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Old 09-30-2004, 02:52 AM   #21
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I'm not against folks dancing gourd.

I know many folks are sanctioned by branches of the Tiah Piah, or one of their subordinate branches to do so.

But, at least they are sanctioned.

It's just plain weird that folks that HAVE a cultural identity that is all too quickly dying waste their time pursuing the customs of another tribe.

Please, don't let your tribes culture vanish. Please, put some effort into your own tribe before blindly trying to follow the custom of another tribe. At least try, for goodness sake.
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Old 09-30-2004, 03:03 AM   #22
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This is a very interesting thread. I just learned a bit about the gourd dance, which I knew nothing at all about, besides seeing pics beforehand. I understand how you feel about your dance. I am an ojibway and I am still learning about the jingle dress, and it sure has changed from its beginnings.(the meaning) It's hard to know what to say here. I know it's good for people to dance and maybe, hopefully try to get closer to the great spirit through dance, and prayer or whatever. I always think if everyone thought like an indian it would be a better world but i also get mad at non-natives trying to be better natives than us. Well, thanks for the good info here.
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Old 09-30-2004, 03:09 PM   #23
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Exclamation

Scott...I really enjoy your replies and your knowledge. Let me enlighten you about how things are here on the west coast. Unlike Oklahoma (I lived there and often miss it) where there are many resevations represented by the Kiowa,Cherokee,and many many other eastern and plains tribes...we do not have that. Out here there are many resevations,but they are for the California NDN's. California NDN's do not pow wow. They have "Big Times" which are more of a family picnic and social gathering. If you showed up with a drum you'd be sent away. Grand Entry! Gourd/ Straight Dance? Jingle Dress? They wouldn't know what those were. No put down on the California tribes intended. I've been to Big Times and they're fun. But there is no going to your own rez/tribe and celebrating with them and living your culture. The most numberous tribe out here is the Lakota. We have a melting pot of tribes but no rez or opportunity to celebrate in a specific cultural way. So....we truly have intertribal pow wows. We try to take the best of all the tribes present and to honor their ways in a good way. We have Lakota, N. Cree,Ponca,Cherokee,Crow,Navaho,Kiowa and the list goes on. All honor their tribal culture and we all "share" you might say. It's all we have. And "steal"! I've heard the Kiowa stole Gourd from the Cheyene! And even you said the Cheyene resurrected Gourd before the Kiowa started it back up! There is no stealing....only sincere NDN's trying to honor NDN's in the most respectful and honorable ways they can. If ya ever come out west, go to one of our pow wows...ya might enjoy it. In the mean time, I'll keep dancing and trying to do my best to honor our/my people. Oh yeah...we have Kiowa drums that drum for our intertribal gourd dancers.....wado







Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotigh
"There is no dance from my tribe in the area I live, so...logically, I am free to take the customs of another tribe instead of seeking out my own customs."

"So, rather than giving effort to my own heritage, I'll waste that time pursuing the customs of someone else."

Yeah...that seems right-on.

kewlness!

:P
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:48 PM   #24
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Happy dancin', bud.
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Old 10-05-2004, 03:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayDog
I've heard the Kiowa stole Gourd from the Cheyene! And even you said the Cheyene resurrected Gourd before the Kiowa started it back up!
Whoa!! I did?? Please quote where I said that, dude.

You speak your own mind as you want to, but don't put words in my mouth.
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Old 10-05-2004, 03:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayDog
Scott...If you showed up with a drum you'd be sent away. ... Oh yeah...we have Kiowa drums that drum for our intertribal gourd dancers.....wado
eh? You have Kiowa drums at your dances, but if I showed up with a Kiowa drum, I'd be "sent away"?

