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Old 07-02-2003, 08:49 PM   #1
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black shawl wraps

i was wondering if these black shawl wraps have been discussed before on this site. i looked for them in other posts, but i didn't see anything about them. i've asked many time about the meanings behind them, and who is able to wear them. i've gotten many different answers. i've heard that they are only worn by particular society members, and i've also heard that anyone can wear them. i've seen a lot of hobbyist wearing these wraps, and every once in a while i'll see a native wearing one, but that is rare. i think they look really cool, so i figured i'd ask. i'm not really planning on having one. i just thought i'd see if i could find out some information. thanks.
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Old 07-03-2003, 02:18 AM   #2
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I believe this is a tradition of the Comanches. I haven't seen anyother Indian people wear th e shawl wrap as a part of their suit. You may want to talk to some elder Comanches.
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:55 AM   #3
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It is my understanding that it is a Kiowa and Comanche thing and society realted. My son in law wears one, he's Kiowa and gets upset seing just anyone wear one.

Talk to the Comanche and Kiowa before you try it out.
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:30 PM   #4
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From what I have been taught, among the Kiowa, the shawl wrap represents a physical connection to ones wife and family. As for wearing one, that varies from family to family in my experience. Some families limit it's wearing to elder members of the family while other have no qualms about when one can wear it, even allowing small children to wear them. As Singerdad mentioned the shawl wrap is also part of the formal clothing of the Kiowa gourd dancer, though I do not think it is limited to one particular clan, since I have seen members of every clan using them. The society he mentioned may vary well require it's member to wear the wrap as formal dress...it would not surprise me.

I know little to nothing about the use of the wrap among the Comanche and will leave that for another to address.

As Singerdad also said, it is good that you ask!
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Last edited by powwowbum49; 07-03-2003 at 04:39 PM..
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:34 PM   #5
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thanks a lot folks for your input.
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Old 07-03-2003, 11:16 PM   #6
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I thought the black shawl wrap was only worn by members of the Kiowa Black Aprons society. I guess, in a way, similar to the Black Leggings. At least that is what I was told, but who knows - that may have been wrong.

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Old 07-04-2003, 02:40 AM   #7
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Sorry Scott I have never heard of that society, maybe I have just been left out?
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Old 07-04-2003, 02:44 AM   #8
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shaws

I have seen children wear shaws...is this wrong or are we mearly talking about black shaws?
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Old 07-04-2003, 02:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by powwowbum49
Sorry Scott I have never heard of that society, maybe I have just been left out?
Hey, maybe, I was given wrong info. Come to think of it, I don't remember where I heard that. But, like with the Black Leggins, I felt it safer not to wear something that could have been associated with a Society.
I'm not a Straight dancer, anyway. And I'm pretty sure I've never seen the black shawl on anyone but a Straight dancer...

Here's a question then: Why are the shawls black? I've never seen one worn in that way in any other color. If they aren't really significant of something specific, why are they only black?
Hmmm, now I'm really curious. Next weekend I'm a gonna have to ask someone... :) Wish me luck.

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Old 07-04-2003, 03:58 AM   #10
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Scott, if you go to Carniege you can find out and share the info. I know that the Black leggins Society does wear the black shawl wrap. I don't recall if these Gentlemen still wear it when they dance out side of the Gourd dance. I have seen Charlie Chibitty wear one and I think I've seen Woogie Watchaticker(Sp)(sorry) along with others. These Gentlemen were Comanches. I of course in Lawton/Anadarko area I don't know if anyone is of only one particular Tribe, they could have been mixed.

I wouldn't wear something that wasn't given to me or if I didn't have the rights to wear it.

Good luck, Scott. by the way, see you in McAllen again.
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Old 07-04-2003, 05:25 AM   #11
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Hey - from a new poster/long time lurker & reader of these boards, I'd just reiterate what Cherosage said - Don't wear one if you don't have permission to do so.

Basically, I've only seen Kiowas wear them if they were members of TonKonGat - the Black Legs/Leggins Society. This is a highly respected veterans society and their symbols - the waist shawl, Ghoulayee's red cape, the bonnets, the Tipi with Battle Paintings - are guarded and cared for very deeply.

For Comanche folks, that waist shawl is called a Pitskwinawi (closest I could get to the Comanche pronunciation!). From what I've been told by Comanche folks, these were origianlly a society emblem of the Tuuwii or Black Knife society, which has been revived in the past couple of decades, primarily under the Sovo family's leadership. In a battle long ago, these warriors went up against Mexican soldiers protecting a town. They took the dark steel swords of the soldiers, and the black shawls of the women, and used them as society emblems. The name Tuuwii refers to these swords, but also has multiple other meanings, especially in reference to the beaks of ravens - a patron animal of the society's warriors - and to the wings of the red-wing blackbird - which look like blood-stained black knives. The Battle Dresses worn by the female assistants in the Tuuwii are black w/ red sleeves and gussetts and also make reference to the red-winged black bird (Kiowa Battle Dresses are dark blue and red). In that battle where these Comanche warriors claimed these trophies, their Kiowa allies, including Ghoulayee, also got black shawls and Ghoulayee ripped the red cape from an officers neck while pushing his face away with his bloodied bare hand. Therefore, people will ask if you have the right to wear one.

