Print, Photographic


Creation Date
circa 1990

Film size: 4 7/8 x 3 7/8

Red Wing H. S. New Addition, 1952 negative size 4 7/8 x 3 7/8

Pants: Grass dance costume pants. The pants are black cotton. They have an elastic waist. The in-seam was let out and black cotton fabric was sewn in to expand the area. Down the bottom three-fourths side of the pants is 8" long white yarn fringe. The front and back bottom of each leg has a 6" long white yarn fringe in a v shape. At the bottom of the v is green and white, dark and medium green 5" long yarn fringe. Condition - Good. No stains. Goes with 1994.73.1-8. Costume made by Denise One Star. Dream catcher made by Jerry Fill the Pipe. This is a grass dance outfit worn by male members of the tribe. It is one of the oldest Dakota traditional dances that is still performed today. As a freestyle type of dancing, the dancers must follow the changing beat of the drum and must stop on time with both feet on the ground. The fringe movement is a flowing motion that represents the prairie grass in the wind. Solomon Campbell is a grass dancer from the Prairie Island Dakota Community. He is the grandson of Curtis Campbell, Sr., and Mrs. Vivian Mireau. This was his first grass dance outfit. He mastered his dance steps at the age of 6 years and competed in his first dance at Albuquerque NM in 1990. He is named after his great-great-grandfather, Solomon Wells--"Tatanka Maza"--Iron Buffalo." The elders tell us that one of the songs sung by the Mdewakanton elders until the end of WWII was a grass dance song. Beginning around the 1880s until the 1990s many Mdewakanton return to Prairie Island, and area rich in traditional medicine. Buffalo grass used to grow abundantly on Prairie Island as part of the circle of life. The words of the song say: "Pray very hard grass dancer./You have the feather. Pray./Grass men are dancing./They have the feather. Pray." This place located at Buffalo Slough on Prairie Island was a serene place where elders would gather from time to time. Story as related by Curtis Campbell, Sr., Prairie Island. Compiled by John Dow, Prairie Island 11/1994.

Contact the Goodhue County Historical Society for more information