Native American Dance Shawls

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Ladies Fancy Shawl Dancing (the newest form of women’s dance) is often called Northern Shawl, as it does come form the Northern tribes along the US-Canadian border. This dance style is similar in dancing and the bright colors to the Men’s Fancy Dance. The ladies wear their shawls over their shoulders, and dance by jumping and spinning with the music. Though the fancy shawl involves more motion and agility than other styles of dance, the grace of the woman is always expressed.

As the name of the dance-style would imply, particular emphasis is paid to the shawls, with elaborate designs, appliqué, ribbon work, and painting. Long fringe hangs from the edges of the shawl, and flies round the dancer as she moves to the music.

Fancy Shawl Dance Photo Gallery
Introducing Crazy Crow’s pow wwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes. View Gallery

Women’s Traditional is the oldest type of women’s dance. It is sometimes referred to as Straight or Buckskin Dancing, and like Men’s Traditional there are many tribal variations, including wearing a buckskin, cloth or wool dress.

Regardless of the tribal variations, there are two important items used by Traditional Dancers. One, is the fan. This fan is usually beaded and is raised to the drum, in honor, during the “honor” beats of the songs. The second item, is the shawl. This colorful, fringed shawl is carried over one arm. The fringe of the shawl sways with the movement of the dancer.

Other Uses: Shawls are a very popular give-away item. Also, whenever a woman enters the dance arena without her dance outfit or regalia, she will most likely stop long enough to wrap a shawl around her shoulders.

Making Native American Dance Shawls

Regardless of the type shawl you wish to make, we have tried to assemble all the available online links and resources to help with the task. As additional information is found or created, we will add it in order to keep this reference current (if you haven’t noticed, several more links have been added to the Moccasin page since it was created). In addition to the Web resources, we also highlight related products offered by Crazy Crow to make your dance shawl craft project easier and the results more assured.

I must admit that it was much more difficult than I thought it would be to find information regarding making shawls on the web. It almost made me turn in my web connection -and I definitely have less hair (that’s happening anyway). If anyone knows of articles ON THE WEB that provide the ‘how-to’ diagrams online, please forward it to Craft Focus. Besides commercial sources which are listed, the best information I could get was in discussion forums at Powwows.com. This looks like a great place to ask questions and get help from craftworkers from all parts of the country. Try it out!

O N L I N E    R E F E R E N C E

Craft-Ribbonwork-Part One – Canku Ota
Many shawls are decorated with ribbonwork applique. Part one of this 2-part article will help you use this beautiful means of adornment: What is Ribbonwork, Terms used in Ribbonwork, What kind of ribbons are used today, Making Ribbons using material, What fabric to use and The important aspects of ribbonwork.

Craft-Ribbonwork-Part Two – Canku Ota
In Part Two, the different styles of ribbonwork are discussed, providing examples of how to prepare your ribbons for the technique. Shows some templates you can use.
Features three appliqué ribbonwork techniques: Plains ribbonwork, Osage ribbonwork and Woodlands ribbonwork. The Plains and Osage Style Ribbonwork are mostly the same style only the how the ribbon is put on the material is different.

The Evolving Beauty of the Fancy Shawl Dance – Indian Country Today
Given its legacy of color, vivacity and even rebellion, the name of the dance is ironically plain: fancy shawl. Women’s fancy shawl—often mistakenly thought to be a dance that traces back far in history but is actually a fairly recent innovation—is one of the most anticipated competitions at pow wows. In this unique performance, young women from many nations skim, twirl and hop across the arena with a gait that manages to be staccato, lithe and fluid all at once. Read entire story

Featured Lakota Dance: Women’s Fancy Shawl
St. Joseph Indian School: The first impression people often have of the women fancy dancers is that of butterflies. Dancers wear American Indian decorated shawls that compliment a satin dress and knee-high beaded moccasins or decorated leggings. The decorated shawl is made of cloth and fringe, reminiscent of the decorated buffalo robes worn in the past. Read entire story

Dance Shawls – Related Products

The following items are used in the above-article, or may provide added reference and helpful information.

Chainette Fringe - 14" Length

Product No. 3500-014

(per Yard)

$8.50

Sold by the yard, Chainette Fringe is easily pulled apart for hand tying, or sewn on the shawl fabric "as-is". Generally, 2-1/2 to 3 yards is adequate to hand-tie an average 60" x 60" shawl.

