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Old 08-16-2004, 03:39 PM   #21
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"Head Gourd Dancer", being a ficticious position to begin with, and with no historical precedence or endowment from the actual Headsmen of the society...I guess you pretty much can to anything with it at any time.

Can a 13 year old be "Head Gourd Dancer"? Sure!

It's a made up title, so I'm guessing anyone can make up any rules for it they care to.

Do we need to encourage this new trend? That would be a good question to discuss, too.

I've been asked many times to be 'Head Gourd Dancer'. I turn them down and give my reason. I'm not comfortable with being appointed by a pow-wow committee to a title that presumes authority that only belongs to the Headsmen. I think that is disrespectful to our leaders.

I understand that many folks do it. I'm just expressing my feelings about it.
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:05 PM   #22
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thank you very much
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:45 PM   #23
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I got a question for you Kiowa's that say Head Gourd Dancer is not part of the Gourd Clan protocol.

Let's say there is a big pow-wow that has asked you to be Head Gourd Dancer and will provide you a room, gas mileage and $1200 honorarium. Being the hard core Kiowa you are you are going to turn that down?

Please tell me you stick to your guns and say no thank you, it's not my way. LOL
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Old 08-16-2004, 05:58 PM   #24
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Many folks can be 'bought out', as in your example. But, what does that have to do with the fact that "Head Gourd Dancer" is not part of the Gourd Dance?

And, thank you for pointing out what probably is one of the real reasons such a position was thought up. Money. :P

As for me, I'd still not take the job.
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Old 08-16-2004, 06:11 PM   #25
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Money cannot buy integrity and character.

If you are, who you say you are . . . then you can't be bought. Gourd dance is a part of Zotigh's family and tribal history.

He is not a sell-out!

There needs to be more like him.

But . . .

If you want him to makeYOUlulu. . .







It CAN be arranged!

L


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Old 08-17-2004, 09:13 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotigh
Many folks can be 'bought out', as in your example. But, what does that have to do with the fact that "Head Gourd Dancer" is not part of the Gourd Dance?

And, thank you for pointing out what probably is one of the real reasons such a position was thought up. Money. :P

As for me, I'd still not take the job.

HAA KAIWA HAITTSI,

I salute you!!!
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Old 08-17-2004, 04:12 PM   #27
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High fives them two "pah-bees" for sticking to their guns.

HAW!

Now I guess I'll go ask someone else to be head gourd dancer for a $1200 honorarium..lol
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:00 PM   #28
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I'm curious, makesHERlulu....what is it that a "Head Gourd Dancer" does?

I've seen many, but...other than having that title, they all just danced like everyone else. In your mind, what job do they perform?
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Old 08-18-2004, 12:55 AM   #29
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I'd like to try at ths (?).
I believe that the Head Gourd dancers position is, as expected, to help the committee maintain order and consistancy, if that is possible.
I have been asked to help some committees as their Head Gourd dancer, I did agree to help.
I believe that I should help by standing at the appropriate time in a song, telling the men not to wear their hats, and act properly. Often, I think, this position is also doubled as the head veteran dancer. This may not be all that a committee may expect of the Head Gourd dancer but this is a start.
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:53 AM   #30
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First off I am not Kiowa...I just been running with them forever and have been taken as family by a few Kiowa folks. Now with that said let me chime in far from the motherland of Gourd dancing.

I would have to say that the "head Gourd Dancer' position is used like any of the other head dancers positions. What I mean by that is, that the committee expects the person they ask to draw others to support that person and thus support their dance. No, there are no extra duties that this person does other than maybe starting off a set of songs and that is just based on the curtesy of the other dancers.

There is another trend that I have seen that I prefer over the 'head gourd dancer' position. it is committee's asking a group (society/clan whatever they call themselves) to be the host organization. I find it a much better idea, to ask a group ask to be the host rather than an individual being asked to be the head dancers. I find it more in line with what I know of the origins of gourd dancing to have a hosting group rather than an individual dancer as a suedo headsman. It seems to fit more in line than singling out a specific dancer.
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Old 08-18-2004, 12:52 PM   #31
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Zotigh:

I have no idea, I was just curious as to how you would answer that question. I guess the same could be said for Head Dancers what the heck is their role at a pow-wow?

