My teachings are that moon time is a very powerful time for a woman and it is so powerful that sometimes she has no control over the power.
I was not refferring to dances of intertribal dances or when the announcer calls in everybody.
This lady was actually dancing sacred dances--she was the wife of the Lead Dancer.
As far as Regalia--unless I am a participant I do not wear my regalia. But the fact that coming in ful regalia, regardless of your status as a participant, gets you in free to most Pow Wows--well that sort of encourages people to come that way. And it does make the Intertribals more interesting.
When I attend my own tribes Pow Wow, we are asked to wear certain things so that we know who fellow tribesmen are.
Yes, Waya, you are very correct and have the correct solution. But the bottom line is live in a soceity that is what is is.
I was taught, by my elders that for certain ceremonies, our ancestors did cover and for some they did not--like the Sweat Lodge.
i was not clear on what this lady was wearing--it was beyond skin tight. Made of the material biker's shorts are made from.
We were at a Spiritual Gathering/ Pow Wow and she could have painted her body with black and purple paint--it would have made no difference.
As for the way you describe your dress and mocs, no, leggings would not be needed. I should have more accurately worded that the legs should be covered. This is what I was taught.
So true Dian and also it depends on what kind of gathering we are talking about as well if your talking a ceremonial type dance yes proper attire should be worn if it's an open pow wow where they announce that the dance is open to everyone then it's to be expected that people will be in there that are not dressed in proper attire because another general rule that is taught to some when you go to pow wows inless you are part of the pow wow such as a dancer, vendor etc you do not dress in full Regalia because that can devert attention away from those who are in the pow wow by drawing attention to yourself.....
As far as Moon time that also varies from tribe to tribe some tribes view the moontime to be the most powerful time for a female because Moon time is is viewed as a time of renewal....
back before the whites came the woman in tribes didn't even wear tops half the time. It's only when whites came that Indian started wearing clothes because the whites said it was uncivilized to dress the way they did so gone were the loin clothes the Indian men wore and woman had to fully cover......
In todays society we have to wear clothes why because woman no longer respect themselves as they once did and in today's society sex rules and men no longer respect the woman like they did....It would be nice if all would start to teach that respect again and then maybe people would look at tight clothing and nudity in a different light.
One should have respect for ceremonies and dress accordinlgly however the impotants of leggings with all dances I fail to see simply because my dress goes to the floor with the bead and my moccasins go half way up my calf and because of the way the dress is made it would be hard for a wind to blow it up especially with the beads at the bottom and it certainly couldn't bounce up either to show anything......
As far a a female wearing something tight to the dance it's all in the way a person perceive's things in a traditional dance or ceremony for sure it would be in poor taste but for me and the way I see things it's hardly vulgar.....
I guess because in my profile pic here I am wearing a tight fitting shirt I suppose that's vulgar to some but is it a question of it being vulgar or the person who feels it is has some inner issues....
..... when I first began to journey in the sweat lodge, I asked a question of a man who is known round the world for his leadership in the Native American community, "Why, if we are entering into the this lodge to experience a cermemony which is to be a recreation and re-experiencing of being in the womb of the mother and we are to clean our selves up and be born again into the world renewed and refreshed, are we wearing clothing?"
He answered and said, " It is because some are ashamed of their bodies and wish to hide them so it is allowed so that they aren't uncomfortable. Some are ashamed of others bodies and don't wish to see them so we ask people to cover themselves this so as not to cause embarassment or shame. Others are more passionate and easily distracted by human form and so we ask people to cover themselves so that all can focus on what they came here for. But you are right to think we would best enter this ceremony as we entered the world. Unfortunately we are in a time where this is not so easy to do."
It would be nice if the whole world saw beauty in the forms we were all given by the creator to wear and we didn't find it necessary to hide them. But like the water in the river bed we must find our way where we find it.
May we all find our way.
Not sure why it was not posted or maybe it was and as I read through here, am just not seeing it--
But never should a woman enter the Dance Circle/Arena if it is during her moon time.
And not only should a woman have on a dress to enter the arena, her legs should be completely covered, hence the use of leggings.
