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What does the Fan on the right side shoulder of the straight dancer represent

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  • What does the Fan on the right side shoulder of the straight dancer represent

    Well, I know alot about the southern straight dancer's regalia, but I don't know what the shoulder fan on the left side of a straight dancer means or what it represents. I have seen popular straight dancers wear such a thing such as Ralph Haymond Jr. and Matthew Sheka, Gerwin ????. alot would wear eagle feathers matching the roach feather along with their tail fan, such as Joe 'Fish' DuPoint. which looks keen all matching feathers. all you noted southern straight dancers, let me know what is your input or you interpretation on this peticular subject.

    thank you!!!!!!
    >>>~~~~*~~~~<<< THUNDERHILL >>>~~~~*~~~~<<<

  • #2
    That is such a good question. I've been wondering that to.

    DRU

    Comment


    • #3
      What does the Fan on the right side shoulder of the straight dancer represent?

      I don't know the answer to this question. However, since I know Joe Fish DuPoint is a member of the NAC (Native American Church) and since smaller versions of feather fans have been worn on Gourd Dance bandoliers by NAC members in the past, I wornder if this relatively new addition to the Straight Dance clothes might have something to do with the dancer's affiliation in the NAC. Just a thought.

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think this is something new. I seem to recall early photos, or photos from the early part of the last century, around the 1920's and earlier, mostly of I think Ponca's.

        I seem to recall one photo showing Harry Buffalohead's grand father, Kaw Ce'honga, I'm guessing in some sort of a processional with other tribes or with other Ponca tribal members. In that photo, you can see some men wearing eagle feathers, tails, or large wing feathers, attached in a bunch on their left shoulders.

        I also recall seeing an old clip from what I think was some sort of a rodeo or something from the old Millers Brothers 101 Ranch showing men dancers wearing eagle feathers on their shoulders as well. They we're dressed out in traditional clothes, bonnets, "man dancing" around a group of singers who we're standing and singing in what looked like a rodeo arena.

        To my knowledge, there we're very few Ponca's or none at all, that actually participated in the 101 Ranch shows, the performers we're typically Sioux or Cheyenne....but, I could be wrong and heard incorrectly.

        Anyway....there's two historical examples I can recall where men, dancing or in procession, had feathers attached in the manner in which folks are talking about here.

        I don't think one can dispute the whole NAC/Peyote connection either.

        Perhaps it's some obscure hold over from years gone by, with the meaning having been lost to time.

        I know among some other tribes, stuffed birds or bird skins we're worn on the shoulders of some prominent warriors as "war medicine". Perhaps this was a similiar thing. Feathers worn for protection in battle.
        "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


        • #5
          I'm not sure I really understand exactly what you are talking about. Are these fan-like feathers work like epaulets? I'm also not sure about the significance of the left shoulder, that's interesting. Attached are a couple of images showing feather ornaments in historic images.

          Mr. Bo, the Miller Bros Ranch (or what's left of it) is in Marland, OK about 10 miles from Ponca City. There were lots of Poncas, Pawnees and Otoes in the show, some Sioux and Cheyenne but not as many as other shows like buffalo bill. There are several books about the 101 ranch, do a search on amazon.com to see some of them.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BeadMan
            I'm not sure I really understand exactly what you are talking about. Are these fan-like feathers work like epaulets? I'm also not sure about the significance of the left shoulder, that's interesting. Attached are a couple of images showing feather ornaments in historic images.

            Mr. Bo, the Miller Bros Ranch (or what's left of it) is in Marland, OK about 10 miles from Ponca City. There were lots of Poncas, Pawnees and Otoes in the show, some Sioux and Cheyenne but not as many as other shows like buffalo bill. There are several books about the 101 ranch, do a search on amazon.com to see some of them.

            ....thanks!


            Back to the topic...or a side topic.


            Who applied the name LOVE FEATHERS to the small bundles of feathers worn on bandoliers? A friend of mine and I we're wondering. We think it's a hob thing, as my friend had no recollection of indians ever calling them "love feathers".
            Last edited by Mr Bo Jangles; 10-28-2004, 12:53 PM.
            "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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mr Bo Jangles
              I know among some other tribes, stuffed birds or bird skins we're worn on the shoulders of some prominent warriors as "war medicine".
              __

              Bo,

              What you speak of was worn only by the spiritual leader of a war party. This spiritual leader earned the right to wear this, by completing up-to-eight separate war honors, depending on his tribe. The specific honors that these elite warriors had accomplished were tattooed on the warrior as evidence of what he had done to the enemy on the battlefield.

              This wearing of the "war medicine" is no longer practiced because Indians during the reservation period, were no longer able to earn these war honors.

              One explanation for the shoulder feathers, symbolizes this once "time honored practice". . . and yes, it was worn on the on the left shoulder.
              Last edited by WhoMe; 10-28-2004, 11:29 AM.
              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WhoMe
                __

                Bo,

                What you speak of was worn only by the spiritual leader of a war party. This spiritual leader earned the right to wear this, by completing up-to-eight separate war honors, depending on his tribe. The specific honors that these elite warriors had accomplished were tattooed on the warrior as evidence of what he had done to the enemy on the battlefield.

                This wearing of the "war medicine" is no longer practiced because Indians during the reservation period, were no longer able to earn these war honors.

                One explanation for the shoulder feathers, symbolizes this once "time honored practice". . . and yes, it was worn on the on the left shoulder.
                ...like I said, "PROMINENT" warriors...thus denoting it was a practice that was very much only for a select few....and not something done by the group of warriors by and large.

