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Side Drops

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  • Side Drops

    At one time the Ponca and the Osage wore a finger-woven sash as a belt under their shirt, as stated by Dr. James Howard and Alice Callahan.

    “At his waist the straight dancer wears a finger-woven yarn sash, the long ends hanging down”...“This is usually worn under the shirt and belt.”
    (Howard, 1965, p. 64)

    “In earlier times a wide, finger-woven cummerbund was used”...“with the cummerbund ends trailing down the back of the costume from under the shirt.”
    (Callahan, 1990, p. 111)

    The finger-woven sash was made of colored wool yarn, was worn in the style that allowed the very long sash to be wrapped around the waist twice. The extra long wool fringe would hang loose at both sides, just behind the hips, and extending down to mid-calf length. (Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage, 1987)

    Over the years, this long sash was omitted and side drops are now worn attached to a belt under the ribbonshirt as stated by James Howard ,

    “At present only yarn side drops are worn under the shirt, not the full sash. These side drops are, of course, derived from the ends of the full sash formerly used.”
    (Howard, 1976, p. 35)

    Today usually, four strips of finger-woven yarn in colors matching or complimenting the colors of other components of the straight dance clothes, hang on each side, draped evenly over the inside belt. Sometimes white beads are threaded onto the yarn strands and woven into the pattern. When finger-woven garters are worn, the side drops and garters will match in color and design pattern, as they are usually made as a set.

    Austin, Robert.
    1969. Finger Weaving. Pow-Wow Trails Newsletter, December Issue, Somerset, NJ.

    Bailey, Garrick, and Daniel Swan.
    2004. Art of the Osage. St. Louis Art Museum, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

    Callahan, Alice A.
    1990. The Osage Ceremonial Dance, I’n-Lon-Schka. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.

    Conn, Richard.
    1971. Finger Weaving, Part I. American Indian Crafts & Culture Magazine, December Issue, Tulsa, OK.
    1972-a. Finger Weaving, Part II. American Indian Crafts & Culture Magazine, January Issue, Tulsa, OK.
    1972-b. Finger Weaving, Part III. American Indian Crafts & Culture Magazine, February Issue, Tulsa, OK.

    Dendel, Esther Warner.
    1974. The Basic Book of Fingerweaving. Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.

    Feder, Norman.
    1957-a. Costume of the Oklahoma Straight Dancer. The American Indian Hobbyist Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1.
    1957-b. Costume of the Oklahoma Straight Dancer. The American Indian Hobbyist Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2.

    Howard, Dr. James H.
    1965. The Ponca Tribe. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 195, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
    1976. Ceremonial Dress of the Delaware Man. Special Issue, The Bulletin of the Archeological Society of New Jersey, No. 33, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ.

    LaFave, Edward J.
    1998. Straight Dance Clothing: How to Dress a Straight Dancer. Whispering Wind: American Indian Past & Present Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 4, Folsom, LA.

    Smith, Jerry.
    1982. Straight Dance Clothes: Getting Them On. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, April Issue, LaPalma, CA.

    Stewart, Tyronne H.
    1968. Dressing a Straight Dancer. The Singing Wire Newsletter, February Issue.

    Turner, Alta R.
    1974. Finger Weaving: Indian Braiding. Sterling Publishing Co., New York, NY.

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

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

  • #2
    So then who started the beaded drops?


    • #3
      Originally posted by legalstraight View Post
      So then who started the beaded drops?
      by somebody that could not fingerweave worth a damn, just like me!
      ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
      Till I Die!


      • #4

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

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


        • #5
          Years ago, I was putting together a straight outfit little by little. I didn't know where to get the drops and garters, and I was living near the west coast. I saw an ad for yarnwork in one of the hobbyist magazines; I believe a Pawnee(?) family was mail ordering their work out of Houston. I took a chance and ordered a set made of green, yellow, blue and maroon yarn.

          When it arrived, I was pleased. The weaver used white pony beads which stood out nicely from the design. The design was interesting, because it had a "half sash" in front of about 3 3/8" x 20" with an elongated lozenge pattern. At either end, three drops began, each about 20" in a zig-zag pattern. Then each drop turned into 8 twisted fringes with pony beads, 8" long. The fringes were of varying colors, whatever the yarn ends dictated. At the bottom of each fringe was a tight, 3/4" diameter yarn pompon. The two ties extended from either end of the top border of the sash and were made of several strands of the same yarn that made up the sash itself. The strands of yarn were braided and each tie was 40" long.

          The garters matched the lozenge design, and the drops from the garter-tie were all twisted fringes interspersed with pony beads.

          I danced with George Howell, Pawnee, at a powwow about three years ago, and I noticed that he had no fringerweaving on his side drops. They were made entirely of the twisted fringe with beads. I thought this gave a nice look.
          Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 05-20-2010, 11:06 PM.


          • #6

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

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


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