Some natives in the southeast and more easterly USA these days call the clothing they wear to pow-wows and other function “regalia”. My friend Lakota Rosebud Lady, a Brulé, says they just call them clothes or by their names like jingle dress, ribbon shirt or something like that, if applicable. We thought that was funny when we were talking about it.
Regalia sounds so noble. And not to denigrate the title at all, but rather some use it to differentiate what they’re wearing when a non-native not familiar with natives walks up and asks to take your picture in your “costume.” Costume has the suggestion of something fake, or something wore to cover what you really are, to deceive the viewer, or simply to be something you’re not usually.
It can also be contrasted with terms when non-natives wear recreated things of what we wear they’ve made or bought from others, or those they’ve bought that is made by natives, authentic, and which they use for a variety of reasons I actually don’t often attempt to differentiate. And no, don’t mistake my words when I point out non-natives, etc. as you may see ones you think are white or black, but you don’t know their ancestry, or you don’t do the variety of the more than 500 tribes of North America, not to mention the rest of the Americas. Alternatively, those from the country I live now, don’t use it as evidence to support what some of you do.
Although I am back in Germany, after a visit to the USA in December, these are some photos of a Shake’em Out that usually takes place in our area in January. These are mostly good memories from a time on Gunter’s Lake. All photos are of course mine and taken by me.
Posts with photos on a similar theme by me: Pow-wow: The Power of the People.
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