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Old 09-17-2002, 11:43 PM   #1
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What is Gourd Dancing?

By the name of the thread, I don't mean I have no concept of what Gourd Dancing is. I'm a Traditional dancer and have been for a long time. My father is a Vietnam Vet and has watched me dance since I was a kid. The more powwows we visit, the more he is interested in Gourd Dancing. Someone once told me "it's a bunch of old guys standing in a circle shaking rattles." As inaccurate a description as that may be, I'm afraid my father believes it. but, I know there are specifics about it that I just don't have the knowledge of to give to him. Can anyone recommend a source of info to lead him to? Or a publication to learn from? Or, without risking 'secrets', can someone here explain it better so that I can take that info to him.
He knows the basic requirements of the outfit. We have a friend that is a vendor and has offered to help him make his regalia. But, without knowing why he's doing it, he doesn't want to do it.
Thank you,
Scott Lollar
A Traditional (once Old Style) dancer
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Old 09-17-2002, 11:53 PM   #2
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At a Gathering that I went to a couple years ago, it was the women who danced with gourds tied to their knees. I have a bad back, and hips, and it just looked soooo uncomfortable. I was under the impression it is a very old traditional Cherokee dance. But I could be wrong! I hope someone answers this, and we will both learn!
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Old 09-18-2002, 04:00 AM   #3
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try these for starters

http://www.powwows.com/dance/gourd.shtml

http://www.powwows.com/gathering/sho...&threadid=3393

http://www.gourddancing.homestead.com/

http://www.powwows.com/gathering/sho...&threadid=1717
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My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.
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Old 09-18-2002, 02:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tsiniti
At a Gathering that I went to a couple years ago, it was the women who danced with gourds tied to their knees. I have a bad back, and hips, and it just looked soooo uncomfortable. I was under the impression it is a very old traditional Cherokee dance. But I could be wrong! I hope someone answers this, and we will both learn!

Different dance altogether.

:)
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Old 09-18-2002, 03:12 PM   #5
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gourd dance

You could try going to Anadarko or some places near there. The Kiowa own it. (let's not start that can of worms again) Up in Kiowa land are the best places. I was taught by Billy Horse but I don't know if he is still chairman and has time but you might call the tribal offices.
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Old 09-18-2002, 04:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by park



Different dance altogether.

:)
Ok no problem! Thanks
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Old 09-20-2002, 03:26 AM   #7
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Do you ever get to SanAntonio dances? You may ask some of the Veterans there. A friend of mine that would be able to point you in the right direction is Erwin De Luna(from San Antonio area). If you come to the Way South Powwow in McAllen TX I'm sure I can help you with some info. as can Gary Kodaseet, or others.

You may want to go to Carnegie OK or the area. Anyone there could give you the straight of the story.
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Old 09-20-2002, 10:57 AM   #8
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Actually, I het the Four Winds powwow this past weekend in Killeen - that was fun! They had Scissortail and Thunder Horse drumming, but I missed the Gourd Dancing. This weekend, I'd love to hit the TIHA powwow in Llano, but it's a bit too far away. So, I heard about a powwow in Azle, TX (north of Ft. Worth) that I'm going to go to tonight. Alas, I won't be able to dance - I'll miss Grand Entry - but it'll be fun to visit and talk and see the sights tonight. Let me know when those San Antonio powwows are, and I'll definitely try to make it down for a couple. Any invite I get, I try to take seriously and try to attend. Family and life have a way of, well, being family and life. So, sometimes I can't get away to the more distant powwows. But, I certainly give it a try!
And thank you all for posting on this thread - there has been some great info. I printed a lot of it (from the web) and gave it to my father. I hope to be able to talk about it with him this weekend. I want to make him a gourd rattle and I have a friend that was given a coffee can full of mescal beans that I want to make into a bandolier for him(they aren't pre-drilled - Ouch!!). So, I can get him started on the path, hopefully, in the next couple of months.
Thanks again,
Scott Lollar
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:50 PM   #9
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Welp

Its the dance before the grand entry that gives me just a few more minutes to hustle and get ready cuz im always on NDN time!!!
LOL!!!:p

Jus kiddin! the websites were actually quiet helpful in my research to find out what gourd dancing is cuz i've always been curious and in the dark about it.
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:21 PM   #10
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Gourd dancing is a great thing to do, but like many other types of special dances it is something that was part of different warrior societys. The Kiowas claim the songs and dance, and so do the Commaches. We can go on and on about where it comes from. Its sort of like the Sun dance or the brush dance. There are many storys about its origins.

