Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Otter Dragger

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Otter Dragger

    This major element of the Hethuska dance clothes called to’-zhan-ke in Ponca, is said to be derived from the otter tail component which was attached to the Grizzly Bear Claw Necklaces and hung down the back.

    Grizzly Bear Claw Necklace showing the otter tail attached - Mesquakie (aka Fox) - 1860


    Other examples of Grizzly Bear Claw Necklaces with otter tail attached.

    William Faw Faw - Otoe - no date


    Black Dog – Osage – 1876


    Fish Rub Against Something - Sauk & Fox - 1896


    Roaming Chief - Pawnee - 1902


    With the evolution of time, materials availability and personal artistic expression, the otter tail or otter dragger became a separate component.

    Early otter trailers were just strips of otter fur about two to three inches wide, taken from the center of the otter’s back, extending to the tip of the tail, with beaded medallions or rosettes and one or two feather attachments. It has been said that historically, as the otter tail had evolved to a separate component, the only Ponca Hethuska dancers to wear the otter tail were the appointed Tail Dancers.

    Osage man with Otter Dragger hanging over his right shoulder - no date


    Guards The Land with Otter Dragger in left hand – Osage – 1923


    In "The Ponca Tribe", James Howard states,

    “Tied at the dancer’s neck, so as to fall down his back and stream out behind him when he dances, is a long otterskin dance tail, ornamented with beaded discs and eagle feathers.”

    “The thongs used to tie this ornament about the neck are concealed by the dancer’s neckerchief. The Ponca claim to have introduced this otterskin tail into the Oklahoma area, and OYB (Obie Yellow Bull) said that formerly the otterskin was twisted and sewn round like a rope. Those tails used at present however are flat.”

    (Howard, 1965, p. 64)

    Today, otter trailers among the Ponca and Osage are still made from the center of the otter fur from head to tail, however it is usually about three to four inches wide and backed with wool broadcloth. With ribbon appliqué binding on either side and edge beadwork to protect the ribbon from wear, the completed piece is usually four to six inches wide at it’s widest point.

    In reference to the Osage otter trailers, Alice Callahan states,

    “At the back, hanging from the neck to the feet, is the otter trailer decorated to each individual’s taste.”...“Many of the otter decorations reflect the family symbols or the life of the individual wearing the otter.”
    (Callahan, 1990, p. 112)

    Bacon Rind with Otter Dragger tied to the bandolier in front (For possible photographic effect.) - Osage - 1880


    Osage men (Bacon Rind sitting on left, has Otter Dragger hanging off his left shoulder.) - no date


    Osage men (Dancer on left has Otter Dragger hanging over his left shoulder.) - no date


    Osage man (Dancer has Otter Dragger hanging over his left shoulder.) - no date


    John Wood with Otter Dragger hanging over his left shoulder - Osage - 1910


    Osage Otter Dragger and Dance Trailer


    Beaded medallions, loom-beaded strips, round mirrors, stamped trade-silver pins and feather dangles are some of the decorative elements which finish the Otter Dragger. Often if the straight dancer is a veteran he will display his military service ribbons, medals, awards or devices in a strategic location on the Otter Dragger. I've also seen a number of straight dancers wear the military service ribbons of a deceased relative, to honor their memory and service.


    Ashworth, Kenneth Albert.
    1986. The Contemporary Oklahoma Pow-wow. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma.

    Baird, W. David.
    1989. The Quapaws. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, NY.

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

    Barrett, Jay Amos.
    1898. Ponca Indians. Proceedings and Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, 2nd Series, Vol. 2, NE.

    Barth, Georg J.
    1993. Native American Beadwork. R. Schneider Publishers, Stevens Point, WI.

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

    Cash, Joseph H. and Gerald W. Wolff.
    1975. The Ponca People. Indian Tribal Series, Phoenix, AZ.

    Catlin, George
    1841. Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Traditions of North American Indians. 2 Volumes, Tosswill & Myers, London, England. (Reprinted as Letters and Notes on the North American Indian. Ross and Haynes, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 1965)

    Connelley, William E.
    1918. Notes on the Early Indian Occupancy of the Great Plains. Kansas State Historical Society Collections, 1915-1918, Vol. 14.

    Cooley, Jim.
    1985. Inlonska Centenial Commemoration: One Hundred Years of Dancing at the Pawhuska District. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, June Issue, Vol. 10, No. 10, LaPalma, CA.

    Denig, Edwin T.
    1961. Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.

    Dorsey, George Amos.
    1904-a. Traditions of the Skidi Pawnee. Memoirs, American Folk-lore Society, Vol. 8.
    1904-b. Traditions of the Osage. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL.

