The jingle-dress dance style began among the Ojibwa in the Wisconsin area around 1920, and sometime during the next decade, it spread to the Sioux of North Dakota. By around 1950, it had spread westward into Montana. But by 1960, this dance style was rarely seen. Women started wearing jingle dresses again in the late 1970s and currently the dance is widely popular. As times change, so has the design of the jingle dress. As tin, sheet metal and Copenhagen(TM) tobacco lids became available, the lids were formed into cones and pierced. Cowries and other shells have been used as regalia decoration since pre-history. Metal cones are much more solid but still represent the sound of the water. The cones are sewn onto the fabric in various patterns or placements, asymmetrically or symmetrically across the dress.
The jingle dress is a dance dress worn by women participating in the "Jingle Dress Dance" at a Native American Pow wow. The jingle dress is made of cloth and includes several rows of metal cones which are sewn across the dress on the skirt (and blouse, in some areas). These metal cones create a jingling sound as the dancer moves. The traditional Jingle Dress Dance is characterized by the jingle dress and light footwork danced close to ground. As the dancer dances in a pattern, her feet never cross, nor does she dance backward or turn a complete circle. The contemporary jingle dance style can be fancier, when compared to the original dance style, with intricate footwork and the dress design often cut to accommodate the more elaborate footwork. Contemporary jingle dance dancers do often cross their feet, turn full circles and dance backwards. These moves exemplify the differences between contemporary and traditional jingle dress dancing.
Traditionally, 365 cones, called jingles, were sewn onto the dress representing each day of the year, with a prayer put into each cone. Jingles were originally made from the tin lids of tobacco snuff cans. While these lids are again available, and offered by Crazy Crow Trading Post, ready made jingles are also offered. While dancing, these metal cones hit against one another creating a rich jingling sound.
Powwows are American Indian events that feature, among other things, Native American dance and song. They are a celebration of heritage and traditions, and a way for Native Americans to connect with each other while keeping their culture alive through dance, song and storytelling. Most powwows are open to the public, offering opportunities to educate non-natives about their culture and traditions, including many different styles of Native American dance styles. While powwows occur year-round, most are held between Memorial Day and Labor Day throughout the US and Canada. They are an important part of Native American life and lots of fun for all who attend. For a list of Native American events, see our Native American Dance Calendar.
Crazy Crow Trading Post has long been your number one source for powwow craft supplies for your Native American dance regalia and other needs. This photo gallery represents Women's Jingle Dance outfits, mostly taken at Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We thank Derek Matthews of Gathering of Nations, and others who have given permission to present these photos in this gallery.
Crazy Crow Trading Post - Crafts Supplies for Native American Pow Wow Dance Clothes & Accessories!