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Old 02-20-2003, 02:37 PM   #1
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Head Gourd Dancer

The way I was taught, and i talk about sitting down with some of the older singers and dancers, some of whom have passed on now. The first or starting song ( song used to have the dancers get ready, but it also serves as a song for the spirits) was for the spirits, in some places that means the first start, but some don't dance period till the drum pickups after the first four starts.

They also EMPHASIZED that we show respects for the Head Gourd Dancer and his Society. I think a lot of people (out in other areas of the country, don't have any idea about what being a society member means) they just think its fun to have a patch to put on, sometimes it's seems like a game to have as many patches on as you can get.

I think if you can't represent and honor and be loyal to one society, then why be joining another.

Respecting the head gourd dancer meant for us that we didn't do anything in the arena without his OK,

We were also taught that you don't go dancing around the arena like a racehorse, only the veteran's were allowed to walk around in the arena.

We were also taught that you didn't approach the drum too quickly, some dancers just shuffle all fast up to the drum. as a singer that's might irritating

In the past, when i have felt like honoring i have always asked the head gourd, for his approval and most times the head gourd has approved and even helped in the honoring.
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Old 02-21-2003, 12:44 AM   #2
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Thanks Napesne, for these words for the gourd dancers.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:03 PM   #3
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Dang, I still haven't got my first patch yet.
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:05 AM   #4
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Red face

The only patches I have are my military unit patches. If you all find some otherones PLEASE let me know where I too can find more. :devil :Angel: :devil
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by bqueton
Dang, I still haven't got my first patch yet.
BQueton:

I haven't got a new "patch" either. If you get one, I want one too! I have this old nicotine patch, but I don't think that is what napesne is talking about.

Head Dancers?

Hmmm?

Let's see . . .

10 years ago we had the birth of the Head Gourd Dancer (male).

5 years ago was the innauguration of of the Head Lady Gourd Dancer.

Hmmmm?

What's next?

A Head Little Boy and Golden Golden Age Gourd Dancer?
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Old 05-20-2004, 04:25 PM   #6
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I found that interesting, too. The "Head Gourd Dancer" thing. (Never seen a 'Head Lady Gourd Dancer' :P Hope to never have the misfortune of attending a dance that spaced out.)

I think that since we've become so pan-native in our dances, rather than like the old days when our dances were pretty much restricted to our own tribes, many un-explained customs become re-interpreted into interestingly diverse manifestations.

Like, "Head Gourd Dancer". We don't have one, but we do have the officers of the society and the 'whip man' who enforces the dance ettiquete. Maybe "head gourd dancer" is an all-in-one replacement for the headsmen of the society? Although you don't see them doing the duties of the headsmen and whip-man. hmmm.... maybe it's just a carry-over from having a "head man dancer" position (whose duties are just a vague).

Dunno...interesting point, WhoMe. Of course, us Kiowas holding so closely our dance and customs will always lead to others imitating what they see and making up thier own reasons for it.

Here's another...why is the drum in the middle of the dance arena? It is not so in any Kiowa Gourd dance. Dancers are suppose to keep moving about in no certain direction else the whip-man get onto 'em. Drum in the middle causes what you see everywhere....dancers stuck to the benches like wallflowers. (don't you wish the 'head gourd dancer' WAS like the whip-man? hehe *crack!* get a'dancin!)

No answers...just interesting points.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotigh
Of course, us Kiowas holding so closely our dance and customs will always lead to others imitating what they see and making up thier own reasons for it.
I quote this from a website, obviously from people who haven't a clue.

"The purpose of the Gourd Dance is to prepare the dance arena by "cleansing it" prior to the actual ritual of the powwow or dance."

I thought that that was why we cedar the arena.
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Old 05-24-2004, 12:07 PM   #8
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LOL

So, we're basically the spiritual custodial crew mopping up the arena with the soles of our mocs?

I can hear a faint disgusted howl. ;)

You can kinda see where they got that notion, though. It probably stems from most dances having gourd sessions before the other types of dances. The thinking is probably that since the gourd dancing is first it somehow 'prepares' the arena. (pssst! There's already a brush dance for that.) The simple truth, however, is that the gourd dancers are mostly older folks who'd be asleep if you put them after the inter-tribal dancin. hehe (just kidding. I usually stay awake :) Besides, having the gourd dance first gives time for the young fancy dancers to put on their gear and snag. ;)
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:27 PM   #9
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That statment that BQueton posted sounded like a throw back to the Old Grassdance societys. It seems like groups who are not pow-wow or dancing people doing anything to fit in whith the whole plains pow-wow thing.

Oh by the way, wheres my patch too. I have none. Go figure.
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:49 AM   #10
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there are a lot of things with in the gourd dance arena that i have seen that are like done by space cadets, aye!!!
referring to the people in the southwest that dont know "what tha" they are doin.

people make the gourd dance sound like some religion. and every time we turn around people are smuggin and rollin smoke (Aye the gooder kind) waving fans around like they are tryin to take flight

and as kevin mentioned patches it is those southwest skindians that have to have patches like it is some kind of club

i think all the southern skindians from oklahoma and also the northern people should go to the navajo rez and start takin over their dances and see how they would feel
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:53 AM   #11
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you know an uncle of mine in an interview before goin to this past years new years celebration in gallup stated

if the people want the singin we are bringin it and we are goin to sock it to them. and sure enough there were only two navajos at the drum, where were the rest.

and they call them selves singers, during gourd dance but when it was grand entry time boy were the southern singers out
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Old 07-26-2004, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navajojohn
you know an uncle of mine in an interview before goin to this past years new years celebration in gallup stated

if the people want the singin we are bringin it and we are goin to sock it to them. and sure enough there were only two navajos at the drum, where were the rest.

and they call them selves singers, during gourd dance but when it was grand entry time boy were the southern singers out
We didn't want to show up the Okies?

