The Sacredness of the Jingle Dress Featured at Lake of the Woods Museum

Pow Wow 101 Jingle Dress
Jingle Dancer - The jingle dress is a healing regalia.

KENORA – Shiibaashka’igan – the jingle dress, the healing dress, is sacred in the Anishinaabe culture.

Because of its beauty, colour, and originality, the jingle dress might be seen solely through a lens of aesthetic splendour. But its sacredness rests, not in its appearance, but in its meaning.

Because the jingle dress had its origin in Whitefish Bay with Maggie White, its story is very much a local story. This exhibit will present Maggie’s story as well as many others. In doing so, family histories, dreams, and teachings will be shared, as will the stories of the jingle dress dancers who uphold the sacred traditions of the dress.

The exhibit will feature 50 jingle dresses – in person and through photographs. It will include the Grandmother Earth Dress which honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, on loan from the Ontario Native Women’s Association; the dresses of jingle dress dancers in the area and from the Museum collection. Each dress is accompanied by its story.

We are honoured by the involvement of Anishinaabe artists Nadya Kwandibens of Red Works Photography, Michelle Derosier of Thunderstone Pictures, Leanna Marshall of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwig and Rhonda White of Atikemegwanning First Nation.

This exhibit is presented by the Lake of the Woods Museum and its community partners – Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig, the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre, the Women’s Council of Grand Council Treaty 3 and Ahze-mino-gahbewewin/Reconcilation Kenora.

The formal opening of the exhibit will be held on Monday, July 8 at 12:00 noon. Maggie White’s drum, the Whitefish Bay Singers and jingle dancers will be in attendance. All are welcome.