Jingle Dress Dancers

Jingle Dress Dancers

Photo of Zaagidiwin Jingle Dress Dancers at the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto
Photo by Janagan Thanabalasingam at Ace Studioz

Zaagidiwin Jingle Dress Dancers

The adult dancers (back row) in the photo from left to right are Robin Rice, Emily Gaudet, Cheryl Trudeau, Sagatay Kwandibens, Amy Myran, Nichole Leveck, Nazarene Pope, Lisa Odjig, Jenny Blackbird.

Front Row (children) are Ava Lynn Fox, Indiana Cada, Aiyana Myran.

The jingle dress and dance is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) healing dance that originates with the Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) First Nation in Northern Ontario.  The dresses have metal cones stitched into rows or elaborate designs that jingle when the dancer moves. The shape and sounds of the jingles are said to spread healing, whether dancing for one person, or a whole nation. Dancers do a side-step movement and normally stay in a line, not passing each other as they dance, as they do not want to break the healing circle.   

In Zaagidiwin, the jingle dress dancers surround the four-colour wheel which represents the nations of the world. The dancers offer their healing gift, dancing for all nations and the land, mother earth.