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  • New to dancing


    My name is Rocky and I'm new here and new to pow wow dancing. Today my daughter and I went to the Acorn Festival here in Tuolumne, CA and found a woman who said she would teach us to dance over the next month. I have several questions and I apologize for being so ignorant:

    1) Our heritage is Choctaw. Being such, are we restricted to certain styles of dance? And if so, which ones?

    2) My daughter (age 13) is interested in Jingle Dress Dancing. Is there an age limitation as in too young or too old where this dance is concerned?

    3) The woman who has said she'll teach us is Cherokee and maybe in her 80's. She's been teaching the local Miwuk children for years, but she has decided this will be her last year. She can only spend a month with my daughter and I because it'll be too cold in a month to continue with the instruction. Once that month is over, are there videos we can purchase to help us learn?

    4) Should I learn the same style as my daughter?

    5) How do you know which style is best for you?

    6) Can a jingle dress be made of buckskin?

    7) This is my last question...I want to gift the woman who will teach us. What is approapriate?

    Thank You

  • #2

    1. i dont think so, but there are traditions you should find out. like how the women do their hair (one braid, or two or down)

    2. no there is no age restriction, but you might not want to to put 365 full sized cones on a child. my little sister has 365 half sized cones and they were so heavy that the appron they were attached to pullled her skirt down when she danced. we fixed with that wutg suspenders. my last dress for my niece (whom is very petite) i used a few cones less than 200 full sized cones and its just the right amount. however, adult women should have atleast 365 cones on their dress.

    3. yes, i know that crazy crow ( sells one for $19 somthing. noc bay does too. ( as for other styles i know that nocbay has them, but what ones they have specifically i dont know.

    4. no, but if you chose to do it because you want to, not because you feel you need to for your daughter.

    5. i have no idea. im still trying to figure it out. :) look at pow wow's which one do you like the best?

    6. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. something that is useful, or you know that she needs. I volunteer at the school in our community and the culture teacher gifted my mom a beautiful tiffeny style night light. She gifted me with a sweetgrass bathset. they are gifts on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but they were both cool to get.

    good luck


    • #3
      Thank you Kim, the information is very helpful! I'm certain I'll find out more after meeting with Irene. She's such a wonderful lady with a bright smile. She said she teaches the Cherokee style. I don't know how different that is, maybe it doesn't matter. There's a California band of Choctaw way down in southern California, I'll have to find out when they hold their pow wow and go.

      And again
      Thank You Again



      • #4
        I was taught that Jingle Dress Dancing was originally originated from the Anishnabe people, not the Cherokee. Other tribes have just "adopted" that style of dancing for themselves. But I also have a few jingle dress dancers in my family and they have all been blessed and given the right to dance that style by elders/relatives from the Ojibway community. I know many young ladies/girls probably dont' take into consideration the purpose of the Jingle Dress anymore, since it is now used for competition purposes, but there are still some "Old Style Jinglers" out there today and I want to commend them on keeping up their traditions and beliefs in this particular dress. It is a healing dress and should be taken with much respect as should all the other dances should be. just my two cents. :D


        • #5
          well i started dancing jingle when i was 12. I went through a ceremony for both my dress and becoming a woman. i am iroquois, but both ceremonies were adopted from the ojibwe and my mother, who is a pipe carrier was given permission to do the ceremonies. The jingle dress ceremony was performed by one of my aunties who is ojibwe and is looked to for doing the ceremonies for many girls who want to begin dancing jingle. She gave me a long talk on the uses of the jingle dress and the proper way to take care of it. I had to understand that it was a big responsibility before she even let me put the dress on.
          This is how i went about dancing jingle.
          Thats just what i did.

          Oh and your question about knowing which style is for you...i think that you just gotta see what you end up likeing, i danced tradish, then switched to fancy then back to tradish....and then finally, when i had decided on jingle and from what i was taught theres no turnin back from i wanna sit in the bush for five days.....but i think with time you'll find which style is best for you, which one u like best, and which one makes you feel good!
          ~*~Peace N Love!~*~
          ~*~¤(¯`·._» >The Prettiest People do the Ugliest things <«_.·´¯)¤ ~*~


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