Friday, August 6, 2010

Jingle Dance: The Sound of 10,000 Raindrops on a Tin Roof

The jingle dance is a medicine or healing dance that originated with the Ojibwas in the Great Lakes area. The healing powers of the dress are said to derive from a medicine man’s granddaughter’s cure from dancing in a dress adorned with shells that jingled musically, rain-like, with each step. Some dancers describe the jingle as the sound of 10,000 rain drops hitting a tin roof.

Other devices used to create the jingle were deer hooves. A dress could have up to 400 hooves sewn on it. Today’s dresses are adorned with rolled snuff tins lids [see picture to the left] rather than shells. The original dance step was low and dignified while today’s pow wow competitions allow two types of jingle dance steps: the side step and the faster, higher straight step.
In the video below the dancers, members of The Many Moccasins Dance Troupe demonstrate both types of steps used in the jingle dance. The Many Moccasins Dance Troupe danced and educated an audience of about 600 at Homestead National Monument on July 17, 2010.


Dance styles. (2002, January 31). News from Indian Country, 19B.
Inter-tribal competition pow wow dance styles. (2005, March 9). Indian Country Today, 52.
Rhythmic traditional dance meets modern day culture. (2004, February 25). Indian Country Today, 28.
Sexsmith, P. (2003, August 1). The healing gift of the jingle dance. Windspeaker, 28.
The Many Moccasins Dance Troupe:

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