Chicago's Fifty Years of Powwows

<Adapted from the book of the same name>


Women's Jingle Dress Dance


The Women's Jingle Dress Dance is named for the metal cone decorated dresses worn by the dancers. Jingle Dress Dancers are often called upon to dance for a sick community member and is considered a healing dance.

Traditionally, 365 cones, called jingles, are sewn onto the dress representing each day of the year and a prayer is put into each cone. jingles are made from the tin lids of tobacco snuff cans. While dancing, these metal cones hit against one another creating a rich jingling sound. haring the honor beats of a song, the jingle Dress Dancer uses her fan to spread the prayers into the four directions, releasing the prayers from the "dancing cones," or jingles.

Follow this link to see some Women's Jingle Dress Dancers in action.

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Jingle Dress Dancers during an Intertribal. University of Illinois at Chicago, 1986.


Elizabeth Begay, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2003.


Jingle Dress Dancers. Grand Entry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1996.


Jingle Dress Dancers. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2003.


Hodazha-Maniwanga Pidgeon (left), Kanikisa Corbin (center back), and Kanowan Kayotawape (right). Northeastern Illinois University, 2002.


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The book Chicago's Fifty Years of Powwow has many more photos and offers insights that are not presented in this Online Essay. To obtain a copy of your own, follow this offsite link to the webpage for the Chicago American Indian Center.



   Department of Anthropology
   copyright © 2002 University of Illinois, All rights reserved.
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