Pow Wow Dance Style Origins: Jingle Dress Dance, Part 3

Diego james Robles / Jingle Dress Dancer Selena Jackson of Winslow, Ariz., performs during the 43rd Annual Dine? College Powwow in Tsaile, Ariz., on Saturday night, April 13, 2013.

Known also as the Healing Dance, the Jingle Dance originated with the Ojibwe in the Great Lakes region.

The dress is said to have originated as a means of healing a medicine

man’s granddaughter. In a dream, the elder was told to construct a jingle dress and have his granddaughter dance in it—and she was healed.

Ken Rahaim, Smithsonian Institution / Jingle Dancer 2007 Pow Wow

The colorful dress is covered with rolled-up snuff can lids attached with bright colored ribbons. The jingles are close enough together to hit one another, creating a near-musical, happy

sound, much like rain. Dancers perform simple zigzag steps—no high stepping or fancy footwork—and make the jingles sway. The jingles are attached to soft cloth such as taffeta

or cotton. The dancer is judged by her footwork and grace.

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