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New Dancer: Needs a lota help!!!

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  • New Dancer: Needs a lota help!!!

    Hi everyone!!!!!! I've been going to pow wows and researching my heritage for years, and finally I'm going to dance!!! :) I'm so exicited. The style of dress I'm going to have is a the panel style of the cloth dress. (i'm Lumbee and Cherokee by blood but I mostly am affiliated with Coharie) the top will be blue, and the panels purple with turtles to represent long life and patience and blue triangles to represent the trials of life that the turtles are swimming through.

    Now that I have went over that here are my questions:
    When you dance how do you know what beats are the honor beats and when to stop? I've done intertribal dancing but I'm still not going to be sure of myself when I'm in the arena.
    Where did you get your feathers?
    How do you take care of your regalia? Do you use sage/sweet grass?
    Do you just go out there and dance i knkow that you step with the beat, but do you know most of the songs?
    thanks Turtle

  • #2
    honor beats

    I can only say for plains. The honor beats are usually the hard beats(usually a little louder) inbetween each verse. Ponca usually put three hard beats between and Kiowa are two. There are exceptions to all.

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    • #3
      When you dance how do you know what beats are the honor beats and when to stop? I've done intertribal dancing but I'm still not going to be sure of myself when I'm in the arena.
      Turtle--

      Like Beth said - they honor beats are the harder ones. My advice is watch and learn. Find a dancer that you really enjoy watching and ask questions. If you are not sure of yourself, relax - maybe you are trying to hard. Listen to the drum - it will set your pace.

      As for feathers - Ours have been handed down over the years and also from Fish and Wildlife. You can get a permit when you are 18 -- takes about 3-4 years though to get them

      Some tribes take care of their clothes with sweetgrass - we use cedar when they are new or if something bad has happened, other than that we just treat them with respect and keep them clean and pressed

      As far as "just going out there and dancing" we dance for alot of reasons. Always with good feelings and for those who no longer can. The drum sets our pace. And yes - they know most of the songs -- both of my children sing also, My husband knows the songs because he has danced all his life.

      Relax and enjoy yourself! Don't sweat the small stuff.

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