Regalia!!! Please

A line from "Dances With Wolves"....'Indians....daggon those Indians.' And so it was this weekend when we drove down to see a real live "Pow Wow". It was fascinating, colorful, mystifying, and high energy. Skuttle didn't like it so much....we happened to be sitting by a tribe of drummers. He spent the day in his bag. Nacho, on the other hand, was completely copacetic....he's young yet. Here's a bit of 'what not to ask an Indian'.....for their picture. There were four delightful young girls in 'costume' that I asked if I could take their picture. "No!" uhhhhhhhhh ...... "O.K., could I ask Why?" Blank stares......"We don't know, our parents didn't tell us." Later, as Vicki and I were perusing the different booths looking @ jewelry and what not, I asked one of the vendors who was an Indian, if she wouldn't mind telling me why I couldn't take a picture of the girls in their costumes. Now, let's just state the obvious here....I'm a white woman!!!! I'm asking because I DON'T KNOW!! So it began. She started her 'polite' lecture with "First of all, we don't call them costumes, they are regalia...to call them costumes is an insult. This isn't Halloween." I stood there, trying not to look stunned or for that matter STUPID! So I smiled and said, "oh, I see, I didn't know that." Because I'm a White Woman!! (thinking not saying). She pointed to a young girl in her 'regalia' and said "This young beautiful girl "...(uh.....I saw some beautiful girls in regalia, I'm telling you she wasn't one of them.)...."she could tell you that they are not called costumes but regalia." Can we get to the point of my question (again, thinking not saying). After I heard her tell me a few more times that it was an insult to call them costumes, FINALLY we came to the answer. "It's a spiritual thing." Smiling I said "O.K., thanks for that. Didn't know.....now I do....BaBye." I wasn't really that short, but I wasn't going to hang out there any longer, and she could kiss a sale goodbye. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not putting down Native Americans. I'm telling a story just like all the other stories I have shared over the last year or so. These are encounters of an unusual kind. The Native Americans are beautiful people and take a great deal of pride in their 'regalia' as well as the dances and chants that go along w/each of them. It amazed all of us how they 'chanted' and all knew what to chant, when to chant, and in what key to chant. Incredible (my dad's favorite adjective). Loved watching, listening. I did get some pic's. That was before I knew I wasn't suppose to take any. So......the next time I put on my waders and boots to go fly fishing I want you to call it my "River Regalia".

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Puff said...
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