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  • Head Gourd Dancer

    The way I was taught, and i talk about sitting down with some of the older singers and dancers, some of whom have passed on now. The first or starting song ( song used to have the dancers get ready, but it also serves as a song for the spirits) was for the spirits, in some places that means the first start, but some don't dance period till the drum pickups after the first four starts.

    They also EMPHASIZED that we show respects for the Head Gourd Dancer and his Society. I think a lot of people (out in other areas of the country, don't have any idea about what being a society member means) they just think its fun to have a patch to put on, sometimes it's seems like a game to have as many patches on as you can get.

    I think if you can't represent and honor and be loyal to one society, then why be joining another.

    Respecting the head gourd dancer meant for us that we didn't do anything in the arena without his OK,

    We were also taught that you don't go dancing around the arena like a racehorse, only the veteran's were allowed to walk around in the arena.

    We were also taught that you didn't approach the drum too quickly, some dancers just shuffle all fast up to the drum. as a singer that's might irritating

    In the past, when i have felt like honoring i have always asked the head gourd, for his approval and most times the head gourd has approved and even helped in the honoring.

  • #2
    Thanks Napesne, for these words for the gourd dancers.
    BOB

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    • #3
      Dang, I still haven't got my first patch yet.
      If life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life; let's all get wasted together and have the time of our lives!

      Comment


      • #4
        The only patches I have are my military unit patches. If you all find some otherones PLEASE let me know where I too can find more. :devil :Angel: :devil
        Last edited by CHEROSAGE; 01-23-2004, 02:10 AM.
        BOB

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bqueton
          Dang, I still haven't got my first patch yet.
          BQueton:

          I haven't got a new "patch" either. If you get one, I want one too! I have this old nicotine patch, but I don't think that is what napesne is talking about.

          Head Dancers?

          Hmmm?

          Let's see . . .

          10 years ago we had the birth of the Head Gourd Dancer (male).

          5 years ago was the innauguration of of the Head Lady Gourd Dancer.

          Hmmmm?

          What's next?

          A Head Little Boy and Golden Golden Age Gourd Dancer?
          Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

          Comment


          • #6
            I found that interesting, too. The "Head Gourd Dancer" thing. (Never seen a 'Head Lady Gourd Dancer' :P Hope to never have the misfortune of attending a dance that spaced out.)

            I think that since we've become so pan-native in our dances, rather than like the old days when our dances were pretty much restricted to our own tribes, many un-explained customs become re-interpreted into interestingly diverse manifestations.

            Like, "Head Gourd Dancer". We don't have one, but we do have the officers of the society and the 'whip man' who enforces the dance ettiquete. Maybe "head gourd dancer" is an all-in-one replacement for the headsmen of the society? Although you don't see them doing the duties of the headsmen and whip-man. hmmm.... maybe it's just a carry-over from having a "head man dancer" position (whose duties are just a vague).

            Dunno...interesting point, WhoMe. Of course, us Kiowas holding so closely our dance and customs will always lead to others imitating what they see and making up thier own reasons for it.

            Here's another...why is the drum in the middle of the dance arena? It is not so in any Kiowa Gourd dance. Dancers are suppose to keep moving about in no certain direction else the whip-man get onto 'em. Drum in the middle causes what you see everywhere....dancers stuck to the benches like wallflowers. (don't you wish the 'head gourd dancer' WAS like the whip-man? hehe *crack!* get a'dancin!)

            No answers...just interesting points.
            Last edited by Zotigh; 05-20-2004, 06:06 PM.
            Scott Zotigh
            Kiowa Black Leggings
            Kiowa Gourd Clan
            Kiowa Tiah Piah
            Kiowa Marine Veterans
            American Indian Veterans

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zotigh
              Of course, us Kiowas holding so closely our dance and customs will always lead to others imitating what they see and making up thier own reasons for it.
              I quote this from a website, obviously from people who haven't a clue.

              "The purpose of the Gourd Dance is to prepare the dance arena by "cleansing it" prior to the actual ritual of the powwow or dance."

              I thought that that was why we cedar the arena.
              If life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life; let's all get wasted together and have the time of our lives!

              Comment


              • #8
                LOL

                So, we're basically the spiritual custodial crew mopping up the arena with the soles of our mocs?

