I was gifted some jingles for my daughter, she is Ojibwe, but I am not Native. Are there any cultural prohibitions or guidelines that say who should make my daughter a jingle dress? Can I, not Native, make my daughter a jingle dress for Native gatherings?

I was gifted some jingles for my daughter, she is Ojibwe, but I am not Native. Are there any cultural prohibitions or guidelines that say who should make my daughter a jingle dress? Can I, not Native, make my daughter a jingle dress for Native gatherings?

 

If this is for your Ojibwe daughter to dance jingle, absolutely!

 

The first thing I would encourage you to do is to get your daughter a mentor, if she doesn’t have one already. This person can help guide you through all the things you’ll need to know with raising a Ojibwe jingle dress dancer. They can help coach you on regalia making, dancing with the traditions of style, meaning, and etiquette.

 

However, if you have family to reach out to, you might ask family first about regalia, just in case there is someone who may have a dress they are not using and can let you borrow. This can also be helpful with your daughter learning about the traditions of her tribe.

 

If you can’t find someone to help, take things into your own hands by doing it yourself. Start by checking out:
  • Powwows.com for video tutorials on how to make your own jingle dress.
  • Pinterest & YouTube have a lot of patterns and ‘how to’s that you can check out too.

 

Just so you know, dances are usually around 3 minutes 30 seconds, which takes an enormous amount of stamina, so encourage your daughter to get prepared by checking out Shoshone-Bannock’s work out video’s called Powwow Sweat. She can always start with the intertribals before working her way up to dancing in the jingle dress category.

 

As always, you’ll want to feel the situation out and be respectful of the sacred connection of dance. Good job mama!

 

Best of luck!
Auntie Manda