I can see getting such Head staffs at benefit dances when there is little participation.

I think it is better for gourd dancing anyways to utilize Gourd Clans (clubs, societies whatever) to be a host.

I don't know why I'm even throwing my 2 cents in here as (I) we do not have any association with gourd dancing. I was just reading and basically reading about all the abuse towards this dance. Things being made up and such. I was bored as hell and wanted to ask the Kiowa's who were responding on this thread their thoughts and you held to your beliefs and for that "kudos to you".

I'm outtie...........
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:02 PM   #32
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It's our own fault, I guess.

Since it is bad manners to tell another warrior what to do, most Gourd Dancers that know what is going on just go about their way when seeing folks with ball caps on, or folks sticking to the edges and dancing in place, or folks war dancing around the drum, or folks all trying to synchronize their standing up and dancing, or folks doing any of the strange new things.

Unless there is a Headsman of the society at the session, Gourd Dancers will stand to dance when they are ready. Not by watching someone, and not by waiting for some specific point in a song. They stand to dance simply when they feel ready. When a Headsman is present, however, a Gourd Dancer will show their respect by waiting for that person to rise first. Which is why many Gourd Dancers find it insulting to have a pow-wow committee appoint a pseudo-headsman (Head Gourd Dancer) position. It shows little respect for the leaders of the Gourd Clan to do so.

You won't see any Gourd Dancers wearing a ball caps, t-shirts or tennis shoes to dance.

You won't see any Gourd Dancers just standing in place dancing the whole session.

You won't see Gourd Dancers following any certain direction on the dance floor. (Although they do have to try to avoid tripping over the drum hazard some folks put in the middle.)

The Gourd Dance has morphed into what it is today because it is impolite to tell others what to do. (Unless you are a wife/mother/grandma...then it's expected. hehehe)

Gourd Dancers lead by example.

That leaves it to those who don't mind being impolite to perpetuate the customs they've mimicked and made up colorful reasons for.

Leadership by example, when not many are paying attention, has lead to many of the changes to our Gourd Dance.
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:43 PM   #33
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Great Post Zotigh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotigh
It's our own fault, I guess.

Since it is bad manners to tell another warrior what to do, most Gourd Dancers that know what is going on just go about their way when seeing folks with ball caps on, or folks sticking to the edges and dancing in place, or folks war dancing around the drum, or folks all trying to synchronize their standing up and dancing, or folks doing any of the strange new things.

Unless there is a Headsman of the society at the session, Gourd Dancers will stand to dance when they are ready. Not by watching someone, and not by waiting for some specific point in a song. They stand to dance simply when they feel ready. When a Headsman is present, however, a Gourd Dancer will show their respect by waiting for that person to rise first. Which is why many Gourd Dancers find it insulting to have a pow-wow committee appoint a pseudo-headsman (Head Gourd Dancer) position. It shows little respect for the leaders of the Gourd Clan to do so.

You won't see any Gourd Dancers wearing a ball caps, t-shirts or tennis shoes to dance.

You won't see any Gourd Dancers just standing in place dancing the whole session.

You won't see Gourd Dancers following any certain direction on the dance floor. (Although they do have to try to avoid tripping over the drum hazard some folks put in the middle.)

The Gourd Dance has morphed into what it is today because it is impolite to tell others what to do. (Unless you are a wife/mother/grandma...then it's expected. hehehe)

Gourd Dancers lead by example.

That leaves it to those who don't mind being impolite to perpetuate the customs they've mimicked and made up colorful reasons for.

