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Jingle History?

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  • Jingle History?

    I'm not a Jingle Dancer, and certainly do not know everything there is to know about Cherokee History. However, I ran across this bit of info ..... (?) and wanted to know,

    Does any one know the history of the Jingle? I'm curious now!

    Here is what is written on a post card that I was handed at a recent Pow Wow, and it really has me wondering, exactly how old is the Jingle Dress, and who started it??

    "Cherokee Jingles"

    "Cherokee people used snuff lids, discarded by the Europeans and American settlers alsong the "Trail Of Tears" from North Carolina (Smokey Mountains) to the Oklahoma reservation. Ther Cherokee Spirit of Utilizing material found on the Mother Earth, turned this discarded waste into a creative rolled pieces called "Jingles". These "cones" were used to decorate women's "Jingle Dance" regalia. The Jingle dress is also called a prayer dress, neant as a way to heal sickness - to heal any kind of mental, physincal and emotional illness - that might plague a person. The dress has many different versions of origin stories, but they all have one central meaning: the dress was made for healing. The Sound created by these jingles was said to sound like the rush of dancing raindrops over waterfalls and trees.

    One of these stories, is written on the wall at the reservation in Mount Pleasant Michigan. The story says that once there was a village where many of the people were sick and dying. A young girl went to one of the elders. The elder told her to attach 365 metal cones to her dress and each one would represent a prayer for the sick people for 365 days. "

    And here I thought that our ancestors didn't have a modern calander .....

    Please I'm not making fun of anything, I really am curious! What do ya'll think about this? I will PM the website that goes with this postcard, and let you make up your own minds!
    Your Heart Shows by how Your Words and Actions Affect Others.

    Nah I ain't NO WANNABE! I don't gotta wannabe when people wannabe like me!

  • #2
    The jingle dress came from the community of Whitefish Bay, Ontario. Canada. This is an Ojibway community in the Lake of the Woods area. The first lady of the jingle dress was the late Maggie White, she had gotten her dress from her grandfather.

    Ive never heard of Cherokee thing... thats a first :Chatter

    The jingle dress is a relativly new dance to the powwow trail (some people try make it sound older then it actually is by saying the jingles were traditionally made of shells.... not true) Traditionally jingles were smaller and flat, not rolled. It was used as a healing dress and not for powwows. Maggie White had passed away in the early 1990's, she had gotten the jingle dress when she was 8, so thats when the jingle dress had came into Ojibway lives. The jingle dress had spread throughout Ojibway country, then later into other territories.

    Thats just a little summary of an acutally long story. lol, but thats a lil bit of what I know and i hope that helps, and I hope I made sense.

    Some guys are good with their drum sticks.... and some just arent...:karate:


    • #3
      Here is Maggie White's story told by herself through an interpreter.

      Maggie White
      (Ojibway - Whitefish Bay, Ontario, Canada)
      Jingle Dress Dancer

      "When I was a small girl, I was born sickly. I was always ill as a child, than when I was eight years old I was given this dress. This dress, I was told was special and it was made for me. I was given this dress by my grandfather, after this dress was given to me I began to feel better, I wasn't sickly anymore. This dress I was told was my "odih iziwin"."
      Her Grandfather, Pinasse, had told her he made this dress for her. When he was a small boy he would have this vision that would be the same, but never did quite understood what it meant until his old age, by this time Maggie was around 7 or 8, when he knew what this Vision was.
      The story of his vision is something he shared with his family, What is known about his vision is this: That he had seen this dress that made a certain distinctive sound, where shiny conical shapes hung from the dress. There were certain songs that came with the dress, certain dances and a ceremony.
      Maggie's "odih iziwin" was made of colours that were representative of the world around her. What also came with the dress was what we call a "staff" that had a certain shape and colour. This staff was given to those that had recieved her "odih iziwin" through the proper ceremony. There are woman in the Lake of the Woods area that carry this staff, along with their "odih iziwin" or as their "odih iziwin". It's something uniquely given, especially for them.

      Maggie shared her "odih iziwin" with the people she had met all over North America.
      What is also interesting to point out is that this is her story, our peoples story from the Anishinabeg of Lake of the Woods.
      She also shared her ( a repilca ) "odih iziwin" with the rest of the people when she made a dress that resembled the first dress she was given when she was 8 years old.

      -translated by Rhonda White


      • #4
        the Cherokee is a new one but wont be the last :Chatter but then the story changes whereever one may go.
        "In the depths of a mind insane
        Fantasy and reality are the same"
        - SLAYER


        • #5
          Thank You

          Thank You!!

          I don't remember ever hearing the story before! I thought the dress was Ojibway but I wasn't going to say anything to those people.

          I loved the posts, and learned alot from them. I also cut and pasted into my own files, so next time someone asks me, I can show them where I got the information!

          I didn't think the Jingle was Cherokee, but thought I'd ask to be sure. Strange how some stories get going sometimes, you wonder where they heard it from!
          Your Heart Shows by how Your Words and Actions Affect Others.

          Nah I ain't NO WANNABE! I don't gotta wannabe when people wannabe like me!


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