    Dorsey, Rev. James Owen
    1883. The Religion of the Omahas and Ponkas. American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Vol. 5, January-October, James & Morse Publishers, Chicago, IL.
    1884-a. Omaha Sociology. Bureau of American Ethnology, 3rd Annual Report 1881-82, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1884-b. An Account of the War Customs of the Osages, Given by Red Corn (Hapa-se), of the Tsi-u Peace-making Gens. American Naturalist, Vol. 18.
    1894. A Study of Siouian Cults. Bureau of American Ethnology, 11th Annual Report 1889-90, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1897. Siouian Sociology. Bureau of American Ethnology, 15th Annual Report 1893-94, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

    Dorsey, Rev. James Owen and Cyrus Thomas.
    1907. Iowa. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part 2, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
    1910. Ponca. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part 2, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

    Dude, H.D.
    1974. That Old Gray Horse Ain’t What She Used To Be. Indian America Magazine, Vol. 8, Number 7, Tulsa, OK.

    Duncan, Jim.
    1997. Hethushka Zani: An Ethnohistory of the War Dance Complex. MA thesis. Department of Anthropology, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK.

    Ellis, Clyde.
    2003. A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, KS.

    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.
    1980. Some Notes on the Osage War Dance. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, November Issue, LaPalma, CA.

    Feder, Norman and Milford G. Chandler.
    1961. Grizzly Claw Necklaces. American Indian Tradition Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 1.

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

    Heth, Charlotte, ed.
    1992. Native American Dance: Ceremonies and Social Traditions. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

    Howard, Dr. James H.
    1955. The Pan-Indian Culture in Oklahoma. The Scientific Monthly, Vol. 81, No. 5.
    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.
    1983. Pan-Indianism in Native American Music and Dance. Ethnomusicology, Vol. 28, No. 1.

    Howard, Dr. James H. and Gertrude P. Kurath.
    1959. Ponca Dances, Ceremonies and Music. Ethnomusicology, Vol. 7.

    Hyde, George E.
    1951. The Pawnee Indians. University of Denver Press, Denver, CO.

    Jablow, Joseph.
    1974. Ethnohistory of the Ponca. Garland Publishing Inc., New York.

    Johnson, Tim. Ed.
    1998. Spirit Capture: Photographs from the National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C.

    Kavanagh, Thomas W.
    1992. Southern Plains Dance Tradition and Dynamics: Native American Dance Ceremonies and Social Traditions. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution with Starwood, Washington D.C.

    Kelly, Helen.
    1987. Scarlet Ribbons: American Indian Technique. American Quilters Society, Paducah, KY.

    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.

    LaFlesche, Francis.
    1914-a. Osage Songs and Rituals. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections and Explorations, Vol. 65, No. 6, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1914-b. Ceremonies and Rituals of the Osage. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Volume 63, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1918-a. The Osage Tribe: Rite of the Chiefs, Sayings of the Ancient Men. Bureau of American Ethnology, 39th Annual Report 1917-18, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1918-b. Tribal rites of Osage Indians. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 68, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1924. Ethnology of the Osage Indians. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 76, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    1939. War Ceremony and Peace Ceremony of the Osage Indians. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 101, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

    Mathews, John Joseph.
    1932. Wa’-Kon-Tah, The Osage and the White Man’s Road. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.
    1961. The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.

    Lookout, Herman.
    1984. I-lon-shka Centennial Booklet, 1884-1984. Program of Events, Pawhuska District Osage Ceremonial Committee, Pawhuska, OK.

    Lowie, Robert H.
    1916. Plains Indian Age Societies: Historical and Comparative Study. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 11, Part 13, New York, NY.

    Lowie, Robert H., Ed. Clark Wissler.
    1916. Societies of the Plains Indians. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 9, New York, NY.

    Mails, Thomas E.
    1972. The Mystic Warriors of the Plains. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.
    1985. Plains Indians: Dog Soldiers, Bear Men and Buffalo Women. Bonanza Books, New York.

    Meadows, William.
    1999. Kiowa, Apache and Comanche Military Societies. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

    Murie, James R.
    1914. Pawnee Indian Societies. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 11, No. 7, New York, NY.

    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.

    Sebbelov, Gerda.
    1911. The Osage War Dance. The Museum Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3.

    Skinner, Alanson B.
    1915-a. Societies of the Iowa, Kansa and Ponca Indians. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 11, Part 9, New York, NY.
    1915-b. Kansa Organizations. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 11, New York, NY.
    1915-c. Ponca Societies and Dances. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 11, New York, NY.

