Sunday, February 22, 2009

WHAT TO WEAR?

THE WELL-DRESSED LADY DANCER

When attending a pow wow or ceremonial, it is important to be properly dressed. First, I will show you a traditional Plains Indian Buckskin Dress.



Here is a close up of the tab which hangs down from the bodice top skin. One can almost tell what tribe the lady belongs to by the shape of the tab and the beading design. The dangles hanging down under the sleeves are added and simulate deer legs.



Here is a close up of the skirt tab which is at each side of the skirt.



Now, to the accessories. The traditional dress has a belt with three pouches and a dragger. The pouches are 1) awl case, 2) knife sheath, and 3) fire-starting pouch. Also, hanging down is a strip of leather called a "dragger". These items were her working tools. The dragger was used to spur her horse and was also used to carry wood for building fires.






For ceremonial and pow wow dancing, the breast plate necklace was worn. It was usually made from fire polish beads and bone hairpipe beads. It was not as uncomfortable to wear as it looks because the weight is evenly distributed at the front and back.



The well dressed lady would also carry a purse.



It is customary to carry a shawl when entering the dance arena.



I am showing some moccasins I make. I have designed my moccasins so that you may wear them with or without leggings.



When Native American Women made their dresses, they often decorated them with embellishments honoring their family. On the dresses I make, I add 5 jingles (made from snuff can lids) and 15 small tin cones. The jingles represent my five children and the 15 tin cones are my 15 grandchildren.



All dressed and ready for the pow wow, including the fan that ladies carry while dancing. I am modeling a complete outfit that was sold at the Red Earth Festival.