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  • line dancing

    I want to address a phenomina I call the line dance. I'm refering to an honoring that everyone else joins into even when they don't know the one being honored.
    I have talked to several Kiowa Elders and they don't know where it comes from. I know that anyone can help honor but does not necessarily stay in the line. I'm not refering to the One and One honoring special.
    I have seen this mostly estern OK, KS, MO, TX, and east.
    I had an agenda of gentelmen that I wanted to Honor. One of the Co-Host members came to me and asked me to stop honoring so many people because not everyone had that much money. I looked at him and said that they weren't even invited to help me. I hand picked the people I wanted to help me, which in itself is an honor.

    Anyother Ideas or comments are welcomed. Am I in error or have I been taught correctly?


  • #2
    Don't know where you were but this is extremely common in Oklahoma. Not a bad thing and who is wrong of honoring another person - whether or not you know them???

    I think honoring is a wonderful thing and if you don't have the money a handshake and dancing with that person is fine. Wasn't aware that it was anything other than honoring. Isn't line dance a cowboy thing??

    Maybe we should all try not to read so much into the whys and just be thankful that the traditions are still alive and continuing to grow.:Angel2


    • #3
      As a member of the Kiowa Gourd Clan in Carnegie, Oklahoma and as far back as I can remember, those that were selected as head of the Kiowa Gourd Clan had no such thing as line dancing. The Gourd Clan honored Veterans alive or deceased; elders or individuals who were given Indian names. During honoring of the Veteran[s]; the elder[s] or name giving, the officials of the gourd clan and it;s members stood and danced beside the honoree. The family members stood behind. At the end of the song, some or all of the Gourd Clan members shook hands with the honoree, some placed a gift in the hand, or at the foot of the honoree and returned to their seats. Each honor was held separate. In each case, Gourd Clan members danced beside the honoree and the family members danced behind the honoree. Somewhere along the way, things changed, even I was suprised to see several groups of individuals, lined up, being honored at the same time. This is happening at Carnegie and other places. Line Dancing, or whatever it's called is something new and a lot of money floats around.


      • #4
        That whole line thing is really bad here in the midwest. They all line up and it looks really stupid, I think. Another thing that happens here alot, is when a person is honerd every one rushs over and puts money down. That really takes away form the reason that person is being honerd........
        If I do not know the answer someone else will!!!!
        Also forgive me, this system does not have a spell check so forgive the bad spelling


        • #5
          When my family drops a dollar in front of someone it's not whether they know the person or not. It is mainly a sign of respect - could be for the accomplishments of the person being honored, could be for the person that is doing the honoring or a multitude of reasons.

          If you think it looks "stupid" don't follow suit. Just because you drop a dollar doesn't mean you have to "stand in line"-- move back to your original spot.

          You all are making too much of this. Honoring is a wonderful thing but it doesn't have to always involve money -- if your emcee is any good he will explain what is going on and why -- it is okay to just dance with the person without money taking part in any of it. If you have problems with money or the exchange of it - you are at the wrong type of dance.

          In Oklahoma, gourd dance is extremely important and you either respect it or don't go.

          Just my two cents!!!!!!!!!1


          • #6
            line danceing.

            HELLO ALL,

            Just for your info I let my dad give you all some info under my name which is Echohawk. He isn't complaining about anything, he is letting you all know that when he was growing up, they only did honoring one at a time they never had 2 or 3 going an at the same time as the other one. But times change, but the best way is the old way. Have a good day to all and don't think we are complaning , because we are not.


            • #7
              gourd honor

              Took a friend to his first gourd dance. At the time he was in the Navy. At the end he made a comment that he had never seen so much money change hands in so short a time but in honoring it made him feel good because most of the people were honored for military service, or just giving back to the ways we had been taught. I thought it was a good comment for someone who wasn't a gourd dancer to make.


              • #8
                Out here in the west they do that alot too! bugs the h**l out of me,somebody should tell them to stop waveing there doller around in the air too! shoot I've seen them start making a full circle now with there arms waving all about, dang! put it down and move on! don't make a big o'l show out of your self!
                Southern Boy


                • #9
                  You wouldn't by chance have been dancing with Smokey Gumpia(sp) would you. He came up to NE OK and did that very same thing. Didn't last toooo long, fortunately.


                  • #10
                    Cherosage, no it was'ent with him, Ijust thought that it was a "hobbs" thing to do,you know like in the movies and all. (lol)
                    Some of the Indans out here kind of take after that, "just don't know any better" as my Thaw says. All I know is if I need a decent gourd dance I have to wait till July,(you know what I mean!)
                    I just wish they'ed stop doing all that crazy stuff,ask someone if they have to,don't "ASSUME"it's right just because they've seen Dances with wolves a dozen times.Ya know? If your going to do it than do it right,don't "ASSUME" because it makes an :
                    "***" out of "U" & "ME".
                    Southern Boy


                    • #11
                      JUST ONE GREAT BIG A-HO!!!!!!!!!