    Smith, Jerry.
    1967. Straight Dance Clout, Leggings and Trailer. The Singing Wire Newsletter, October 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. Straight Dance Clothes: Getting Them On. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, April 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.

    Swanton, John R.
    1910. Osage. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part 2, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

    Thomas, Cyrus.
    1910. Quapaw. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part 2, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

    Thompson, Edwin.
    1928. The Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri. Bureau of American Ethnology, 46th Annual Report 1924-25, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

    Tibbles, Thomas H.
    1887. The Ponca Chiefs. J.S. Lockwood, Boston, MA.

    Tixier, Victor.
    1940. Tixier’s Travels on the Osage Prairies. Translated from the French by Albert J. Salvan, and edited by John Francis McDermott. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.

    Unrau, William.
    1971. The Kansa Indians: The History of the Wind People. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.

    Wissler, Clark.
    1906. Diffusion of Culture in the Plains of North America. Proceedings of the International Congress of Americanists, Vol. 15, Quebec, Canada.
    1915. Costumes of the Plains Indians. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 17, No.2, New York.
    Last edited by Historian; 04-13-2009, 03:43 PM.

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

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

  • #2
    Some more examples of the Otter Tail still attached to the Grizzly Bear Claw Necklaces.

    Pawnee man - 1868


    Sun Chief - Pawnee - no date


    Ralph Week, Eagle Chief - Pawnee - no date


    Eagle Chief - Pawnee - no date


    Roaming Chief - Pawnee - 1916

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

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

    Comment


    • #3

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Historian View Post
        This major element of the Hethuska dance clothes called to’-zhan-ke in Ponca, is said to be derived from the otter tail component which was attached to the Grizzly Bear Claw Necklaces and hung down the back.

        Grizzly Bear Claw Necklace showing the otter tail attached - Mesquakie (aka Fox) - 1860
        I just recently saw a guy wearing a claw necklace and otter dragger that look EXACTLY like this one, beaded down one side in the same pattern. Man that was sweet!! Unique, the only one like it at the dance and haven't seen one like it since!!!
        Traditions.....keep them and keep them sacred!

        I am NOT Indian. I have never been to India, nor has any of my family before me! I have met these people from India, of whom you speak, and I am nothing like them. Why do you call me an Indian?

        .

        Comment


        • #5
          In 2007, I was asked to be a consultant in identifying artifacts from the Rogers and Mary Aston Collection, Roswell Museum and Art Center, New Mexico. They had a nice claw necklace with otter, but unfortunately the provenance and age were unknown. Interestingly, a couple of beaded medallions were on the reverse side of the otter and would face the wearer's back when worn...a special meaning that I wondered about.

          Comment


          • #6

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

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

            Comment

            Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

            Related Topics

            Collapse

            • Historian
              Grizzly Bear Claw Necklace
              by Historian
              According to Norman Feder,

              “...grizzly claw necklaces were apparently never vary numerous within any one tribe because of the difficulty in obtaining the claws.”
              (Feder & Chandler, 1961, p. 7)

              Even at a time when the great plains family of the grizzly bear...
              03-31-2009, 03:29 PM
            • Historian
              Straight Dance Resources
              by Historian
              While it is most important to talk with recognized tribal elders and experienced straight dancers concerning straight dance traditions, straight dance clothes, straight dance artwork and straight dance history, the follow list of references may also help in increasing one's knowledge base. As long as...
              04-11-2009, 02:38 PM
            • Historian
              Vest
              by Historian
              An optional component in straight dance clothes is the wool broadcloth vest. Ponca, Omaha, Pawnee, and Osage straight dancers can often be seen wearing a vest with or without a ribbonshirt.

              The most common style of Ponca and Osage vests will have a distinctive strip of lazy stitched...
              03-20-2009, 01:58 PM
            • Historian
              Hair Plates
              by Historian
              Crosses, brooches, pins, bracelets, rings, gorgets, and armbands are among the highly prized "trade silver" items in the 1600 and 1700s. By the early 1800s, Plains metalwork had developed, influenced by many factors. Native metalworkers fashioned rings, bracelets, hair plates, etc. by pounding...
              03-31-2009, 12:24 PM
            • Historian
              Bandoliers
              by Historian
              Bandoliers are an essential component for straight dancers.

              The pair of bandoliers are most often strings of large trade beads with leather spacers, worn in a loop which extends from each shoulder to the opposite hip.

              Each bandolier consists of one to three strings of...
              03-21-2009, 02:13 PM

            Trending

            Collapse

            There are no results that meet this criteria.

            Sidebar Ad

            Collapse
            Working...
            X