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  • Old Style Fancy Shawl

    Sooo anyone know what type of outfit is considered Old Style? and how does the dance differ from current style?
    The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

  • #2
    Originally posted by superndngyrl View Post
    Sooo anyone know what type of outfit is considered Old Style? and how does the dance differ from current style?
    Wondering this myself. And how old is old style? I would think from when it started by my daughter probably thinks anything from before she was born

    Comment


    • #3
      That would interrest me also.

      I wondered- Everywhere I looked at, I never found fancy shawl dancer, as we know them today, before the 1970s-1980s.
      I have looked to many pics, old and newer ones, a lot of old postcards from powwows. I found everything even jingle, but not fancyshawl dancers.

      Might it be, that in earlier times, some woman danced in the mans fancy cathegory? there pics exist starting in the 1940s.

      One is here in the galleries.


      Just a question?

      Thanks ,
      Elke

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes women did dance in what we now call men's fancy category (at that time it was just called fancy dance) you can find pictures back to the 30's of women in the double bustle.
        Lady's fancy seems to have picked up in the 1960's-70's and it seems that in most places once the fancy shawl was introduced the women stopped with the double bustle.

        Not sure if there really is an old style though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by legalstraight View Post
          Yes women did dance in what we now call men's fancy category (at that time it was just called fancy dance) you can find pictures back to the 30's of women in the double bustle.
          Lady's fancy seems to have picked up in the 1960's-70's and it seems that in most places once the fancy shawl was introduced the women stopped with the double bustle.

          Not sure if there really is an old style though.
          Well thats what I thought when superndngirl said old style; the way it was in the 60's / 70's.

          Comment


          • #6
            Supa,

            Here's a pic of true old style interpreted by one of the women who started the fancy dance:

            2005 Powwow on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
            Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

            Comment


            • #7
              here is a video from that dance- when the pic whome posted was made...

              Pow Wow TV - Exhibition of Original Fancy Shawl - 2005 NMAI

              Comment


              • #8
                That's an excellent video example of old style! Back in the 70's. GiGi Palmer (Kiowa/Choctaw) who is about my age (50-ish) danced boys fancy war dance style. She's the late Gus Palmer's niece & from a family of famous fancy dancers. She beat out some stiff competition at one Tulsa Powwow, really kicked butt! She's still in great shape & everyone wanted her to put on a set of bustles and give 'em a command performance when she showed up at Red Earth a few years ago. I can remember several girls who danced against the boys back when, but GiGi is the only one I know.

                I'm featured on a Fancy Shawl video showing how to make outfits (not dancing !) that also features interviews with some of the ORIGINAL fancy shawl dancers. They talk about how it all started, and you can see footage of some old-style outfits and dancing. It's a great video for new fancy shawl dancers, and I'm not just saying that cuz I'm in it - I don't get any $, so don't go there. The video has the REAL history of fancy shawl - there's none of that "cocoon / butterfly legend" nonsense that I've heard in recent years. Those first girls got "booed" and had rocks thrown at them!

                I remember some of the earlier fancy shawl dancers here in OK. The shawls were often plain, and they always had regular fringe like the shawl in the video. The shawl was held close to the body, like in the video, or with arms held slightly away from the body, but still with the arms down. The emphasis was on footwork, just like the mens fancy dance at the time. There was none of this twirling around in endless circles like you see today. The first back capes were often quite large compared to today's back capes, maybe twice as large, covering much of the back. They weren't beaded, they were cloth, decorated with applique, and sometimes had long ribbon fringe down the back. Maybe around 1990 (my memory could be faulty), I started seeing metallic & sequin fabrics on the capes & leggings. It wasn't until the late 90's that I remember the outfits starting to explode with elaborate designs & busy "bling" like you see today. Florescent fabrics have only been available for a few years, so those are the latest "thing". I've never gone all-out florescent on outfits I make, because they give me a headache! You can lose the design in all the "brightness". Lately I've been getting orders for more traditional colors in outfits again, with only touches of florescent. All styles cycle, and I've been selling more calico shirts lately too, like 25 years ago. It may be fashion related the economy, I don't know. The all-florescent thing seems to be going out of style, at least in some areas. Fine with me, I like the elegant brocade fabric showing up today so much better - so long as it doesn't have overtly CHINESE designs on it.
                Last edited by jlittlecrow; 01-27-2009, 06:33 AM. Reason: correct spelling
                Janet Littlecrow
                Littlecrow Trading Post, LLC
                www.littlecrowtradingpost.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you jlittlecrow--- wonderfull to hear a true story of somebody who was on the line with the first-- thats great!
                  IT's not just a good story- it is true history!

                  What is the name of the video?