GAAAAAAAAAAH!!

aye..jokin, jokin.

Naw, I think most singers that we're out there.....and I only saw ONE that stuck around after Gourd....Paul Stewart. YES, he's Navajo......a CRIT Navajo, but, a Navajo just the same. Course, he's all rugged and would flat out disown his Navajo if he could..........fact remains, he's Navajo.

I personally saw no point in going out there. The committee wanted to have GOOD SINGING.......not some local riff raff. So, they hauled out the best their money could buy. I saw no point in moving in and trying to squeeze in. THe drum group there was brought in to sing...based on their ability and notariety. It's their time to shine....let em have the floor. That's how I saw it.

...besides, I mean......c'mon.....we're talking about Cozad here!!

Which would YOU rather listen to? Some locals or Cozad? .....it's not even a close call on that one. Cozad!!!!!!!


Quite frankly, to address you're question of Northerns or Southern taking over "our" powwows? .....what powwows? Last time I checked......powwow wasn't exactly a Southwest Skindian thing! If you want to take over.....fine...come on out and take over, it would be an improvement on the singing and you'd probably stand to make a bit of pocket change.

The only patches I recall seeing on gourd dancers out here, are the military service emblems on their blankets.....unless you're referring to the whole Black Creek Gourd "Society" phenominon.

.....actually, I'd like a bit of a better understanding of what's going on with that myself!!

...I do agree though. There's ENTIRELY TOO MUCH smugging and fanning and doing all sorts of wierd crap out here. It's funny sometimes to watch....and sometimes it's just plain idiotic!!!

....so, in that regard, I'd say YES. Someone DOES need to come out here and reign in all this BS and put it to a stop. There's too much of that goin on.
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Old 07-26-2004, 01:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napesne
We were also taught that you don't go dancing around the arena like a racehorse, only the veteran's were allowed to walk around in the arena.

We were also taught that you didn't approach the drum too quickly, some dancers just shuffle all fast up to the drum. as a singer that's might irritating
It is amazing to me how much difference there is in the teaching here on Powwows.com. I NEVER heard any one say that only veterans were allowed to walk around in the arena? Are we talking about during the song? In between songs? Thank goodness I'm a vet! Which brings me to the fact that on my blanket, I have miliatary patches and ribbons, and thats all.
I don't understand about approaching the drum "too quickly". I'm with Zotigh when I say I would prefer it if the drums were to the side of the arena, rather than in the middle, because I see alot of people making the same ASSUMPTIONS, which is that gourd dancers are supposed to sloowwwlllyyy dance towards the drum. I was taught that the blessings are in the middle, get out there and dance! Anyway, I would like to personally invite you to Carnegie Park July 4th weekend of next year to see how its done in our neck of the woods. You can come eat at my camp if you do.
Again, I simply say that our teachings are DIFFERENT, not right or wrong. My opinions are my own, and thats all I am saying here, that these are my opinions based on how I was raised.
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:00 AM   #14
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Yo, Bo, I think that if the drum is an open drum every singer should go out and help the Headsinger(s). I would always be proud to get to sing with the Cozads again.

Numunu: one of these days I'll be there in Carnegie and dance with you. Whats for dinner? by the way I wondered if perhaps you may now some of my Cuz's down in Lawton. They are Putney's. CherlMae is a Short. Betty is a Bennett. Thanks, 'til later.
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Old 07-27-2004, 07:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEROSAGE
Numunu: one of these days I'll be there in Carnegie and dance with you. Whats for dinner? by the way I wondered if perhaps you may now some of my Cuz's down in Lawton. They are Putney's. CherlMae is a Short. Betty is a Bennett. Thanks, 'til later.
Right on! I would be honored to have you Bob! I lived near some Putneys while growing up there, but its been awhile. As far as whats for dinner, I am planning to have an indian taco dinner one night, and burgers and hotdogs another night, next year. I plan on bringing my grill down, and my camper has a stove top. I know you would enjoy yourself.
Recently, I attended another powwow (Otoe Encampment) and I am still amazed at how accomodating and generous those folks are. If I see any of them next year, I intend on returning the generosity. Some Poncas were there too, and they were just as courteous. (i.e. I ate good that weekend)
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Old 07-29-2004, 01:50 AM   #16
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I bet you had a great time over there. A good friend, Osage sooner, was there and he said it was a very good dance.

I bet you lived near Ford street in Lawton.

Talk to you soon.
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:32 PM   #17
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Question gourd dancing

do you think it is allrite for a 13 year old boy to be head gourd dancer? and how does the head gourd dancer know when to enter the arena when the song starts./ thanks a bunch
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
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do you think it is allrite for a 13 year old boy to be head gourd dancer? and how does the head gourd dancer know when to enter the arena when the song starts./ thanks a bunch
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ndnP:

Personally, I don't believe in Head Gourd Dancers. This position is not a part of gourd dance history.

But. . .

as powwows evolve, just wait a couple of years. . .

SOME POWWOW, will eventually create a "head teen gourd dance position."

Just wait!
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Old 08-16-2004, 11:58 AM   #19
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I agree with WhoMe.

The 'Head Gourd Dancer' is a new position whose job is ambiguous.

Is it a serrogate for the Headsmen? If so...would'nt the Headsmen for that society appoint that position?

I really think that "Head Gourd Dancer" appeared in recent times simply because of the "Head Man Dancer", "Head Woman Dancer", "Head Baby In Diapers Dancer", etc titles being thrown around for other dances.
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:03 PM   #20
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well that really doesnt answer my questions.
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