[steady beat of a ceremonial
drum; jingles jingle] [men sing in
Lakota language] ♪
♪ (Jenni Kappenman)
I love to dance because
it gives me so much life. ♪
♪ When I dance I feel uplifted,
rejuvenated, and I feel a sense of pride. ♪
♪ (Russell Harjo)
When I dance, I really represent
where I come from and my family and my tribe. The symbols on my outfit, and all these designs are
designs that I made, and so it’s just
a really good feeling. [drums & bass play
in syncopated rhythm] When I started dancing,
I was probably about 17, I was just a senior
in high school. My mom helped me buy my first
outfit, and then I kinda just started dancing
from there. This one right here, this is actually
the first outfit I made. It kinda means a lot more to me
than the others because I made this one
with my mom. This one is my latest; it has
like a lotta detail on it, took a long time to complete. These are Pawnee stars,
they’re like the tribal symbol. And then this is just
like a tipi design that I kinda came up with. It feels really good to dance and to know that everything
that I am wearing, every design is like made by me. It just makes it
that much more meaningful. [steady beat of a ceremonial
drum; jingles jingle; men sing] ♪
♪ The grass dance is one
of the older styles of dance. Back when tribes would come to a
new place to make an encampment, they would have these songs and they would dance
in a certain way to lay the grass down. When they would leave
that encampment, that grass would come back up. It would almost be like
they were never there. ♪
♪ [rattling of the sewing machine] (Jenni Kappenman)
I was a very young girl, I want to say
3 or 4 were my earliest
of dancing. When I was maybe 10 years old,
my cousins, they danced fancy shawl
and I danced jingle. And it’s shown itself to me
in the spiritual sense, that that’s the style of dance
I’m supposed to stick with. This dress represents
healing and life and is a tool that we were given
as Anishinaabe People to bring healing
to the community. My thing that the jingles
are said to do are to send out
that vibration and energy, to loosen up whatever sickness
that is being targeted and thought of and prayed for,
and to pull it through the cone. And then once they’re crashing, that they’re dropping
that sickness behind you. ♪
♪ There’s 2 styles
of jingle dress; there’s the original style and there is the second style,
which is contemporary, which has a lot more
intricate footwork. But the style that I dance
is original, really simple, elegant steps, you know,
to the beat of the drum. People have approached me and told me that I look
like I’m floating. ♪
♪ [marimba plays softly] ♪ ♪ (Leya Hale) I’ve been dancing
since the time I could walk. I’ve always danced woman’s
traditional style of dance. ♪ I wear a broadcloth dress. I really like to keep my dresses
looking traditional. Our dance clothes and our dances
are really important and are really sacred to us. [steady beat of a ceremonial
drum; men sing] ♪
♪ ♪
♪ The style of dance honors the returning home
of the warrior while he was off and away on hunting
expeditions or in battle. The reason why I dance this style of dance is because I really like to remember my
ancestors, especially the women, and to show their strength
and the courage that they had. ♪
♪ (Jenni Kappenman) Pow wows have
become universal among
all tribes, so I’m just really thankful
for the opportunity to be a part of the circle. (Leya Hale) Dancing helps me
focus, think, and brings me a lot of happiness
and gives my family life. (Russell Harjo)
It’s very important
as you learn the history and to pass that on to my kids and to keep that tradition alive
so we don’t lose it. ♪