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Rights to Dance in Contemporary PowWow Dress

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  • GJJudd
    replied
    Coming from the deep south where Jim Crow reigned, I know my father's family abandoned their heritage to assimilate and avoid the prejuidice. Some Houma I know, because of their mixed blood, did the same thing to avoid the prejuidice. Now that Jim Crow is illegal, and the American society is more open, lot of people are coming out of the closet on their heritage so to speak. Do I think it is wrong to try and learn your heritage, not at all. BUT I think that there is a way to do it. Forcing your way and demanding that you do something is definatley the wrong way to do it.

    In my case, especially since I recently moved and do not know anybody very well yet, I always contact the people in charge and ask permission on the phone or email. If they say no, I will attend but not dress out. If they say yes, then I pack up my stuff AND ask a second time at the powwow. Even back home where I knew alot of people, I would always ask a second time, including from the one who brought me into the circle.

    Not to change the subject, but I think this is also part of the problem; is that there were at one time over 500 nations, each with their own cultures and traditions. Some of the things done in Louisiana are not done in NC and vice versa. Feathers used are different, the direction danced, etc. Sometimes we get so caught up in how things are done where you are at, you label what you don't know as "wannabe." I've seen this alot on this site when comparing western powwows with eastern powwows.

    Are there wannabes out there, you bet ya. But there is also those with differnt customs and those just learning. I think wannabes should be chided privately to leave, those who are visting or new to the area welcomed and educated to the practices of the local area, and those just learning also taken aside, welcomed, and taught. Just my $.02
    GJJudd

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  • yaqui_woman
    replied
    Let white people dance!

    I think if white people really want to dance, go for it...There are many categories they'd be good at:

    Square Dancing
    Polka Dancing
    ...and let us not forget River Dance!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • snowbird
    replied
    Originally posted by kevin
    Hey i got a question? Just when and how do you determine someone is "Indian Enough?" 1/2? 1/4? 1/16? 1/8? and how far back do you get to trace their hertiage or ancestry before you say stop here. And who gets to make the call? My ex girlfriend use to dance all the time and spent hours on her outfits and learning how to dance. She was (is) also respectful, kind, intelligent and did a lot to be a good friend It seems to me there are a lot of Native Americans who don't give a damn about their culture or respecting they way of life. If someone who can be a positive influence and help carry on traditions then only the foolish and arrogant would turn her (or them away).
    undefined~sorry Kevin but I think u are dead wrong. Its easy for white people to take on all the positive aspects of OUR culture w/ ease when they don't have to deal w/ negative aspects such as racism, unemployment, education inequalities. So, 4 u to comment on Natives u know that are not"doing their way of life" well...its insulting. You've probly watched too many movies...no, Indians do not need u to help "save" them and carry on THEIR own traditions. ~ As for Incognito, I respect the way u went about asking your question and do not seem to be the type of ignorant guy that Kevin is....i don't necessarily agree w/ ur dancing but at least u don't proclaim an automatic right to dance, which is good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nakoda man
    replied
    whiteman can't jump,whiteman can't dance,stick to your own thing,dis our thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • red n black cutie
    replied
    I can agree with both sides, it bothers me when I see a dancer who doesn't look ndn out there dancing and cant stay on beat. However you cant go by looks alone. I don't like the wannabe's and the boxcheckers. I don;t like the idea that my culture is being sold. But on the other hand I was always told that anyone can dance, powwows aren't about excluding they are about bringing together.

    Leave a comment:


  • swbreez
    replied
    Pow wow is so contemporary these days. Even my grandpa's tribe, the Omaha have only one traditional hethushka day, the other days start with protocal and end with contest. I have to say that living in the southwest and watching pow-wow expand to this area is a bit disheartening because you can see contest only in the eyes of the participants who really have no roots in pow-wow, but have been to many pow-wows. I sometimes don't understand this view of certain tribes that want to look anything but their own tribe by donning regalia just to pow-wow. I don't know, tradition is out there, there are still alot of elderly that don't even speak english and know the ways, and many still come from these people, so why not engulf yourself in those traditions? I really don't know what to say except it does bother me to see people dancing just because they like the "outfits".

