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Can my daughter still dance?

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  • Can my daughter still dance?

    My 6 and a half year old daughter just began learning to Fancy Shawl Dance. She has also recieved a regalia very recently. Her heart is very much into continuing to learn and practice. My mother passed away on April 26, 2002. My daughter was very close to her grandma. I understand that when somebody close passes away, the standard protacol is to not dance for one year. Would this also apply to my daughter? Somebody suggested that she continue dancing because she was not the next of kin.

    I hope everybody is doing well, and I look forward to your response.:dontknow:

  • #2
    Personallly, when my father passed away I continued to dance in his memory because he would have looked at me like I was insane if I stopped! He knew that was what I loved and would not have wanted me to because of him. I know it goes for tribal and regional areas so you may want to check with someone in your area or use your own judgement. Just my little bit of a thought!
    Becky B.


    • #3
      Six and a half is very young. She doesn't understand this time of mourning.
      I would suggest that you yourself take the time of mourning, but allow her to dance after a brief time. Go to your elders though.

      Do not take anyones word online, because we are all different nations. This is what I would do.

      I am friends with some young dancers who kept dancing. You could see the hurt. Everyone needs healing time.


      • #4
        When my husband's father passed away, he, myself and my children (then 16 and 10) sat out for an entire year. His relatives (sisters, brother & their families) came out in just a few months. When his aunt passed, we sat for about 6 months. If it is a relative but not real close or someone that we care deeply for - we talk to the family after waiting a month or so.

        Each tribe is different, the Pawnee's don't sit at all, you are free to go after the funeral feast. We chose to go Otoe way as his father was on that roll.

        Talk to others members of your tribe. And just my two cents...but if one sits - everyone sits. I understand about having a young one that wants to dance, but if you believe in your ways and want to teach your children the way you learned - then you don't make exceptions. Explain what you are doing and why -- kids are a lot smarter than we think and a lot more understanging.


        • #5
          These are some good responses. Every tribe is different. Talk to your elders! When my grandmother passed, we danced. She loved to watch us dance and was always worried that when she passed on we would stop our traditions. That was not so! I danced in memory and honor for her. I continue to do so. Every time I dance I know she is watching and is proud of me. My tribe does not always sit out. You need to talk to your elders and see what they say you should do.


          • #6
            If it's in your tribal customs to do so, I would agree with another poster here and advise you not to make an exception. One's grandmother is not "next of kin" in the white world but to us Indians, relationships are much closer. Not dancing for that year would teach your daughter about sacrifice and respect and honoring relatives. All really good values to instill in a child. And she is old enough to understand loving her grandmother.
            Not better. Not worse. Just different.


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