Dance Apron, T04.30.1
Posted: Jan 8th, 2020 | Collection Spotlight

To celebrate National Aboriginal Day, the first object we’re sharing is a dance apron from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.

Aprons like this one are worn by Kwakwaka’wakw dancers during traditional ceremonies such as the Tła’sala “Peace Dances.” This apron, made in 1970, has a design created with plastic buttons; bells and thimbles are used to make noise when the apron is worn. Older examples often feature buttons made from abalone (aka sea snails) and noisemakers made from other natural materials. On our Virtual Museum of Canada site Narrative Threads you can also see a Kwakwaka’wakw dance apron from Takus, BC (from the collection of the Museum of Anthropology) made from moose skin, porcupine quill, metal, deer hoof and fibre.

Swipe right to see a photo of the Le-La-La Dancers, a group of traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dancers based in Victoria, BC who wear dance aprons and button blankets in their dances and who have been performing across Canada and in countries as far away as New Zealand since 1987.

Links: Narrative Threads postLe-La-La DancersMuseum of Anthropology Dance Apron

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