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  • I don't get it

    What exactly is the difference between Northern and Southern Cloth Dancing or Drums or anything? Is it the location in the United States as divided like the Mason/Dixon line? There must be more to it than that. If I live in Tennessee (southern state) and am Cherokee would I dance Northern or Southern with a tear dress or T-dress? very confused.

  • #2
    What I've been told is that southern and northern refer to southern plains (TX, OK, KS, parts of NM) and northern plains (NE, SD, ND, WY, MT, Alberta, Sask.), respectively. It doesn't have anything to do with the Mason-Dixon line. Each area evolved a different communal dance structure from their unique historical, cultural, and economic mix.

    Northern and southern powwows vary in details of etiquette, arena organization, and dance types. There are different orders of events. Dance clothes are different. A whole bunch of things vary; a whole bunch are similar.

    As for the drums, the song structures and musical "performance" styles are different, in ways that are hard for me a non-musician to explain. But southern and northern songs seldom sound alike. The register and range of men's voices in the songs are different. The women have differing styles too. (The dissimlarities, in my opinion, are more pronounced in old-school singing than in contempary-style songs.) To hear the different listen to Cozad singing and then listen to Porcupine or Crazy Horse Singers. There are also variations in the standards of behavior around the drums.

    I have no idea what sort style your folks dance. The east coast is kind of a mishmash, since plains powwow traditions are imports anyway. I've been to southern powwows in MA and CT, and northern in DC. I went to exactly two powwows when I was in college in east TN. One was southern; the other was a weird crop-circle-tribe/wannabe princess thing So I have no idea what is the norm in your area. You need to talk to the folks over in NC.

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    • #3
      In general most Cherokee Women will dance southern cloth and usually in their Tear dress, others will be given the right to wear a different tribes dress and will dance that way.(northern or southern)
      if young theymay start out as fancy dancers.
      Hoep that help some
      Well will wonders never cease.....

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      • #4
        thanks

        Thanks so much to both of you for the clarification. That makes a lot of information make more sense.

        I have been to lots of powwows around here and we usually have a Northern Drum and a Southern Drum. NOW I understand.

        My family is planning a trip to the Smokeys this summer and hope to go to the Cherokee reservation in NC so I look forward to learning a lot more.

        Thanks again.

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        • #5
          Also, not all Cherokees wear Tear dresses around here. Lots wear T dresses and some of the young are jingle and/or fancy shawl dancers. Some I saw more to the east wore buckskin but they look different - dark colors mostly.

          I guess they were given the T dresses or given the right to wear them (?)

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          • #6
            Quote OL Chemist: "One was southern; the other was a weird crop-circle-tribe/wannabe princess thing"
            Love it! though the 'wierd crop-circle' tribe seems to be expanding rapidly!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by OLChemist
              What I've been told is that southern and northern refer to southern plains (TX, OK, KS, parts of NM) and northern plains (NE, SD, ND, WY, MT, Alberta, Sask.), respectively. It doesn't have anything to do with the Mason-Dixon line. Each area evolved a different communal dance structure from their unique historical, cultural, and economic mix.

              Northern and southern powwows vary in details of etiquette, arena organization, and dance types. There are different orders of events. Dance clothes are different. A whole bunch of things vary; a whole bunch are similar.

              As for the drums, the song structures and musical "performance" styles are different, in ways that are hard for me a non-musician to explain. But southern and northern songs seldom sound alike. The register and range of men's voices in the songs are different. The women have differing styles too. (The dissimlarities, in my opinion, are more pronounced in old-school singing than in contempary-style songs.) To hear the different listen to Cozad singing and then listen to Porcupine or Crazy Horse Singers. There are also variations in the standards of behavior around the drums.

              I have no idea what sort style your folks dance. The east coast is kind of a mishmash, since plains powwow traditions are imports anyway. I've been to southern powwows in MA and CT, and northern in DC. I went to exactly two powwows when I was in college in east TN. One was southern; the other was a weird crop-circle-tribe/wannabe princess thing So I have no idea what is the norm in your area. You need to talk to the folks over in NC.
              Well put!
              "I'd rather be @ a POW-WOW!"

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              • #8
                crop circle tribe? what is that? never heard of it, is it a new age thing?

                ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


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                • #9
                  I think the Wierd Crop Circle tribe was OL's way of referring to the ones sponsored and sold by Hostess snacks! as below:

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                  • #10



                    *Kalilsha*



                    If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving u
                    When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be u an me..

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                    • #11
                      Crop-Circle Tribe is a joking term my cousins and I use for weirdos that show up at powwows and act looney. Like the bearded, non-Indian guy I saw at one Texas powwow, dancing around with a "headdress" made from the pelvic bones from a cow. Or the guy in Boston carrying an entire stuffed turkey on a stick who, at the drop of the hat, would "bless" you by waving his taxidemy nightmare over your head. Or the lady dancing at a powwow north of Santa Fe, in street clothes, barefoot, with her eyes closed. Her motions suggested she was channeling a turn of the century washerwoman battling serious ring around the collar.

                      In short the term is just me being snarky. Sorry for the distraction from the thread.

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                      • #12
                        : LOVE IT! you do have a way with words...! so the distraction was well worth it to me!

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                        • #13
                          LMAO.. Ohh Ok.. haha...
                          Good way of puttin it.. i was picturing sum weird group of people having sumthing to do with crop circles.. LOL. ... DOH

                          ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


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