LOL

Happy dancin', bud.
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Old 10-05-2004, 02:41 PM   #27
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Cool

I apoligize if I have offended you. It's hard not to be defensive when your being accused of "stealing" something when in truth your trying to pay homage to it. Here in N. Cal there is a drum called "Strictly Southern" that is manned by all Kiowa NDN's. They do gourd whenever they are the host sothern drum at a pow wow. If you showed up out here "...with a Kiowa drum..." you'd be treated with respect and dignity and allowed to express your spirituality threw the drum. it is very "intertribal" out here. I just did a sweat with a Lakota Sun Dancer who attended and sang during the sweat. You will probably think it "strange" and a "theft" of Lakota tradition to find that the sweat was done in Lakota (language and style) but led by a Chocktaw and Cherokee! The Sun Dancer didn't because he knew everybodys spirit and intentions were good. The intention and spirit of heart and soul where what was looked at...not whether or not someone was ndn enough to attend or of the right nation to be involved.
Thank you for your input. I apoligize if I said anything out of context. I will and do enjoy dancing and will continue to with the idealogy of brotherhood and spirit. Have a great day and thanks again for the info.




QUOTE=Zotigh]eh? You have Kiowa drums at your dances, but if I showed up with a Kiowa drum, I'd be "sent away"?

LOL

Happy dancin', bud.[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:36 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayDog
It's hard not to be defensive when your being accused of "stealing" something when in truth your trying to pay homage to it.
I can see where you and many others are mistaking the Gourd Dance as public domain. When, in fact, it is tribal property.

Your argument that folks want to 'do it right' and 'enjoy it' is justification in your mind for the theft of tribal property.

Or, maybe if I admire someones house I should go pay homage to it by breaking into it and taking a room for myself.

You can understand that perspective, I bet.

Not sure what you think you are 'honoring' about our dance.
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Old 10-06-2004, 12:26 PM   #29
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Zotigh, enjoyed reading. Very accurate info. Its interesting to note that most intertribals give different accounts and made up stories. Glad to see a Kiowa tell it.
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayDog
I've heard the Kiowa stole Gourd from the Cheyene!
___

GrayDog,

I too have heard the Cheyenne claim that they were the originators of the Gourd Dance and the Kiowa gourd dance was originally Cheyenne in origin.

There are two stories to this. One says that the Kiowa were given this dance by the Cheyenne Bow String Society in the 1880's. The other says that the Cheyenne gourd dance was stolen by Kiowas who lived with the Cheyenne, also in early 1880's.

The Kiowa received the Gourd Dance in the early 1700's when the Kiowa were located between the headwaters of the Yellowstone River and the Black Hills. Predating these Cheyenne claims - by over 100 years - is when the Kiowa received the Gourd Dance and Songs by The Red Wolf.

Unless, the Cheyenne are Wolves/Dogs, which I know my Cheyenne relatives are NOT, they did not give the original gourd dance to the Kiowa.

Also, Graydog . . . listen to the Kiowa's you spoke of, singing their gourd dance songs. After each song, they hit the drum hard (signifying "I have something to say"). This will immediately be followed by the symbolic "wolf howl." If the singers you spoke of are truly Kiowa, they will recognize and honor the "bringer of the Gourd Dance to the Kiowa people" - by this gesture.
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Old 10-06-2004, 02:08 PM   #31
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One more version

Another version I have heard about the Cheyenne connection is that a band of Kiowa warriors was entrenched against a group of Cheyenne Bow String members. The Bow Strings began singing certain songs, which the Kiowas heard. A "truce" was called, the Kiowas learned the songs, and then the Bow Strings were wiped out. I'm not saying it's the truth. I'm not saying it makes any sense. But, I know several Cheyenne who are still somewhat bitter about certain Kiowa gourd dance songs which they claim as their own.

WhoMe, I have also heard (and believe) that the Red Wolf tie predates this encounter and relates to the Kiowa's original homelands.
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:05 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
___WhoMe...thanks for your reply. The Gourd Dance origins are a little muddled. I honestly am trying to learn more about gourd dancing and it's history. I have been on a Cherokee web page out of Oklahoma and the author was describing what to wear at Gourd Dancing, seems that "a" Kiowa elder had taught them the dance! I have also read (web again) about the Cherokee Gourd Society. Two years ago I spoke to Principle Chief "Chad" Smith of the Oklahoma Cherokke, while he was in Sacramento,Ca. I asked him about Gourd dancing and he told me it wasn't a traditional Cherokee dance (I knew that already) but he said it was ok to do it in an honorable way. I do think that some of the Kiowas reading this don't understand what I'm trying to do/say. I am NOT stealing anything from them. They are missing my point of trying to learn about gourd. How can I explain to those out here that are gourd dancing that it isn't their "right" to do so if I'm not knowledgable about it? I also don't think the Elders who are dancing gourd will accept my thoughts. But I can begin by pointing out what they are doing wrong as a starting point. It's too bad that the various ndn nations can't find a common ground and be as one people. I see/hear gripping everywhere I pow wow. I'm more Indian than you or this is my dance or I don't like your regalia. There are no rez's out here for eastern woodland tribes and southern tribes to go to to stomp dance or learn more about their heritage first hand. I can only try to meet good people on the internet who will offer their help. Calling someone a theif isn't a good way to do things and not a very honorable thing to say. Ignorance and ego are two pretty scary things. I will keep learning and dancing and trying to do things in a good way. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and not throwing insults at someone you don't know anything about....pretty classy of you.








