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Old 03-14-2002, 12:27 AM   #1
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tail dances

just wondering if there is any PONCA bros out there who can explain to me what TAIL DANCES are...i have been singing southern style now for awhile and would like to go to oklahoma where this style of singing comes from..But one thing out here in cali there are no tail dances so woud one of you PONCA bros please help it would be very helpfull and appreciatede thank you and many AHOs...
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Old 03-14-2002, 12:46 AM   #2
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I am not Ponca but I am a member of one of the four groups given permission by the Ponca tribe to hold a hethuska. There is a dance held in Cali, the first weekend in march. The head singer for the dance is Henry Collins. PM me if you would like any other information....................TMS
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:36 PM   #3
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Old 03-15-2002, 01:33 AM   #4
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Okndnman,

Can you tell me who the Poncas gave the dance to? Just want to see if we know the same history.

As for non-indians participating in anyway, even if married into it...I disagree. I agree that alot of history and tradition has been given away by the wrong people, for wrong reasons but there are some folks (non-indian) that take with way of life to heart and live it on a daily basis. What if they have children - are the kids allowed to participate? What about those with CDIBs that read 1/252 - do they count as native?

I agree that too many non-natives are participating, some having paid big bucks for the "right" and then becoming instant indians. Then there are those that are just fools. I've personally seen indians that don't have a clue as to what they are doing and why! But what about those that are sincere and believe in these ways.

Maybe this should be a new thread?
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Old 03-15-2002, 01:49 PM   #5
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thank you guys for your response i can see we will be going some where with this one...what im interested in is the protacall during a tail dance is there a head man dancer?? what i seen was that after the song was over everoe sat down than the drum sang another tail on the song everyone got p an danced...seemed cool just trying to understand...
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Old 03-16-2002, 10:11 PM   #6
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No Head Man the Whip man is in charge where we come from.
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Old 03-16-2002, 11:16 PM   #7
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tails

If 50 years counts as instant, count me in. I was taught that only tail dancers and those that want to giveaway, dance the tail. Have seen this at most hethuska.
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Old 04-02-2002, 02:30 AM   #8
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I HAVE DANCED A FEW ILONSCHKA S (SP?). I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO HELP BY FILLING IN AS A TAILDANCER, ONE OF MY GREATEST MOMENTS. A TRUE HONOR. THE WA SHA SHE (OSAGE) PEOPLE WERE ONE GROUP TO CARRY ON THE ILONSCHKA(HETHUSKA). WE HAVE 3 DANCES HOMINY, GREYHORSE, AND OF COURSE PAHUSKA. I BELIEVE THE COMANCHES HAVE ONE IN LAWTON OK. I ATTENDED AN APACHE FORMAL DANCE IN LAWTON AS WELL. I WAS ON THE PONCA BENCH WITH SOME PONCA FRIENDS. ANYONE ELSE THAT DANCES THIS DANCE IS UNKNOWN TO ME.
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Old 04-02-2002, 10:56 AM   #9
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otoes and omahas also have the tail dance.so it is a cermonial of other tribes not just poncas and osages.otoes even have there own edoshka songs,osages barrow a lot from the poncas as far as music goes just givin a little more about other people who do this
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Old 04-03-2002, 02:46 AM   #10
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I WAS TOLD THAT THE PONCAS GAVE US THE DRUM. THE DRUM KEEPER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THESE SONGS (DRUM). I ALSO BELEIVE THAT PONCAS COME DOWN TO SING WITH THE DRUM KEEPERS. THE OSAGE PEOPLE ARE GREAT KEEPERS OF THIS TRADITION. WE HAVE SOMEWHAT PERSONALIZED THIS TRADITION TO BE OSAGE. WE DO HAVE THE THREE DANCES. HOMINY, GRAYHORSE, AND PAHUSKA.
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Old 04-10-2002, 12:01 AM   #11
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Just my opinion, for what it is worth(?)

