Balancing Two Worlds: Present and Past In the Context of Powwow Outfits and Beadwork Defining Tradition ?As the word is used today among Indians, tradition is generally associated with the old ways, the reliving of the heritage. Everyone knows what it means and when it is being activated.? ? Ralph Coe ?Tradition: Speaking to the Present, Respecting the Past.? from Lost and Found Traditions: Native American Art 1965 ? 1985. Picture taken by Jason Tetzloff, a former teacher at UWEC. Timeless Traditions ? contrasting viewpoints One author, expressing a view not limited to himself alone, has maintained that: ?Tradition always looks backwards, it tells how things were well enough done in the past, how old problems were solved. It gives little guidance as to how things may be solved in the future, as to how new problems are to be solved.? ?It is as if the ancestors never left.? Zona Loans Arrow (Sioux) ?Being a good Indian is listening to all those lessons that tell us what to do .....They tell us to be honest and act straight.? Zona Loans Arrow (Sioux) ?Tradition: Speaking to the Present, Respecting the Past.? from Lost and Found Traditions: Native American Art 1965 ? 1985. Tradition in Today?s Society ?In the same way that our great-grandfathers taught their children, our grandfathers, how to skin buffalo for shelter and food, how to weave baskets to carry a harvest of corn ... We need to be able to sit down with our children and show them how to look up the family's investment portfolio on the Internet.? ?The true tradition and culture of our people is that we were always survivors thriving in the environment we called our home.? ?Famous? Dave Anderson Former Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Phto by Rick St. Germaine for Indian Country Today Beadwork and Powwow Outfits Present and Past History of Beadwork Original decorative arts were created using natural materials including: Shells Ivory from Elk Dew Claws Bear Claws Porcupine Quills Horse Hair Moose Hair Pine needles Plant and Vegetable Dyed Paints Clay Paints History of Beadwork In the early 1800s glass beads were introduced to Plains tribes via fur traders. These beads were used as a commodity to be traded for furs. Tribes used the beads in the colors that were easily available to them based on the inventory carried by traders. This is why there are some bead colors that are said to be traditionally used by specific colors. While tribes used the beads that were available to them from traders they were also to obtain them from other tribes as trade items or gifts. This is why it is possible to see ?Cheyenne Pink? used in Lakota beadwork. Examples of Colors Used by Specific Tribes Cheyenne ? Background colors were primarily white or white-lined Rose (Cheyenne Pink),; design colors were often Light Turquoise Blue, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Green, yellow, and Pumpkin yellow. Lakota ? Background colors were White, or Light Turquoise Blue, and less often, green; design colors were White-lined Red, Royal Blue, Green, Greasy Yellow, and Light Turquoise Blue. Using Natural Materials as Design Elements Woven natural basket with geometric design in contrasting natural material. The darker grass is of a glossier and smoother texture than the lighter colored coarser grass for the bas of the basket. This Pomo woven basket is part of the A.T. Newman Collection on display at the University of Wisconsin ? Eau Claire. Parfleche bag ? Lakota Rawhide parfleche bag Bag was created by folding rawhide into an envelope and lacing the sides with buckskin and ties at top. Yellow diamond set inside red diamond bordered by blue in center. Red triangles bordered in red painted along edges. (Shown in front view) The paints used to make the designs were made from natural pigment dyes. This parfleche bag is part of the A.T. Newman Collection on display at the University of Wisconsin ? Eau Claire. Front View Back View Beadwork in a native context Beadwork can be done by a single person; it is often done as a group activity. While only person at a time can do the actual beadwork, other people participate by giving their design and color ideas, tips on how to bead a different way, or simply serve as a companion for the bead worker. Beadwork can be viewed as a spiritual activity as prayers can be said while beading or sewing. Beadwork and regalia is considered by some tribes to have its own spirit. Beadwork can be done as a way of staying tied to a tribal culture. Wearing beadwork in a mainstream or native