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When buckskin isn't realbuckskin!

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  • When buckskin isn't realbuckskin!

    I've noticed lately that some northern buckskin dresses aren't all buckskin. Most of there skirts are made of canvas or ultra suede. Now you put all that work in to it why not make the whole thing with real hides. It must make it light without the hides but still. What do you guys think?New agers do not apply. I'm talking about the fully beaded tops with leather fringed sleeves, but with a canvas skirt or otherwise.

  • #2
    I am in the planning stages of going Northern and in talking to some folks they actually suggested I do this,,bead on Canvas,, but to me somehow it just dont seem real, kinda like cheating you know not to mention it takes away from the traditional originality of the dress call me old fashion and to each his own but for me doing things the old way is the right way. for me.

    To all humour there is some truth to all truth there is some humour.

    Well re reading this and after all I have been through I have to retract or should I say add to my statements,

    Yes I would love to have a full on buckskin dress to dance in but I have realized in my making the dress all I have been through especially with those who were helping me in making it! I have spent so much money and time not to mention drove some people down right crazy,, only to find that the day I was to come out my dress never showed up.: I was extremely disapointed but rewarded in other ways by the people who stood by me on that day and offered me their regalia to wear,,, I didnt come out but it showed me an important lesson , one is never trust a sleeping dog, and two is if your going to do something that means alot to you then slow down take your time and above all its not if the dress is fully buckskin but the Skin dancing in it that is important. My dress now is back in my hands and the top is cloth with beautiful hummingbird and morningglories appliques and elk fringe and Elk fringe, the dress is brain tan, with cloth leggins and brain tan mocs. All with Morningglories and the Hummingbirds that I love, I hope my dancing in this dress makes everyone feel as good as it makes me feel just looking at it.

    Think Happy Thoughts
    :Angel2 :D ;) :) :p :Chatter
    Last edited by Twobraidzz; 10-13-2003, 09:06 PM.

    Never underestimate the power of an Indian Woman.


    • #3
      Yes, it is a lot of work on those beaded tops. However, the bottoms made from suede and such (I don't know about canvas......too stiff) is actually better. I do have a the real deal hide bottom (not the commercial white hide stuff) that my grandmother scraped and tanned, but some of the powwows out there are about competition. NOT about the real deal. My buckskin bottom was almost ruined because they tried to make us dance in the rain. I was not about to ruin the buckskin bottom my grandmother worked hard on. I do wear it on special occasions though. BUT going off the subject there....
      I have no problem seeing women use something different for the bottom...I mean look at a lot of the dancers who use ribbon for fringe (men's tradish, etc..) beads, mirrors, cloth and all the rhinestones. Powwows and dance regalia are always changing, if it was to remain static, then it won't last too long.
      Now if you want to remain tradish, then it would mean shells, bone, quill work, hide, know, the real traditional stuff...


      • #4
        I understand styles change and evolve. My main concern had to do with the bottom skirt. Sorry if I didn't clarify. Beading the top, on canvas is much easier. If you think about it with these stlye dresses then only the fringe is buckskin. Just a thought.


        • #5
          "Never be bullied into silence.
          Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."


          • #6
            I danced Tradish for a while and i had a ribbon skirt, but i thought about a buckskin dress. I thought about how much money that it would cost to have a dress made and how little i actually have... then i found out about ultrasued and i thought that it was a godsend. i mean its cheaper, lighter, and looks darn near the same. i dont think that i would use canvas, but i would use the ultrasued.

            And for a kids regalia i wouldnt think twice about giving a child a dress out of ultra sued. i mean why let a kid wreck a hide dress with a snowcone, or make them suffer in the hot august sun when you can give them something lighter. :) i mean im all for keeping the whine factor down!

            Personaly i dont think that a person having a "non" buckskin dress is a good reason to look down on someone else. If you cant afford it, or cant stand the heat (think about our elders out there in the sun) its a good alternative.

            My two cents ;)
            Last edited by Niijii'sMom; 05-13-2003, 11:40 PM.


            • #7
              A few of my Grandbaby's use the ultrasuede. Their whole dress in fact. My daughters beaded the tops with canvas then tacked on to dress.
              For the exact reasons Niijiis Mom said.
              They are young girls and they like to play with their freinds and kin. They eat alot and are very messy.
              This way while they are still young my girls can bead their ADULT stuff now and take their time. And when they are old enough to take care of their dresses they will be switching over to the buckskin. And with 4 young girls it is very pricy for us to buy all of them buckskins right now. Blessings to you all. :)


              • #8
                I have been making regalia for a while, not decades or anything but at least 5 years. This is my thought.
                Ultrasuede is the greatest thing since sliced frybread! *LOL*
                Seriously, it is light, pretty, YOU CAN WASH IT! And it is cheaper too. Also if you rip, or stain your is so much less of a hassle to take care of!

