Dancer," by Jim Nedelak
11 x 15 - charcoal drawing
|The subject is
Yanabah, a jingle-dress dancer from Mesa, Arizona. I met
her at a pow wow in Kamloops while shooting reference
photos. She has been dancing at pow wows from a very
The jingle-dress dance is considered a healing ritual.
It originated in the Chippewa/Ojibwa territories during
the late 1800s. In the late 1920s, the White Earth
people gave the jingle dress to the Lakota (Sioux) and
it spread westward into the Dakotas and Montana.
The jingle dress is made of cloth, velvet or leather and
has hundreds of metal cones sewn into it. The cones were
typically made from snuff tins rolled into cone shapes
and sewn closely together, resulting in a tinkling sound
as the dancer moves in exact time with low, controlled
footwork to the beat of a drum.
Until recently, the jingle dress had all but died out.
Interest in the dance has been rekindled and women from
many tribes are beginning to make and wear the dress.