setting is a way of asserting tribal identity. Changes in beadwork Technology and the ability to travel easily throughout the United States and Canada has given Indian people the ability to see different beadwork designs. These designs can inspire new designs, elements of the new designs may be blended with other tribal designs, or can be used to create an intertribal design. Today brighter colored multifaceted beads are used to create intensely colored, vibrant, and complex designs. Mixing the Old with the New Beads did not completely replace the use of natural materials for decorations, but were used in combination with them to create more elaborate and colorful patterns. The use of newer materials with older traditional ones illustrates the ability of Indian people to adapt to new materials and ideas within the context of their tribal culture. Lakota Quilled Moccasins with Beaded Trim These moccasins illustrate the use of red and white dyed quills on the vamp while the border is lazy-stitched with white, dark blue and red beads in a geometric pattern. The moccasins are part of the A.T. Newman Collection archives housed at the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Pipe bag - Lakota Buckskin pipe bag beaded in geometric patterns sewn with lazy-stitch 9 beads at a time. Edges of side and top are bordered with an alternating pattern of blue and white beads. Long fringes on bottom of bag are wrapped in dyed red and natural porcupine quills. Ties decorated with dyed red horsehair attached by tin cones. These moccasins are part of the A.T. Newman Collection archives housed at the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Loomed Beadwork example Woman?s Belt Loomed using Lakota designs Loomed Beadwork Examples Center section of purse loomed using Lakota designs Barrettes done with various geometric designs. Lazy Stitched Beadwork Examples Ben Marra calendar photograph of Lisa V. Fourd, Oglala Lakota, wearing a fully beaded Northern Traditional style buckskin dress. The choker, scarf clip, purse, and top portion of the dress are fully beaded with Lakota designs using the Lazy Stitch. Examples of Beaded Everyday Items Even mundane items like pens, lighters, and key chains are beaded. These are sold at powwows and are used as giveaway gifts. Beaded pen done as a fundraiser item for the Lakota college fund Peyote Stitched Key Ring By Alan Monroe - Lakota Beaded lighter done sold by Alan Monroe on eBay Examples of Beaded Everyday Items Beaded coin purse offered for sale on eBay by an Ojibwe woman Zipper pull by Alan Monroe - Lakota Bridging Two Worlds with Beadwork Christmas stocking offered for sale on eBay by Alan Monroe - Lakota How does this relate to powwows? What are powwows? What is a powwow? Why are powwows held? A powwow is a gathering where Native Americans come to dance, celebrate their culture, and have fun with their families. The precursor to today?s powwows began in the Plains area over a hundred fifty years ago, and continues today in the current form as a way of celebrating and maintaining American Indian cultures. When are powwows held? The main powwow season is summer, but they are held year-round throughout the country Check online for various powwow calendars. Where are powwows held? Powwows are held across the United States and Canada on reservations, while others are held on high school and college campuses, or in community centers. What roles do powwow fulfill for native people today? A way of paying respect to the past and our ancestors by: Using songs that have been used for generations Wearing clothing, jewelry, beadwork or other items once worn by a relative Wearing and using designs or colors that our ancestors wore Dancing the same style as a relative once did Gathering of families from the same tribe together Bringing different tribes together as was done in the past Bringing together families and tribes to share songs, dances, food, and friendship Sharing the culture with non-native people What roles do powwow fulfill for native people today? A way of maintaining our culture through: Gathering native people together as was done in the past Practicing traditions like giveaways, honor songs, or traditional games Using the traditional languages during prayers and songs Dances that have been done for years, although they may have been modified over time Beadwork that is based on older traditional designs Regalia that is based on older traditional designs Feasts and traditional foods Tradition in Today?s Society Traditions die hard and innovation comes hard. Indians have survived for thousands of years in all kinds of conditions they do not fly from fad to fad seeking novelty. That is what makes them Indian.? Vine Deloria (Sioux) ?Tradition: Speaking to the Present, Respecting the Past.? from Lost and Found Traditions: Native American Art 1965 ? 