Buckskin Dancing

Buckskin Dancing

One of the oldest form of  Native American Women's Dance is Buckskin. This is a dance of elegance and grace. The movement is smooth and flowing.

The ladies wear fine, hand-crafted buckskin dresses, decorated with intricate bead designs. Northern dresses are fully beaded on the shoulders, or cape. Southern ones, the beadwork is mainly used to accent. They are equally beautiful. The women carry fringed shawls over one arm.

Much like the Men's Traditional dance, there are many differences in the ouftitting of this women's style among the various Native American tribes. The jewelry is breath taking. Breastplates made from hair bone pipe, and glass beads can hang to the waist, or all the way to the ankles.

The latter is Northern, the former, Southern. Hair barrettes are hand beaded, and beaded pieces for the fur that hangs from the lady's hair can be quite intricate indeed. Some ladies, who have either been princesses, or the younger ones who are princesses still, wear beaded crowns, given to them by their societies. The moccasins are either fully beaded (Northern), or accent beaded (Southern).

Ladies' Buckskin Dancing is slow, and poised. Circling the drum, they bob to the beat of the drum, letting the long fringe on their sleeves sway in time. They carry a beaded purse, swinging it as well, and a shawl, folded on the arm, swaying likewise.

These highly respected American Indian women dance in rhythm with the Drum by swaying and slightly bending at their knees. These movements are very slight. This slight movement, however, creates a beautiful effect in moving their leather fringe in a breezy swaying motion. Northern dresses usually have fully beaded yokes, while Southern dresses have applique beadwork.


Buckskin Dancing Photos



Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Paul G

About Paul G

Paul G is the founder PowWows.com, who wears many hats as a business coach, photographer, and collector of quirky shirts. Paul started PowWows.com in 1996 while pursuing his graduate degree. With a passion for travel, he and his family hav  traveled the world, capturing unforgettable memories and photos. When he's not coaching or clicking, he's indulging in the magic of Disney.

11 Comments on “Buckskin Dancing”

  • Avatar for Running Doe

    osiyo, love the buck, skin outfits, all of them wado for sharing, I have one, but not as pretty as these,

  • Avatar for bert elkriver

    bert elkriver


    I am seeking information of the meanings/representations to these dances. can someone help me?

  • Avatar for trina smith

    trina smith


    I am 73 year old and would like to sell my brain tan buck skin wing dress. it is fully beaded and complete with hand bag, but bag, knife and sheath, fire starter bag, beaded belt. fully beaded leggings and moccasins (size 8 1/2) the primary colors are red, blue, purple and turquoise. the beaded pattern is a wild rose in 4 different stages of blooming. Could you help me find some one to buy my gear that will respect it and us it. I need to make repairs to my home and do not have any one to pass it down to who will us it.
    thank you.
    grandma trina. at (360)678 6403 OR kenaismith2@gmail

    • Avatar for Jane



      still have those items to sale? if so what size is your dress?

  • Avatar for moon18



    i was wondering if anyone can help me I would really like to learn more about buckskin dance and hopefully get to learn how to dance. I’m Luiseno and Diegueno. I would really be thankful.

    • Avatar for Paul G

      Paul G


      Take a look at our Buckskin forum. Talk to local dancers.

  • Avatar for littlefawn



    i am looking for a buk skin dress. do you have any for sale? and what is the price?

    • Avatar for Paul G

      Paul G


      Look on our Trading Post:

    • Avatar for Deb



      Little Fawn,

      What size are you looking for.
      What kind of beads?
      How tall are you?
      All Buckskin?
      Just the dress?

  • Avatar for Patricia



    Hello, I am looking for an Indian Pow wow to see. Do you
    have any coming up near Ohio or in Ohio this October?
    Please let us know.

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