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.
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.