Shared by: Nagi Whiteowl
The jingle dress came and was shared to indigenous communities through teachings and passing of one mans vision.
When a little girl fell terribly sick, he had this vision of a dress. A dress was to be made with jingles on it, so that everytime the woman who was wearing it moved in it or danced these jingles would make noise. Old tobacco lids from the snuff cans were used as the original jingles on jingle dresses when the dress first came to the people.
Once the dress was complete the woman learned of just how they were to use it, the steps that needed to be with this dress, and when and how to dance with the dress.
They placed the young girl in the middle of the arbor and they began to dance. When they danced, the prayers and the sound of the jingles healed her, by the end of the night she was well and it’s said she even joined them.
To this day that’s still practiced even at powwows, if someone is ill or suffering from an illness, they’ll place them in the arena and call in the jingle dress dancers to dance around them. It’s really a sight to see and an experience because when you dance jingle, you really are dancing for the people.
Across the nation jingle dancers are calling on each other to use that dress once again for healing, for healing of others who may be sick, or lost, or mentally struggling with everything that’s been going on. It’s a beautiful thing to see that all the teachings that have been there for us as native people are being resurfaced again and used for what they were given to us for, it’s not about stepping into arena and competing it’s ALL about the prayer.
Most powwow dances started off in a form of a traditional healing dance and down the road, yes it still has that meaning and prayers behind it but it also has became more contemporary. But today I joined in on that call of dancers thanks to Liz Salway.
Jingle dancers will be dancing at different times throughout the days to come and it’s so beautiful to know that, we will hold eachother up always. Ahéhee ❤️✨