                  Can I write you an email? Ohhh--- I'll simply do that ;o)

                  Best regards from Elke

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    fancy shawl dancing

                    Originally posted by jlittlecrow View Post
                    That's an excellent video example of old style! Back in the 70's. GiGi Palmer (Kiowa/Choctaw) who is about my age (50-ish) danced boys fancy war dance style. She's the late Gus Palmer's niece & from a family of famous fancy dancers. She beat out some stiff competition at one Tulsa Powwow, really kicked butt! She's still in great shape & everyone wanted her to put on a set of bustles and give 'em a command performance when she showed up at Red Earth a few years ago. I can remember several girls who danced against the boys back when, but GiGi is the only one I know.

                    I'm featured on a Fancy Shawl video showing how to make outfits (not dancing !) that also features interviews with some of the ORIGINAL fancy shawl dancers. They talk about how it all started, and you can see footage of some old-style outfits and dancing. It's a great video for new fancy shawl dancers, and I'm not just saying that cuz I'm in it - I don't get any $, so don't go there. The video has the REAL history of fancy shawl - there's none of that "cocoon / butterfly legend" nonsense that I've heard in recent years. Those first girls got "booed" and had rocks thrown at them!

                    I remember some of the earlier fancy shawl dancers here in OK. The shawls were often plain, and they always had regular fringe like the shawl in the video. The shawl was held close to the body, like in the video, or with arms held slightly away from the body, but still with the arms down. The emphasis was on footwork, just like the mens fancy dance at the time. There was none of this twirling around in endless circles like you see today. The first back capes were often quite large compared to today's back capes, maybe twice as large, covering much of the back. They weren't beaded, they were cloth, decorated with applique, and sometimes had long ribbon fringe down the back. Maybe around 1990 (my memory could be faulty), I started seeing metallic & sequin fabrics on the capes & leggings. It wasn't until the late 90's that I remember the outfits starting to explode with elaborate designs & busy "bling" like you see today. Florescent fabrics have only been available for a few years, so those are the latest "thing". I've never gone all-out florescent on outfits I make, because they give me a headache! You can lose the design in all the "brightness". Lately I've been getting orders for more traditional colors in outfits again, with only touches of florescent. All styles cycle, and I've been selling more calico shirts lately too, like 25 years ago. It may be fashion related the economy, I don't know. The all-florescent thing seems to be going out of style, at least in some areas. Fine with me, I like the elegant brocade fabric showing up today so much better - so long as it doesn't have overtly CHINESE designs on it.
                    There was a little bit more to it than that NMAI video shows, I went to Oklahoma during 1975 and there were three of us who danced fancy shawl, we were at a powwow in Kiowa country and one of the girls who lived there in Oklahoma came out of the audience and made fun of the way me and my friends were dancing - fancy. We kept dancing and the girl finally got tired and left but the lady in the video looks just the way old ladies (from up north and south)dance when they are getting down. Not fancy like we did, I agree there were no Butterfly stories. We were able to get a little fancier than that video shows, it was a cool womens' version of fancy dancing and I know there there has to be videos around. We didn't throw the shawls all over and spin around (maybe just a little) it was all in the footwork. I'm 51 years old and I have seen a lot of dancing and done a lot of dancing since I was little (could say all my life) born in Chicago Ill., and raised in Los Angeles, California. Like I said we were there..I would like to see your video can you send info for it?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had heard that there was more movement than that one demonstrated in the link above. I wanna see the footage too.
                      The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Question for Powwow Person

                        (and anyone else who danced fancy shawl back them....)

                        What do you like / dislike about the modern fancy shawl?

                        How do you feel about the butterfly story as opposed to girls being taught the origins of the dance?

                        Do you want to whack us on the head when we say old school, cause your just not old enough to be called old school?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          powwow and super,

                          I think this is the video. It has a picture of Carol Melting Tallow on the cover.

                          Powwow Video: Fancy Shawl Powwow Dance Video: Crazy Crow Trading Post


                          Who are the "Rare interviews and footage of the first fancy shawl dancers?"
                          Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            hey someone buy this and burn me a copy! ayyeee
                            The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by superndngyrl View Post
                              hey someone buy this and burn me a copy! ayyeee
                              Okay thats a good one, but yeah I remember when I was real little, it might have started me wanting to dance fancy.
                              There was a powwow at Soldier stadium in Chicago, this was the early 60's and one of the first contests or a dance off for the wardancers. This one dancer was disqualified and I was checking it out and realized the dancer was a woman! I was totally amazed! she won and they took the prize back when they realized, like I did, that it was a woman who was tearing it up and she had bustles on.
                              I knew then we women were powerful and talented, my mother being the only powerful and talented woman I knew at the time. Anyway I'm sure someone might remember this woman fancy dancer but I was about 5 or 6 years old.

                              Comment

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