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  • Regalia Question.

    Hello everyone, I had a question about a certian regalia I have seen at a few Pow wows. The overall look is similar to the picture in the link I have for you below. The only difference is that the mask is all black, it had no hair on it, and their upper bodies are painted black event for a few markings in white. They also had red bandanas. Is that some sort of Navajo regalia, it says it's Navajo in the picture, but I haven't seen anything like that around here? If anyone knows what kind of dancers I saw, what their regalia is called, and they it's for, I am interested in learning. :)

    Kwakiutl and Navajo tribes. Edward S. Curtis circa 1914. on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

  • #2
    Navajo masks

    Your post shows 8 Navajo masks. You'll probably need to talk to a Navajo medicine man or historian to identify these photos. Apparently the photographer didn't know what he was shooting. I know that there were many Navajo ceremonies and dances and many came with mask dancers, which I would assume are Navajo gods. Of these, probably the only one that is done today is the Navajo Yeibichai dances. They have these dances every year in Shiprock, NM the first weekend in October. I remember seeing a Navajo Fire Dance, with mask dancers, many years ago.

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    • #3
      I think the Dineh still do all their dances, and the Hopi have similar ones, but less public than they used to be.

      What you describe might be Apache, I have seen some photos of Apache dancers (not sure the name of the dance) in something similar.

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      • #4
        Apache, Navajo

        I know that Anthropologist like to think that they have the answers to where the Native Americans came from. They tell us with straight faces that Navajos and Apaches are Athabascan speaking people, and they migreated from Alaska where there are some Athabascan people. Tradiitional Navajos say that their people once lived in north central New Mexico. Some stayed, and others moved south, southwest, and west. Those who moved west, Navajos, now live in the Four Corners area. Those who stayed and moved south and southwest are now Apaches. Famed Apache Chief Geronimo, in his autobiography, mentions six groups of Apaches in his time. These aparently became three tribes of today: Jicarilla Apaches of nothern New Mexico, Mescalero Apaches of southeastern New Mexico, and Chiricahua Apaches of eastern Arizona. Apaches have their masked "Mountain Spirit" dances, and Navajos have their "Yeibechai" dances. Both also have "the-coming-of-age" ceremonies for young ladies. Traditional people say they, Navajos and Apaches, all were one tribe once. They speak similar languages.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by legalstraight View Post
          I think the Dineh still do all their dances, and the Hopi have similar ones, but less public than they used to be.

          What you describe might be Apache, I have seen some photos of Apache dancers (not sure the name of the dance) in something similar.
          they are called "crown dancers" or "devil dancers" . . . depends on where you go or who ure talking to

          Originally posted by maskdartist View Post
          Hello everyone, I had a question about a certian regalia I have seen at a few Pow wows. The overall look is similar to the picture in the link I have for you below. The only difference is that the mask is all black, it had no hair on it, and their upper bodies are painted black event for a few markings in white. They also had red bandanas. Is that some sort of Navajo regalia, it says it's Navajo in the picture, but I haven't seen anything like that around here? If anyone knows what kind of dancers I saw, what their regalia is called, and they it's for, I am interested in learning. :)
          those masks are not dine'

          thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...

          Comment


          • #6
            The link notes that this is an Edward Curtis photograph, so keep in mind that Edward Curtis was known for staging many of his subjects to capture the mysticism of a vanishing race, in the early 1900's Natives had already been moved to reservations but Mr. Curtis would make photographs and remove any hints of modern society-wagons, clocks, watches,glasses, etc. and was also known for using historically inaccurate clothing and accessories on his subjects. It wouldn't be unheard of for this mask representation to be something he created and then placed on a Navajo man or a Hopi man and then took a picture of it.

            Although we are very fortunate that Mr. Curtis did take the photographs that we have now, they should be viewed with that hint of skepticism as to their aunthenticity.

            Furthermore, knowing what we know about tribes such as the Hopi and Navajo and their very sacred ways, would you expect that in the early 1900's they would allow a non native man who they didn't know to photograph their most secret and sacred rituals?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by maskdartist View Post
              Hello everyone, I had a question about a certian regalia I have seen at a few Pow wows. The overall look is similar to the picture in the link I have for you below. The only difference is that the mask is all black, it had no hair on it, and their upper bodies are painted black event for a few markings in white. They also had red bandanas. Is that some sort of Navajo regalia, it says it's Navajo in the picture, but I haven't seen anything like that around here? If anyone knows what kind of dancers I saw, what their regalia is called, and they it's for, I am interested in learning. :)

              Kwakiutl and Navajo tribes. Edward S. Curtis circa 1914. on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

              The look you are describing is that of the Apache Crown Dancers as they are most commonly called. There are many different groups of Apache people in Northern Az and in New Mexico.
              They are groups of male dancers who dance at Apache ceremonies. They are not pow wow dancers but there are dance groups of children who sometimes perform at powwows. You can google search Apache Crown Dancer or Mountain Spirit dancers to see pictures and read descriptions of their meaning.

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              • #8
                Mountain Spirit!!! that was the name I couldn't remember.
                There are photos of those guys at pow-wows in California....not sure why but there they are.

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                • #9
                  glad u like the crown dancers, the show during the navajo nation fair is a pretty good one. recommend that one alot cause the dancers and crowd are both into it.

                  been to alot of dine ceremonies, never saw just 1 yei especially in a pose down. i stay out the hopis way and so i couldnt comment about them, they have some nice kachinas and thats about all im willing to say
                  thanks dad for showing me the way, teaching me the language, and not leaving my mother...*L*

                  *RoUg3 MoD sTaTuS*

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by injunboy View Post
                    glad u like the crown dancers, the show during the navajo nation fair is a pretty good one. recommend that one alot cause the dancers and crowd are both into it.

                    been to alot of dine ceremonies, never saw just 1 yei especially in a pose down. i stay out the hopis way and so i couldnt comment about them, they have some nice kachinas and thats about all im willing to say
                    ^^^ he is right, yei's are never alone, they travel in a group . . .

                    thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I understand that they are not to be photographed.

                      Comment

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