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Old 09-30-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Question New gourd dance society

A veteran's group in my area recently formed a new gourd dance society.

One of the members does not think it is right because they are not from gourd dancing tribes and he believes that they do not know what they are doing. He has brought this to my attention.

Recently, I got a call from one of their leaders. I think he wants to talk about this gourd society.

If you were me, what you say to him?
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:35 AM   #2
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just reading your post it sounds like you know the answer, but are stalling cause your torn about giving it. I'm not able to answer because I don't have teachings about gourd dancing. I have been torn between my honest opinion & hurting feelings of people I respect before though. Maybe this person is asking you more to talk about how to have such a conversation politely then about needing your opinion.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
A veteran's group in my area recently formed a new gourd dance society.

One of the members does not think it is right because they are not from gourd dancing tribes and he believes that they do not know what they are doing. He has brought this to my attention.

Recently, I got a call from one of their leaders. I think he wants to talk about this gourd society.

If you were me, what you say to him?
Some that ask
Some that dont ask
Some that dont care to ask

It comes down to this:
Do you want your Name to be associated with the formation of this group that has good intentions but after the founding members lose interest they leave and the remaining members are clueless.

LOL
Tell them to come to Carnegie Downtown Park July 4th and ask permission
Make sure they wear their Ballcaps...
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Follow up to this as I was thinking about it
Only the Headsman of the Kiowa Gourd Clan/Societies can give permission
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
A veteran's group in my area recently formed a new gourd dance society.

One of the members does not think it is right because they are not from gourd dancing tribes and he believes that they do not know what they are doing. He has brought this to my attention.

Recently, I got a call from one of their leaders. I think he wants to talk about this gourd society.

If you were me, what you say to him?
Why did this member join this 'group' (for lack of a better word) if he feels the group doesn't know what it's doing?

And WhoMe...if the other person wants to talk to you about the protocol of Gourd Dancing...zip your lips!

I'm positive you will know the correct words to say.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
Why did this member join this 'group' (for lack of a better word) if he feels the group doesn't know what it's doing?

And WhoMe...if the other person wants to talk to you about the protocol of Gourd Dancing...zip your lips!

I'm positive you will know the correct words to say.
Joe's,

This concerned person was already a member of the veteran's group/color guard. He doesn't feel that being a part of the gourd dance group is right without permission.

I am not a headsman, nor do I have the right to say yea or nay.

My concern is that I may be guilty by association if I speak to the leader.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
Joe's,



I am not a headsman, nor do I have the right to say yea or nay.

My concern is that I may be guilty by association if I speak to the leader.
Perhaps you have answered your own question.......
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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Perhaps you have answered your own question.......
I wished it were that easy....

I am announcing a powwow this weekend and have been told there will be gourd dancing. The leader of the veteran's group is the head dancer for the powwow.

I know the conversation is upcoming and cannot be avoided.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:14 PM   #9
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I wished it were that easy....

I am announcing a powwow this weekend and have been told there will be gourd dancing. The leader of the veteran's group is the head dancer for the powwow.

I know the conversation is upcoming and cannot be avoided.
Very Ticklish situation full of problems

How do you comply with the wishes of your Own Gourd Organization that only have given permission to one tribe...

But at the same time you are asked to be MC and by not saying anything it could be construed that you are approving what they are doing

Well when all else fails....
Let the truth set you free
They may not like it, but you know in your heart what the answer is...
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:40 PM   #10
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Very Ticklish situation full of problems

Let the truth set you free
They may not like it, but you know in your heart what the answer is...

Josi,

I often look at my father for inspiration particularly in situations such at this.

In reflecting back, there was a time when gourd dancing was introduced to the part of the country where I grew up.

I think my father could/should have said something in the way of advice or guidance. But he never did. Back then, I think that people would have listened to him.

Today some of the gourd dances where I grew up are are bigger than the ones in Oklahoma with over 100 gourd dancers. The protocol at these gourd dances are quite different from Oklahoma.

Needless to say, this is a touchy situation.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
Follow up to this as I was thinking about it
Only the Headsman of the Kiowa Gourd Clan/Societies can give permission
So WhoMe...can u weasel your way out of saying anything by having somebody who has proper permission from a Gourd Clan/Society get up and talk?
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


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Old 10-01-2008, 02:55 PM   #12
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So WhoMe...can u weasel your way out of saying anything by having somebody who has proper permission from a Gourd Clan/Society get up and talk?

There is nobody around here that can speak with authority on behalf of any of the gourd clans/societies.

I don't think I have the right to say anything.

I am not the gourd dance police.

I am not an elder.