                As late as the 1960's during the Vietnam War, I'm aware of a few Oklahoma tribal members that carried war medicine with them into Vietnam.

                The practice still exists today among some tribes.....my own included. Of course.....we don't wear feathers off of our shoulders....ours is a bit different.
                Last edited by Mr Bo Jangles; 10-28-2004, 12:55 PM.
                "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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mr Bo Jangles
                  ...like I said, "PROMINENT" warriors...thus denoting it was a practice that was very much only for a select few....and not something done by the group of warriors by and large.

                  As late as the 1960's during the Vietnam War, I'm aware of a few Oklahoma tribal members that carried war medicine with them into Vietnam.

                  The practice still exists today among some tribes.....my own included. Of course.....we don't wear feathers off of our shoulders....ours is a bit different.
                  __

                  Bo,

                  Yes, you did say PROMINENT *L ... agreed!

                  The war medicine you speak of and the full bodied bird are two separate things. Agreed many tribes carry protective "medicines" in modern times.

                  However, in the olden days, the spiritual leader who carried the full bodied bird on his left shoulder was the person the enemy would try and take out first. Much like today if a general was on the battlefield, the enemy would try and take him out.

                  All this is pretty deep. It all relates to the origins of the Straight Dance today. I can share this information and discuss it with you in person when I see you. This EXTREME knowledge should not be posted over the internet.
                  Last edited by WhoMe; 10-28-2004, 01:04 PM.
                  Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WhoMe
                    __

                    Bo,

                    Yes, you did say PROMINENT *L ... agreed!

                    The war medicine you speak of and the full bodied bird are two separate things. Agreed many tribes carry protective "medicines" in modern times.

                    However, in the olden days, the spiritual leader who carried the full bodied bird on his left shoulder was the person the enemy would try and take out first. Much like today if a general was on the battlefield, the enemy would try and take him out.

                    All this is pretty deep. It all relates to the origins of the Straight Dance today. I can share this information and discuss it with you in person when I see you. This EXTREME knowledge should not be posted over the internet.
                    Understood.
                    "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


                    • #11
                      Dang! I guess I'll have to wait till the movie comes out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr Bo Jangles
                        ....Who applied the name LOVE FEATHERS to the small bundles of feathers worn on bandoliers? A friend of mine and I we're wondering. We think it's a hob thing, as my friend had no recollection of indians ever calling them "love feathers".
                        I know that an older tradition among the Ponca, though still seen today, are shoulder ornaments tied to the bandoliers, made with solid colored silk scarves with wild bergamot or beebalm, sage or some other "herbal perfume" placed in the center of the scarves. Then a thong is tied below the ball of “herbal perfume” letting the rest of the scarf hang loose. These packets are then tied to the bandoliers above each shoulder. At the present time, the use of "herbal perfume" has not completely disappeared, since small perfume packets are still tied to the bandoliers that are part of the straight dance type of Hethuska outfit.

                        Because of the old beliefs in these herbal perfumes and their connection with herbs used in "love medicine," such as meadow rue, blood root, wild columbine, “love seed” or cogswellia daucifolia and “fuzzy weed” or artemisia dracinculiodes used as “love medicine” in much earlier times, I believe that the shoulder feathers worn either with or without shoulder scarves may be mistakenly confused with this "love medicine" tradition.

                        However, the shoulder feather ornaments are made like a loose feather fan in a much smaller size and frequently with a small gourd-stitched beaded base or a silver thimble, with small bird tail feathers hanging down from it. I have seen tail feathers of kestrel or sparrow hawk, blue jay, nighthawk, mocking bird or other small but aggressive or so-called “warrior bird” feathers on many Ponca, Osage and Comanche dancers.

                        In addition, I have seen the feathers of the yellow-shafted flicker or yellow hammer, piliated woodpecker and scissortail flycatcher also. However, feathers from this group of birds are often worn for spiritual reasons as they have special significance to many Oklahoma tribes in relation to healing.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          hmmmmm lets see

                          ok as for what im told from home in anadarko, ok this is from the gourd dance society. here we have regalia borrowed from another dance cuz a lot of kiowas dance straight dance. if you been to oklahoma then anyone can see that kiowas have a big influence on powwows. so some of their ornaments basically have to make it in the dance, LOL. now, im not sayin there is no other meanings for the shoulder fan, but as for what im told its from the gourd dance. most straight dancers in kiowa commanche country are also members of a gourd society. which is why dancers down there dress differently from other dancers. and thats how it used to be. one could tell who a person was by lookin at their regalia. now you cant tell nothing from regalia. some of the dancer mentioned, albeit good dancers, are more powwow oriented than some dancers from either oklahoma or nebraska. so u might see cross tribal dress from these dancers cuz their tribe didnt dress in the praire style clothes as a straight dancer does. so remember you got powwow clothes and hethuska clothes nowadayz.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ANGELO
                            ... now you cant tell nothing from regalia. ... so u might see cross tribal dress from these dancers .
                            __

                            ANGELO,

                            Dang cross dressers. They're everywhere, ennit? They got any where your at now?

                            *L


                            j/k
                            Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Historian
                              In addition, I have seen the feathers of the yellow-shafted flicker or yellow hammer, piliated woodpecker and scissortail flycatcher also. However, feathers from this group of birds are often worn for spiritual reasons as they have special significance to many Oklahoma tribes in relation to healing.
                              Could you share more concerning the spiritual reason and healing significance to this?

                              Comment

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