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The Gourd Dance

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  • The Gourd Dance

    I was just introduced to the Gourd Dance. Unfortunately, I have many questions...Where did the dance orginate, what do you wear and so forth...not that the main description on the site isn't helpful, I would just like more information...

  • #2
    True origination is up for arguement/debate. The most popular modern shortened version is that the Kiowas reinstated the dance and kept it going. Many of the songs and Protocol we use today are in general of the Kiowas.

    As for the dress of the dance. We wear the nicest clothes we can short of a suit/tux. You are permitted to wear your straight suit if you wish. We have bandaleers worn from left shoulder to right hip. We have a sash worn as a belt, similar to that worn by the 19 century Cav. soldier. We also can wear a red/blue blanket(battle blanket) with our military awards on it. Some wear the red on the left side and I have seen the blue worn on the left. You should talk witha vet/gourd dancer for further more indepth info. & for the protocol.

    If you wish you may PM me and I may be able to help a little more. Good luck and may even see you out there someday.


    • #3
      There is also a Comanche version of how the gourd dance came to be. I would suggest that you visit with several gourd dancers to find the answers to your questions.

      Just my opinion.......


      • #4
        luvstraightdancrs is correct.

        As I had mentioned several nations have a claim to their version of the gourd dance. If you know anyone that is Comanche and a CIVA(Comanche Indian Veterans Association). Many of these people are centered around Lawton OK area.

        You will just have to know who is around to help you and determin what you want. A lot to try to digest if you aren't able to grow up in the culture. Sorry to muddy the water even more.


        • #5
          Also if you want to, talk to the Comanche little ponys, they are a good group. If you want to look threw the aechives and you will see many discussion og the origins of the dance. Something was said about wearing straight clothes, that is fine but do not wear your bells.
          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


          • #6
            My concern here is that he claims he was
            I was just introduced to the Gourd Dance. Unfortunately, I have many questions...Where did the dance orginate, what do you wear and so forth...not that the main description on the site isn't helpful, I would just like more information...
            Not trying to start an arguement (there's enough of that going on already) but shouldn't the one that introduced you have better explained this dance, meanings, origins and protocol.

            Just a thought?


            • #7
              Very true. I didn't catch that point. Sorry. In my opinion the responsibility is with the sponsor. A person should have been talked to and given the skinny prior to being introduced. The dancers should already have the know before dancing. I have been asked to sponsor or cosponsor someone into the gourd dance. I will take the time to talk to the person at some length. This person should be properly prepared before the introduction.
              Good point, Luvstraightdancrs.

              Travelingmocs also has a good point. NO bustles, no bell/dewclaws/deertoes/etc.


              • #8
                I think this "knowledgeseeker" needs to go back to the party that "introduced him" and obtain the answers to his questions.

                Just my thoughts.....


                • #9
                  good discussion.

                  However, I may point out that many people who may want enlightenment read forums of this nature. And as it was said before there are too my arguements going on in the forum right now that i think a good gourd dance talk would be enjoyable.

                  So I will add to this thread instead of starting a new one.

                  What do you think about those crazy "hop along" lady dancers?

                  I.E. the red headed one that you see in North Eastern OK and in MO.
                  "Deep Thoughts" By Jack Handy

                  "It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man."

                  "I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, yahoo!, I'd have all my money back."


                  • #10
                    Haven't seen "hop along" style. But have seen some strange women gourd dancers. Dancing in full regalia (crowns, fancy shawls, even a jingle dress or two) and moving bodies every which way - turning almost completely around.

                    Times...they are a changin'

                    Yes I understand that some come here to be enlightened but I personally they should talk to the person that brought them in, find out their way. As you know from being here - everyone has their own version of what is supposed to be done, when and why, So for the sake of confusing oneself and trying to apply everything they've heard -- learn from one first and go from there.

                    Just my opinion and I am sure that some will not agree - but that's all good..........


                    • #11
                      that is what i am talking about luvs.

                      I can't stand to see those girls looking like popcorn not even on beat.

                      I am ojib. also so when i dance jingle i donot dance durring gourd dance. IT DOESN"T FIT THE STYLE!! I just wish people would understand this!!