I am not Sam I Am. I do not like green eggs and ham.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
A veteran's group in my area recently formed a new gourd dance society.

One of the members does not think it is right because they are not from gourd dancing tribes and he believes that they do not know what they are doing. He has brought this to my attention.

Recently, I got a call from one of their leaders. I think he wants to talk about this gourd society.

If you were me, what you say to him?
This is a tricky one. Perhaps this would help; its not the same scenario, but it kind of boils down to the same situation.

I was recently asked to lead the Singing portion of a Memorial Service for a Native Person who walked on out East. I was told by one of the organizers that they planned to have me sing in a situation that is very far outside the norm insofar as traditon is concerned. I prayed on this for a time and the answer I got was clear. I had to respectfully decline the invite.

As my Daddy used to say, "Be it big or be it small, do it the RIGHT way, or not at all."

Give it some time and the answer will present itself. Hang in there!
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
Josi,

I often look at my father for inspiration particularly in situations such at this.

In reflecting back, there was a time when gourd dancing was introduced to the part of the country where I grew up.

I think my father could/should have said something in the way of advice or guidance. But he never did. Back then, I think that people would have listened to him.

Today some of the gourd dances where I grew up are are bigger than the ones in Oklahoma with over 100 gourd dancers. The protocol at these gourd dances are quite different from Oklahoma.

Needless to say, this is a touchy situation.
Yes I can totally understand that.
For the most part we are a polite people and dont feel its our place to police what others do...

At the same time, like it or not You are looked upon as an Authority otherwise they would not seek you for counsel

Now what...
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:25 PM   #15
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Big D, the truth will set you free. I'd pretty much tell the man what you're saying here, with kid gloves on if you have to. If they are going to dance, and they probably are, they ought to know where the dance comes from, do it right, and acknowledge the history, with the proper protocols and etiquette in place. As you say, you are not the gourd police or an elder, so just say so, as you've done here. There is declining to speak. Good luck on your decision.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
A veteran's group in my area recently formed a new gourd dance society.

One of the members does not think it is right because they are not from gourd dancing tribes and he believes that they do not know what they are doing. He has brought this to my attention.

Recently, I got a call from one of their leaders. I think he wants to talk about this gourd society.

If you were me, what you say to him?
Pahbi,

You don't say what this 'new' organization is asking of you, but whatever it is...follow the adivice that the smart folks have already replied here. Tell the truth. You are trusted amongst your peers in the knowledge of how to hold our dance. You are trusted on how to honour our dance. You know most all answers to whatever questions they have about our dance. And, for those questions you have doubts, you ... ahead of many... have the ability to ask the Headsmen of our Gourd Clan about any other questions that require experienced or society held authority to answer.

I'm thinking you already had the right answer to tell.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:47 AM   #17
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Pahbi,

You don't say what this 'new' organization is asking of you, but whatever it is...follow the adivice that the smart folks have already replied here. Tell the truth. You are trusted amongst your peers in the knowledge of how to hold our dance. You are trusted on how to honour our dance. You know most all answers to whatever questions they have about our dance. And, for those questions you have doubts, you ... ahead of many... have the ability to ask the Headsmen of our Gourd Clan about any other questions that require experienced or society held authority to answer.

I'm thinking you already had the right answer to tell.
I too, think that you've already had some sage advice. Don't be affraid to use it.

I would probably recommend that the headsmen of this group take a Trip as Josiah had suggested to meet, learn from and properly request the permission they are seeking. Let them know that this is not just a one time trip and a half day venture. This could turn into many trips and a lot of letter writing/phone calls.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:54 AM   #18
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In the past 10 years, numerous gourd dance groups and societies have formed in Oklahoma and beyond.

Do all these groups have the blessings of one of the traditional tribal clans or societies?
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:52 PM   #19
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I do think you should say whats on your mind. If they want to have a veterns organization good, but they obviously don't know enough and shouldn't make up thier own "Gourd Dance Society". I think alot of folks would have your back. You have a good standing in the community. Even though this group will probably not change anything, things should be addressed.

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:16 PM   #20
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The discussion here is great, but it seems simple to me.....

Explain that you ARE NOT a headsman, elder or one that has the right to hand down this knowledge, and that the gourd dance is not your area of expertise. Tell them that you have a little knowledge that was shared with you and then suggest someone that actually knows what is right and wrong and direct the asking party to them. Enough said. Don't put yourself in a position to be quoted or construed as "giving away the gourd dance".

It's really not hard......just tell them, "I do not have all the answers and I am not comfortable in answering questions or giving you direction. Please see or contact (WHOEVER YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH), if you have anything further that you need to know. I am truely sorry that I could not be of more assistance.


Just my thoughts.
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