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    I have two questions; First, I got a new roach and my spreader is smaller than the roach base, How do I remedy that without hurting the roach? Second, I have a belt I made that has brass tacks and mirrors. The tacks form seven(7) diamond shapes along the belt and inside these diamonds are seven(7) mirrors. Is it okay to wear this belt Straight Dancing? Just getting started Straight Dancing and I don't want to disrespect the circle, the dance or anyone at all. Thanks for your help in advance.

  • #2
    Another question

    OOPS, I forgot I have another question. Is it okay to wear a scarf slide that is not silver? I have a couple of slides that were given to me and one is an abalone shell slab and the other is a gold star, would either of these be okay or do the slides HAVE to be silver? Thanks again in advance.


    • #3
      My first belt was tacks and mirrors and the only complaint I heard was that when i was at the right angle the sun reflecting off of me would blind the emcee.
      I have since upgraded to a 6" wide beaded belt, still need to put some tacks on though.

      As for the roach spreader you can use a piece of heavy rawhide to extend out your spreader (use your roach as a template for the outer edge and then cut out the middle so your spreader comes up through it). There are other ways to do this I am sure though.

      For the slides and all, I have only one seen someone use something other that silver, and I recall there being a discussion about that on this board previously so you might look through the old threads.


      • #4
        Belt...should be fine

        Slides...I wear beaded and shell types with my straight suit

        Roach...Spreader is really the wrong name for those things. Should be more like feather holder. The fact that it is smaller than your base is a good thing. If the roach is made right it will lay correctly without the 'spreader' spreading the hair so the smaller spreader doesn't matter. Use it just the way it is. If you feel you have to have the thing reach the hair then use some belt leather to cut a disc to put under it...but you really should never have to. Look at the old elk antler spreaders, they definately never spread the roach open. They just hold it to the head and hold the feather upright in the roach.

        "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.


        • #5
          While wide leather belts with loom beadwork is the most common, belts with tacks or conchos are often seen as well.

          Neckerchief slide:
          In the late 1800s and early 1900s the neckerchief was often just tied in a knot. While stamped German Silver slides are most common nowadays, personal preference is generally the guideline for a variety of different slides I have seen over the years.

          Roach spreader:
          Powwowbum49 is right. A Roach Spreader is not really supposed to spread the Roach hairs any longer.

          In the 1800s, the Hair Roach was made in such a way that the deertail hair, normally found in one or two rows on the inside, continued in concentric spirals. So that what is now the Roach base, was at one time, all deertail hair with a hole in the center. It was during this stage, that the Hair Roach had a bone "spreader" and single feather socket, which would lay on top of the deertail hair, spreading it out enough so that the roach feather could twirl easily.

          In the next stage of evolution, the Hair Roach was altered so that the mass of deertail hair in the center of the Hair Roach was cut or "clipped", giving the appearance of a Persian rug. Hence the name "clipped base". During this stage, the Roach Spreader no longer had the function of spreading the deertail hair, but the name stayed. The late Roach maker Dennis Hawkins made a fine looking Turkey Beard Roach with a clipped base for me, back in the 1980s. It's unusual to see clipped base Roaches anymore.

          Today, the Hair Roaches are made with hairless bases, and if made correctly, they do not need anything to spread the deertail hair, but still function as a roach feather holder, as Powwowbum49 stated.
          Last edited by Historian; 02-15-2009, 08:35 AM.

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

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


          • #6

            Thanks to EVERYONE I LOVE this forum because not only do you get help but you also learn something in the process and to me that's what life is all about-- ALWAYS learning. Again T-H-A-N-K-S!! Ron


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