The Fancy Shawl dance is the most flamboyant and energetic of all Pow Wow women’s events. Performers skip and jump through the air while swirling their shawls in large sweeping gestures.
The category is a relatively new one, different from the more conservative styles of the Jingle and Traditional Women’s dance. Some say its origins lie in mimicking the transformation of a butterfly from a cocoon. Others say that it was created by women wanting to duplicate the complex foot work of the Men’s Fancy dance.
Saga says that the first time a woman (her friend) competed, she disguised herself as a man and entered the Men’s Fancy dance. Unexpectedly, she won! The judges decided it was time for change and they a created brand new dance category for women.
I especially liked these shots of Saga in her Fancy Shawl regalia. I thought the strong colors and striking poses looked powerful. That’s representative of the dance’s origins in both cases, don’t you think?
For more explanation of the different styles of Pow Wow dances I refer you to this article. Although dated, the post is comprehensive and complete. It is very informative and great prep for your next Pow Wow visit.
Toronto, Canada. 2018