Chainette Fringe for Ladie's Dance Shawls

Our 18" chainette fringe makes unique & beautiful dance shawls and with the extra 4" of length, it's excellent for double and triple tying!

Almost all ladies outfits require a shawl, and a woman's dance shawl is essential for entering the dance arena, and almost all ladies outfits require a shawl.. Whether in "street clothes", or dance clothes representing a particular tribal style of regalia or dance, the shawl is a universal piece of attire. It is also a popular item in "giveaways". Shawl styles and materials will vary by dance style, but are used or carried by all but Jingle Dancers. With basic sewing skills Crazy Crow Trading Post's shawl kit, video and supplies, you can make beautiful shawls for yourself, family and friends.

Chainette Fringe - 18" Length

Product No. 3500-018

(per yard)

$9.50

Chainette Fringe for Ladie's Dance Shawls

4 NEW COLORS for 2017: Fuchsia, Dk Red, Maroon & Turquoise Blue.

18" Chainette Shawl Fringe - We have this hard-to-find size specially made for us in twelve of our most popular colors.

Our 18" chainette fringe makes unique & beautiful dance shawls and with the extra 4" of length, it's excellent for double and triple tying!

Almost all ladies outfits require a shawl, and a woman's dance shawl is essential for entering the dance arena, and almost all ladies outfits require a shawl.. Whether in "street clothes", or dance clothes representing a particular tribal style of regalia or dance, the shawl is a universal piece of attire. It is also a popular item in "giveaways". Shawl styles and materials will vary by dance style, but are used or carried by all but Jingle Dancers. With basic sewing skills Crazy Crow Trading Post's shawl kit, video and supplies, you can make beautiful shawls for yourself, family and friends.

Shawl Fringe - 1,800 Ft Spools

Product No. 3510-100

(Per Spool)

$17.00

FEATURING OUR VIBRANT, CUSTOM COLORS IN THE VERY FINEST QUALITY EVER!

Thick and drapes well on ladies shawls, aprons, gourd dance sashes & sometimes even on fan handles.

A woman's dance shawl is essential for entering the dance arena. Whether in "street clothes", or dance clothes representing a particular tribal style of regalia or dance, the shawl is a universal piece of attire. It is also a popular item in "giveaways". Shawl styles and materials will vary by dance style, but are used or carried by all but Jingle Dancers. With basic sewing skills Crazy Crow Trading Post's shawl kit, video and supplies, you can make beautiful shawls for yourself, family and friends.

Mix and match your colors for quantity price breaks.

Flat Shawl Fringe Spools

Product No. 3520-200

$19.95

Now available in 20 vibrant colors! This old style fringe is a favorite of fancy shawl dancers, grass dancers and anyone who desires a little variation in a shawl or outfit. One spool is enough to make one standard size (60" x 60"square) shawl. 1/4" wide. (244 yards per spool)

Shawl Fabric

Product No. 3615-002

(Per Yard)

$8.95

Our shawl kits have been such a tremendous success that we decided to offer the fabric by the yard. Now you can purchase as much as you need without having to buy the whole kit. An excellent material for shawls, as it is a full 60" wide, woven polyester gabardine that is wrinkle resistant. Hangs well and appliques nicely!

Satin Ribbon - 3/8"

Product No. 3651-003

$0.45

Select color desired. Used on ribbon shirts, ribbon work, binding, etc.

Sold by the yard.

Satin Ribbon - 5/8"

Product No. 3651-005

$0.70

Select color desired. Used on ribbon shirts, ribbon work, binding, etc.

Sold by the yard.

Satin Ribbon - 7/8"

Product No. 3651-007

$0.89

Select color desired. Used on ribbon shirts, ribbon work, binding, etc.

Sold by the yard.

Taffeta Ribbon in Genuine Rayon - 2"

Product No. 3652-130

(per yd)

$4.50

The mill that made our genuine rayon taffeta ribbon is out of business but we were able to purchase a supply of old stock in most of the colors we have been out of. The price is a bit higher as this ribbon has a fancy "picot" edge, but it is high quality ribbon made in Europe and the edge can be trimmed off for ribbonwork if need be.

Largely unavailable for many years, we are pleased to be able to continue to supply fine quality ribbon that folds well and holds a nice crease. This makes it excellent for both men's straight dance and women's ribbonwork. Available in 4 colors. ** As some colors may occasionally be out of stock, please call for current availability.**

Our taffeta ribbon is also available in 3"!! Check our 'Related Products' for the link!