Leadership by example, when not many are paying attention, has lead to many of the changes of our Gourd Dance.
Great Post Zotigh!! I have a friend who gourd dances, and he does it "different" than us. I.E. Jeans, boots, cowboy hat, no blanket, NAC gourd, stays at the edges,.....etc. etc. etc.
I was taught though, to lead by example, but theres this part of me that wants to say, "Hey! Thats not appropriate!" But I bite my tongue, and do what you described in your post.
I wonder if the Head Gourd dancer craze came from what you described as waiting for the headsman to stand up first out of respect for him. Perhaps someone observed it, and decided that that's what we were doing. I don't know. But that could be where it came from. Of course, there is no telling.
Thanks for your post, It is appreciated.....
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Old 08-19-2004, 12:19 AM   #34
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being that we are Kiowa's and have our ways and being very stingy with our cerimonie's and such(The Gourd Dance is one of cerimonies that got away). you ppl have to understand why lil things upset us....... The Gourd dance is Kiowa point blank..... The Songs are Kiowa....... Thier are certian gourd dance protcals that Kiowa Gourd Clan members adhear to, like when we have our celebrations there will be no one sitting down(every body dances) thats what you are there to do..... The clothing....... the men wear slacks or leggens and moccosins or dress shoes, like numunu said he see his friend doing things other that the Kiowa Way, he bites his toung to be polite.

How do you think it makes Kiowas feel to see some ppl taking our dances and doing things wrong, like taking a head Gourd Dancers postion? I wish ppl if they are gonna do other ppls dance do it in the right manner..... How would you feel is some else got a hold of one of your tribes dance and twisted it??

Zotigh, Whome, and Numunu1971 are members of the Kiowa Gourd Clan when they speak you should listen
You might learn something!
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Old 08-19-2004, 12:54 AM   #35
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Very interesting.

I understand how NDNTaco feels, as I feel exact same way about our JingleDress.


Question.(s)

Why is Gourd Dancing performed at powwows for all to witness and learn and eventually get "adopted" by other tribes? In time, it gets exploited by other people who add new and instant traditions to it. (as my JingleDress has) and becomes a "show" Is the dance not held ceremoniously on private grounds just for members? Powwows are so open to public and publicity , it seems Gourd Dancing is too sacred for that.
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Old 08-19-2004, 12:57 AM   #36
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by ojibwaysweetie
Very interesting.

I understand how NDNTaco feels, as I feel exact same way about our JingleDress.


Question.(s)

Why is Gourd Dancing performed at powwows for all to witness and learn and eventually get "adopted" by other tribes? In time, it gets exploited by other people who add new and instant traditions to it. (as my JingleDress has) and becomes a "show" Is the dance not held ceremoniously on private grounds just for members? Powwows are so open to public and publicity , it seems Gourd Dancing is too sacred for that.
We do have a time for Kiowas do our thing..........On the Fourth of July..... Kiowas only..... Kiowas singing Kiowas dancing Kiowas everything!
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:51 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojibwaysweetie
Very interesting.

I understand how NDNTaco feels, as I feel exact same way about our JingleDress.


Question.(s)

