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Old 11-29-2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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gourd dance songs,Is where it starts?

I have started singing again and it has been told to me that maybe I should start with learning gourd dance songs first, one reason being that I am Kiowa. This coming from a very respected singer who happens to be my brother. He is a very good singer, (two-time champs GON), yet he has suggested in staying away from the politics of singing. I have seen for myself the smugness that some singers display at powwows and to be honest, it offends me a bit. Back in my younger days when I was traveling with Grandma to a powwow each weekend, first to dance gourd and then dressing for war dance, there was one drum, that was the center and all the singers came in support. And when supper came there was still one drum for war dance. Nowadays there are up to eight drums at a dance, and still only one for gourd. That I still hold as good, for I love to sing gourd, but it being that I don't lead songs, I am still considering myself a novice or new to the drum, and I do know that we are all forever learning. My question is this, "Is it better to learn gourd dance songs first and then the songs of your drum?" I have sung with a group here in the midwest for almost a year now and I know the songs they have composed, but in some way I feel drawn to the Gourd dance songs, I used to love to dance gourd. Is it the right way to begin to learn around the drum? And when is it the right time to lead a song?
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonerbyheart
I have started singing again and it has been told to me that maybe I should start with learning gourd dance songs first, one reason being that I am Kiowa. This coming from a very respected singer who happens to be my brother. He is a very good singer, (two-time champs GON), yet he has suggested in staying away from the politics of singing. I have seen for myself the smugness that some singers display at powwows and to be honest, it offends me a bit. Back in my younger days when I was traveling with Grandma to a powwow each weekend, first to dance gourd and then dressing for war dance, there was one drum, that was the center and all the singers came in support. And when supper came there was still one drum for war dance. Nowadays there are up to eight drums at a dance, and still only one for gourd. That I still hold as good, for I love to sing gourd, but it being that I don't lead songs, I am still considering myself a novice or new to the drum, and I do know that we are all forever learning. My question is this, "Is it better to learn gourd dance songs first and then the songs of your drum?" I have sung with a group here in the midwest for almost a year now and I know the songs they have composed, but in some way I feel drawn to the Gourd dance songs, I used to love to dance gourd. Is it the right way to begin to learn around the drum? And when is it the right time to lead a song?

Sooner,

In my generation, all the well known singers of my tribe and your's learned to sing after hours at 49's (this is back in a time when a 49 was not a 49 unless there was a drum and people singing). In the dark, there was more confidence to begin starting songs and learning how to keep beat with a drumstick.

Today, many young singers begin singing with a specific drum group. I think this is the way you began learning to sing?

If you have a passion for singing gourd dance and that is where your heart is leading you, my advice would be to follow your heart.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:31 PM   #3
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Gourd Songs get into your soul
Since the first day I heard one when I was very young that has held true.
And they tend to draw you back when you have been away from them for awhile.
And when you come back you realize they were there all along you just had to listen.

Follow Whome's advice! Listen to what your heart says...
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