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Dropped Items.. what to do..

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  • Dropped Items.. what to do..

    Ok.. Last spring.. I had my young niece with me at a pow wow. She was watching this Jingle Dress dancer and she noticed that a jingle fell off. She picked up the jingle and brought it over to me cuz she wanted me to bring it back to the dancer. Was it wrong to try and give it back.

    I`ve been told that someone else has to pick up the item. When I did bring the cone back, the dancer looked at me like I was crazy! She even backed away from me and refused to take it back.

    Another question.... I was at a competition pow wow... I don`t compete but I juss go out to dance. I knocked off my barrette before we started dancing. I kinda froze because I wasn`t sure what to do. Then the song started. I decided to just dance. I guess no one saw the barrette so I picked it up myself. I asked an older dancer if I should keep dancing.. and she said yes.

    It has been on my mind for a while now. So, I was wondering... what exactly is the protocol on dropped items.
    ~* Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to *~

  • #2
    I am not an authority and do not know the protocol for all areas.. so with that being said and out of the way. daughter dances jingle too. She has dropped jingles from one end of this country to another...:Chatter Most times people will come from no where and bring the jingle back to her. She has had them given to her from anyone from MC's.. AD's.. spectators.. other dancers and the littlest tiny tot. Most just want to do something nice and be able to talk to the pretty dancer. The little ones will look at her all wide eyed like wowwww......;) She has even been given some back that were so flat they would never be able to pry them apart again.
    We appreciate what they do.. that gives us the descretion of doing what we want with them, which is personal.

    Now as far as competition goes.. some committee have set rules so I would find out if at all possible. Some let you go ahead and dance.. then want you to leave the floor and not line up... other places let the person not only line up but let them win....other places you walk off the floor immediately. So if you were told to go ahead and dance.. I wouldn't feel guility about it.

    The only thing I know one should NEVER pick up is eagle feathers..personally I don't pick up any feathers.. instead I tell a vet or mc..etc whoever is the closest one. I have stood in place before to "guard" an eagle feather and called one of these people to me, because some people just do not know and will pick it up, or some know but are willing to steal it.

    Hope this helps;)
    Last edited by Mato Winyan; 12-20-2002, 10:49 PM.
    "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


    • #3
      I let the MC or the Vet Know about it the them take care it.
      Migwetch, WPD
      Asema Is Sacred
      Traditional Use, Not Misuse
      Wakan Tanka please have compassion on me.
      OK Niji we are running a train with red over yellow at this powwow.


      • #4
        As has been said earlier not every area does things the same way, and when in Rome...

        I was taught that the only thing that a dancer can't pick up on there own is a dropped eagle feather (or if one is a non native, a feather that represents an eagle). People drop things all the time and it is nice to get it back sometimes, without having to go to the MC stand.

        I have seen dancers in competition (even have them on tape) pick up an item they have dropped and just keep on dancing hoping no one is any the wiser. I do not think that is right but I ain't the one that did it either.

        I would suggest that in most instances you follow the teaching over your tribe on this matter and deal with it the way they teach. But still be polite to the way the locals do things as well.

        Hope that helps!

        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


        • #5
          Imitation feathers

          ["I was taught that the only thing that a dancer can't pick up on there own is a dropped eagle feather (or if one is a non native, a feather that represents an eagle). "]

          That's an interesting question. What are people's views on imitation feathers? I've been taught and seen in my neck of the woods that fakes don't count. Just pick 'em and keep movin'. I've also seen elders or vets get really p.o.'d when someone makes a big show over a dropped feather and it's fake. Any opinions?


          • #6
            I'm with most on this subject. Every place has its own protocol but from my experience at various pow wows, the only thing that you can't pick up is an eagle feather. Seems like the MC is always telling the dancers of different articles that can be picked up at the MC stand if the dancer had lost it. But with an eagle feather, only an elder or a vet can pick it up. Sorry if I haven't been any help here.
            Jerry D. Moore <YellowHawk33>


            • #7
              I'm familiar with dropped eagle feathers.. and how we should not pick them up ourselves. I guess my question was meant more for items like barrettes, hairties.. "accessories."

              I've never dropped anything while dancing.. so I felt somewhat guilty. Anyhow, the woman I asked... saw me pick the hairpiece up. She made no other comments and told me that I should stay on for the second song.

              In this area... I've seen and heard people say... let someone else pick up the item. However, in my case, no one did. It was a wee little barrette... perhaps no one saw it fall. My sister who was recording didn't even notice. :(

              Next time, I'll just duct tape them all on. :p
              ~* Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to *~


              • #8
                I've never heard of not being able to pick up your own barrette or other piece of your outfit, UNLESS it's an eagle feather. If you know you dropped a feather you should stop dancing and stand beside the feather until a veteran can come and pick it up. And like someone else mentioned, if it's fake, pick it up yourself!!


                • #9

                  What I've been taught...

