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Old 12-09-2010, 12:07 PM   #1
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Buffalo Dance Songs

In the not too distant past, buffalo dancing as a social dance was common at southern plains powwows.

Most plains tribes had buffalo clans, societies and ceremonies at one time. Some still do. Does anybody know the origin of the buffalo dance songs that are still sung from time-to-time?

Does anybody know the order that they are sung?

Does anybody know what tribe(s) they originated?

I have heard 6 different verses. Are there more?

If we don't sing these songs more often, this part of southern culture ... will go the way of the buffalo!
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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I don't know the songs or the order, but I have danced to them a number of times. As to origin, I can only guess Western or Southern Oklahoma. After these were "powwowized" and normally sung after the single-line 'snake dance,' the Ponca added a couple of songs to the grouping. I'm told that these were White Horse Rider songs that formerly were sung during ceremony when a chief's daughter was dressed up and wearing a war bonnet, was placed upon a white horse. These Ponca songs were word songs that had the drum roll followed by the bouncing beat, so in that sense, they were similar to the buffalo dance songs, but taken out of their original context.

I found out recently via these threads that the buffalo dance followed the big, annual Kiowa gourd dancing in Oklahoma. I have not attended, although I did see three Buffalo Songs sung once in Albuquerque after a gourd dance session. I laugh, because nobody knew what the songs were, and they didn't know what to do. They were in Albuquerque!

Taos Pueblo has their buffalo dance usually on January 6th, and a portion of the dance has the men doing the "large prancing step" somewhat like the Oklahomas do during the drum roll.

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Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 12-21-2010 at 10:01 AM..
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