    Leave a comment:


  • geronimo
    replied
    those who dance that weren't brought up "indian" don't understand the deeper meanings behind why we dance - the deeper cultural roots- powwows are more pan-indian now, and my tribe wasn't a powwow people, per se, so,........when i dance i'm thinking of my family, my tribe, my people's history, the lumbee name, how honored i am to be able to represent a certain legacy.......how awesome it is to look @ a new baby in the circle and see their grandma in them and remember how she was so well-respected in your community growing up.......

    being indian is about so much more than "the powwow experience" & putting on an outfit and dancing - again, other cultures (not just ours) may take offense b/c to them it's like "can't we have anything?" = it's fine to take part but people always seem to want to take on this "ownership" mentality which is a slap in the face to people trying to maintain a unique identity - white people should be secure in their own identity and stick to their culture, whatever that encompasses

    also,vine deloria once said,the white man is always trying to understand the "plight of the indian" and i think this falls under that -

    i think those on the outside looking in should understand their place........that's why you don't see a flood of white people in every greek, black, jewish, indian, etc. gathering (except for some reason indians & powwows are "cool").......we want you to appreciate it but also realize it's a guarded thing -
    Last edited by geronimo; 01-27-2005, 02:57 PM.

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  • AngieBuns
    replied
    Originally posted by ~*~ShanLyn~*~
    if you saw an indian looking person walking around wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes what would you think???


    But in all seriousness, I do know what you mean! That was a funny, way you put it though;)

    Leave a comment:


  • Coyot_In_The_House
    replied
    Figured it would go this way.....

    Now what's going to really bake your noodle is to go figure who started this site.....

    From my experience I have seen a wide variety of people participate in Powwow, now if I took them for face value they wouldn't have a snowballs chance in hell to pass as a Stereotypical Indian....I say this because we are diverse....Plain and simple.....I have witnessed and participated in a number of adoptions, honorings and on and on....I'm not talking about some goofball warping out of whack something. I find people to be very respectful of this way of life, even more so then some of the self proclaimed know it alls.....I agree people should be aware of their own lifeways, but be careful when you place ownership on certain things, it may not be yours to begin with, but the original folks who introduced it certainly did not exclude people. If was the case how in the hell would Powwow be what it is today? Just my usual curveball....Remember most of our enemies have turned out to be our very own....Stop thinking in a box.....

    Leave a comment:


  • badmaninc
    replied
    Originally posted by kneegrow_native
    I went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food for you at your table and put on a show for you, mostly all the employees were Japanese except for our cook, he was Mexican, but let me tell you, ol' Jose could cook up some wicked Japanese food.....

    What this has to do with the subject, I have no idea.

    You're funny dude.

    Leave a comment:


  • kneegrow_native
    replied
    I went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food for you at your table and put on a show for you, mostly all the employees were Japanese except for our cook, he was Mexican, but let me tell you, ol' Jose could cook up some wicked Japanese food.....

    What this has to do with the subject, I have no idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • ~*~ShanLyn~*~
    replied
    it wouldnt look natural, it wouldnt look like they belonged regardless of whether or not they were good or whatever.
    my point is, the day we're born, we become the person we're supposed to be. you can't change your dna just like you can't change your skin color.
    if you have to search way back into your history, if you have to check the books just to see what kind of heritage you have, if you weren't brought up with it in the first place or if you have to go looking for something that may not even be there (ie indian blood) than that's not who you are.
    If you're white, then be happy with that fact, learn more about yourself rather than trying to be someone who you're not, cuz at the end of the day, you still won't be anymore indian than when you woke up.

    Leave a comment:


  • quicksilverwade
    replied
    Originally posted by ~*~ShanLyn~*~
    if you saw an indian looking person walking around wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes what would you think???
    I would say that ~*~ShanLyn~*~ put him up to it, lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • ~*~ShanLyn~*~
    replied
    if you saw an indian looking person walking around wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes what would you think???

    Leave a comment:


  • kevin
    replied
    when can someone be an indian

    Hey i got a question? Just when and how do you determine someone is "Indian Enough?" 1/2? 1/4? 1/16? 1/8? and how far back do you get to trace their hertiage or ancestry before you say stop here. And who gets to make the call? My ex girlfriend use to dance all the time and spent hours on her outfits and learning how to dance. She was (is) also respectful, kind, intelligent and did a lot to be a good friend It seems to me there are a lot of Native Americans who don't give a damn about their culture or respecting they way of life. If someone who can be a positive influence and help carry on traditions then only the foolish and arrogant would turn her (or them away).

    Leave a comment:

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