Sunday Dance.

No facepalm today. No eyerolls. No head shaking, no crying, no despair, no sense of hopelessness. I need healing, and it’s days away until the camps and wacipi. So, just for today, I’m going to pretend that all people are good, and all people are as connected to all as they should be. Way back when these photos were just taken, I uploaded some to a photo forum I used to frequent. I had a person take me to task over the 7th photo, because the dancer “ruined the moment and atmosphere completely” by wearing NBA socks. I never noticed until that moment, being captivated by the young man’s dancing, which was beautiful. Public perception, it really, really has to change. Clickety for full size.














© C. Ford, all rights reserved.


  1. chigau (違う) says

    Over twenty years ago, I witnessed a tourist at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump ask one of the Interpreters why he was not dressed “traditionally”.
    The Interpreter (a local Native person) was wearing jeans, boots and a ribbon shirt. His very long hair was in braids. He didn’t quite understand the question, so the tourist explained about buckskin and moccasins.
    The Interpreter gently explained about the 20th century.
    The tourist was one of these
    so he probably didn’t know any better.

  2. rq says

    NBA socks just aren’t ‘authentic’ enough, I guess… :P *tplrplrplrplr* to that person, I say. It’s traditional modern athletic wear and it makes perfect sense if you’re doing something so physically taxing as dancing for extended periods of time.

    In your last series of photos I was actually quite taken by the one with the young man with glasses; I spent a long time thinking about how (even with the glasses, really) the dance and his intensity would fit right into the 19th century, too -- not quite sure why, his facial structure made me think of old photos.
    Anyway. I guess people haven’t been wearing NBA socks for quite as long, but honestly, if that’s all it takes to distract you from the beauty and power of the dance, you’re not doing it right.

  3. rq says

    Also these are fantastic photos and so many lovely people. So much movement and colour, I hope you’re having the kind of time that you need!!!

  4. rq says

    Sorry, two more commment-questions:
    1) scrolling back up, I actually found that the NBA socks really bring out the dancer’s rather attractive muscular knees;
    2) in the very first photo, the person on the right has a symbol with mirroring Es running down from the should (like this), does it have a specific meaning and/or name?

  5. says

    rq @ 7:

    It depends. I don’t know that young man’s tribal identity (the UTTC wacipi is international, and members from all tribes compete). Could be fence, could be home, cloud, rain, and so on. Could just be decorative.

  6. says


    I only ask because it’s one of my favourite signs in Latvian mythology,

    That’s beautiful. I had no idea, thank you. If I can find out, I will.

  7. rq says

    I’ve been trying to search online but I’m only getting the stereotypical ‘list of Indian symbols’ which seems to be universal across all 1500+ tribes and appears to be extremely limited (to my uneducated eye). :P I think even if I find some better sources, the list will take ages to peruse. :)

  8. says

    The tourist was one of these
    so he probably didn’t know any better.

    I’m sorry.
    I know, Karl May was revolutionary for his depiction of American Indians as human beings with a rich culture and traditions who were being oppressed and robbed of their lands by white aggressors, but it’s time we let him rest in his grave.

    Also, given the popular films, most Germans of a certain generation will believe that Indians usually have sapphire blue eyes….

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.
    My crafter eye cannot help to see all the art and skill in those things.
    Beautiful items made by wonderful people.

  9. says


    My crafter eye cannot help to see all the art and skill in those things.

    Oh, the same with me. I always end up sitting by another old woman, and having a chat about beading or other craft, and I cherish those times.

  10. says


    Those NFL logos are what photoshop is for.

    No, no they are not. They are perfectly okay. We are people of a living history, the past is not blocked off from us, neither is the present. It’s easy to span all that time, those worlds. Other people could do it too, if they tried.

  11. chigau (違う) says

    technical question (for when you have time) (meanwhile, eat an Indian taco for me)
    When I first looked at the photo of the woman with Pinto on Yellow, I thought her shawl was bead-work and figured it weighed about eighty pounds.
    After clicking to embiggen, I see that the woman with the long pipebead chestplate has a similar shawl. Now I think it’s fabric.
    Is that some kind of quilting? I’m googling about and cannot see anything like it.

  12. chigau (違う) says

    Giliell #16
    After looking at the descriptions of the German-made KarlMay-type movies,
    I want to do a screening a là Mystery Science Theatre
    only with a bunch of Native Americans.

  13. dakotagreasemonkey says

    Has nobody commented on how the Dancers competition numbers are visible? That is just as Non traditional as NBA socks, historically.
    These photos wouldn’t exist in “traditional” times, anyway.
    This is now, with live NDNs. Get Real.
    If white people were “traditional” they would still be driving covered wagons to go to work. **Who is going to clean up all that horse shit?**

  14. stellatree says

    These are beautiful photos, Caine! Love the colors in all of them and the joy on the face of the kid in the second to last picture. I’d love to talk crafts with people so skilled and creative. I can’t even imagine all the hours of love and labor that went into the regalia, truly precious objects.
    chigau @20:
    I wonder if it could be quillwork?

  15. says

    Chigau @ 20:

    Is that some kind of quilting? I’m googling about and cannot see anything like it.

    No, it’s beadwork. Those are long pipe beads, rather than the really tiny round ones.


    I’d love to talk crafts with people so skilled and creative.

    Oh, it’s grand! I could talk with all those people for ages, and often do. :D

Leave a Reply