                (I can't count all the times I prayed for my cycle just to hold off one more day until the pow wow was over so I wouldn't unexpectedly ruin my dress)

                I think beading on canvas is fine. Actually we do it up here so that while the top is in the working stages you can applique the designs in fabric and have at least a partially beaded top to wear! It's kinda cheating kinda not cuz then the judges see you're working on it.

                Everyone around here seems to have a new outfit every year and that is sort of expected now, (mainly with Jingle dancers), it's hard as a Traditional DAncer to keep up!!! :O)

                My top right now is all fabric. Even the fringe is Salvage. It's okay bit now that I look at it I wish I had put the money into leather for the fringe at least.

                Also, has anyone else noticed that you can buy chamois at HArdware stores in perfect 4 foot squares to make fringe for like 20 bucks a pack?? Good idea eh?


                • #9
                  Well, at one time i was leaning towards a dress made of the ultra suede but then just last month i was given a buckskin bottom (the skirt part) from a older lady. She said she wouldn't use it no more and gave it to me. I was stunned. It is used but hey i was happy to even be given a buckskin skirt. It is my first. So now i have to make a top to go along with it. I really don't see no problem with the ultra suede though. i have seen many women use it. I would never have noticed if they hadn't told me.
                  Grant me the senility to forget the people i never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones i do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.


                  • #10
                    Question: If you make a bucksin dress (norther or southern) out of Ultra Suede or canvas-------Would you dance cloth or buckskin?????

                    Can you give me your reasons for the category you pick?


                    • #11
                      No responses.........come on ladies - tell me what you think:)


                      • #12
                        Dang, well I never even heard of Ultra suede!! doh.. Believe me I dont have the money either to buy all the skins but I have been saving for a long time plus thank God for good freinds, as for dancing cloth or buckskin well I think you made some kinda point there, If your buckskin dress was made of canvas or ultra suede then would it be buckskin? Or a buckskin Dress to dance Buckskin etc etc.. that I will leave someone else to answer lol!:D :)

                        To all humour there is some truth and to all truth there is some humour.....

                        Never underestimate the power of an Indian Woman.


                        • #13
                          Buckskin dress

                          I just got a buckskin dress (old style) that I bargained for at a powwow that was rained out last October (I love rainy powwows, I get my best bargains there like the $20 hide I used for my mocs!)

                          Anyway it is suede side out and I'm thinking of beading it. I plan to replace the top with velveteen while I"m beading the buckskin part then I can still dance the dress. The fringe is not separate though (I know some dancers with the really long modern fringe have it as a separate piece sewn to the sleeves) so what do I do for fringe while I"m beading?

                          Also I have always beaded skin side out because it is much easier to grab that little bit of skin that you need ot hold hte beads down than to go completely thru the leather. How much harder is it to bead thru the sueded side?

                          I've had a number of tips from running it thru a sewing machine with a leather needle in it to punch all the holes, to sewing the pattern on Aida cloth and then attaching it to the sleeves, but either seems like cheating. I'd always feel I'd have to say "but it isn't done in the traditional manner" anytime someone said something nice about it.

                          I'm working my way up from smallest to largest: finished my awl case and now working on purse. knife case is next then leggins. Finally sleeves and bodice of dress.

                          Sure hope it doesn't take 3 years like the other lady! I'm counting on doing it over the winter on weekends when we have DVD and VCR movie fests at our house.

                          Any ideas ladys?
                          LadyTrad in NE US
                          " F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for U and Me. N is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!" - SpongeBob SquarePants


                          • #14
                            I am considering ultra suede for a split skirt to wear while riding horses in parades.... much easier to clean, and cost effective...

                            I paid 125.00 for four buckskins, real cheap price, but still cant see putting that kind of money in something I would wear now and then for parades...


                            • #15
                              when a buckskin isn't real buckskin

                              I bought my buckskin dress at a powwow that was going to be rained out and haggled the vendor down from $750 to $200. (love them rainy powwows!)

                              This was still a lot of money for me, it included all of my spending money and some of my eating money for the 3 day weekend.

                              But I see it as an investment in the future. My 16 yr old is a fancy dancer now but when she is in her 40s and 50s will probably appreciate a bucksking handed down to her. We are both the same height so that isn't a problem.

                              So it's not just a dress, it's heritage. If you don't have a daughter to hand things down to or your daughter isn't as interested in your activities as you are, there is always someone who will be (hence the popularity of ebay). And you could always auction it at powwow.
                              LadyTrad in NE US
                              " F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for U and Me. N is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!" - SpongeBob SquarePants


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