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Interview with Dan Nanamkin

Dan wearing traditional regalia

Formerly, Native Americans could recognize the tribes and sometimes even the families according to the design of their regalia, clothing and hairstyle. Dan is a Nez Perce and Colville and his hairstyle and clothes are similar to that of the Crows, who were their allies.

Dan explains that, nowadays, when he dresses traditionally, he sometimes gets abused, even among his own people. “Why do you dress that way? Who do you think you are?” Yet he stays strong. “We should be proud of who we are”. Upon his passing, he wishes to be blessed with the Ceremony of Tears with his regalia and clothes, in order to be remembered as the spiritual warrior he endeavored to embody. During this ceremony, the deceased’s clothes are shown and buried along with the dead so the latter can be identified and to help the people acknowledge and accept the death.

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