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choice to go colored or white on a buckskin dress

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  • choice to go colored or white on a buckskin dress

    If you had a choice to go white or have a colored buckskin dress would you? And if so what color would you go?
    'A'a i ka hula kahika, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.
    "One who wants to dance the ancient dance, must leave their bashfullness at home"

  • #2
    No need to think about it. White.
    Take a look around the powwow circle. Trust me on this one, you won't find any champion dancers wearing blue or pink buckskin or any other unnatural color.

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    • #3
      I concur with Czechy!!
      Bead All You Can Bead

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      • #4
        so another question besides white would smoked or tan be ok? since the prices of skins have gone up considerably i've noticed at some powwows out west, east and a few up north some are going to a different color. i've seen a few that went to a light colored skin such as a mint, very pale pink, cream and very pale yellow. I know its hard to believe but a few of them actually looked good while some of them didnt.
        So i asked a few people why they chose to go colored and they replied cause of the prices went way up and that the newest thing around where they are is to go slightly colored.... so that's why i asked would you go colored or would you accept colored as long as they looked good?
        'A'a i ka hula kahika, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.
        "One who wants to dance the ancient dance, must leave their bashfullness at home"

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        • #5
          Well, white or very lightly smoked color are traditional. You can't go wrong with those. I have yet to see some of these pastel buckskins you mention. If you have pictures, I'd love to see. They might look good but what if its just a short-lived fad? Then you will have to spend to make another dress once the fashion fades.

          I've made a few buckskin dresses and they are a lot of work. If I am going to put so much effort into something, I want to use good-quality materials. If it were me, I would save up for the more costly white buckskins. But I try to make stuff that will outlive me, lol! I don't know which style of dress you are thinking about but another option might be to use fewer hides by making a wool/velvet top or shortening/using less of the arm fringe. Just my thoughts....

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Czechy View Post
            Well, white or very lightly smoked color are traditional. You can't go wrong with those. I have yet to see some of these pastel buckskins you mention. If you have pictures, I'd love to see. They might look good but what if its just a short-lived fad? Then you will have to spend to make another dress once the fashion fades.

            I've made a few buckskin dresses and they are a lot of work. If I am going to put so much effort into something, I want to use good-quality materials. If it were me, I would save up for the more costly white buckskins. But I try to make stuff that will outlive me, lol! I don't know which style of dress you are thinking about but another option might be to use fewer hides by making a wool/velvet top or shortening/using less of the arm fringe. Just my thoughts....
            Thanks czechy for your input. :-) i will try and locate the pictures that i took of those dresses i was talking about. Currently i dance in buckskin and at the moment while my new dress is being made my current dress is of tradewool for the top and buckskin for the bottom/fringe. I was given this style of many many years ago by my late grandmother. Thanks again for your post and I might check out the velvet for a lighter cooler summer top.
            'A'a i ka hula kahika, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.
            "One who wants to dance the ancient dance, must leave their bashfullness at home"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by iolana1 View Post
              so another question besides white would smoked or tan be ok? since the prices of skins have gone up considerably i've noticed at some powwows out west, east and a few up north some are going to a different color. i've seen a few that went to a light colored skin such as a mint, very pale pink, cream and very pale yellow. I know its hard to believe but a few of them actually looked good while some of them didnt.
              So i asked a few people why they chose to go colored and they replied cause of the prices went way up and that the newest thing around where they are is to go slightly colored.... so that's why i asked would you go colored or would you accept colored as long as they looked good?
              I would love to see pictures of a pale pink one

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              • #8
                I agree with Czechy, if you're going to go all out with buckskin, make it in the traditional colors of white or smoked although some tribes go with natural.
                Bead All You Can Bead

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                • #9
                  I agree with th ladies white or cream. All good things come with a lil time, save your $$ and in the end you will be glad you did.
                  I got a fevah! And the only cure is more cowbell!!!

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                  • #10
                    I've been wearing a very simple rust colored dress for many years now. Any light color and I'd look "washed out" at 60 with silver hair. Seems to work, it gets many compliments and onlookers like a pic of it... they like the "traditional simplicity" lol. However I greatly admire the white dresses on others. Especially with very long fringe.
                    Last edited by Paintedpony; 02-07-2011, 09:48 PM. Reason: misspelling

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                    • #11
                      i say white, it looks really nice, i've seen a lot of white buckskin... looks nice to me

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                      • #12
                        Choices...choices...choices....!

                        "Never be wasteful" is what my grandmother taught me. So when I was gifted with skins that were smoked and chocolate brown, I made my regalia out of those. I made fringed skirts from the skins but used broadcloth to make my tops (heat being an issue at this age - lol). I added long fringe to the sleeves of the tops matching the skirts.

                        When it comes to totally different colors (skins that have been dyed) I do own a full, 2 piece outfit that is a steel blue color. When I saw it, it reminded me of the sky on a rainy day and it "called" to me. I couldn't resist. Though it is not a "natural" color, it is quite lovely and others have said the same about it.

                        It is rare that I see women in white/cream buckskin at the wacipi I go to here. I think the white and cream are quite striking and yes, they are quite pricey. I have, however, saved and saved, and in honor of an anniversary for my son and I dancing together, I have finally had a white buckskin dress made. I absolutely love it ! My plan is to only wear it to very special wacipi.

                        I love all my dresses, white and otherwise. I think, for me anyway, it's about how I feel when I wear them. They feel "right" and I feel I am honoring myself and my ancestors when I dance in them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Midnight Starfire View Post
                          "It is rare that I see women in white/cream buckskin at the wacipi I go to here.
                          I have danced plenty in the Twin Cities and saw lots of white or cream colored buckskin dresses there. I'm wondering what kind of events you are going to where these are a rarity?

                          Let me clue you in on something. Colored buckskin dresses are associated with some not-so-good stereotypes and assumptions. As is the case anywhere, people will judge you by what you wear and how you wear it. This is the other reason everyone here is recommending the white/natural/lightly smoked color of buckskins. (The first reason is because those shades are traditional.)

                          I can understand not having the money for more costly materials. This is a common issue and most dancers solve it by making a cloth dress in their nation's traditional style and using that until they collect enough buckskins for a new dress.

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                          • #14
                            A Humble question if I may...

                            Hello.
                            If I may ask, what are those stereotypes? I am planning my first buckskin and was leaning towards some color other than white. I was not raised in a Native community although I have been welcomed into my local Anishinabe Community and very few of my friends wear buckskin. I am silver/white haired and fear looking totally washed out if I wear white? I only wish to function in respectful, traditional ways.
                            Miigwetch.

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                            • #15
                              Native American buckskin dresses are very beautiful. Even though there are hundreds of Native American tribes, the inherent design and objective of the dress remained the same. The ornamentation, color and shape of the leather Native American dress differed in each region of the United States due to the animals used and tribal traditions. Buckskin primarily referred to the male deer or elk. Native American clothing is still worn for reenactments, ceremonies and powwows.. For all those reasons I'll suggest WHITE

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