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The Jingle Dress Tradition – Documentary Tells Origin Story of the Dress

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown May 5th, 2016 Last Updated on: May 5th, 2016

In this documentary from Twin Cities PBS, Ojibwe stories tell of the beginnings and the healing powers of the Jingle Dress Dance, a popular tradition throughout Native communities.

The Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe produced the video and consulted with a lot of their members about the jingle dress.

It’s long been a desire of Larry “Amik” Smallwood to tell the story he heard growing up of how the jingle dress came to be.

“I used to hear my grandma, Lucy Clark, tell the story of where the jingle dress came from,” said Amik. “Back in ’79 when I worked at Nay Ah Shing, Ben Sam and Fred Benjamin, both now passed on, also told me the story about the jingle dress.”

“I’ve traveled around and heard stories about the jingle dress and they’re all basically the same, but there are some variations,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to do a documentary for the past seven years so we could get the story straight about where the dress originated.”

The full documentary is available to stream online. Please visit http://www.tpt.org/the-jingle-dress-tradition/ to watch!


Home » Native American Articles » Pow Wow » The Jingle Dress Tradition – Documentary Tells Origin Story of the Dress

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.



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Gary Paschall Sr.

Why are most American Indians leaning left in reality the parties in Washington have all been lying to native people for the past 500 years and most people still believe the crap the Polititions tell them, remember the great white father’s have broken all the treaties over the years but still people listen to the crap spred out of Washington today you can’t trust either party they are only in it for themselves.

Gary Paschall Sr.

I would like to see more information about the eastern woodland tribes I’m Tuscarora my people are in North Carolina I would lime for pow wows.com to include our eastern tribes because all I see mostly are news articles on plains Indians and far northern tribes.

Drew Waepew Awaehsaeh

I watched the documentary on this,and LOVED IT!!! My Grandmother,was Ojibwe/Menominee,and I’ve always LOVED watching the Jingle-dancers dance!!! It’s my favorite-category,as listening to all their jingles,dance “in-time” with one another,is an AMAZING and truly Healing sound!!! Thank-You for sharing this!!! 🙂

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