About 150 men, women, and children set out on foot from Oceti Sakowin camp, near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Reservation.

 In the lead, wearing a headdress of stunning long white feathers tapering into black, is Lakota Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Sioux Nation. The colorful flags of hundreds of tribal nations proudly wave on tall makeshift poles, lining either side of the self-described “water protectors” path. Under grey and cloudy skies and a fresh cold spell, the mood is somber.

A call had gone out just the day before for Jingle Dress Dancers to gather here and offer their prayer and healing, Goldtooth explains. From many states and tribal nations, they heeded the call.

As the women dance, a collective breath is released. The healing has begun. Delight and joy move across the faces of onlookers, many of whom even break out into a shared laugh with a young girl enthralled by the presence of so many media cameras filming her.

“All the jingle dancers understand the power of the dress and feeling that we get when we dance the jingle dress dance,” says the first woman, who does not give her name. “This is how we say our prayers, send our prayers up.” Black wool gloves and a dark brown fedora, worn to fend off the increasing cold, compliment the brown of her jingle dress, brightened by a yellow belt with roses of many colors and matching brightly colored ribbons sewn onto her sleeves.

(Photo: Antonia Juhasz)

The jingle dress originated from the Ojibwe, “our first nation, and this is where we get our teachings from,” she says.

The dance today offers healing to “put an end to this suffering that’s out here” she says, nodding in the direction of the Humvees and the Dakota Access Pipeline. “We have come to dance for our people.”

(Photo: Antonia Juhasz) 


Responses to "Jingle Dress Dancers bring healing and prayer to Water Protector Camp"

  1. Unknown says:

    This is beautiful, sisters.
    So heartening to see the indigenous peoples coming together in peace of the common good.

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