GrayDog,

I too have heard the Cheyenne claim that they were the originators of the Gourd Dance and the Kiowa gourd dance was originally Cheyenne in origin.

There are two stories to this. One says that the Kiowa were given this dance by the Cheyenne Bow String Society in the 1880's. The other says that the Cheyenne gourd dance was stolen by Kiowas who lived with the Cheyenne, also in early 1880's.

The Kiowa received the Gourd Dance in the early 1700's when the Kiowa were located between the headwaters of the Yellowstone River and the Black Hills. Predating these Cheyenne claims - by over 100 years - is when the Kiowa received the Gourd Dance and Songs by The Red Wolf.

Unless, the Cheyenne are Wolves/Dogs, which I know my Cheyenne relatives are NOT, they did not give the original gourd dance to the Kiowa.

Also, Graydog . . . listen to the Kiowa's you spoke of, singing their gourd dance songs. After each song, they hit the drum hard (signifying "I have something to say"). This will immediately be followed by the symbolic "wolf howl." If the singers you spoke of are truly Kiowa, they will recognize and honor the "bringer of the Gourd Dance to the Kiowa people" - by this gesture.
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Old 10-06-2004, 04:55 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by park
Another version I have heard about the Cheyenne connection is that a band of Kiowa warriors was entrenched against a group of Cheyenne Bow String members. The Bow Strings began singing certain songs, which the Kiowas heard. A "truce" was called, the Kiowas learned the songs, and then the Bow Strings were wiped out. I'm not saying it's the truth. I'm not saying it makes any sense. But, I know several Cheyenne who are still somewhat bitter about certain Kiowa gourd dance songs which they claim as their own.
__

Park,

I have heard this version of the story word-for-word as you stated it. Without elaborating, this was the first story that I mentioned concerning the Cheyenne Bow String Society.

You're also right, that it doesn't make too much sense. If the battle was called off temporarily for a "truce" how many songs could have been sung and remembered - in reality?

I put myself in this situation. . . As a modern singer and composer I pride myself on being able to pick up almost any powwow song by the second or third start. With this clear understanding of the dynamics of song structure, I don't think I could remember an afternoons worth of songs verbatim enough to start a whole new society from recollection. Does this make sense?

Because the Kiowa and Cheyenne have had a two-century old relationship of peace and exchange, it is easy to see that there is the possibility of undocumented song exchange. I have sung with the Southern Cheyenne many times. I have heard their society songs and they are very distinct. I respect them for their contribution of gourd dance songs.

However, the clear majority of gourd dance songs sung today ARE of Kiowa origin.
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Old 10-06-2004, 05:49 PM   #34
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WhoMe,

I couldn't agree more with everything you have said.

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Old 10-06-2004, 06:57 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by park
WhoMe

I couldn't agree more with everything you have said.

