some dancers wear them facing slightly outward, but I can't recall seeing them facing to the dancers' side. The arm bands are worn just a little ways above the bend of the arm, not high on the bicep. Where the ribbons make attachment to the arm band, there is sometimes a beaded medallion. For those who like matching outfits, the medallions can match others.

      I met one guy who claimed you were not supposed to polish your german silverwork. I never bought that idea. I use Simichrome.
      Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 02-28-2007, 11:58 AM. Reason: small addition

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      • #4
        I have german silver armbands as well. They were given to me years ago with no decoration. Since I am learning silverwork, I changed that. All of my bands are set up for ribbons and are very simple. What Gledanh Zhinga stated I would say is what I have seen/ been taught. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
        <o:p> </o:p>
        As for other things I have seen, it depends on where I go. It seems that the ribbons are getting looooooonnnnnggggg out on some of the young contest guys (like down to the knees on one guy... dang how he did not get them tangled in his bells I don't know!). I have also seen a lot of guys not have ribbon or anything off their armbands. Some cases of otter strips and thats about it. As for beaded, I see the wrist cuffs the most with silver arm bands. An accomplished contest dancer once told me that he likes the beadwork rather than the keen silverwork. He said that a judge can see the beadwork from far away and would need to be up close to appreciate the designs in silverwork. He still wears silver though because it sure throws light when it is clean! <o:p></o:p>
        <o:p></o:p>
        Question... I have heard that the ribbons or dangles off the arm bands have a purpose. What's everyone's understanding on this small part of the clothes? Purpose or pretty? Or is the purpose to be pretty? <o:p></o:p>
        Last edited by Fat Albert; 02-28-2007, 01:29 PM. Reason: Change wording

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        • #5
          I still have my old german silver armbands I had in the 70s. I still just wear ribbons on the back of the arm and only about 12" if I even do wear thenm at all anymore(ribbons that is). I DO need some new arm bands, but I'm just toooo cheap to get some for myself. The kiddies need things more than I do,(grandbabies).

          I still wear my german silver cuffs that wear given to me some time back,( but not always do I wear them). Polished looks nice.
          BOB

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          • #6
            I have both German silver armbands that use and a set of beaded ones that I used to wear with my N. Trad regalia. I personally like the German silver ones, they fit better, and when you polish them up, the look excellent.

            As for Fat Albert's question, I think the excessive beadwork is a result of one thing: competition powwows. People want to stand out and get noticed, and having huge amounts of beadwork is the way to do it. Again my opnion is that although it does take along time to make a beaded item, from my limited experience with ribbonwork, the precision and planning is not as great. I'ld rather bead than do ribbonwork, but I am going to give ribbonwork a try again
            Last edited by Privateer6; 03-12-2007, 12:10 AM.

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            • #7
              I've always have worn silver armbands too, and since the 70's. I do have a beaded set, but my arms got to big from the weight I gained. Yep don't understand those ribbons down to the bells, maybe they should switch to grass dancing instead. Keep it clean and simple.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gledanh Zhinga View Post
                I met one guy who claimed you were not supposed to polish your german silverwork. I never bought that idea. I use Simichrome.
                geez, who doesnt use Simichrome? honestly, is there anything better....lol
                "Most of you dont like me, All of you dont have to. But from the bottom of my heart, Thanks for noticing me!"-Nashoba Simmons

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                • #9
                  i was looking through the library of congress photo archive a few years ago and i saw one of a crow boy wearing what looked like ration(commodity food)cans for upper arm bands. his arm bands had the "ripples" just like a can of green beans. it was awesome. my brother and one of our buddies use them now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rezcar3 View Post
                    i was looking through the library of congress photo archive a few years ago and i saw one of a crow boy wearing what looked like ration(commodity food)cans for upper arm bands. his arm bands had the "ripples" just like a can of green beans. it was awesome. my brother and one of our buddies use them now.
                    Actually, I don't think they were putting ripples into canned food items back in the day. What you PROBABLY saw was a pair of armbands that were brass or german silver, that were ridged, or comprised of several pieces of metal, soldered together into one piece. It was a common bit of jewelry among most Plains groups. You can still find some on ebay now and again, made from brass.

                    They're keen, but, dang if they're ALWAYS too small to fit my big guns!! aye!

                    Most old cans were just flat, no ridges/ripples.

                    But, ya never know, I mean, it's not like I know it all.
                    "This next song goes out to some girls in dot com. They don't know who they are, but, it doesn't really matter anyway."




                    "When the God's wish to punish us, they grant our prayers."

                    O. Wilde

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                    • #11
                      yeah they just started putting "ripples" in cans to keep the contents from sticking to the can. it increased air flow causing contents to slide out easier.
                      "Most of you dont like me, All of you dont have to. But from the bottom of my heart, Thanks for noticing me!"-Nashoba Simmons

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cakewalk View Post
                        yeah they just started putting "ripples" in cans to keep the contents from sticking to the can. it increased air flow causing contents to slide out easier.

                        Airflow my arse!

                        Airflow within a can totally goes against the whole idea of canning. To PREVENT SPOILAGE BY ELIMINATING AIR CONTACT WITH FOOD.


                        THe ripples are purely decoration for armbands.

                        aye china!


                        ...naw....they're to increase the overall stability and strength of a cans mid-section. Old cans were flat sided, which made them weak and they tended to dent alot easier, increasing risk for splitting the sealed ends or seams. With ripples, you gotta slam them puppies down pretty hard to get a dent and that $1.00 off for a damaged can discount.

                        lol
                        "This next song goes out to some girls in dot com. They don't know who they are, but, it doesn't really matter anyway."




                        "When the God's wish to punish us, they grant our prayers."

                        O. Wilde

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just a random thought, but could the rippled metal armbands been made from a metal washboard? Having run across several at estate sales and an occasional feed store, the thought popped into my mind. Just my $.02...your mileage may vary.

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                          • #14
                            [LEFT]I don't know if they would use a washboard. I have not seen many washboards but I think that the ripples are much smaller than on a board. Of course my grandma would have my hide if I messed with her boards! I am going to try and include a link to a set that I think we are talking about...



                            Did the link work?
                            Last edited by Fat Albert; 03-16-2007, 01:08 PM. Reason: making the link work!

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                            • #15
                              thats awesome. well that clears up my comment about commod can armbands. i still like mine! lmao.

                              ps.jamie okuma is the bomb!!! i agree.

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