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Pow Wow Regalia Inspiration From Our Past

Posted By Charlie Ballard May 13th, 2015 Last Updated on: May 13th, 2015

As powwow season gets under way, many dancers are just now finishing up on their outfits but many people often wonder where do these dancers get their inspiration for their traditional garments, heres are some clues.  

* Families. Some traditional designs have been passed down thru their families. You'll often see those same designs on the parents & grand parents clothes.

* Traditional Stories. Turning a traditional story into garment is very common, this help keeps the memory of the event in the threads.

* Communal designs.  Some of the bigger tribes are known for specific ornaments such as the Anishnabe, who are known for their floral patterns, in the Northwest you'll the fish symbol on much of their clothing articles, when we see a young woman wearing a handwoven rug we know shes Dine'.

* Historical Tribal Gear. (look below) Often most ideas come from our what our ancestors wore.  Their designs give us our identity, culture, beauty, practicality and way of life.

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New York NMAI – Anishnabe tribal gear (circ 1790)

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New York NMAI – Dine' Chief Robe (circ 1840)

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New York NMAI – Oglala Lakota shirt (circ 1849)

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New York NMAI – Walla Walla dress (circ 1870)

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New York NMAI – Ute Shirt (circ 1870)


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Art » Pow Wow Regalia Inspiration From Our Past


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