I once watched a very beautiful Native woman dance in the arena with her husband and she wore a skin tight black biker type material knee length pants and one shoulder top of the same material. He ws in full regalia. She was other than this. They danced beautifully but the skin tightness of her clothing was vulgar to say the least.
reprinted with permission
Powwow general rules for first timers.
It should be noted that every POWWOW is different so the first rule is the most important. The key is respect, and many "first timers" don't have access to the life-long teachings that we take for granted. Here is the "Charley's 16 rules", hope you enjoy.
The following are general rules I give to follow when going to a POWWOW.
Listen to the Master of Ceremonies.
Do not sit within the arena. The chairs inside the arena are reserved for the dancers. Use the outside circle or bleachers if provided.
If you want to take pictures, check with the POWWOW host first, then check with the person you are taking pictures of and ASK THEIR PERMISSION. Under no circumstances may you enter the arena to take photos. Put your camera down for all memorial dances.
All tape recording must be done with the permission of the Master of Ceremonies and the Lead (or Head) Singer of EACH drum. When a new drum starts, do not enter the arena to get to the other drum. Don't run. Miss the song and wait for the next one to take your time getting to the drum. Nothing is more rude than "Recorder-runners" ganging around a drum. Many Powwow disallow this anyway (fine by me!).
If you are not wearing traditional Regalia, you may dance only on social songs (like Two-Step, Blanket Dance, Honoring Songs, Circle, etc..) Sometimes a blanket dance is held to gather money. You may enter the circle to donate.
Only those with the permission of the Lead Singer may sit at a drum. (And it's a good idea to know the songs because it's often a habit to ask the "stranger" to lead one.)
Stand and men must remove their hat (unless traditional head gear) during the Grand Entry, Flag Songs, Invocation, Memorial, Veterans Songs, and the Closing Song.
During the Gourd Dancing, only Gourd Dancers and Gourd Dance Societies are to enter the Dance arena. Owning a gourd rattle does not make one a Gourd Dancer. Check with the local Societies.
Please do not permit your children to enter the dance circle unless they are dancing.
Do not touch anyones dance Regalia without their permission. These clothes are not "costumes" and yes we use modern things like safety pins and such because we are a "living" culture, our Regalia is subject to change. Leave your stereotypes at home. (Yes there are some blond tribal enrolled Indians... no ones fault that life goes on!)
If you are asked to dance by an elder, do so. It is rude and disrespectful to say, "I don't know how." How can you learn if you turn the elders down?
Most all Powwows do not allow Alcoholic beverages, Gold Paint cans, or drugs here. The Powwow is a time of joyful gathering and celebration of life. Alcohol and drugs are destroying our way of life and these "bad" spirits are not welcome.
It's funny how much trash we as people drop. Make an extra effort to walk to the trash can. Respect Mother Earth.
Remember always: Native American Indian dances are more than the word "dance" can describe. They are a ceremony and a prayer which all life encompasses and produce many emotional and spiritual reactions. Some dances are old, some are brand new... the culture continues to live and evolve.
Urban Powwows are much more "tense" than Powwows on the rez. As people are away from the comfort of culture, they tend to take things more seriously. Abide by peoples wishes and requests. We as Indian people believe differently. Some dance around clock-wise, others counter clock-wise. If our host asks, we sometimes voluntarily show our respect by temporarily changing our way(s). Show your respect by doing the same.
Have fun. Buy something from the vendors. Donate if you can. And most of all don't be so uptight and relax. The whole universe comes together this day to celebrate. You are invited to join in.
Please remember, these are general rules when there is no other ground work to proceed from. Hope this helps. -Charles Phillip Whitedog
Great advice, group! Wado.
A Navajo friend of mine told me that, regardless of the tribe, not only should I wear a dress, but it should be...how did he describe it? He said it should be "flowing." What does that mean? Was he talking about a moo-moo?
Would like to add a few
If you are a woman-do not enter the circle in shorts or pants, unless you are a two-spirit person. At the last Powwow I attended-we also played in a softball tournament. One of the elders came and reminded us that although all were welcome to dance that the chief had asked that the women wear skirts or dresses to dance.
