POTD: Jingle Dancers

POTD: Jingle DancersJingle Dancers
Bozeman, Montana
2015

One of the more sedate categories of dancers at the pow wow was the jingle dancers. Their dance moves are limited mostly to footwork and and lot of the dancers don’t get much more active than you see on the left side of this photo.  But when they come out as a group the collective sound of all the little bells on the women’s dresses is very pleasing, a sound that at least when you’re down on the floor right next to them can be heard even over the high volume drums and singing.

You can see an example of the drums and singing at the pow wow this year here. Some footage of the jingle dancers (during the actual competition, not the grand entry which I was photographing) can be see here. (Because they were competing against each other and because they’re younger, these jingle dancers are much more lively than the norm I think.)

2 thoughts on “POTD: Jingle Dancers”

  1. Another great photo, Larry. I love the colors and lines all compressed to fill the frame with movement and design. Thanks also for the links to the videos of the drumming and dancing. I always want to see and photograph at one of these events aftere I’ve seen pictures such as yours. Did you need permission in order to photograph at this competition? I believe permission is needed at formal powwows.

    1. Kathy, this was a public event and there where people, including the news media, photographing everywhere. Just before the Grand Entry started, the announcer did make some funny remarks about taking photos, including saying you should get the permission of everyone who will be in the photo before taking a shot–something clearly impossible with hundreds of people on the floor during the Grand Entry. At the big Crow Fair pow wow in Crow Agency last summer I took a number of photos, as did other folks. The only time I was stopped from photographing was when I tried to take a photo of an old tipi. Some folks in a car driving by told me I wasn’t supposed to do that as it was a sacred tipi.

      Some Indians are more sensitive than others of course to having their photos taken. I went to a Hopi dance and giveaway when I was in Arizona on my artist residency a couple of years ago. The Hopi didn’t use to allow outsiders at these events at all, but more or less do these days. I was told about this dance and that it was o.k. to attend by some non-Hopis, but their assertion proved true when I picked up a couple of Hopis on First Mesa and gave them a ride to the dance, which was on Second Mesa. But the Hopi allow absolutely no photography of their people. This is true all over the reservation at any time but certainly during these events. The dance I attended was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen in person.

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