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  • Leggings

    The coverings for each leg, called u-toN’ by the Omaha and Ponca, are tied to the belt and giving the appearance of “chaps.”

    Leggings fall into two main categories for straight dancers, depending on the material used for construction, with some variations. In all cases, the leggings will have the addition of some style of garter and dance bells fastened below the knee.

    1. Wool Broadcloth Leggings.
    Rainbow selvage broadcloth leggings are usually made of the same color broadcloth as the breechcloth and dance trailer. To construct, the material is formed around each leg from ankle to groin and sewn down the outside edge of the leg, leaving two flaps of equal width extending from the seam outward. The rainbow selvage usually runs lengthwise on one of the flaps. The decoration of wool broadcloth leggings falls into at least three versions.

    a) Cut Ribbon Appliqué – If cut ribbon appliqué decoration is used on the breechcloth, then the same cut ribbon appliqué decoration in design and color is used on the edge of the one legging flap for each leg without a rainbow selvage, and edge beadwork completes the design, which protects the ribbon from wear. When worn, the leggings are put on in such a way so that when the flaps are folded forward and held in place by garters and strips of leg bells, the cut ribbon decoration will be seen running down the center of the leg in front.

    Bacon Rind – Osage – 1900


    George Michelle - Osage - 1905


    John Wood - Osage - 1910



    b) Stylized Floral or Ribbonwork Style Beadwork – If stylized floral beadwork decoration is used on the breechcloth or apon, the wool broadcloth leggings are frequently made in a similar fashion. The edge of the legging flap without rainbow selvage will usually have a simple one ribbon binding on the edge and will have stylized floral beadwork sew onto the flap running lengthwise. Sometimes the leggings flaps are decorated in appliqué beadwork resembling ribbonwork patterns also. The legging flaps decorated in this manner would also be worn folded forward as described above, so that the beadwork could be easily seen.

    Otoe man - 1896


    Dust Maker (aka Pete Mitchell) - Ponca - 1898


    Chas Baddle - Omaha/Otoe - 1898



    c) Geometric Lazy-stitch Beadwork – If stylized floral beadwork decoration is used on the breechcloth, the style of decoration on wool broadcloth leggings sometimes seen in old photos of Poncas from the late 1800s would show a wide strip of geometric lazy-stitch beadwork running lengthwise along the seam, similar to some of the northern plains tribes. If leggings decorated in this fashion are worn, often the flaps are folded backward and held in place by dance bells.

    George Michelle - Osage - 1910


    Little Soldier - Ponca - 1914


    Kaw men – no date



    2. Tanned Hide Leggings.
    Tanned deerhide or elkhide leggings are commonly seen in place of the wool broadcloth leggings and can be worn with either a breechcloth having cut ribbon appliqué decoration or a breechcloth having stylized floral beaded decoration. If tanned hide leggings are used by straight dancers, they will usually fall into three main styles.

    a) Tab Leggings – A style attributed mostly to the Comanche, Kiowa or Southern Cheyenne, will have a “tab” or wedge of deerhide in matching flaps from the hip to just above the knee. The tabs are cut in such a way as to extend outward at a gradual angle with the point of the tabs coming to just below the knee. The tabs are sometimes painted with dry powder paint on the outside, leaving the rest of the legging natural white. Often a dark colored solid material such as satin or velvet is sewn into the inside surface of the tabs providing a flash of color as the dancer moves. Usually, the points of the tabs are decorated with a small beaded dangle with a tuft of horsehair. Lengths of twisted fringe run from just below the bottom edge of the tabs to the ankle and extend outward for a foot or more. Early photos of Osage men will sometimes shown tab leggings without fringe, such as the #6 man in the first photo on the far left.

    Young Black Dog, Twelve-O'Clock, Ogias Captain, Little White Hair Chief, Alex Britt, Paw-Ne-No-Pa-Zhe, Governor Joe, Playful Chief, A Distant Land, Reach To The Skies - Osage – 1868


    Comanche couple – 1895


    Comanche man – 1900


    Nau-Nooh - Comanche - 1910


    Albert Atocni – Comanche – 1926


    b) Flap Leggings – A style of deerhide legging traditionally seen among many southern and middle Plains tribes including the Ponca, Osage, Pawnee and Southern Cheyenne. The deerhide is cut so that there are flaps beginning very narrow at the hip and extending wider at an angle toward the bottom edge. The pair of long, triangular shaped flaps frequently have about one or 2 inches of the edge cut into short fringe, or have longe fringe flowing from the edges. Often a single row of lazy-stitch beadwork is sewn directly onto the hide just inside the edge of fringe on both front and back flaps and across the bottom edge. Sometimes silver spots are seen as well. The leggings are held together by evenly spaced deerhide laces. In many museum collections the deerhide is either smoked to a dark mustard yellow or is colored with dry powder paint, often in shades of yellow or green.

