The jingle or prayer dress is based upon various legends involving a young girl and her grandfather. One Ojibwa version tells of a granddaughter who feared her sick grandfather was dying. She sought aid from a medicine man who instructed her to make a dress that contained tins that would jingle when she danced so the grandfather would be calmed. The dance had to be neither fast nor slow but graceful. The grandfather saw her dance and was healed.
To ensure connection with Mother Earth, one foot must always be in contact with the ground during the dance.