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Photogravure on gampi with calico fabric prints of Indigenous trade cloth, collage, string, and silver leaf. Published by Mullowney Printing, Portland, OR. Sheet: 31 1/2 x 19 inches. Edition of 10 + proofs.
About Marie Watt’s “Vivid Dream” series:
Watt writes that “the title Vivid Dream refers to a story that involves a pandemic, tin jingles, and the powerful role that sound, movement, textiles, and dance can play in healing. Historically, jingle cones were created from the rolled tops of tobacco cans and other tin lids. In my new sculptures and prints, tin jingles coalesce in cloud-like forms that hover between the sky and the earth.
Simultaneously heavy and weightless, shield-like and shiny, the jingles nudge, tap, reflect, echo, and affect each other, implying or creating murmurs of sound and dancing light when animated by a breeze or a body. The tin jingles in my work acknowledge the jingle dress dance, which originated in the Ojibwe tribe during the influenza pandemic of 1918–19.
The story goes that the grandfather of a very sick girl had a vivid dream in which he was instructed to attach jingle cones to dresses; women wearing these dresses would then dance around the sickly child to help heal her. The sounds the jingles made during the dance are believed to have cured the girl.
We can assume this medicine worked, as the dance was shared with neighboring tribal communities. Performing the jingle dress dance was not only a healing ritual, but also an act of radical resistance. In 1883, the United States banned Indigenous ceremonial gatherings.
Though this ban was repealed with the passing of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978, the jingle dress dance was shared with other tribal communities during its century-long prohibition. Today the dance is performed at pow wows and continues to be associated with healing.”