                  A good rule of thumb is that if it is a major piece - Feathers, bells (the whole set) choker, any major part - and it starts to fall - you should step out and fix it. If you totally loose it - then leave it up to the AD - usually they come around and pick it up and give it to you - sometime they go to the drum and you pay the drum something for the mistake. Eagle feathers or any "major" feather like off of a roach or hairpiece - usually has to go with the "veteran" thing, but depends on the Pow-Wow.

                  Oh, you can't pick up money placed before you - someone else has to pick it up and give it to you.

                  One other thing though - if you drop a bell, or see one, pick it up, because no one like stepping on those. OUCH!!!

                  J~Dawg - the one and only!!!
                  In NDN Paradise!!!


                  • #10
                    I'm with the camp that says if you drop it, just pick it up. Outside of eagle feathers, items are just items. But maybe if you are prone to dropping stuff, you could learn a cool hoop dancer move and the next time around just scoop it up with your foot somehow... :p
                    Not better. Not worse. Just different.


                    • #11
                      I will second the idea of picking up the various items that are dropped while dancing. Most usually an AD will go around and find things that have been dropped. I have picked up many things and gave them to the AD, the MC, or the person it belonged to if I knew the person. Jewelry and jingle are quite common things found. Occasionally I will even find some lost candy. If you have any questions about dropped items just ask the AD, since this is HIS arena during the Powwow.

                      Contest droppings are subject to the committee. Usually anything other than a fluff, streamer, ribbon, jingle, etc. is major enough to be disquallified. The only right thing to do would be to bow out, excuse yourself from the lineup. If the Committee wants you to stay the AD and MC will ask you to stay. Lately I have noticed that dancers are not being honorable when they over step or drop a major item. I don't appreciate this deviation from the honorable things to do.

                      Eagle feathers are the object of the "ceremonial scolding" if dropped. I know that the feathers that aren't Eagle should just be picked up and carry on quietly. I have heard of the
                      "ceremonial scolding" over non-Eagle feathers and I think this is not necessary.

                      When a person is honored with money during a dance the money should be picked up by a friend or relative, the AD will do it if no one else will. The individual will just stand there until this is done for them, with a great big A-HO and hand shake.

                      The most important thing to remember is to just have fun. You will be notified if you are doing something wrong. I have seen the Elder Ladies take people aside and EDUCATE them. IF you haven't been EDUCATED then don't worry and enjoy yourself. Believe me when your in Indian country and you do wrong you will know it.

                      Just stomp dance 'til sun up!!!!!!!!!!!! It's all good and have fun!!


                      • #12
                        I would have to pretty much agree with what just about everyone is saying here. If I drop something at a powwow, I usually just keep dancing, and the arena director brings it to me. I know that the only time it can be a problem is when an eagle feather falls. Then a pick up ceremony has to be done, and the person who last their feather is not allowed to dance for the rest of the powwows.


                        • #13

                          Like most peopl say if you drop it then wait for the AD or the Wa-no -zhi (Whipman)or just a good old VET to pick it up for you. It just lets every one know that you have some respect for the Xu-tha Mo -sho (Eagle Feather) and the Wa-tho (Song) and the rest of the people that made sure that all there stuff was put on right


                          • #14
                            Well this is what my mom told me

                            My mom was Lakota and she told me that when an eagle feather falls to the ground that it symbolizes a fallen warrior. That is why she said the elders and the vets must go retrieve their fallen warrior ie. the eagle feather on the ground.

                            Now this story was so powerful that I remember one male traditional dancer's eagle feather fell and he took it as he was the fallen warrior. He was so ashamed he stopped dancing all together cause he took it to be a bad omen about his walk in life. He took his eagle feather falling in the middle of pow wow personally.

                            I don't know that it necessary means a bad omen for someone's eagle feather to fall cause when you are out there dancing your competing with the solar heat, the movements, and gravity. But I do feel there is something to what my mother said about the fallen eagle feather representing a fallen warrior and why there is such grave reverance at Pow wows to stop the flow of the songs to properly have the elders and vets retrieve the eagle feather.

                            My cousin did alot of competition pow wows and she as competting in one where if something falls from your outfit you are automatically disqualified. So the strap off her beaded leather purse came off and started falling, but she was quick eyed and quick handed that she retrieved it as it was downfalling but caught it before it actually touched the ground. Talk about a close save LOL

                            Wenona Gardner


                            • #15
                              If your contesting and something falls off, then stop and retreive it and walk to teh side of the areana and support your other dancers. If it;s an eagle feather, stop and stay by it till the proper people come and retrieve it. If it's an intertribal, and anything BUT an eagle falls, then bend over and pick it up yourself.

                              Just my thoughts on this.
                              Before you attempt to beat the odds, make sure you can survive the odds beating you!

                              Why do some people bother breathing when you know their brain isn't getting the oxygen?


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