                      • #12
                        Very old subject, but often posted about.

                        Folks seem to understand a 'Special', where all activity stops and families come out to the circle, lay a blanket out, and family/friends place goods and articles that the person being "honoured" is 'giving' away to others. A family member or their spokesman makes thoughtful and appropriate remarks about the family or that person, and then calls individuals or organizations to come take items.


                        How is that understood, and NOT the "mini-givaway" that is the "honouring" during a dance.

                        Or, would laying out a blanket, getting folks to put items there, and then picking it all up for yourself seem a proper 'give-away'?


                        The "honouring" during a dance has the same principals as a prepared 'give-away'. The event during the dance is just more improvised, and more 'at-the-chance-of-the-moment', so there is no advanced planning of the gifting.

                        Most folks understand a 'give-away'. How is it that the 'during the dance' "Honouring" has been so misconstrued?

                        "Honouring" is where someone pulls the 'honoree' into the circle and plants them facing east (towards sunrise), and then may bring someone else to stand next to them (to make sure that someone is there to pick up the 'gifts'), or not...they may simply ask someone nearby to pick up. Folks see the 'honouring' and come place 'gifts' at the feet of the honoree' (not every person in line after them), to add to what the honoree is going to give. Whether they 'line up' and dance next to the honoree is the dancer's own choice. Some 'line up', others donate and continue dancing. That is the perogative of each dancer.

                        Dance ends, and the guy to the left of the 'honoree' moves in front of the 'honoree', picks up the items and takes them for his own or donates them to others...his choice. It's his decision to make. And, it's not the point.

                        The person being honoured picking up the stuff and taking it is like having a give-away where the family places out a blanket and places stuff on it to give away, and then the honouree simply folds up the blanket and takes it all for themself. :P

                        That's how we see it when you do that.

                        The person being honoured is 'anchored' to his/her spot until the 'gifts' are given away. They should not move from there until that is so. (See 'honour hostage' in another thread)

                        The 'honouring' during a dance is a mini-giveaway. You would not dream of taking the things you lay out to give away. No native person gets honour by taking. Giving gives honour. How is it that the 'honouring' has become a 'take' event today, rather than the 'give' event it is suppose to represent.
                        Last edited by Zotigh; 10-12-2005, 12:56 AM.
                        Scott Zotigh
                        Kiowa Black Leggings
                        Kiowa Gourd Clan
                        Kiowa Tiah Piah
                        Kiowa Marine Veterans
                        American Indian Veterans


                        • #13
                          Just two afterthoughts...

                          You may see the ties to the Sun Dance (which, of course, the Gourd Dance relates to) ((the facing east towards the rising Sun thing)) and...

                          Many of us wish you would stop making 'honour hostages'. ie. By going to the original honouree and placing gifts at their feet and then, also placing gifts at the feet of the person next to them. :P Not only do you steal from the original honoree's honour, but you also create an 'honour hostage' situation where that person might have been brought by the family to make sure the gifts were picked up, and is then made a hostage after-dance. Mayhem ensues, and folks scramble to find someone else to release the now hostaged honorees.
                          Scott Zotigh
                          Kiowa Black Leggings
                          Kiowa Gourd Clan
                          Kiowa Tiah Piah
                          Kiowa Marine Veterans
                          American Indian Veterans


                          • #14
                            I don't do justice in words to the rites and rituals of our 'give-away' and 'honouring'. If anyone can explain it further and better, please do so.

                            Thank you.
                            Scott Zotigh
                            Kiowa Black Leggings
                            Kiowa Gourd Clan
                            Kiowa Tiah Piah
                            Kiowa Marine Veterans
                            American Indian Veterans


                            • #15
                              Wow! By the messages sent to me in private...there are increduously folks taking advantage of our native giving nature. I hardly can believe what I'm reading.

                              Is it true that there are folks standing their friend for an 'honouring' during a dance just to have them pick up the gifts folks drop in front of them?


                              Talk about a misunderstood tradition gone wrong.

                              We don't put gifts in front of the honouree for them to take....that is what we give to those honoured to give.

                              I can't begin to describe the feelings regarding folks taking advantage of our culture to take advantage for themselves.

                              For many of us, when we see someone being 'honoured' during a dance it makes us happy to see them honoured. If they are family or close friends we go add to their giving by placing a gift before them. If they are close family or close friends we stand besides them to dance with them also. Otherwise, we give our gift and continue dancing. That is up to each warrior dancing.

                              After the dance is over, they don't take what is placed before them. It is their honour to GIVE what is in front of them and they should not move from their place until that gift is given away.

                              It is beyond shameful that some folks have taken advantage of our native giving custom to serve themselves.

                              Surely what I'm reading about such goings on is wrong.
                              Scott Zotigh
                              Kiowa Black Leggings
                              Kiowa Gourd Clan
                              Kiowa Tiah Piah
                              Kiowa Marine Veterans
                              American Indian Veterans


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