1985. How are powwows changing or staying the same? Songs New songs are made using native language, vocables, or English or a mix of the three elements. Old songs are still sung using native languages and/or vocables. How are powwows changing or staying the same? Dance Steps are becoming more athletic in the Grass and Fancy Dance categories for men and in the Fancy Shawl category for women. Return to older and more modest steps in categories like Traditional and Grass for men and Jingle and Fancy Shawl for women. Creation of contemporary categories for some dance styles like Jingle Dance. How are powwows changing or staying the same? Outfits Outfits are made of brighter, flashier fabrics Beadwork is blended with mirrors and rhinestones Some dancers are returning to older styles of outfits. There is a resurgence of older style jingle and traditional dresses for women. The format has not changed since the 1930s, with the exception of adding powwow princess contests. What is the future of powwows? Will continue to adapt and change as new songs and outfit styles are adopted Traditional format of powwows will be retained ? Grand Entry, Flag Song, Veterans Song, intertribal, honor and social dances, giveaways and feasts will continue to be done. May continue to see a return to older dances, songs, and outfits as elders continue to share tribal history and the younger generations begin or continue the old ways. Men?s Dance Styles Northern Traditional In existence since pre-reservation times. Dance steps are varied based on tribal or personal preference and are said to imitate tracking an enemy or animal. Outfits consist of headdress or a porcupine roach (head covering) with eagle feathers, ribbon shirt, breechcloth, eagle bustle, leggings, breastplate, moccasins and beadwork. Photo of Bone Necklace (Oglala Lakota) ? Member of Grass Dance Society circa 1895. Photo from Smithsonian Museum Collection Men?s Northern Traditional Dance Outfits Men?s Southern Traditional Dance Outfits Men?s Dance Styles Grass Dance - Historical Conflicting stories of origin. The swaying movements of the upper body and arms are said to resemble prairie grass blowing in the wind. Prior to the 1920?s Grass dancer?s would dance the grass down flat in the powwow arena. Two styles of regalia. Outfits consist of a porcupine roach with eagle feather or fluffs, shirt or cape, aprons, pants, belt, side drops, cuffs and suspenders, and beadwork. Photo of Bone Necklace (Oglala Lakota) ? Member of Grass Dance Society circa 1895 Photo from the Smithsonian Museum Collection Men?s Grass Dance - Contemporary Men?s Dance Styles Fancy Dance - Traditional Current style evolved from traditional war dances and began in Oklahoma. Fancy fast footwork. Outfits consist of a porcupine roach and eagle fluffs, yoke, aprons, belt, side drops, cuffs, two large bustles, and two smaller arm bustles. The colors are brighter than in the other dance styles. Men?s Fancy Dance - Contemporary Women?s Dance Styles Northern Traditional - Historical Prior to World War II women generally did not dance inside the arena. After World War II and women?s participation in the war women began to dance in the arena. Three styles of dancing. Outfits consist of a cloth or buckskin dress, short leggings, belt with pouches, fan, purse, moccasins, beadwork, and shawl worn over the left arm. Women?s Traditional Hera Lonetree-Burgess Ho-Chunk Samantha Ray Oglala Lakota Women?s Traditional Pictures courtesy of GatheringofNations.com 2005 Women?s Dance Styles Jingle Dance Dance is said to have originated by Ojibwe in Whitefish Bay Canada in the 1920?s as a healing dance. The steps are small and one foot is on the ground at all times. Outfits consist of a dress with jingle cones, fan, purse, and leggings. Mary Strong (Ojibwe) Fort Bois Reservation Women?s Jingle Dress - Contemporary Women?s Dance Styles Fancy Shawl Dance According to some dancers the dance began with the Lakota during the late 1940?s ? early 1950?s. Outfits consist of a yoke (cape), skirt, leggings, moccasins, beadwork, and shawl. The footwork is complex and athletic. Fancy Shawl Preserving the Past ? Living in the Present
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