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Old 12-17-2002, 11:48 AM   #1
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Gourd Dancing

Got a question for the group. I had a little discussion among a friend of mine regarding Gourd Dancing. I have always helped my dad in his Fry Bread booth and thus never really danced any, just mainly two steps and things like that, but nothing serious. Well, my question is this: I am not a veteran BUT my dad is and so is my grandfather. I have always been told that if I wanted to Gourd Dance (which I have thought about several times) that I could in honor of my dad or my Grandfather. Well, a friend of mine told me that I can't. Only veterans are allowed to Gourd Dance. What are the views of people out there on this? Can I Gourd Dance in honor of my dad or Grandfather? Or do I have to be a veteran.
Thank you for your time.
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Old 12-17-2002, 12:13 PM   #2
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The right to gourd dance

That's a good question. My belief and the way I have been taught (Kiowa) is that you do not have to be a veteran to gourd dance. IMHO, you also don't have to dance "for" someone else that cannot or has passed on. You can dance for yourself and the happiness it brings you.

Very often, a new person is invited to dance by a member of the society or group hosting the dance, whether to be honored for one song or to dance the entire session.

If you are visiting a society or group you are not familiar with, I would speak to the headsmen or principals for permission to dance, just to be sure (and polite). Those gestures are usually appreciated and it's a good way to meet new people, instead of storming in, dancing, and packing up in a rush.

Although this has been discussed in other threads, at some point, I was taught you should have a giveaway/special to be properly brought into the arena. If you are dedicated and invited to be a member some day, you give again. I can tell you that if you give generously and sincerely, it will come back to you in a way you never expect.

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Old 12-17-2002, 01:44 PM   #3
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Hey Park, thanks for the advice you gave me. I do know about the 'giveaways' and things like that and proper pow wow 'etiquete' (don't know if I spelled that right or not. My dad was a Gourd Dancer before he passed away and my younger brother is also a Gourd Dancer (he served in Desert Storm). I know if I ever get involved with Gourd Dancing I will have a 'give away' cause thats just the 'proper' thing to do. It shows respect to the people around you. But thanks again for your advice. Basically, what you told me, thats what my dad has always told me. But I just wanted other advice from people out there.
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Old 12-19-2002, 01:39 AM   #4
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Parks said it well. You don't have to be a Vet but many societies do require their members to be Vets.

The only requirements are to have it come from the heart.

I do suggest that you follow protocol and enter the circle correctly.
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Old 01-30-2003, 02:33 AM   #5
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This gentleman must have been a good friend and had a good heart.
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:12 PM   #6
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Cool Adding my 2 cents in as well

As far as I know, gourd dancing is open to anyone. I first started Gourd Dancing at the Gulf Coast Tiapiah Dances in Houston TX. I have been taught by Kiowa people that you only need a rattle, fan, and love and respect for the way things are done to gourd dance. A sash, bandolier and the rest are optional but one should get them after a while. I would reccomend that one visit a dance in south western Oklahoma to see gourd dancing first hand.

Also, I know that there are three branches of the Kiowa Gourd Clan. They are the Gulf Coast Tiapiah, the Texas Tiapiah, and the Memphis Tiapiah. The are all sanctioned by the mother club, the Kiowa Tiapiah. For all you southerners interested in gourd, I invited you to Sallas Park in New Caney TX the same weekend as the Gathering of nations to come and enjoy great Gourd Singing and Dancing.


"The Tia-Piah Society is a Kiowa Warriors Society.
The Dance is Tia-pe-go.
A Chief’s Dance symbolizing that he is ready to go,
ready to die,

"Tia-pe-go".

Atwater Onco, Kiowa Elder, Historian, Veteran WWII

Quote Courtesy of www.tiapiah.com
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Old 05-20-2004, 07:10 PM   #7
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There are no 'branches' to the Kiowa Gourd Clan. The three branches you mention are all from the Kiowa Tiah Piah Society. The Kiowa Gourd Clan split into two groups a few years after the gourd dance was revived, and are now known as The Kiowa Gourd Clan and the Kiowa Tiah Piah Society.

Just FYI.
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:02 PM   #8
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Just an IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE . . .




YellowH:

I don't know if you are Indian or not . . . but if you're not and choose to visit the Kiowa Gourd Clan, in Carnegie, OK on the fourth of July, you have to be Indian in order to dance at the Kiowa Gourd Clan. It is a ceremony and strict in the sense that "old Kiowa traditions are honored and practiced."

"BEING A VETERAN DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE!"

I brought a close friend of mine from Florida to the Kiowa gourd dance ceremonies. My friend told me he was adopted by the former Kiowa Tribal Chairman, Billy Evans Horse. My friend had blonde hair and dressed very appropriately and respectfully in gourd dance regalia.

My friend told me he was a former NAVY SEAL and considered a VETERAN.

When asked by the announcer, "are you Indian?" He said no.

He was then respectfully told, "The Kiowa Gourd Clan is a ceremony for the Kiowa. YOU HAVE TO BE INDIAN TO DANCE AT OUR CEREMONIES."
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:54 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
Just an IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE . . .




YellowH:

I don't know if you are Indian or not . . . but if you're not and choose to visit the Kiowa Gourd Clan, in Carnegie, OK on the fourth of July, you have to be Indian in order to dance at the Kiowa Gourd Clan. It is a ceremony and strict in the sense that "old Kiowa traditions are honored and practiced."