                I can hear a faint disgusted howl. ;)

                You can kinda see where they got that notion, though. It probably stems from most dances having gourd sessions before the other types of dances. The thinking is probably that since the gourd dancing is first it somehow 'prepares' the arena. (pssst! There's already a brush dance for that.) The simple truth, however, is that the gourd dancers are mostly older folks who'd be asleep if you put them after the inter-tribal dancin. hehe (just kidding. I usually stay awake :) Besides, having the gourd dance first gives time for the young fancy dancers to put on their gear and snag. ;)
                Scott Zotigh
                Kiowa Black Leggings
                Kiowa Gourd Clan
                Kiowa Tiah Piah
                Kiowa Marine Veterans
                American Indian Veterans

                Comment


                • #9
                  That statment that BQueton posted sounded like a throw back to the Old Grassdance societys. It seems like groups who are not pow-wow or dancing people doing anything to fit in whith the whole plains pow-wow thing.

                  Oh by the way, wheres my patch too. I have none. Go figure.
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    there are a lot of things with in the gourd dance arena that i have seen that are like done by space cadets, aye!!!
                    referring to the people in the southwest that dont know "what tha" they are doin.

                    people make the gourd dance sound like some religion. and every time we turn around people are smuggin and rollin smoke (Aye the gooder kind) waving fans around like they are tryin to take flight

                    and as kevin mentioned patches it is those southwest skindians that have to have patches like it is some kind of club

                    i think all the southern skindians from oklahoma and also the northern people should go to the navajo rez and start takin over their dances and see how they would feel

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                    • #11
                      you know an uncle of mine in an interview before goin to this past years new years celebration in gallup stated

                      if the people want the singin we are bringin it and we are goin to sock it to them. and sure enough there were only two navajos at the drum, where were the rest.

                      and they call them selves singers, during gourd dance but when it was grand entry time boy were the southern singers out

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by navajojohn
                        you know an uncle of mine in an interview before goin to this past years new years celebration in gallup stated

                        if the people want the singin we are bringin it and we are goin to sock it to them. and sure enough there were only two navajos at the drum, where were the rest.

                        and they call them selves singers, during gourd dance but when it was grand entry time boy were the southern singers out
                        We didn't want to show up the Okies?

                        GAAAAAAAAAAH!!

                        aye..jokin, jokin.

                        Naw, I think most singers that we're out there.....and I only saw ONE that stuck around after Gourd....Paul Stewart. YES, he's Navajo......a CRIT Navajo, but, a Navajo just the same. Course, he's all rugged and would flat out disown his Navajo if he could..........fact remains, he's Navajo.

                        I personally saw no point in going out there. The committee wanted to have GOOD SINGING.......not some local riff raff. So, they hauled out the best their money could buy. I saw no point in moving in and trying to squeeze in. THe drum group there was brought in to sing...based on their ability and notariety. It's their time to shine....let em have the floor. That's how I saw it.

                        ...besides, I mean......c'mon.....we're talking about Cozad here!!

                        Which would YOU rather listen to? Some locals or Cozad? .....it's not even a close call on that one. Cozad!!!!!!!


                        Quite frankly, to address you're question of Northerns or Southern taking over "our" powwows? .....what powwows? Last time I checked......powwow wasn't exactly a Southwest Skindian thing! If you want to take over.....fine...come on out and take over, it would be an improvement on the singing and you'd probably stand to make a bit of pocket change.

                        The only patches I recall seeing on gourd dancers out here, are the military service emblems on their blankets.....unless you're referring to the whole Black Creek Gourd "Society" phenominon.

                        .....actually, I'd like a bit of a better understanding of what's going on with that myself!!

                        ...I do agree though. There's ENTIRELY TOO MUCH smugging and fanning and doing all sorts of wierd crap out here. It's funny sometimes to watch....and sometimes it's just plain idiotic!!!

                        ....so, in that regard, I'd say YES. Someone DOES need to come out here and reign in all this BS and put it to a stop. There's too much of that goin on.
                        "This next song goes out to some girls in dot com. They don't know who they are, but, it doesn't really matter anyway."




                        "When the God's wish to punish us, they grant our prayers."

                        O. Wilde

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by napesne
                          We were also taught that you don't go dancing around the arena like a racehorse, only the veteran's were allowed to walk around in the arena.

