Sokaogon Chippewa Community News
Traditional Regalia Workshop Teaches Youth the Art
Each participant began by choosing the fabrics and color schemes, including the multitude of colored ribbons, which will adorn the final outfit. Traditional elements of bead and floral designs continue to be incorporated into the dance regalia, and the workshop will support a greater ability for this art to be passed on to the new generations.
New materials and different techniques used to embellish the clothing are constantly evolving. Inter-tribal is not just one dance style; today, Pow Wows themselves are inter-tribal. While in many cases dancers follow their own Tribe and Nation’s regalia patterns, a growing number create their own unique designs. Creativity was encouraged at the workshop.
There are dances for men, like the grass dance, and traditional dances for women, like the jingle dress dance. Traditional jingle dancers still abide by the original colors and keep their dance in a similar sedate style as the original dance steps. Contemporary women’s jingle dresses may be any color the dancer selects. Bright colors are incorporated into contemporary dresses to make them more flashy. A typical men’s grass dance outfit consists of an apron or breech cloth, pants, moccasins with bells and lamb fur, shirt, matching choker, beaded cuffs, head roaches and headbands. According to the creation story, the grass dance steps imitate the stomping of the tall grasses as it was once done by the dancer’s ancestors. The fringes are meant to represent the grasses tied to their outfits in days gone by.
A big thank you to Colleen and Cassandra for bringing this special workshop to fruition and empowering and educating our people, both young and old. A chance to see several of the new regalia will be possible at the upcoming 2020 Spring T.R.A.I.L.S. Pow Wow next March at Crandon High School.