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Old 08-28-2012, 11:50 AM   #798
yaahl
Sg̱aaga g̱uu hla.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
I, honestly, don't recall which is the damnable misery of it.

I specifically remember it because it was the Smoking Gun.
I think I found the reference to the competition...

http://gourddancing.homestead.com/Go...ceOrigins.html

Quote:
This was a great beginning for the new leadership of the St. Louis American Indian Center.

This dance was a contest dance and was billed to have a three hour gourd dance Friday evening. This was great, we are not used to seeing gourd dancing unless it is at the beginning of a dance or after the dinner break.
I can see where someone not too familiar with the gourd dance would think that the competition dances also included the gourd. I think there is a fine line between the regular comp dancing and the gourd demonstration/billing.

Josiah, there was mention last summer on the site of a competition gourd - just before the server went down. It wasn't a regular poster so I suspect it may have been a troll/trouble maker posting what they thought was correct information about a competition dance that included a gourd dance on one of the evenings.

I also suspect that the reference to the woman dancing in the above posted link is the same incident that you are referring to as well, if not, then there is an additional occurrence.

What I find quite strange is that for the longest time, the gourd dance was commonly referred to as the Warrior/veteran's dance. The two groups were tied together. Now, while it may have been a co-incidence that most of the men that danced the gourd were also military members and veterans, the notion that it was a vet's dance stuck around as part of the lore.

Fast forward to the new millennium where women are now seen in more combat roles than ever before - men and women both being deployed into hot spots. These new 21st century women soldiers, sailors and airmen are considered equals in most NATO countries to their male counterparts (with funny enough, the exception of the US).

Now what we see are folks saying that the dance is a men's dance and is not supposed to be for veterans ... now why do I think this turn around in opinion of whose dance it is... because there are more women veterans now that has ever been seen in prior decades. It was easy to exclude women by saying it was a warrior/vet dance when women were not considered actual vets but mere servicewoman - that is until approx 1992 when their service time/conditions of enrollment were changed to match their male counterparts.

So here's my take, if the dance is supposed to "honour" veterans, then it should honour all persons who are legally considered a veteran - that is both men and women. If it's just a man's dance, then perhaps it should stop blurring the lines between men only and veterans. Perhaps it is time to be clear that while many members of the society are also male veterans, it is NOT a veteran's dance at all.

When I was in the hospital in Landstuhl after getting blown up, my gender made no difference to the healing process and that included many, many traditional songs and dances from my NDN brethren from the US, Canada and even the Aussies Aboriginals.. no one would dare pull the "you can't dance because of gender card" when we were all struggling to stand upright.
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Last edited by yaahl; 08-28-2012 at 11:53 AM..
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