Prepare yourself mentally before going to the powwow so that your best intentions and blessings come with you. Make it your intention to give to the circle, not just take away. Come with love on your heart and it will radiate out from you.
If you are asked to join the circle in dance-please try to honour that request-my dad saved a woman's life from Seine River First Nation-he found her in a diabetic coma in a ditch and took her for help. Later, that summer, she asked him to celebrate that with her by dancing at the PowWow-he did not, because he was embarassed-but he says now that it was a HUGE mistake that he made to dishonour her request, and he regrets it to this day.
May your feet dance lightly in the circle
I read the 'Powwow Etiquette' and all sounds well except
all the powwows I have attended you will always see a flock of
people recording at Drums during Intertribal. Also I seen people
in regular street clothes dance during Intertribal. Like me using
a walker or wheelchair.
Stand....only if you are able bodied and not in a wheelchair like
me. A long Time ago I was a dancer but now that I am disable
due to my drinking days. I don't drink anymore and I don't dance
or sing but yeah I still enjoy powwows. You might see me using
a walker or wheelchiar.
Before my disability I use to sing with my younger bro at various
powwows. Tiz a good feeling when skads of people record you siniging
during Intertribal cause you know you must sound good. And I like
to record intertribal songs at powwows. Laters!
things that bother my sister don't bother me in the least. Some people are very sensitive when it comes to certain things. When I was pregnant, I didn't care if people touched my belly. In fact, I had a lot of fun with it. I could balance a glass of water on it when I sat down which got a laugh, and I always had people feel Matt's little foot pushing and kicking outward. But, I sure don't like anyone rummaging around in my handbag unless they have permission to get keys or something. It may not be sacred but, it's personal.
I'd have a hard time NOT taking pictures, though.
i think the very fact that one man was offended, yet another man complimented you on your display says much, in itself... just as there are many customs and many diverse colloquialisms thoughout the united states, so it is with all peoples, subjects and customs...
Is there ettiquette for handling sages a certain way when displaying them for educational purposes?
thank you, dian... i actually had someone once try to open my medicine bag ... it wasn't bad enough that he touched it, without asking... people just have no respect... or is it just plain curiousity, do they just act before they think?
You cannot currently send a star to Dian because you have done so within the last week.
For those that don’t know me, I wear the traditional style Cherokee medicine bag, which is 2 strands of bone and glass pony beads with my bag sewn in the middle and worn as a choker. To my dismay, at the powwow, I had someone reach up touch it thinking it was jewelry. I won't say how I felt about this but I notice that a lot of rules I grew up with are not being followed and was thinking maybe some just don’t know.
I decided to sit down and post the basic powwow rules that we follow just in case some do not know what they are. If you think of some that I have not listed, please add them. Wado.
1. Listen to the Master of Ceremonies.
2. Do not sit within the arena. The chairs inside the arena are reserved for the dancers.
3. If you take pictures, please check first with the person you are taking pictures of. (Rule of thumb I use is I just take pictures of my family at family gatherings) Under no circumstances may you enter the arena to take pictures.
4. You must have permission from the Master of Ceremonies and the Lead Singer before you can recording anything, including video cameras.
5. If you’re not wearing traditional Regalia, you may dance only on Social songs like the Two-Step, Blanket dance, Honoring songs, etc.
6. You MUST have permission of the Lead Singer to sit at the Drum.
7. Stand during Grand Entry if not entering the arena with Grand Entry. Stand during the Flag song, Veteran’s song and the Closing Song. This is to show great respect.
8. During the Gourd Dancing, only the Gourd dancers are to enter the arena.
9. Please do not children enter the dancing circle unless they are dancing.
10. DO NOT TOUCH anyone’s dance Regalia, personal items, etc. without their permission.
11. Don’t turn down an invitation by others, especially from an Elder.
12. Drugs and alcohol are not allowed and respect Mother Earth and throw you trash away. If you see it in the arena, please pick it up.