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Old 01-06-2005, 12:27 PM   #1
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History of Gourd Dancing at Pow Wows?

What is the history of gourd dances being held at pow wows? At what point did this become commonplace in OK?
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singerdad
What is the history of gourd dances being held at pow wows? At what point did this become commonplace in OK?
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If you can call the American Indian Exposition a "powwow," then that is were the gourd dance was brought to the general public.

According to a National Endowment for the Arts interview of Fred Tsoodle, Kiowa, National Heritage Award recipient, the gourd dance was performed at the Indian Fair (American Indian Exposition) in 1953.

"I helped revive that and I'm really glad to this day. And now they're dancing it all over the United States," said Tsoodle.
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info WhoMe. I've heard many times of the revival of the Kiowa Gourd Dance back in the 1950s. Was this the first dance of that revival, or was it done in Carnegie first and then just brought to the public at the expo? Thanks for any info you can share.
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singerdad
Thanks for the info WhoMe. I've heard many times of the revival of the Kiowa Gourd Dance back in the 1950s. Was this the first dance of that revival, or was it done in Carnegie first and then just brought to the public at the expo? Thanks for any info you can share.
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According to the same interview, the last major Kiowa Gourd dance was held in 1941 in Carnegie.

The Kiowa gourd clan (society) is ancient.

According to an interview by the Koomsa family, the songs were revived at the homeplace of Bill Koomsa Sr., prior to 1953. Bill Koomsa Sr. and others sang for the 1953 Indian Fair exhibition.

The Koomsa informant also told me to correct the title "Red Wolf Legend" and amend it to just, "the Wolf Legend," in describing the origin of the Kiowa Gourd Dance.
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:23 PM   #5
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'"I helped revive that and I'm really glad to this day. And now they're dancing it all over the United States," said Tsoodle.'

This is a cool quote. I bet you'd have to read the whole interview to understand its context. I don't gourd dance so I'm not trying to push any agenda. But, this quote would have made the Gourd Dance History thread that died off last month even more interesting.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:45 AM   #6
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I'm not sure when it became "commonplace", but...



Quote:
About 1955, as a special presentation at the American Indian Exposition in Anadarko, Oklahoma, the Kiowa director, Fred Tsoodle, gathered together the following men, Clyde Ahtape, Harry Hall Zotigh, Fred Botone, Oliver Tanedooah, and Abel Big Bow who were in Kiowa Gourd Dance dress and singers Bill Koomsa and William Tanedooah who knew and remembered the dance songs of the gourd dancers. This presentation brought back memories of the Kiowa cultural heritage and there were tears and some crying among the elder Kiowa spectators.

This was the beginning flame of the revival of the gourd dancing. But it was almost two years before the Kiowa Gourd Dance Clan was formally organized on January 30, 1957 at the home of Taft Hainta.
These are the folks and families to thank that it even exists as a living dance at all.
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:08 AM   #7
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This presentation brought back memories of the Kiowa cultural heritage and there were tears and some crying among the elder Kiowa spectators.
There are very few that are alive at this writing that could have been there to see these events. But, the experience described in that passage is what brings chills of pride to me.

Thank you.

A-Ho! to the families who helped perpetuate our heritage in the Kiowa Gourd Dance.
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
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There are very few that are alive at this writing that could have been there to see these events. But, the experience described in that passage is what brings chills of pride to me.

Thank you.

A-Ho! to the families who helped perpetuate our heritage in the Kiowa Gourd Dance.
Scott,
I second that emotion....
And people wonder why we feel so strong about protecting our traditions. It is in honor of those who came before us as well as preservation for our children....A-Ho! Chris
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