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Old 10-01-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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to follow the drum or the head gourd dancer

I've had this situation happen a couple of times, and would like opinions from you. Some of you may not have a head gourd dancer where you dance, but alot of dances do. So you're sitting down, waiting for the drum to ask you to stand up and dance, that time comes, the head gourd dancer doesn't get up at the beat. I don't like to disrespect the head gourd dancer, but when it's time to get up and dance it's time. What is proper, what do you do?
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by streamhawk View Post
I've had this situation happen a couple of times, and would like opinions from you. Some of you may not have a head gourd dancer where you dance, but alot of dances do. So you're sitting down, waiting for the drum to ask you to stand up and dance, that time comes, the head gourd dancer doesn't get up at the beat. I don't like to disrespect the head gourd dancer, but when it's time to get up and dance it's time. What is proper, what do you do?
As in Rome

when it feels right to dance that is when its time to dance
No hard and fast rule...
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:51 AM   #3
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As in Rome

when it feels right to dance that is when its time to dance
No hard and fast rule...

I like Josiah's answer for many reasons. You show insight that is warming to the heart, bud. Thank you for sharing the same love of the dance you obviously have.

The only real "Head Gourd Dancer" position is reserved for the leaders of the Gourd Glan (if you are Kiowa) or, the leaders of the Gourd organization you belong to. So, when you have the leaders of your organization present, it's easy...you show respect and wait for your headsmen to stand and dance. If you don't, their whipman will make sure you do. hehe

There is no 'head gourd dancer' in our Gourd Dance, unless one feels that they have the self-authority to stand in for the leaders of the Gourd Clan or for the leaders of your Gourd Society.

If the leaders of the Gourd Clan or your society are not present at the dance, then I would simply stand to dance when I was ready. Don't mean to disrespect the "head gourd dancer" the committee selected. But, I don't need a pretend leader for a dance that has real leaders to follow.

When the society leaders are present, you dance as they stand and dance. When they are not there, you dance when you are ready.

Neither way depends upon a certain point of song or sentence of song. The leaders bring us to stand and dance when it is right to do so. When the leaders of our society are not at our dance, we stand and dance when we feel it is right to do so.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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The leaders bring us to stand and dance when it is right to do so. When the leaders of our society are not at our dance, we stand and dance when we feel it is right to do so.
Against my better judgement, I'll attempt this one more time. Yes Scott, and that's exactly what I do also. Obviously, I wouldn't stand before a headsman if I were dancing with my own society, I was asking specifically about a committee appointed head gourd dancer. I'm just trying to be respectful and follow some form of protocol, if you understand my meaning. I don't follow any "dance hall choreography" you assume, if you'd like to explain it to me in person better I'll be at Indian City next week and at Chieftain next July. Thanks for your answer, just trying to gather opinions here, not mockery.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by streamhawk View Post
Against my better judgement, I'll attempt this one more time. Yes Scott, and that's exactly what I do also. Obviously, I wouldn't stand before a headsman if I were dancing with my own society, I was asking specifically about a committee appointed head gourd dancer. I'm just trying to be respectful and follow some form of protocol, if you understand my meaning. I don't follow any "dance hall choreography" you assume, if you'd like to explain it to me in person better I'll be at Indian City next week and at Chieftain next July. Thanks for your answer, just trying to gather opinions here, not mockery.
I don't think he was tryna mock you streamhawk just giving his honest thoughts and feelings.... its like joe and scott said... when you feel it.... are you talking after the calling song....? I seen it all.... but you dance and go where you feel...
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:37 AM   #6
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hey Taco, appreciate the words, I'm all good now, it's another day. I've seen it all too, seen it done several different ways. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about, after the calling song, typically most stand up on the second hard beat, I know there is no hard rule on this, but most are looking at the committee appointed head gourd dancer to stand up about that time, sometimes he doesn't, sometimes he does. I just don't want to disrespect the head staff is all, but I stand up when it feels right to me, as has been said. No biggy. Hey, do ya know, at least from your pic, we somewhat look alike, not sure who should be offended there, lol. Thanx again. No offense meant to any, just trying to do the right thing is all, I appreciate the input.
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by streamhawk View Post
Obviously, I wouldn't stand before a headsman if I were dancing with my own society, I was asking specifically about a committee appointed head gourd dancer. I'm just trying to be respectful and follow some form of protocol, if you understand my meaning. I don't follow any "dance hall choreography" you assume, if you'd like to explain it to me in person better I'll be at Indian City next week and at Chieftain next July. Thanks for your answer, just trying to gather opinions here, not mockery.
Howdy, StreamHawk!

No...didn't mean any 'mockery' of you, bud.

Your topic brought to mind the dances I've been to where I saw folks waiting to dance and looking around for someone to show them when to stand up when they didn't have to do so. The leaders of our Gourd Societies are the ones who we follow. When they are not at the dance, we simply stand to dance when we feel it is right to do so.

Typing text does not always show the humour we mean to type in our words. I appologize to you for the mis-interpretation I did not mean to convey.