Like luvstraightdancrs, I, too agree in many of the same things for the same reasons. I am 1/32 Navajo/Apache, 1/32 Mexican, and the rest is English/Irish. Mind you this method of measuring geneology is totally unreasonable because what a person inherits from his or her ancestors cannot be determined solely by simple mathamatics. It is just one more act of idiocy conducted by this lands dominant government and later adopted by the peoples.
When I chose to follow Straight Dancing as MY way of self expression and life I was much older than most. I chose never to use a Tail Stick for one explicit reason. I am not a part of the Hethuska and therefore I have no right, hence my companion will always be my Mirror Board. I pray this minor action by one person will give hope to the Ponca and example to others.

Quote:
Originally posted by luvstraightdancrs
Okndnman,

Can you tell me who the Poncas gave the dance to? Just want to see if we know the same history.

As for non-indians participating in anyway, even if married into it...I disagree. I agree that alot of history and tradition has been given away by the wrong people, for wrong reasons but there are some folks (non-indian) that take with way of life to heart and live it on a daily basis. What if they have children - are the kids allowed to participate? What about those with CDIBs that read 1/252 - do they count as native?

I agree that too many non-natives are participating, some having paid big bucks for the "right" and then becoming instant indians. Then there are those that are just fools. I've personally seen indians that don't have a clue as to what they are doing and why! But what about those that are sincere and believe in these ways.

Maybe this should be a new thread?
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Old 04-10-2002, 02:09 AM   #12
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I just got back form Ponca spring dance this past weekend. The music was great and so was the dancing. I really had a great time. One thing that surprizes me is that the Poncas go and sing for the Osages. But why do the osages not come to the Ponca dance. I only saw one osage there.

Any ways there are some other tribes that have hethuskas to. The Pawnees and the Ho Chunks have dances too.
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Old 04-10-2002, 10:39 PM   #13
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I KNOW THAT THE OSAGES HAVE A VISITORS BENCH WHERE ANYONE CAN SIT THAT IS NOT DANCING FOR ONE OF THE OSAGE VILLAGES.
I BELIEVE THAT ANY STRAIGHT DANCER IS WELCOME. JUST TELL THE WHIP MAN YOU ARE A VISITOR.
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Old 04-10-2002, 11:16 PM   #14
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Earlier above, someone asked who all the Heluska had been given to. In the late 60's Sylvester Warrior, who reorganized the modern Heluska, gave the dance to a non-indian California group, which is now called California Hethuska Society. He also gave it to the Comanches, who called theirs the Comanche War Dance Society. After Sylvester passed, Jonas Steel became NudaHonga and did not pass it to anyone. After Jonas Steel passed, Abraham Conklin became NudaHonga. During his tenure as NudaHonga he gave the dance to 3 other non-indian groups after discussing it with the Ponca Elders. These elders(Simon Eagle and David Buffalohead) told Abe that these men who had the dance would be Hethuska and not Hobbyists or Whiteboys or what ever. During this same tenure, Abe also gave the dance to another group of Comanches, called Bighorse society, and also gave it back to other tribes who had lost it such as the Kaw etc. The elders stipulated that the dance would not be given to non-indians again. If the new Hethuska men could not keep it alive it would not go back to them. It had been given to these other people in all 4 directions and it was all their responsibilityto keep it alive and to follow those ways. Since the elders of the Ponca had counseled with Abe and probably with Sylvester, and because they own the dance, they are within their rights to pass it to whomever they wish. There are some within the tribe that disagree with the presence of whites at the dance, but when the decisiion was made, the elders were doing what they thought best for the tribe. In my observance of the growth of these societies and the charities they support , I think those elders were right and were far sighted. Just my 2 cents worth
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Old 04-11-2002, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by travelingmocs
Any ways there are some other tribes that have hethuskas to. The Pawnees and the Ho Chunks have dances too. [/B]
Since when do the Ho-Chunk have a hethuska? Are you talking Nebraska Winnebago or Wisconsin Ho-Chunk?
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Old 04-11-2002, 04:14 PM   #16
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Back in the day the Wisconsin Ho-Chunk had thier Haylushka but it doesn't exist anymore. Before Mike Winneshek died he was working with Ken Funmaker, SR to start it up again. The songs are still around and continue to be sung by the Wisconsin Dells Singers and other groups up that way.

