I pray to my grandmother every time I dance

January 14, 2020
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I pray to my grandmother every time I dance

I pray to my grandmother every time I dance

“I am from North Dakota and now live in Houston. My family travels and dances from May through December or January once or twice a month. This keeps us strong as a family.  This Jingle Dress is a prayer dress for a sacred dance of prayer. It originated in the Ojibwe tribe in the early 20th century. There is a story about a man who had a sick wife and in a dream women danced around her. They jingled as they danced. When he woke up, his wife was better.  He had the idea to roll tobacco leaves to make the jingle sounds.  There are traditions and meanings in our dresses, but there are also trends. There is contemporary and traditional jingle dance. I pray to my grandmother every time I dance. Sometimes I can smell her and feel her.

Natives are very secretive and we keep things to ourselves. We are a very private group of people and there is an issue with that in the non-native world. We get mad when someone doesn’t understand or disrespects us. But we don’t let that stuff out and known. People don’t understand what not to do. Of course they don’t understand because we don’t talk about it.”

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