                          We were also taught that you didn't approach the drum too quickly, some dancers just shuffle all fast up to the drum. as a singer that's might irritating
                          It is amazing to me how much difference there is in the teaching here on Powwows.com. I NEVER heard any one say that only veterans were allowed to walk around in the arena? Are we talking about during the song? In between songs? Thank goodness I'm a vet! Which brings me to the fact that on my blanket, I have miliatary patches and ribbons, and thats all.
                          I don't understand about approaching the drum "too quickly". I'm with Zotigh when I say I would prefer it if the drums were to the side of the arena, rather than in the middle, because I see alot of people making the same ASSUMPTIONS, which is that gourd dancers are supposed to sloowwwlllyyy dance towards the drum. I was taught that the blessings are in the middle, get out there and dance! Anyway, I would like to personally invite you to Carnegie Park July 4th weekend of next year to see how its done in our neck of the woods. You can come eat at my camp if you do.
                          Again, I simply say that our teachings are DIFFERENT, not right or wrong. My opinions are my own, and thats all I am saying here, that these are my opinions based on how I was raised.
                          Kio-Manche
                          Oklahoma Proud!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yo, Bo, I think that if the drum is an open drum every singer should go out and help the Headsinger(s). I would always be proud to get to sing with the Cozads again.

                            Numunu: one of these days I'll be there in Carnegie and dance with you. Whats for dinner? by the way I wondered if perhaps you may now some of my Cuz's down in Lawton. They are Putney's. CherlMae is a Short. Betty is a Bennett. Thanks, 'til later.
                            BOB

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CHEROSAGE
                              Numunu: one of these days I'll be there in Carnegie and dance with you. Whats for dinner? by the way I wondered if perhaps you may now some of my Cuz's down in Lawton. They are Putney's. CherlMae is a Short. Betty is a Bennett. Thanks, 'til later.
                              Right on! I would be honored to have you Bob! I lived near some Putneys while growing up there, but its been awhile. As far as whats for dinner, I am planning to have an indian taco dinner one night, and burgers and hotdogs another night, next year. I plan on bringing my grill down, and my camper has a stove top. I know you would enjoy yourself.
                              Recently, I attended another powwow (Otoe Encampment) and I am still amazed at how accomodating and generous those folks are. If I see any of them next year, I intend on returning the generosity. Some Poncas were there too, and they were just as courteous. (i.e. I ate good that weekend)
                              Kio-Manche
                              Oklahoma Proud!!!

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                              • streamhawk
                                to follow the drum or the head gourd dancer
                                by streamhawk
                                I've had this situation happen a couple of times, and would like opinions from you. Some of you may not have a head gourd dancer where you dance, but alot of dances do. So you're sitting down, waiting for the drum to ask you to stand up and dance, that time comes, the head gourd dancer doesn't get up...
                                10-01-2008, 06:32 PM
                              • WhoMe
                                Head Gourd Dancer
                                by WhoMe
                                I've never been a head gourd dancer before.

                                When I became a member of my gourd clan, I was told by our leader that this is something we shouldn't do. I was also told our gourd clan would never be a host gourd clan because this is not a part of our culture.

                                But I accepted...
                                01-16-2009, 02:30 PM
                              • MaggieB
                                honoring ppl
                                by MaggieB
                                I remember when honoring someone during gourd dancing was a rarity.

                                I remember only being honored when being introduced to someone. Now it is when I am head staff or something.
                                Also when I am head staff. I like to give stuff away to my friends on the sidelines during gourd dance...
                                11-12-2002, 02:22 AM
                              • kamikaze_yazzie
                                Head LADY gourd dancer?
                                by kamikaze_yazzie
                                I just wanted to know if anyone ever heard of a head LADY gourd dancer?:34:.... I came across this awhile ago, but everyone I asked have no idea. :thinking
                                04-21-2004, 05:58 PM
                              • Zotigh
                                Drum in the middle.
                                by Zotigh
                                At the annual Kiowa Gourd Clan, and at the other Kiowa society dances the drum is not smack-dab in the middle of the circle where the dancers need to move. (Probably not healthy anyway with sharp lances dancing about and weapons going off...hehe (toh-kohn-gah))

                                I think that my personal...
                                05-24-2004, 10:39 PM

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