Dance Regalia

Scalplock RegaliaA dancer's regalia may also be called their outfit. These beautifully handcrafted outfits are not costumes and is Never Referred To As a Costume!

A lot of time, energy, thought and expense goes into the making of each outfit. Often pieces of the regalia are family heirlooms. Dance Regalia is created by the dancer or by a respected family member or friend.

The feathers in particular are sacred and highly valued and cared for. Sometimes years have gone into the final completion of a dancer's regalia.

Siksika dance regalia worn by today's dancers reflect a combination of different traditions. While some dancers may have very traditional dance regalia, many reflect the modern world's use of sequins, synthetic fabrics and dyes, yarn and other less than traditional materials. However, whether the dance clothing is made of traditional or modern materials, the use of traditional decorative designs and symbols.

Chicken Dancer RegaliaWhen dancing at a powwow, an eagle feather may fall off a dancer's outfit. As soon as it is known a feather has fallen, all dancing stops, the arbor is cleared, and a special traditional ceremony is performed right then. The feather is treated like a fallen warrior whose spirit must be cared for

The ceremony is performed by four veterans who have earned the right to touch the feather--veterans who have earned honors in battle, The four veteran traditional dancers perform the picking up ceremony and a veteran who has been wounded in combat is selected as the "Brave Man" to pick up the feather with another eagle feather.

He then recounts a war deed or special military story of his service and then returns the feather to its owner.

A gift is given by the owner of the feather to the veteran and the drum of honor for the service they have performed.

* Reference material by Becky Olvera Schultz




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