Young Native Family Series: Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

Welcome to what I hope is the 1st of many in the Young Native Family Series here on Babble. I get a lot of questions whenever I post something more culturally traditional about the way my family lives, some of the events we attend, or activities we take part in.

Clearly, there needs to be more authentic portrayals of Native life. How we raise our families is often inaccurately or inauthentically described. You’d be hard pressed to do a search on google for “toddler Pow Wow dancer” and not get barraged by a bunch of misappropriated Halloween costume imagery.

I’m all about sharing the authentic ways of early childhood rearing and cultural practices of my people.

Also? The Pow Wow season has begun! As a mixed mom who didn’t grow up on a Rez, I’m looking to learn everything I can about regalia making and the different types of dances my own little ones can get into.

Robert Snache, a local photographer that I know, regularly attends the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow with his family each year. He has quite the impressive collection of adorable toddlers bedecked in their regalia, in competition, or in the beginning stages of learning to dance. (If you’d like to learn more about the different style of traditional Native and Pow Wow dance styles, click here!)

Since I love to promote talented Native artists as often as I can, this feature really tied in nicely together. I’m honoured that he agreed to share some of his work us here today. A little about Robert in his own words…

“I’m a proud Anishinaabe from Rama First Nation. I am owner/operator of Spirithands Photography specializing in Landscape and Portraiture Photography. Forever seeking meaning through our environment and uncovering a silent truth that ties us together. I visualize the flow to receive images that look into the soul and spirit of person and place. It is the kind of holistic outlook that allows a true collaborative experience. Let’s create! I am the proud father of two young children and happily married to Mariflor.”

Without further ado, prepare to be bedazzled by these small but mighty little Pow Wow Dancers…

  • Over The Top Cuteness Up Ahead… 1 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers
  • Gorgeous Beadwork For a Gorgeous Boy… 2 of 15
    Chippewas Of Rama First Nation Pow Wow

    Traditional beadwork is an integral part of regalia making. 

  • Serious Skills 3 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    Great action shot of a tiny, but highly skilled, pro. 

  • Children Teaching Children 4 of 15
    Adorable Pow Wow Dancers

    A young jingle dancer taking care of an even younger dancer. Peer leadership is an important part of the circle in Native communities in passing on teaching, dances, and traditions. Even at a very young age.

  • Handsome & Proud 5 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    #NativePride, no doubt about it. Also? Mad skills—clearly. 

  • Watching & Learning 6 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    More gorgeous regalia.

  • Biggest Sweetgrass Braid Ever! 7 of 15
    Adorable Pow Wow Dancers

    Sweetgrass is one of the four scared medicines (the other three being cedar, sage, and sema commonly known as tobacco). This little guy is well-loaded up with a gorgeous braid! 

  • Little Beauty 8 of 15
    Adorable Pow Wow Dancers

    Now, those are some some sweet handmade moccs! Love her Pendleton jingle dress regalia. Someone put a lot of love and work into that.

  • Pretty In Pink 9 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    Bubble dress? Check. Glittering, shimmery fancy shawl? Double check. Serious skills? Obviously.

  • Tiniest Jingle Dancer 10 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    As soon as a baby can walk, they can begin to enter the circle and learn to dance. I imagine this is her first little jingle dress, so cute!

  • Little Fancy Shawl Dancer 11 of 15
    Adorable Pow Wow Dancers

    Displaying a beautiful fancy shawl—such detail! Love the lightening bolts. You can't see her headpiece, but I bet it's amazing.

  • Little Man 12 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    Workin' up a sweat and all business!

  • Leadership 13 of 15
    Adorable Pow Wow Dancers

    Pow Wow season, the friendships they make and the dances they learn will be amongst the most cherished of memories. The teachings will help them through every stage of their childhood, as well of their teen and on into the young adulthood years. Early childhood is respected, revered, and taken very seriously.

  • Poised Pro 14 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    Although quite young, this little jungle dancer is serious about her dance.

  • Ever Dapper! 15 of 15
    Adorable Toddler Pow Wow Dancers

    Oh my, this little man! So. Cute.

You can see more of Sprithands Photography by visiting the Facebook page or website.


More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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