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I need some help here...

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  • I need some help here...

    ok... my cousin wants to fancy shawl. but she really doesn't know much about it and neither does my aunt.. can someone help me out w/ a ledgend? see i am a jingle dancer.. ad i know nothin about this either! thanks
    If you lose the drum beat of the creator, you are lost in life - Aanishnabe

    You say I don't look indian? Well you don't look stupid, but looks can be deceiving!

  • #2
    ~Fancy Shawl Dance~
    Legend states there was a beautiful butterfly
    who lost her mate in a battle.
    In her grief, she wrapped herself in her cocoon and traveled the world over, stepping on each stone until she found beauty in one and was able to start her life anew.
    The Fancy Shawl dance in an enactment
    of this legend. Bright colors and bead work adorn the dress and fringed shawl which is held out as the dancer steps and twirls,
    representative of the butterfly's wings.
    The Fancy Shawl is the most modern of the
    ladies dances, and gives the ladies the
    opportunity to demonstrate their individual
    agility and grace.
    ok that's the ledgend i've heard=) I am a fancy shawl dancer, and i started back when i was about 9 i think. but, anyway, this is the ledgend i was told by one of my friends who was a head lady dancer back when i was 9=) well, g2g!! Sunale!

    Aya Wili Hiwonihi Nihi Sunale
    Talk to you later!


    • #3
      I have also heard this explanation:

      When the dance starts, we hold our shawls closed in representation of the coccoon. When the singing starts, we open our shawls to represent the butterfly emerging. When we dance we are representing the butterfly as it flutters from flower to flower. We do all the spinning, twirling, etc. to show the butterfly in flight.

      Aiight y'all, that's it for now I think=) I gots to go!!

      Aya Wili Hiwonihi Nihi Sunale
      Talk to you later!


      • #4
        I think this is a neat story as long as, when you tell it, you make the qualification that this is a "NEW", made-up legend and not an old one.

        When women's fancy shawl first originated, they were hardly the bright, busy, high-kicking, running across the arena dancers that they are today. They were far less bright and far less "animated". In this context, the so-called legend doesn't make sense. But it's a neat story to describe the "new" ways of dancing.
        Not better. Not worse. Just different.


        • #5
          Hi Lngfthr,

          I understand what you mean about the legend not really being appropriate. I don't know if there is really a legend so to speak, I just think the dance style kind of happened. What is your opinion?

          Thank you,


          • #6
            I think it evolved, really. I mean, it went from (long ago) that the women just danced in one place to starting to dance slowly around the circle to dancing faster and now to spinning and kicking and every such thing. It's kind of like whites' dancing. The waltz used to be scandalous at one time and now everybody is just bumpin' and grindin' like nobody's bidness. Well, at least pow-wow hasn't come to thattttt! <<--oooh, had to shudder. :p

            Anyway, I don't think anyone just started a new category or new way of dancing. Some (North Dakota) ladies just got fancier. :)
            Not better. Not worse. Just different.


            • #7
              Hi Lngfther,
              I think you are probably correct. I can see the dance becoming more energetic As more younger or aerobically-inclined :) women started dancing. By it just "happened" I didn't mean to say that some random people just started kicking up their heels with shawls on their backs. :P)
              I don't really see how people can attatch a legend to fancy dancing as it is modern, but it is still fun sometimes. For instance, a young (5 yr old) family friend started dancing. I told her about imitating a butterfly, and she replied she wants to pretend to be like her pet bird. So she twirls around and says she's being bird-like. Hey, whatever floats your boat right?



              • #8
                I strongly believe that this Legend is true, I have heard so many of them when I was about 6 or 7, when I started to dance, and I started out with fancy and have been dancing Fancy ever since, up until last summer, I started to Jingle...all the advise I grew up knowing is when you are out on the arena you are to wait patiently until the drumming starts and even when they do start your supposed to wait for the first break then you start dancing... and if you twirl you have to twirl the opposite so you can unwind yourself and not be so "wound up", never let your finges hit another dancer even if she's your enemy, your supposed to keep your fringes with your shawl close to you if there's lots of dancers even in the inter tribals.... well thats it for me Take care! and never give up the good life in pow wow's
                Much Luv,
                "Sweetie" :)


                • #9
                  People, listen to lngfthr, she is most correct on this. The legend is a nice one to tell and it sounds good and it cutesy and all, but its not based in reality or anything to do with fancy shawl dance.

                  I was at one pow wow in the east where this young girl (15 or so) got up and explained how the fancy shawl dance was about the young girls displaying themselves basically to attract a mate??

                  Also heard at one east pow wow this one older lady got up and spoke about how she was a "traditional fancy shawl dancer" who danced with a buckskin shawl like her ancestors did hundreds of years ago when they danced fancy shawl??

                  Stories are good, but don't get carried away people. Reality is much more fun.



                  • #10
                    Buckskin shawl :o Wouldn't that be hot?


                    • #11
                      We may have hit upon something here!!! If you girls practice with those "traditional" buckskin shawls, then you wouldn't need to practice as'd be like dancing with two dumbbells in your hands. Speaking of dumbbells


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