Life in a Northern Town

Regalia & Drums At Northland College

Jack and I went to Northland College for the 39th Annual Spring Powwow on Saturday— it was a glorious display of sound and color. The drums, jingle dresses, feathers and ornate regalia were mesmerizing; the two hours we spent in the bleachers flew by.

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The intricate bead work was mind-blowing and the colorful regalia was a relief from the monochromatic winter world outside the gym.

Jingle dresses were everywhere and their tinkling sound was a beautiful counterpoint to the deep resonance of the drum.  According to the program at the Pow-Wow, 'The dress itself is said to have been conceived as a means of healing a medicine man's granddaughter. This elder was told in a dream to construct this Jingle Dress and have his sick granddaughter dance in it and she was healed'.

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There were quite a few kids dancing, getting ready and observing the action. As I watched the parents get their kids dressed in their regalia, I was reminded of the countless times my Mom helped me get dressed for Easter or Christmas Mass. At the end of the day, it's all about passing on traditions and legacy to our children— whether it's in a church or around a sacred drum.