Grass Dance Regalia - Whitefish River First Nation

Picture of a grass dance regalia from the Whitefish River First Nation

This type of outfit is worn at traditional powwows and ceremonies where a grass dancer is requested. The grass dance is an all-encompassing healing dance, performed to aid in physical, mental, spiritual and emotional healing. The dance is also performed to bless the grounds before a large communal gathering. A dancer will enter the space from the east and travel clockwise, making offerings to each of the four cardinal directions.

Each regalia is unique to the individual dancer, and this regalia in particular has colours that relate to the individual's qualities and spirit. The blu beading and fabric represents his connection to the water and the sky. The red, orange and yellow represent the colours of the fire and his connection to the sacred fire. The dancer who wore this regalia is also a sacred fire keeper, and additionally, a sacred fire represents the doorway to the spirit world. The diamond pattern found throughout symbolizes the four cardinal directions, as well as the medicine wheel directions and its teachings. When dancing, the bells above the moccasins will ring in tune with the drumming, which also helps call in the spirits during this ceremonial dance.