However, and this is where this issue becomes tricky, the pitskwinawi has become a kind of symbol of "Comancheness" and is worn by many Comanches who aren't in Tuuwii. Some Comanche families who have dressed other NDNs and even some non-NDNs in Comanche clothes have given those people permission to wear the shawl. Jerry Harjo and Justin Yerby are two Straight Dancers who come to mind in this regard - both are NDNs, but from southeastern tribes - but both have been given permission to wear that shawl by particular Comanche families.

Interestingly, a handful of Ponca folks who I've talked to, especially those involved with Helushka, tend to view that shawl as an emblem of the Comanch War Dance Society. In theory, that's not the case, but in practice, there's a lot of overlap as men can be in more than one society if they can manage all those responsibilities. The current head man for the Comanche War Dance Society has served as the camp crier for the Tuuwii, so the origin of this confusion is understandable.

As for children wearing those shawls - I've seen it before, but wearing one is a responsibility, and one that many kids - or adults for that matter - don't understand.

P. S. - I'm from southeastern tribes, but was dressed in Comanche clothes over 10 years ago, including a pitskwinawi. Just last weekend, an elder Comanche lady asked me who gave me permission to wear it - so you can see that it's not something that folks take lightly. I've even seen a Comanche guy tell a hobbyist point blank to go take his shawl off since he didn't have the right or permission to wear one.
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Old 07-04-2003, 11:53 AM   #12
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Talking Str8Dancer49

Hi brother!:Wave
Figger'd you couldn't resist this one!:clap:
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Old 07-05-2003, 02:50 AM   #13
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Thanks Str8D'49,

There was a lot of great info. that I wasn't aware of and some of it I was not sure of. I have family in Comanche Co. and have developed many friends of Kiowa, Comanche, and Ft. Sill Apaches(and other area Apaches). I have danced and sang in the Comanche Co. area. It is always easy down there to do things right because everyone knows and we just do what is right.

I'm not of these Tribes but have been given the Rights to do the things I do at many dances. God thanks to my family and friends for all they have given to me and helped me.

Again, Thanks for the Info.
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Old 07-05-2003, 03:45 AM   #14
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thank you..Str8Dancer49

really great info !!!
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Old 07-07-2003, 12:05 AM   #15
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thanks again for all the great info. it has clarified some of the information that i had been given in the past.
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:40 PM   #16
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I have lived in the Mt. Scott area in Oklahoma for 20 years and my children are Comanche. My in-laws performed the Tu-Wee dance in Washington D.C. in 1976 under the direction of the late Joe Attocknie. The black shawl is very sacred to the Comanches and they have no qualms about telling you to take it off if you don't know why you are wearing it.
It's always best to leave something like that alone. Like I have always said on here, if you don't already know about something...then it's not meant for you. If you were meant to wear one of these symbols on your regalia, someone would have given you that right. Otherwise, just don't. You could really offend some family, and then get offended yourself when they call you on it.
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:43 AM   #17
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Bingo

To rwgirl: You just hit the nail on the head. Lookin' cool ain't the test for what a person shoud wear. If you don't know and don't have permission, just don't go there.

To scottlollar: Black Aprons?!? That's how rumors get started. The Kiowa also have a reason for men wearing a black shawl (associated with membership in the various warrior societies). There are other issues related to the shawl that shouldn't be gotten into on this board. Your curiosity is not enough. (That should keep you awake for a few hours).
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Old 07-08-2003, 01:15 AM   #18
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Like I said, I don't remember who I got that info from, but it was a long time ago - I was a kid then. And as ususal, if I don't know, and no one tells me, I stay out of it. It ain't my business if they don't invite me. So, seeing as I have been corrected on the 'Black Aprons' bit, that bit of info got washed down the drain. Until someone can prove otherwise.
Anyway, I only asked about the color. If it isn't something to be addressed here, that's fine. I understand. And it isn't a big deal for me to know. If I need to know, someone will invite me to know. That's how it goes. And that doesn't bother me in the least.
Besides, I understand if you don't want me around. :sniff: I know how it is. :sniff sniff: New guy asks a question, gets spurned by everyone, new guy is forced to leave. :ball1: I can cope with that. :sniff sniff sniff - :Cry WAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!:Cry :: :worthy:
(it's a joke! please don't take that last part seriously)

:D

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Old 07-08-2003, 02:02 AM   #19
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RW and Parks: thanks for your thoughts and info.
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Old 07-08-2003, 05:56 PM   #20
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
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i was never planning on wearing one. i don't even dance straight. i was just trying to learn something. sorry if i offended anyone by asking about this subject.

Last edited by sutton's dad; 07-08-2003 at 06:04 PM..
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