I'm not aware of anything with the Nebraska Winnebago. Although the sign at the VFW in Winnebago, NE says "Men's Haylushka" on it. I saw that sign a couple of years ago.

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Old 04-11-2002, 05:11 PM   #17
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Hmmmm

Interesting, CEM. I lived up in Wisconsin for a while and never heard about that. I talked to lots of old folks about straight dance and Southern Plains ways, but most had never heard it, much less seen it.

I've heard and know some of those songs, but never thought they related to a particular society. Do you know when and where they picked it up?
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Old 12-27-2005, 10:44 AM   #18
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I don't see where this question was ever answered. To my way of thinking, a "tail dance", the way the term is now used, is something relatively new on the scene. I suspect that it may have started with Melvin Kerchee, Sr., maybe 15-20 years ago or so. It doesn't have the meaning of Man Dance, Hethushka, Iruska, or Ilonska.

I saw one of them where the tail dancers are picked randomly at the start of a powwow, and several straight songs are sung, maybe eight(?). The tail dancers will dance the tails in the proper way. Then, after those songs, the dance becomes a regular powwow, and the tail dancers no longer "do their thing". The rationale announced at the dance was that this was in remembrance of how the powwow originated, and that it was to honor those early dancers, now gone.

I attended another where the tail dancers continued to tail throughout the dance, even though the dance was not sponsored by one of the formalized, traditional, sanctioned organizations.


There are dancers who think that this is trendy and OK, and there are others who think that this kind of dance is not peanuts, nor is it butter. "It's peanut butter".
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gledanh Zhinga
...I saw one of them where the tail dancers are picked randomly at the start of a powwow, and several straight songs are sung, maybe eight(?). The tail dancers will dance the tails in the proper way. Then, after those songs, the dance becomes a regular powwow, and the tail dancers no longer "do their thing".....


Gledanh,

I have seen this too. Once in New Mexico and twice in Oklahoma. I was a little leary about dancing because they were all "intertribal."


____



Paraivo, Park and CEM,

Concerning the HoChunk Hayluska, they are in a period of reviving their man dance. I received the following notice during the summer:


Ho-Chunk Hayluska
Good Village, Friendship, Wisconsin
Saturday, August 26, 2005


Over 200 people attended the reinstated Ho-Chunk Hayluska, the first such dance to be held since World War II. 16 dancers participated, including 8 Ho-Chunk, 1 Menominee, 1 Ojibwa, 4 White Bear, and 2 friends of White Bear. Chief Winneshiek’s family sponsored the traditional Ho-Chunk mourners’ feast at Noontime whereas the Funmaker family under the leadership of Maryanne (Ho-Chunk; White Bear head cook; and sister of Ken Funmaker, Sr.) and Anthony Yazzie (Navajo; White Bear head cook) sponsored the evening feast.

Although Ho-Chunk singers have long kept their repertoire of hayluska songs, this was the first Ho-Chunk hayluska and a learning experience for all present-day participants. Consequently, at the request of headman Ken Funmaker, Sr., Mark Thiel and Greg Bergenske served as whip man and water boy respectively. While most Ho-Chunk dancers wore Northern traditional bustles, lead singer Bradford Funmaker commented afterwards that next year he hoped to dance and wear a dragger instead, which most likely would be a Ho-Chunk first.

The apparent group consensus is that the event was very enjoyable and an overwhelming success. Many women danced outside of the arbor and a number of men not dancing said they would do so next year. Presumably word will spread and more will attend next year as well.
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Old 12-28-2005, 01:25 AM   #20
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Thanks for the info on the Ho-Chunch Hayluska. A friend sent me pictures of the dance they held in the summer. I was glad to see this restarted in that area. Someday I hope to attend.
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