"BEING A VETERAN DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE!"

I brought a close friend of mine from Florida to the Kiowa gourd dance ceremonies. My friend told me he was adopted by the former Kiowa Tribal Chairman, Billy Evans Horse. My friend had blonde hair and dressed very appropriately and respectfully in gourd dance regalia.

My friend told me he was a former NAVY SEAL and considered a VETERAN.

When asked by the announcer, "are you Indian?" He said no.

He was then respectfully told, "The Kiowa Gourd Clan is a ceremony for the Kiowa. YOU HAVE TO BE INDIAN TO DANCE AT OUR CEREMONIES."
Thats right so who ever reads this remember that you don't have to be a vet to gourd dance. this dance is from the kiowas and if you are gonna dance it do it right

P.S. you also have to be kiowa to sing a the drum during the fourth.... I love it! The best damn gourd dance singing you will ever hear!
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Old 10-05-2004, 05:41 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

But do you HAVE to Kiowa to dance gourd or a member of the Kiowa Tia Piah sanctioned societies to dance? What about "Open Gourd" which is most common here in N. California?




Quote:
Originally Posted by TX_Gourd_Singer
As far as I know, gourd dancing is open to anyone. I first started Gourd Dancing at the Gulf Coast Tiapiah Dances in Houston TX. I have been taught by Kiowa people that you only need a rattle, fan, and love and respect for the way things are done to gourd dance. A sash, bandolier and the rest are optional but one should get them after a while. I would reccomend that one visit a dance in south western Oklahoma to see gourd dancing first hand.

Also, I know that there are three branches of the Kiowa Gourd Clan. They are the Gulf Coast Tiapiah, the Texas Tiapiah, and the Memphis Tiapiah. The are all sanctioned by the mother club, the Kiowa Tiapiah. For all you southerners interested in gourd, I invited you to Sallas Park in New Caney TX the same weekend as the Gathering of nations to come and enjoy great Gourd Singing and Dancing.


"The Tia-Piah Society is a Kiowa Warriors Society.
The Dance is Tia-pe-go.
A Chief’s Dance symbolizing that he is ready to go,
ready to die,

"Tia-pe-go".

Atwater Onco, Kiowa Elder, Historian, Veteran WWII

Quote Courtesy of www.tiapiah.com
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:14 PM   #11
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In respect to the Kiowa Gourd Clan. . .

The gourd dancing at the Kiowa Gourd Clan on the Fourth of July is "Ceremony." It is different from the gourd dances that take place in any other location.

It is primarily for the members of the Kiowa Gourd Clan and Kiowa tribe. Kiowa age old customs and respect are enforced. No non-Indians are allowed to participate in this ceremony. However, as guests, non-Indians may observe.

The Kiowa Gourd Clan ceremonies are perhaps the purest form of Gourd Dancing in existence.

It is my personal opinion that, "some tribal ceremonies need to be kept intact without outside interference and interpretation."
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:17 AM   #12
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As I was taught

the way I understood it is that since your father and grandfather are part of a tia-piah society they can bring you into the arena. because they belong to it, that is where that family can go. you dont have to be a member of the society to dance, but you do have to be a part of those families. there is protocol and tradition that have to be followed when coming into the arena. and again certain things when you are initiated into the society.

as for going to Kiowas Gourd Clan on fourth of july; you better be kiowa, and you better belong to that organization in someway or another to dance there. Kiowas Tia-piah is in no way sactioned with the Kiowas Gourd Clan. So if your are Texas Tia-Piah or Memphis Tia-piah you don't belong there. Personally I belong to Kiowa Tia-piah at Chieftain. I was born into it and that is where I will always belong. Kiowa Tiah-piah has welcomed non-Kiowas and non-indians as long as I can remember. But you do have to have ties to the gourd dance to dance there. I've seen a lot of hoky people try to come out there, and i can tell you the attitude is changing about non-indians there, and especially about the headsmen who have allowed all that for so long. So if you go to chieftain you better start studying up on your Kiowa.
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Old 10-12-2004, 04:05 AM   #13
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You all have really some good insights to help this topic, thanks. Let's keep helping these folks while preserving the truth.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:28 PM   #14
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of course you can dance to represent you father or grandfather. as a matter of fact i'm representing my grandmother in it.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:50 PM   #15
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dancing....how about singing

most of whats out here is what I guess you guys would call "open gourd". How is it viewed when new/younger singers are brought around the drum to sing these songs? Should there be a give-a-way? Are they frowned upon? Even if/when they learn the ways and meaning of the songs?
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Old 10-21-2004, 02:25 PM   #16
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great info....thanks for helping me to clear up some questions. Thanks




Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
In respect to the Kiowa Gourd Clan. . .

The gourd dancing at the Kiowa Gourd Clan on the Fourth of July is "Ceremony." It is different from the gourd dances that take place in any other location.

It is primarily for the members of the Kiowa Gourd Clan and Kiowa tribe. Kiowa age old customs and respect are enforced. No non-Indians are allowed to participate in this ceremony. However, as guests, non-Indians may observe.

The Kiowa Gourd Clan ceremonies are perhaps the purest form of Gourd Dancing in existence.

It is my personal opinion that, "some tribal ceremonies need to be kept intact without outside interference and interpretation."
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