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Good info here. Could ya'll tell me your opinions about other tribes gourd dancing. Seems that after so many years of others doing this wonderful dance, that it just might be public domain by now. I'm not saying this is right. I'm just asking if maybe the issue of "ownership" should be dropped and concentrate on doing the dance in the way it should be done...correctly. I don't think anyone is naive enough to believe that all those many (and I do mean many) tribes are going to say "ok" and stop dancing gourd. Ya'll are a good source of info and thought. Please continue...it is appreciated. Wado
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:31 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayDog
Good info here. Could ya'll tell me your opinions about other tribes gourd dancing. Seems that after so many years of others doing this wonderful dance, that it just might be public domain by now. I'm not saying this is right. I'm just asking if maybe the issue of "ownership" should be dropped and concentrate on doing the dance in the way it should be done...correctly. I don't think anyone is naive enough to believe that all those many (and I do mean many) tribes are going to say "ok" and stop dancing gourd. Ya'll are a good source of info and thought. Please continue...it is appreciated. Wado
Yeah, we Kiowas should just give up something that is ours so that other people can feel good about doing something they know isnt theirs. Thats a good idea. I'll take that back to my gourd clan this summer and see what they say. First off, we Kiowa Gourd Clan members don't go to powwows as Gourd dance police, and check the gourd dancers "credentials". You want to go out there, go. But to come on here and suggest that we should give up something that is inherited, something that I was taught "Can NOT be taken away from you", I personally grew up doing after watching by grandpa, and my uncles who grew up watching their fathers and grandfathers, you want me to just say, Hey, everybody's doing it, we should "bless them". It ain't happening bud.
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:36 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayDog
Seems that after so many years of others doing this wonderful dance, that it just might be public domain by now.
"We stole their land...let's steal their culture, too."

"Seems like a fun thing to do."

Since you know better than all the elders before us about how our culture should be sustained. Why not?

You won't find any native folks agreeing that thier tribal customs, dance, language, etc are 'public domain', bud.

I don't see 'right way' or 'homage' in your approach to another tribe's culture.

I've read about how you take from other native cultures in sweats and gourd dance, etc. I've not heard a single thing you've done towards you own culture. Cherokee, is it?

While pursuing the customs of these other tribes...what Cherokee custom do you give to?

Or, is it only taking?
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:39 AM   #38
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GDawg (Bud),

Your ways of stating your cause are purely "Eurocentric" thinking. Origins and respect for "where things began" are what makes Indian people different from the dominate culture.

If people took your advice and concentrated on, "doing the dance the way it should be done...correctly" as you stated, the interpretation of what is "correctly" would be left to each individual.

I know at the root of this all, you are genuinely wanting to learn. This is good. But, you keep putting your own inferrences in your posts and they are coming across negatively.

The Kiowa tribe is made up of proud people, as is every other tribe. To infer that a dance that they use for ceremony is "public domain" will cause a proud people to act accordingly.

Wado
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Old 10-07-2004, 03:29 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by WhoMe
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GDawg (Bud),

Your ways of stating your cause are purely "Eurocentric" thinking. Origins and respect for "where things began" are what makes Indian people different from the dominate culture.

If people took your advice and concentrated on, "doing the dance the way it should be done...correctly" as you stated, the interpretation of what is "correctly" would be left to each individual.

I know at the root of this all, you are genuinely wanting to learn. This is good. But, you keep putting your own inferrences in your posts and they are coming across negatively.

The Kiowa tribe is made up of proud people, as is every other tribe. To infer that a dance that they use for ceremony is "public domain" will cause a proud people to act accordingly.

Wado

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Old 10-07-2004, 04:47 PM   #40
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My sincere apologizies to all. I am only thinking out loud. No disrepect intended. You are correct in what you say...I'm only interested in the "why", not "stealing" something from anybody. I wish ya could just explain how things are done instead of all the personal attacks. I haven't called anybody any names and have been respectful and thankful to all. If knowledge isn't shared, then people don't learn. As for what the Cherokee have given....follow your own advice and research it. I have.....farewell





Quote:
Originally Posted by Numunu1971
Yeah, we Kiowas should just give up something that is ours so that other people can feel good about doing something they know isnt theirs. Thats a good idea. I'll take that back to my gourd clan this summer and see what they say. First off, we Kiowa Gourd Clan members don't go to powwows as Gourd dance police, and check the gourd dancers "credentials". You want to go out there, go. But to come on here and suggest that we should give up something that is inherited, something that I was taught "Can NOT be taken away from you", I personally grew up doing after watching by grandpa, and my uncles who grew up watching their fathers and grandfathers, you want me to just say, Hey, everybody's doing it, we should "bless them". It ain't happening bud.
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