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"Jingle Dress Dancer," by Jim Nedelak
11 x 15 - charcoal drawing
$2800 Framed
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 early age.
 
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.