Jingle Dress is also called a Prayer Dress. There are differences in the origins of the dress among the tribes. The dress was seen in a dream, as an object to bring healing to afflicted people. It comes from the Northern Tribe Ojibewea or Chippewa, along the Canadian border.
A Medicine Man’s Granddaughter became very ill one day. In a dream, his spirit guides told him to make a Jingle dress for her and have her dance in it. This, he was told would heal her. When the outfit was finished, the tribe assembled for a dance. On her first time around, the illness would not permit her to dance and she was carried. As time went on she was soon dancing in the circle.
Jingle Dresses are decorated with rolled up snuff can lids that are hung with ribbon. The ribbon is then sewed to the dress, The jingles are placed close enough so they can hit together, causing a beautiful sound. If one were to close their eyes as the Jingle dancer passes, it would sound as though it were raining!
Find out more in the jingle forum.
See more pictures of jingle dancers in the jingle dance gallery.