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Old 04-30-2002, 11:07 AM   #1
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dance robe

Can anyone tell me why some gourd dancers wear the robe with the red on the left side and some wear it with the red on the right side? Is there any significance to which side the red is on; or is this just personel preference?
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Old 04-30-2002, 11:57 AM   #2
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I am not sure that it really matters but, I was told that the red side is to be worn over the heart and that is how my dad wears his blanket.
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Old 04-30-2002, 02:33 PM   #3
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FROM WHAT MY DAD AND MY UNCLE HAVE TOLD ME, IS THAT THE BLANKET THAT WE WEAR AROUND OUR NECK WHEN WE GOURD DANCE, IS THAT THERE SHOULD BE A TRIM AROUND THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AND THAT IS TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE BLANKET WHEN YOU WERE IT AROUND YOUR NECK. THEN THE RED GOES OVER THE LEFT SIDE AND THE BLUE GOES TO THE RIGHT SIDE.HOPE THIS HELPS WITH WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
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Old 05-01-2002, 12:20 PM   #4
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In Oklahoma, most call it a Veterans blanket. Usually worn with red side over the heart but have seen it worn other ways. My husband wears one, is a Viet Nam vet.

Have seen teens and children wearing one but was told it was for Veterans. An honor to wear and possess.
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Old 05-02-2002, 12:19 AM   #5
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We call our blankets, battle blankets. I know that I was taught to wear the red over the left. I wear my ribbons and other awards on the red at breast pocket level. I also wear my regimetal pin on the right side as are the req.s of the military.

All I know is that the red is over the heart, to represent the blood spilt. Also the red mescal beans are to rep. the blood I think.
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Old 05-13-2002, 09:05 PM   #6
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I don't know why someone might wear the blanket with the blue over the heart. All I can say is I was taught that the red side should be worn over the heart. That's how I wear mine as well as all the other members of the Big River Clan of the Memphis Tia Piah Society.
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Old 05-14-2002, 11:40 AM   #7
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Different strokes

Different groups have different "rules." There is a lot of history and symbology in the Kiowa gourd dance some of which is known and some unknown. A lot of it is made up, for lack of a better phrase, by satellite groups.

One of the "big three" Kiowa societies switched the red from the right to the left only a few years ago (ribbon side up like echohawk neconie said). My group still wears the red on the right. I tell young people not to be so rule bound, because there's no instruction manual.
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Old 05-16-2002, 07:34 AM   #8
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very interesting!! I never knew why the red was worn on the left side!
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Old 05-17-2002, 04:26 AM   #9
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I have heard that the "Old" way way was to wear the red on the right and blue on the left. It depends where you come from. There are sereval ways to wear the blanket, and I guess it is how you are taught to wear it.

I have also been told that way way back all the Kiowas had was all red blankets. Cause blue was not avalible. There just a few cents to add........
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Old 05-21-2002, 12:15 PM   #10
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Dance robe

Yes, many circles have their own rules. I think everyone wears their blanket "double edges forward". Most places I have danced seem to wear the red side over the heart for combat veterans and the blue side over the heart for non-combat vets or for relatives who are dancing in place of their veteran relative. Also, the only dancers I know who use true gourds for their shakers are members of NAC.

Keep smilin' (and keep dancing too)
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Old 05-23-2002, 12:14 AM   #11
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For what it's worth, I've always called it a split blanket (as in split between red and blue). Like I mentioned before, a lot of groups have their own rules. Although you don't have to be a veteran to gourd dance, I respect the h#%& out of those men and women who have served and are serving.

No one's mentioned it, but I'm sure the modern blanket ties in with accoutrements of the NAC. Way back, I'm sure the blanket relates to the material used to stake down warriors. That also relates to why you don't turn your back to the drum in the center of the arena.

A highly respected Kiowa elder has told me the gourd dance is a "Chieftain's dance." That's more than being a warrior. That's being among the elite. That used to mean more than it does today.
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