Why is Gourd Dancing performed at powwows for all to witness and learn and eventually get "adopted" by other tribes? In time, it gets exploited by other people who add new and instant traditions to it. (as my JingleDress has) and becomes a "show" Is the dance not held ceremoniously on private grounds just for members? Powwows are so open to public and publicity , it seems Gourd Dancing is too sacred for that.
Like Taco said, we do, during the 4th of July. To answer your questions accurately, a little history. Originally, the Kiowas performerd the Sun Dance. During the NDN holocaust, the U.S. govmint outlawed them from doing this dance, because they were scared of the unknown. The Kiowas later started doing the Gourd dance, and the Army didn't stop them from doing this dance. But great suffering came for the Kiowas soon after, and the dancing, for most of our tribes stopped. After WWII it was revived by some of the elders, and other tribes saw it, and wanted to participate. Some were sanctioned by the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society, such as the Otoe-Missourias and later the Comanche Nation. I'm not sure exactly when, but I believe the Otoes were given this dance a very long time ago. After the 50's the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society, became the Kiowa Gourd Clan, but there was some controversies, and the Kiowa Tiah Piah society was born, as well as the Oklahoma Gourd Dance Society. Different societies, and some were sanctioning others to start there own societies...and the next thing you know ..... BOOM!!! Its everywhere!
Personally, and you know this from our conversations OJ, the gourd dance is a solemn ceremonial dance for me, that I feel is an inherent right for me to participate in. I feel I have 2 two ways of proceeding. I can not participate in it at intertribal powwows and just dance at my tribes powwows, or I can go to where it is being held, at whatever powwow, and try to be an example of "doing it correctly". I choose to go, and try and show others whether they care or not, how i was taught. I love my gourd clan, I love our dance. I would hate to be selfish with something I believe is beautiful.... Like Taco says, the songs are beautiful. I can't wait to hear him sing some day. And I am glad you have shown interest in our dance. I am equally interested in learning about your jingle dress dance, and one day, i hope to come to your neck of the woods, and see how its done!
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:59 PM   #38
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As a side note....since this is the Gourd Dance forum, and we have members of PWS that are in fact Kiowa Gourd Clan members (the oldest of the revival societies), would it not be in the interest of this sub-forum to have a Kiowa Gourd Clan member like Numunu1971 or WhoMe as one of the moderators of this section?

I nominate Numunu1971 and/or WhoME (since they are already a moderator of PWS.com) to that position.

What say the rest?

How 'bout it, PaulG?
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Old 10-07-2005, 04:12 AM   #39
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Looking back on topics...this one feels important to me.

"Head Gourd Dancer" is a new title in powwows, or dances.

Gourd Dancers of ANY society already have a "Head". It is the leader of their society.

To appoint a powwow 'head' gourd dancer for the rest of the Gourd Dancers to follow seems disrespectful to many of us.

Many who won't bring themselves to disrespect the leaders of their society will turn down "Head gourd dancer" offers. Not because they don't appreciate the offer...they do. Much like if you offered someone the title of "King for a Day". Yeah!! WooHoo!!"

Still would not be respectful, however, to the rightful king.

We have leaders of the Gourd Clan, as many have leaders to the gourd societies they belong to. Those folks are the leaders.

Many of us would not accept an offer to pretend to be 'head gourd dancer' in their place...ever.

So...if you get turned down from many Kiowa folks to be "head gourd dancer". You know why. We're not as pretentious as you think. We know who our leaders are, and we don't take 'pretend' positions in place of them.
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotigh
..... We have leaders of the Gourd Clan, as many have leaders to the gourd societies they belong to. Those folks are the leaders.

Many of us would not accept an offer to pretend to be 'head gourd dancer' in their place...ever.

..... We know who our leaders are, and we don't take 'pretend' positions in place of them.

Zotigh,

The words you share are true.

I am like Numunu, I only gourd dance during "ceremony." At this time of year, I wear my best. This includes my traditional gourd dance cloths that I wear - "only one time a year."

There is a certain spirit that is evident during the Kiowa Gourd Clan "ceremony" that is evident to everyone in attendance. This is a spirit of pride, strength of knowing who where you come from and that your ancestors also took pride in participating in and maintaining the same dance.

During these ceremonies, many elders are in attendance to lead the way. The Kiowa language is freely spoken for all to enjoy. Ancient songs and new compositions blend with such a joyous impact.

Nobody shows off. But when you're "feeling it" - it shows! When 150 dancers are feeling it, it is triumphant!


"You cannot experience this much pride at any powwow/gourd dance!"

__


MakesHerLL,

I have been asked to be head gourd dancer many times both in my home state and other states. At least two of these out of state requests included an honorarium of $1000 plus, room and travel, to be on the head staff. I have never nor will I ever accept a head gourd dancer position. Because of my convictions and integrity to how I was brought up .....


!!!MONEY CANNOT BUY MY TRADITIONS!!!!



The late Headsman (Taft Hainta) of the Kiowa Gourd Clan summed this up the best....

"Don't accept to be head gourd dancer because we don't know what that is. It's not a part of our culture!"
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