Native American children: regalia and culture

Native American children: our chiefs of tomorrow

Hello everyone!

Achomawi baby in beaded cradle board-1910

Achomawi baby in beaded cradle board-1910

If you like my Facebook page, then you probably know that I like Pow wow regalia! And that I really like Native American children regalia. Every time, I attend a Pow wow, it just warms my heart to see children dressed in either regalia or traditional wear. You can also check out my post about Pow wows here or here. Or learn about Pow wow dances and their meaning here.

Children are our future. They are the ones who will keep the culture alive when we have passed on to the spirit world. I think they need to be taught about their culture so they can take pride in their traditions. I have attended Pow wows where mothers go dance with infants strapped to their back. The child moves along to the music with their mother. They feel the vibration of the drum and I can honestly say I have never seen a child cry when there is singing and drumming. Even if it can be very very loud. One would think that the music would frighten them but it rarely does.

Traditional music and children

Okibwe-Cree boy dancing, Montata

Ojibwe-Cree boy dancing, Montata

The music, the rhythm seems to soothe children, reminiscent of their mother heart beat (what the rhythmic drumming symbolizes). I have seen many young kids, toddlers, just stop and listen when singing begins. Just like the little 2 year old girl who was attending the Brushing off ceremony I attended. She just sat on her dad’s lap and seemed mesmerized by the singing. I have said before that traditional songs are passed down from generation to generation, songs that are actually prayers. And it is as though children understand intuitively the message contained in those songs.

One reason for this might be related to the fact that children are just out of the spirit world. Remember that we enter the physical world from the spirit world, to return to the spirit world at death. Remember the directions of the Medicine Wheel. We move from the spirit word to the physical world to return to the spirit world. Death is just a change in worlds. When remembering this, it makes sense that children would understand songs that came to be from the spirit world.

Children and Elders

As an example, have you noticed how easy it is for older people to connect with babies? Or how children seem attracted by older individuals? They recognize one another. One just left a world that the other one is entering. It’s easy for them to interact. Their soul is pure, open to the unseen. Older people will often reminisce about their youth. Some will find it annoying, reminding them that it’s in the past. But to them, it is where they are now. They have returned to their child state, in preparation for the spirit world that awaits. I was once told that every child is born an Elder. They are born pure, without malice, they are born teachers and Elders. And I truly believe that. Every child has the potential to later be an Elder. The effects of colonization get in the way though. The teachings, the language get lost.

So when children are involved in and taught their traditions, it is a beautiful sight. It is the sight of a culture that is alive. It is the sight of a culture that is not forgotten. Our children need to be taught, so they can keep the culture alive, as they will become the teachers. So, I am leaving you with a series of photos of youngsters involved in and proud of their traditions. It makes my heart smile to see them. Enjoy those beautiful Native American children in their regalia.

2 Hunting Moon Pow wow

2012 Hunting Moon Pow wow

Fancy Pow wow shawl. It moves beautifully when one dances

Fancy Pow wow shawl. It moves beautifully when one dances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012-Santa Fee. How cute!

2012-Santa Fee. How cute!

 

2012-Santa Fe

2012-Santa Fe

Tiny Tots grass dancer-a type of dance often seen in Pow Wows

Tiny Tots grass dancer-a type of dance often seen in Pow Wows

Grass dancer

Grass dancer

Pow wow 2012

Pow wow 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little jiggle dress dancer

Little jingle dress dancer

Little girls in jiggle dresses

Little girls in jingle dresses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jiggle dress in movement. The movements in such dancing are so graceful

Jingle dress in movement. The movements in such dancing are so graceful

Oglala Lakota nation Pow wow-Pine Ridge Reservation-SD

Oglala Lakota nation Pow wow-Pine Ridge Reservation-SD

For beautiful children regalia items, click here.

All My Relations

35 thoughts on “Native American children: regalia and culture

  1. Don

    What a fantastic post. I have always been fascinated with the Native American culture so this was a very interesting read for me. Love those kids, so cute!

    Reply
  2. booklover2

    I love the traditional outfits worn by the children and adults alike. There is much detail and hard work involved in their making, but are always so beautiful! And it is sad that so many children get ‘brainwashed’ by society when they are born so pure! Great article and beautiful pictures!

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      yes it is heartwarming to see children wearing their traditional attire. It is up to the adults to make sure they are surrounded by their culture and traditions, something not always easy to do

      Reply
  3. Sylvia

    I love the photos!
    The children are so adorable in their regalia.
    I agree that it is important to teach our children about their culture and tradition.
    A lot of parents nowadays forget about the importance of keeping our culture alive.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Andre

    Just discovered your Website, and I love it!
    Thank you Emily for this great Post. It is so beautiful!!
    Will come back to read more.
    Andre

    Reply
  5. Howie

    Wow! Such incredible information and powerful photos. I found this to be so interesting and you are really doing a service addressing the topics that you have. My site also deal with helping not only adults, but children, too. I really learned so much just in this one article and really look forward to reading more from you. You should be proud and I can’t wait for your next post. Thanks and all the best!

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      well thank you Howie!! That is good to hear. Yep it is a site to help communicate information that is not well known, the history and the beauty of the native people. Glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  6. Theo

    OMG I love the traditional costumes! They are so vibrant and interesting compared to what you see when you walk through a metropolitan city.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Yes Theo those beautiful clothes. The word attire or regalia is preferred over costumes as they are not dressing up in a costume but rather showing their traditions

      Reply
  7. Claudio

    I’m in awe with the photos in this article, Emily. So much beauty and cuteness on one page, combined with a very informative and well written article. Highly enjoyed reading it.

    Reply
  8. Paul

    Wow! A very respectable culture Emily! You teach your children well. And I totally agree with your insights with children and elders. They do have stronger connections with the spirit world. The children’s and elders’ souls are sensitive to spiritual connections. I do have experiences of that. Having the heart of a child means you are open to spiritual messages.

    I am intrigued truly by your story here Emily! I do respect your native American culture…:)

    Reply
  9. Sophie

    Well I love discovering things I know nothing about so this site is beautiful and very interesting so thankyou. I love the comment that children seem attracted by older individuals – I always think children are drawn to older souls. My 2 year old has always been happy in the company of older men from a very early age. I always thought that maybe in a past life a grandad was very special to him. Who knows but anyway I’ve bookmarked your site to read more great articles.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Thank you Sophie, do keep coming back. And yes elders and children do connect, their soul, they are closer than we think

      Reply
  10. Peter

    Yes, this really is a great post! I love the pictures of the children all dressed up and looking so proud and happy. Beautiful! Thanks.

    Reply
  11. Ed

    Hi Emily,
    Long time no see.
    Your post “Native American children: regalia and culture” is really dazzling with all the colorful costumes and beautiful kids. You’re so lucky to be around so much of the culture. Cheers 🙂

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Ed!
      thanks for coming back 🙂 the Pow wow attire is indeed gorgeous and colorful. I am enjoying being surrounded by the culture 🙂

      Reply
  12. Steve

    Wow! Those costumes are incredible! It must be exhilarating to witness these traditional native ceremonies live as well. Do you go to many of these events?

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Steve
      the regalia is awesome indeed! Even better in person. I go to Pow wows as often as possible. Every month if I can 🙂

      Reply
  13. Kristen Merinsky

    JiNgle dress, not jiggle. You don’t even wanna know what comes up when you google that. Please correct it for the sake of the respect of the women and children on your page.

    Reply

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