But to the Kiowas, the songs came from the Red Wolf, and he taught a young man about the songs and the dance. The Kiowas had a society called the Tom-Pa-ga(spelling, not sure). Like many other dances it died out due to the goverment control, and or not enough funding. But in the 60's or seventy's it was restarted and it spread like wild fire across Oklahoma. Now you will only have dances with Gourd dancing only. Theres alittle, there is much more out there. I hope I do not offend. If any one has any complaints pm me and I will respond.........TMS
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Old 09-26-2002, 05:19 PM   #11
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You are in the wrong area. try chit chat.
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Old 10-10-2002, 07:00 PM   #12
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Scott...

You might want to check out the Austin ISD powwow that is coming up the first weekend of November. I believe the website is www.austinpowwow.org. (My apologies if it is incorrect). Not sure if there will be any gourd dancing there, but I hear it is a good powwow.

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Old 10-12-2002, 10:23 AM   #13
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scottlollar

Quote:
Originally posted by scottlollar
Let me know when those San Antonio powwows are, and I'll definitely try to make it down for a couple. Any invite I get, I try to take seriously and try to attend.


Take a look at this website.....


United San Antonio

This will give you and idea of the powwows that are happening in the area and the next one for SA.....
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Old 10-12-2002, 10:28 AM   #14
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CHEROSAGE

Quote:
Originally posted by CHEROSAGE
If you come to the Way South Powwow in McAllen TX I'm sure I can help you with some info.
Hope to see you there, I plan on going.... are you going to the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Gourd Dance in Natalia?? on Sunday?? Many from SA that are attending the way south are going. I know Mr De Luna, Mike Gonzales and more are planning to attend... if you need more info....check this out

Viet Nam Memorial Info



:p have to put a plug where I can ( I am the webmaster)
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Old 10-14-2002, 02:49 AM   #15
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Hey Pupdog:

yes we still plan on going to waysouth dance and on our way home we will stop in and take part in that Vet dance. I must admit though that I'm not a Viet Nam Vet, just a Vet.(RET.)

To bad they aren't going to have a stomp along with it.

See you there. I am a 6' 3" Straight dancer Osage style.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:59 PM   #16
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CHEROSAGE

Great :) I'll be looking for you and asking around to meet you; I'm Choctaw and will probaly be the only one in modern tradition Choctaw regalia...ask for who is the U-SA Powwow webmaster and they will point you in my direction... have a safe trip down

Scott
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Old 11-03-2002, 06:31 PM   #17
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Scott
Do not let your father loose interest in this dance. Please drop by my web site and take a look http://gourddancing.homestead.com/index.html I do not claim to know everthing, but it might be a good place for you to start. If you have any questions do not hesitate to drop me a line. The little that I know and if I do not I might be able to put you in good direction.
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Old 11-04-2002, 01:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by travelingmocs
Gourd dancing is a great thing to do, but like many other types of special dances it is something that was part of different warrior societys. The Kiowas claim the songs and dance, and so do the Commaches. We can go on and on about where it comes from. Its sort of like the Sun dance or the brush dance. There are many storys about its origins.
I have seen gourd dancing a few times, so I've got some concept of what it is about. It looked to me that most (if not all) of the people doing it were from Oklahoma. I am curiouse to know if this is a dance of which all tribes are welcome to do, or is it only for the Kiowa, Commanche, and what not?
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:27 PM   #19
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This society dance has spread far and wide. There is even a Gourd Dance society(War Shield) in Albuquerque. I know some Pueblo men are members as well as some of the other tribes that live in that area. Other tribes in Oklahoma also have Gourd Dance Societies. The Cheyenne/Arapahoe and the Osage have one as well. There are other tribes in Oklahoma that have this dance but I cannot list them all. At many of the southern powwows, Gourd Dancing is often the prelimary activity before the Grand Entry. I have even seen Grand Entry delayed until after 10pm or later because the Gourd Dancers won't quit. With this bit of information, I would venture to say that this dance is being danced by many tribes, and if there are others that wish to follow the ways of the dance, I would approach the Kiowa people first and talk to them.:)
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:03 AM   #20
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Thanks, Paraivo for your notes. I am sorry people for not saying that many other tribes participate in gourd dancing now. I saw a Coctaw man has head gourd dancer and even have danced with some Natchez indians before. So gourd dancing has spread far and wide all across the country. In fact it is even seen up in the northern areas too.........
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