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  • Roach pins/sticks/skewers

    When attaching the roach to a braid, just wondering whether y'all use:


    >a small pin, not seen when viewed from the front or side

    >a larger pin, that protrudes from the sides of the roach

    >a decorated pin; how decorated?

    >a wooden pin, always

    >a particular kind of wood

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gledanh Zhinga View Post
    When attaching the roach to a braid, just wondering whether y'all use:


    >a small pin, not seen when viewed from the front or side

    >a larger pin, that protrudes from the sides of the roach

    >a decorated pin; how decorated?

    >a wooden pin, always

    >a particular kind of wood

    To add on, is there meaning behind having a feather(s) hanging from the roach pin?

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    • #3
      i always used to wear a roach pick that hung down on the left that was beaded on the end. but i stoped for two reasons.....

      first, it takes along time to put the roach on not to mention tuff to take off, not really tuf just kinds time comsuming,not a buch of time just like 2 minutes.

      Second, it was hard while traveling to find someone who was good at putting scalp locks in the right place.

      when i was like 12 and younger i used to use wood that was beaded at the end, but i stoped that because when you take it out it pulled and broke the hair. so than i started using cut down crociet needs, the big ones that went to a point not the one with a hook at the small end. but like i said it was tuff finding someone to braid my hair so it was just simpler to tie it on.

      I would rather go back to the scalplock/roach pin because it just plain looks good! but if you want it to be tight and very secure it kinda pulls the hair and when you take out your scalp lock strands of hair fall out from pooking it with a stick.

      i was told that there was a differance in wich side you hung your pick off, i think one was married, or something like that. but i dont really think thats it.
      "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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      • #4
        I made one for a dancer last year, and now he's requested me to make a new one, but in different colors. The stick he gave me to use resembles a skewer, but much nicer wood, and slightly thicker. I beaded the stick end about 2 inches in peyote, and also beaded the feather end about 2 inches, and then attached together using beads. This dancer has short hair, but still puts his roach stick through his roach.

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        • #5
          The roach pin I use was given to me by a solider in the Iraq conflict. It is wood and long enough that it shows on each side of the roach. It has some beadwork on it as well. It originally had a feather on it when I got it but now after the years, wear and tear took it off the pin. I have had long hair and short hair and use the roach pin either way. I prefer to use my hair though because it feels better. Have seen a lot of decorated hashi (chopsticks) though...

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          • #6
            For some tribes in the buffalo days, the origin of the roach pin was an arrow, worn as a mark of a war honor. The Omaha for example, used the arrow thrust through the scalplock to indicate the warrior had killed an enemy in battle.

            Today, many Straight Dancers have told me that they prefer to use cedar wood, especially the dark-red center wood, for their roach pins. Some have said they use chokecherry or cottonwood.

            As for my roach pin, it is made from a piece of wood taken from a beaver's lodge. It still has the distinctive but repetitive designs left from the beaver's teeth as he gnawed off some of the bark.

            Most pins I see are between 8'' to 12" long.

            As to having a feather or a plume hanging from the roach pin, that is probably best answered by elders of whatever tribal tradition you follow.
            Last edited by Historian; 04-08-2007, 03:53 PM.

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

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

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a roach pin made of cedar, a smaller branch, a little over 12" long. I beaded around the larger end and have some small Eagle feathers hanging from the stick. Since my hair is short I wear the roach pin(when I do wear it) in the loop of the shoe string where it is attached to my roach spreader.

              My feather choice was simply for decorative fashion, just looks good I guess.

              My oldest son has chosen not to wear any roach pins. He doesn't like them in the roach. His choice. He has always worn his hair fairly short, again his choice.

              My youngest son has several roach pins given him when he had long hair. All of these had beadwork and feather drops. Most are macaw or other feathers, not Eagle.
              Last edited by CHEROSAGE; 04-10-2007, 04:03 AM.
              BOB

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