    Children of Ongotoya (Solitary Traveler) - Kiowa - 1892


    Tsendon (Horse Hunter) - Kiowa - 1893


    Southern Cheyenne men - 1895


    Buffalo Meat, Three Fingers and Wolf Robe - Southern Cheyenne - 1895


    Playful Chief – Osage – 1900


    Otoe men - 1906


    Kiowa couple - 1910


    Crazy Bear - Ponca - 1914



    c) Front Seam Leggings – According to Norman Feder, front seam deerhide leggings were once a common style among Missouri River tribes including the Omaha, Ponca, Oto, Pawnee, Iowa, Sauk & Fox, Kaw, Osage and Missouri. (Feder, 1962, p. 119) Made in a similar fashion to the tab leggings discussed above, these leggings usually had a more rounded style set of tabs and was usually without a decoration or dangle on the tips. Often these front seam tab leggings had no fringe below the tabs. However, the front seam leggings, as the name suggests, were worn in such a way so that the seam ran down the front of the leg, instead of the side of the leg. The pair of tabs would extend outward just above the knee and hang down to about mid-shin. The most notable feature of the front seam leggings are the bottom portion, which flares outward to almost completely cover the moccasins. In fact the Omaha called these kinds of leggings, utoN’toNga or “big leggings” because of these large flaps at the ankles. Among the Omaha, these “big leggings” were worn exclusively by the Chiefs and were decorated with round dots representing hail.

    The Gray Fox - Sauk & Fox - 1859


    Iowa and Sauk & Fox men – 1866


    Che-Ko-Shuk - Sauk & Fox - 1868


    Little Chief – Iowa – 1869


    Deer Thigh – Iowa – 1869


    White Horse - Otoe - 1895


    James Whitewater - Otoe - 1898


    Un-identified man and Wash-shun-gah – Kaw - no date


    Omaha man - 1902


    Omaha man - 1902



    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.

    Green, Richard.
    2004. Trade Cloth Leggings with Undyed Selvedge. Whispering Wind Magazine, Vol. 34, No. 5, Folsom, LA.

    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.
    1962. Front Seam Leggings. American Indian Tradition Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 3.

    Hail, Barbara N.
    1980. Hau, Kola!: The Plains Indian Collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Brown University, Bristol, RI.

    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.

    Orchard, William C.
    1929. Bead and Beadwork of the American Indians. Contributions from the Museum of the American Indian, Vol. 11, Heye Foundation, New York, NY.

    Smith, Jerry.
    1967. Straight Dance Clout, Leggings and Trailer. The Singing Wire Newsletter, October Issue.
    1969. Kiowa Tab Leggings. The Singing Wire Newsletter, February Issue.
    1978-a. Osage Style Ribbonwork Part 1. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, May Issue, Buena Park, CA.
    1978-b. Osage Style Ribbonwork Part 2. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, June Issue, Buena Park, CA.
    1978-c. Osage Style Ribbonwork Part 3. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, September Issue, Buena Park, CA.
    1981. Ribbonwork: An Advanced Pattern. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, March Issue, LaPalma, CA.
    1982-a. Straight Dance Clothes: Getting Them On. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, April Issue, LaPalma, CA.
    1982-b. Straight Dance Leggings. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, October Issue, LaPalma, CA.
    1983. Ribbonwork: One Pattern, Two Constructions. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, November Issue, LaPalma, CA.

    Stewart, Tyronne H.
    1968. Dressing a Straight Dancer. The Singing Wire Newsletter, February Issue.
    Last edited by Historian; 03-04-2009, 04:08 PM.

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

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

  • #2
    would the floral beaded aprons be worn with the tab legging

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rodond View Post
      would the floral beaded aprons be worn with the tab legging
      I have seen modern straight dancers wearing semi-floral applique beadwork on aprons, with tab leggings.

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        From the collections of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

        Cut Ribbon Applique on blue wool. (Omaha?)
        [Peabody Number 99-12-10/53055]


        Cut Ribbon Applique on blue wool. (Quapaw?)
        [Peabody Number: 08-17-10/73461]


        Cut Ribbon Applique on red wool. (Delaware)
        [Peabody Number: 41-62-10/23540]


        Fringe, silver spots, paint and beadwork detail on hide. (Comanche)
        [Peabody Number: 52-12-10/35588]


        Fringe, paint and beadwork detail. (Kaw?)
        [Peabody Number: 971-16-10/51300]
        Last edited by Historian; 03-05-2009, 12:54 PM.

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

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Other examples:

          Kiowa


          Kiowa

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

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Just when I thought I had seen most styles of leggings, along comes a very unique style as seen in this photo.

            John Straight - Osage - 1912

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

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

            Comment


            • #7
              this is great information.

              at the black eagle powwow and gathering of nations the lead singer for omaha whitetail was wearing canvas tab leggings without fringe;one with ribbon work on the lower legs and one with floral designs on the lower legs.

              where would this type of leggings be categorized?

              also, he didnt wear fingerwoven garter/side drops or beaded strip garter/side drops. he wore "rectangular" panels with floral designs for the garter/side drop setups. i have seen this before on other straight dancers but never quite knew of the origin? i think it looks good but just wanted to understand where it comes from.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by rezcar3; 06-01-2009, 01:29 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rezcar3 View Post
                this is great information.

                at the black eagle powwow and gathering of nations the lead singer for omaha whitetail was wearing canvas tab leggings without fringe;one with ribbon work on the lower legs and one with floral designs on the lower legs.

                where would this type of leggings be categorized?

                also, he didnt wear fingerwoven garter/side drops or beaded strip garter/side drops. he wore "rectangular" panels with floral designs for the garter/side drop setups. i have seen this before on other straight dancers but never quite knew of the origin? i think it looks good but just wanted to understand where it comes from.
                The leggings in the first photo with floral beaded designs looks like front-seam tab leggings commonly seen among tribes like Omaha and Otoe. I can't identifiy the leggings in the second photo.

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

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  thanks. i thought that might be the direction.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What kind of leggings would the cherokee wear? Something like this NativeTech: 19th Century Seminole Men`s Clothing ~ Cloth Leggings

                    Comment


                    • #11

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

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bump...

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

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

                        Comment

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