CATV Show “Making Regalia” Earns National Attention
by Shaida Tabrizi – The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune Reporter
Feather bustles. Jingle dresses. Bright and complex beading.
As spectators immerse themselves in the exciting dancing of powwows, often the smaller intricacies of crafting the regalia can be overlooked. Yet one creative duo at the Cheyenne & Arapaho tribes have made it their mission to show the nation how to create beautiful traditional Native American clothing.
Episode 1 – Season 1: The premier edition of Making Regalia with your host, Juaquin Lonelodge. Juaquin is a former national Men’s Fancy Dance champion and master regalia craftsman. Join him as he takes you step by step through the processes of Making Regalia. (courtesy photo) View Video
Juaquin (JR) Lonelodge and his Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Television (CATV) producer Mark Welch are now on their second season of the original television show called Making Regalia. The show is streamed online on the CATV web site and Vimeo, as well as on the First Nations Experience TV Network, which includes nine affiliates throughout the USThe show operates on an instructional format, teaching the audience to sew many different styles of regalia for men and women. Some episodes feature Lonelodge alone, while many include a guest expert in a particular style.
“We thought people needed to know how to make regalia,” Welch said. “It’s sort of becoming a lost art.”
The premier edition of Making Regalia with your host, Juaquin Lonelodge. Juaquin is a former national Men’s Fancy Dance champion and master regalia craftsman. Join him as he takes you step by step through the processes of Making Regalia. (courtesy photo)
Lonelodge is a former national Men’s Fancy Dance champion who supported himself through college by taking sewing orders for powwow regalia.
On the internationally watched show Making Regalia, JR Lonelodge invites guests like dressmaker/artist Terra Houska, here demonstrating details of sewing a straight dress, to showcase the talents of Native American artists throughout the country.View Video
“Through the years I learned a lot of different styles and with so many different outfits I kind of learned my own tricks of the trade by reverse engineering different things,” Lonelodge said. “And so when I picked up on this stuff I kind of had a plethora of knowledge on how to do stuff. And then when they asked me to do the show, I was more into just doing it for our tribal members and then I guess with the signal the way it was, it wouldn’t make it out to certain areas. So they said, ‘we’re going to put it on vimeo’ and when they did that, that’s when the show went viral. And it exploded to what it is today.”
The show has an international audience with viewers sending in letters from all over the US and in Canada. One letter came from a father of four girls who all dance in powwows, expressing deep thanks for the help, particularly from a male sewer.
“Here’s a dad out there wanting to do something for his girls, and he’s found another guy that he can relate to and not be hesitant about jumping in,” Welch said. “That’s what makes it all worthwhile to me.”
EPISODE 3 of Season 2 – Bustles: On this episode, Juaquin lays out the necessary elements for the construction of a small traditional bustle. View Video
Commenting on the unexpected reach the show has gained, Lonelodge was shocked to find out Making Regalia has been used as part of the curriculum for a Native American Studies class at a university in Washington.
“It’s way overwhelming,” Lonelodge said, smiling. “But I love doing it. It’s an outlet of creativity.”
Now that Making Regalia is on its second season, the team has plans to revisit some earlier content they didn’t have enough time to truly cover while in the beginning stages and possibly to create a boxed set of DVDs. Also, Lonelodge hopes to bring even more experts on regalia and powwow dancing from around the country on as guests for the show.