I look forward to seeing you next week at Indian City, and also afterwards for the Gourd Clan ceremony in the July following.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:11 AM   #8
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I'll be at Indian City next week...
Woot! I was told by our Black Leggings leader that the officers at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma were going to bring a name-sake hellicopter, the "Kiowa Warrior" hellicopter, named after our warrior societies, will be present at our Black Leggings ceremony at Indian City, Anadarko, Oklahoma. It's going to be a fun time. It's gonna be an event that it is never going to be seen again. Be there or be square. lol. That's a silly saying. But, regardless...I know I'd not want to miss it.
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Last edited by Zotigh; 10-04-2008 at 12:24 AM.. Reason: Corrected the spelling of, "Anadarko".
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:42 AM   #9
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TacO5000, you're still my hero. Cya at the Tonkonga.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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TacO5000, you're still my hero. Cya at the Tonkonga.
I wish I was gonna be there... not enought al hungia for the gas!!! dance hard!!
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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The Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society has invited the Kiowa Gourd Clan and the other gourd dance societies to come and dance on Saturday evening (10-11-08) of their celebration. So everybody bring your regalia. When the Tonkonga first started dancing, all the warrior societies helped each other. The Gourd Clan was in charge of the gourd dance portion and the Ohomah Society handled the wardance session at night. This is something we let fall aside, I'm glad to see the Black Leggings reintroducing this custom.
Back on the subject, what if you don't belong to any gourd dance club? Do you still defer to the Society Headsmen? I was at a dance in Tulsa and one of the Kiowa Gourd Clan headsman was there. He went and asked the head gourddancer if he could dance with him. He said okay. When he walked off, I heard one of the other gourddancers say we ought to be asking his permission to dance. When the song started, the head gourddancer made a sign toward the KGC officer if it was okay to dance. The officer signed back to go ahead. I thought this was cool on the part of the head gourddancer, plus a good sign of respect.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:34 PM   #12
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I was at a dance in Tulsa and one of the Kiowa Gourd Clan headsman was there. He went and asked the head gourddancer if he could dance with him. He said okay. When he walked off, I heard one of the other gourddancers say we ought to be asking his permission to dance. When the song started, the head gourddancer made a sign toward the KGC officer if it was okay to dance. The officer signed back to go ahead. I thought this was cool on the part of the head gourddancer, plus a good sign of respect.

Thank you for sharing that story, sir. Wow. That's the sort of thing that makes us all feel good.

Tso(dl)-haw
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:29 AM   #13
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No worries Scott, it would be an honor to shake your hand this week at Black Leggins. My apologies for sounding "stiff". 50th anniversary! I won't miss it either, a once in a lifetime event.

Principaldog, I've heard it both ways now, the gourd dancing was on, then called off. Have you heard new news? I'll bring my stuff just in case either way.

Thanks to all for input in this thread, very helpful.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:18 AM   #14
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probably not the place to post this, but just wanted to say that it was a real pleasure to meet and shake hands with both you and your brother Scott, very nice talking with you and a nice surprise to run in to you again at breakfast. A very powerful and moving weekend, full of good medicine. I was able to take care of things at the mountain today, the Creator allowed it to be a wet endeavor, no problem, got to see alot of buffalo, longhorn, deer, and a couple of really curious coyote at the reserve. Again, aho! Great weekend, very thankful we were able to be there for the 50th. Looking forward to next time.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:29 AM   #15
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Sooo
Inquiring minds want to know
Did they have the Gourd Dance like we had heard there would be for the 50th Aniversary?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:20 AM   #16
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not that I'm aware of Josiah, if it happened, it was after we went back to the room Saturday night. Things went pretty late that night, possibly an invitation to gourd dance was issued, but it would have been around or after 10pm if so. It was still a good weekend.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:16 AM   #17
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Saturday night the supper break was at 9pm! But then they went right into the evening session, with a new m.c. and different singers. They rounddanced and had a short session of wardancing. It was over around 10:30pm. Sunday night the dance was over when the Black Leggings ceremony ended. An invitation was extended to the Kiowa Gourd Clan. Gourddancing was planned for Saturday evening, but with the length of the afternoon program, I guess there wasn't time for it. Maybe next year. The Kiowa Gourd Clan was presented with a plaque for their support of the Kiowa BlackLeggings Society. It was also keen that a couple of the Gourd Clan Headsmen where at the dance all weekend. One was headsinger and the other one was camped, but didn't dance. I noticed a lot of interaction between both societies officers. With all the political turmoil in the tribe it was good to see our traditional leaders cooperating, encouraging and supporting each other.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:11 PM   #18
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p-dog, I hope to see this next year also, I think it would go a long way to promoting good will and good feelings between the different societies. I had heard that originally the gourd dancing would have been on friday. I like that idea best, devote a day for gourd dancing, then the following two days as usual, all Ton-Kon-Gaht.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:50 PM   #19
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just wanted to say that it was a real pleasure to meet and shake hands with both you and your brother Scott, very nice talking with you and a nice surprise to run in to you again at breakfast.
Thank you, Bill! It was sincerely a real pleasure to meet you and your lovely better-half.

It was an excellent weekend. :)
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by principaldog2 View Post
The Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society has invited the Kiowa Gourd Clan and the other gourd dance societies to come and dance on Saturday evening (10-11-08) of their celebration. So everybody bring your regalia. When the Tonkonga first started dancing, all the warrior societies helped each other. The Gourd Clan was in charge of the gourd dance portion and the Ohomah Society handled the wardance session at night. This is something we let fall aside, I'm glad to see the Black Leggings reintroducing this custom.
I remember when the Gourd Clan ran the Gourd Dance in the evening after dinner break and the Ohoma Society ran the war dance after. I am glad to see our societies working together. I remember we would all come back after dinner break and dance Gourd Dance. And, afterwards dance war and social dances late into the night.

Being the 50th anniversary of our modern Black Leggings Society...so many things were scheduled, time did not allow for the events we hoped to have. As our leaders pointed out..."things that are important have to be done, regardless of time." We all enjoyed the 50th anniversary and the wonderful events and honourings that happened.

I look forward to the 51st celebration. I know it will also be a collaboration of our societies, just as we all remember.
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Scott Zotigh
Kiowa Black Leggings
Kiowa Gourd Clan
Kiowa Tiah Piah
Kiowa Marine Veterans
American Indian Veterans

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