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Old 06-29-2002, 07:27 PM   #67
Shawl Lady
Cloth Dancer
 
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: So. Oregon river valley where salmon spawn, among forested mountains
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Smile

I've read through all these messages for and against women gourd dancers. It's tricky subject There have been women warriors throughout time. Many women are very brave and courageous serving in the military and in wars in ways different from men, then as now.

I personally do not have a problem with permitting women veterans do wear the clothes and shake the rattles in gourd dances. But I know how many of the men feel that are long-time members of war dance societies. They want to preserve the old ways. I can understand that and that's certainly a good thing.

I think any woman veteran can find ways to dance with pride and honor without trying to change up the Gourd Dance Societies. She can choose to wear the red and blue shawl (or the solid red shawl) and dance behind the men, she can speak to male members of the Gourd Dance Society before a pow wow and let them choose a way to honor her.

It is not for a woman veteran -- not in our generation! -- to make demands on the Gourd Dance Societies. It will happen slowly and over time, as more and more women vets begin to enter the dance circle as honored veterans.

I honor my father and my husband who are war veterans. I am certain that friends and family of the women vets will find a way to do the same for them. Just be patient.

:)
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