Straight Dancer Bandoliers
Bandoliers are an essential component for straight dancers.
The pair of bandoliers are most often strings of large trade beads with leather spacers, worn in a loop which extends from each shoulder to the opposite hip.
Each bandolier consists of one to three strings of brass, silver or glass trade beads (cut crystal “aurora borealis” beads are frequently sought after), by themselves or strung in combination with bone hairpipes averaging between one and three inches long, and held together with leather spacers. Another version of bandoliers are made from silver beads, mescal beans, or a combination of both. These are frequently seen today on many Comanche, Kiowa or Southern Cheyenne outfits and often have reference to a Gourd Dance organization or the Native American Church, though members of Gourd Dance organizations or NAC members will usually wear the bandoliers over one shoulder.
No matter the style, straight dancers today will usually wear a pair of bandoliers, one over each shoulder, crossing in the front and back. When the leather belt is put on, the bandoliers usually come over the belt in front and under the belt in back, though this is left to personal preference.
When a vest is worn, with or without a ribbonshirt, the bandoliers are sometimes omitted so as not to do damage to the beadwork on the vest.
Nokoney – Comanche – 1870
Quanah Parker – Comanche – 1890
Comanche man – 1891
Comanche men – 1891
Quanah Parker – Comanche – 1892
Henry Red Eagle and son – Osage – 1893
Wooden Lance – Kiowa – 1894
Frank Corndropper and Paul Buffalo – Osage – 1895
Comanche couple – 1895
Buffalo Meat, Three Fingers, Wolf Robe – Southern Cheyenne – 1895
Two Hatchet – Kiowa – 1898
Mo-She-Wa-Ku-De – Omaha – 1898
Little Snake – Omaha – 1898
Chas Baddle – Omaha/Otoe – 1898
Howard Frost – Omaha – 1898
James White Water – Otoe – 1898
Raises The Dust – Ponca – 1898
Henry Roman Nose, Yellow Bear, Lame Man – Southern Cheyenne – 1899
Southern Cheyenne father and son – 1900
Bacon Rind – Osage – 1900
Good Fox – Pawnee – 1902
It Is Him – Otoe – 1907
Bird Chief – Southern Arapaho – 1909
Bacon Rind – Osage – 1909
John Wood – Osage – 1910
Prairie Chief – Southern Cheyenne – 1911
Makes Them Cry – Osage – 1913
Walks With Effort, II – Ponca – 1914
Crazy Bear – Ponca – 1914
Bacon Rind – Osage – 1916
Tenikwa – Comanche – 1919
Albert Atocni – Comanche – 1926
Ashworth, Kenneth Albert.
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1957-b. Costume of the Oklahoma Straight Dancer. The American Indian Hobbyist Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2.
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Hail, Barbara N.
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Johnson, Tim. Ed.
1998. Spirit Capture: Photographs from the National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C.
Kavanagh, Thomas W.
1992. Southern Plains Dance Tradition and Dynamics: Native American Dance Ceremonies and Social Traditions. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution with Starwood, Washington D.C.
LaFave, Edward J.
1998. Straight Dance Clothing: How to Dress a Straight Dancer. Whispering Wind: American Indian Past & Present Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 4, Folsom, LA.
1968. Straight Dance Bandoliers. The Singing Wire Newsletter, January Issue.
1982. Straight Dance Clothes: Getting Them On. Moccasin Tracks Magazine, April Issue, LaPalma, CA.
Stewart, Tyronne H.
1968. Dressing a Straight Dancer. The Singing Wire Newsletter, February Issue.
2004. Bead & Hairpipe Bandoliers. Whispering Wind: American Indian Past & Present Magazine, Vol. 34, No. 6, Folsom, LA
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