Taffeta Ribbon in Genuine Rayon - 3"

Product No. 3652-140

(per yd)

$6.50

The mill that made our genuine rayon taffeta ribbon is out of business but we were able to purchase a supply of old stock in most of the colors we have been out of. The price is a bit higher as this ribbon has a fancy "picot" edge, but it is high quality ribbon made in Europe and the edge can be trimmed off for ribbonwork if need be.

Largely unavailable for many years, we are pleased to be able to continue to supply fine quality ribbon that folds well and holds a nice crease. This makes it excellent for both men's straight dance and women's ribbonwork. Available in 17 of the best old-time Osage colors that closely match our old production samples from 40 years ago. ** As some colors may occasionally be out of stock, please call for current availability.**

Our taffeta ribbon is now available in 4 colors in 2" width!! Check our 'Related Products' for the link!

How to Make A Native American Dance Shawl - DVD

Product No. 4085-002-035

$19.95

Crazy Crow Powwow Dance Styles Photo Gallery

Fancy Shawl Photo Gallery

Crazy Crow's powwwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes.

As you travel the Powwow circuit, you will always find one item above all that is a constant: the Dance Shawl. This clothing item has long been a symbol of respect and tradition. This video will take you step-by-step through the making of the dance shawls. You will also see exciting design samples and learn special fringe tying techniques to enhance your shawl. Plus, learn to make ribbonwork strips, an item that has many applications outside of the dance shawl. 30 min.

Fancy Shawl Dance DVD

Product No. 4085-002-042

$19.95

Learn from champion dancers in exciting contests shot on digital video on location at northern pow wows. The Fancy Shawl dance combines color and grace with endurance and strength and is one of the newest powwow contest dances. See champion dancers at northern pow wow contests, featuring Straight and Crow Hop steps. Watch a young champion dancer on the powwow trail as she continues three generations of fancy shawl dancing. Expert tips on how to choose colors, create designs and sew on fabric and fringe. Rare interviews and footage of the first Fancy Shawl dancers. 30 minutes.

Whispering Wind Craft Annual #3

Product No. 4105-042-119

$8.00

Gourd Stitch Beadwork Techniques including expansion, variations, & designs; Sioux Pipebag Design, A Simple Sioux Doll, and Hand Tied Ladies Shawls. 48 pages, 68 color & b/w photos & 47 illustrations.

About Whispering Wind Craft Annuals... An excellent series focusing on American Indian crafts, first published in Whispering Wind Magazine, and reproduced here in original form. Each contains numerous articles by well-known authors, with excellent photographs, step-by-step instructions on making the items listed and all are fully illustrated. Soft Cover.

Floral Design Wool Shawl - 57" Square

Product No. 4617-015

$115.00

These great old-style shawls are made of 100% wool in fine quality. They can be used for dance shawls or a simple wrap, and are very popular among Southern Plains women for use as an "apron" that is wrapped around buckskin or cloth dresses.

We are pleased to be able to offer these hard-to-find shawls with their traditional designs in beautiful multiple colors.

Approximately 57" square. Availability and color shades may vary, so please give 2nd or 3rd choices as quantities are sometimes limited.

NOTE: Indicate alternative choices in the space indicated.

Seasonal item - quantities are sometimes limited.

Native American Dance Shawl Kit

Product No. 4838-00

$44.00

A woman's dance shawl is essential for entering the dance arena, and almost all ladies outfits require a shawl.. Whether in "street clothes", or dance clothes representing a particular tribal style of regalia or dance, the shawl is a universal piece of attire. It is also a popular item in "giveaways". Shawl styles and materials will vary by dance style, but are used or carried by all but Jingle Dancers. With basic sewing skills Crazy Crow Trading Post's shawl kit, video and supplies, you can make beautiful shawls for yourself, family and friends.

Choose the material & fringe color from the drop-down lists. Dance shawl pictured is shown with felt applique, not included.

American Indian Dance Shawl Kit includes:

  • 1-3/4 yds. of gabardine material
  • 1 spool of shawl fringe
  • fringing needle
  • illustrated shawl kit instructions

Shawl Fringing Needles

Product No. 5013-013-000

(Per Needle)

$1.95

Our special, nickel-plated steel needle Shawl Fringing Needles is 2-3/4" long, with a large eye that is perfect to accommodate 2 strings of fringe or yarn, making it easy to attach without snagging or tearing your shawl fabric. This is the best fringing needle we have found yet! Get some extras so you can do several shawls at once!

2017-01-30T14:40:19+00:00