Artwork Details

Cherish Parrish
Odawa & Pottawatomi (Gun Lake Band)

b. 1989

Jingle Dress Dancer Study #1
Black ash, sweetgrass, birch bark, porcupine quills, sinew, Rit Dye
26 x 9 x 7 inches
Level 3
Accession Number
Museum Purchase, Frank and Ann Battistella Fund
Image Copyright
© Cherish Parrish

About the Artwork

Originating circa 1920 as an Anishinabe response to the sickness and death caused by the Spanish Flu, the jingle dress and its accompanying dance have become a traditional prayer for healing in times of need. The dresses were adorned with dangling bits of metal, which jingled with movement. Jingle dresses were introduced during a time when expressions of Native American spirituality were illegal and punishable under federal law, making them an inherent symbol of resistance, resilience, and cultural pride: it takes backbone to create a dress defined by the noise it makes during such a dangerous time for America’s first peoples. This dress is a prayer for that kind of courage, something we all need in order to stay both resilient and loving in these current times.”

–Cherish Parrish