                      ANd just while i am griping: A SHAWL SHOULD NOT BE WORN WITH A JINGLE DRESS~~ I have seen it at some pow-wows and I talking to the little "northern cherokee" (not to be mistaken with NC Cherokees) girl and I still see her doing it.

                      ok i have said my peice
                      "Deep Thoughts" By Jack Handy

                      "It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man."

                      "I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, yahoo!, I'd have all my money back."


                      • #12
                        Some folks just have their own version I guess. It's a shame really - you would think they would get a clue upon looking at others and the way they dance and dress.

                        Oh well, like I said "Times are changing" I just hope I don't see the next step ---- Halter and tube tops, Daisy Dukes and break dance incorporated into gourd dance. LOL!


                        • #13
                          I for one like to see these Halter/tube tops and daisy dukes, though probably not much Gourd dancing would get done. (don't tell my wife) OK MaggieB. Hahahaha.

                          I have always wondered why the oddball dancer can't tell when they are out of line. You know even if your ignorant of the rules you should be able to tell if your out in left field. I am glad Knowledgeseeker and others know enough to be able to ask for help.

                          I have seen the hopper in Quapaw, Ottawa, and many Mo dances in the southwest. I know who MaggieB is talking about. We go to some of the same dances. I'm not sure about the jingledancer with the shawl. I don't believe I've seen this one.

                          This is a very good topic since many dancers are brought-in without much preperation or knowledge. This shouldn't just be a neeeet dance for one to just decide to start dancing on their own.


                          • #14
                            Rules, rules, rules

                            I just registered and so I'm new to and let me state that what I'm about to say is not going to start me off on the right foot and I apologize...

                            Let me first let everyone know that I am half Mohave and half white and I have lived with my father for the past 21 years of my life (he's white) so I know very little about my heritage. I am just now getting to know my mother and in a year I'll be moving back to Arizona where I hope she will fill my brain with all the beautiful stories of my people...

                            With anticipation, I decided to join several websites in hopes that I would be able to get a head start... What I've read so far is shocking to me and I am now very afraid to take this step... It appears to me that pow wows are a place for people to "snub" one another and talk about others who are new and who may not know the "ways."

                            Many of you guys stated how people were wearing the wrong thing with this or that and how people were dancing out of line and making mistakes and OMG... can't we just be happy we are together and able to celebrate our beautiful heritage? I have never been to a pow wow so I have no idea what it's like and reading some of the things that were posted on here I am very reluctant to do so.

                            I mean, I totally understand that there are ways things are done and I'm cool with that... that's what makes tradition fun... But rather than flip out and ridicule someone for their mistakes can't we just politely tell them how it is suppose to be and take into consideration that not all natives know everything there is to know about their heritage and that maybe we are doing our best to learn about it because knowledge is vital for us if we are to carry our legacy on.

                            I'm sorry if what I have said has upset anyone or everyone... I'm not trying to pick a fight I'm just wanting to understand. Pow wows may not be so "ugly" but it just appeared that way based soley by the comments stated here... Please, someone tell me that I am totally wrong and that Pow wows are inviting and fun and educating because I am really hoping I'll get to go to one soon. You have no idea what it's been like growing up in towns that haven't seen a native before and getting torchured every single day because I didn't fit in and then having to go home to a family that looked nothing like me because my father is white, my step-mother and step-siblings were white... and all I'm wanting is to finally feel "connected" to people who understand me.



                            • #15
                              to allimperfect

                              I think , what your reading here is not about people who are new or who for some reson dont know better, its more about people who have been around & have seen & been told (or taught) the proper way of doing things & choose to ignore them for whatever reson, or people who go to a dance & deside that next weekend their going to "do that" & dont take the time to learn the way , they deside just buy the "clothes"someone else made put them on & go dance without knowing anything about it
                              or making up whatever they need to justify what they are doing.

                              Dont be put off , go you will have a GREAT time , LISTEN to your family do as they do , i think thats what most of us have done ,
                              just listen to mom & dad , grandma & grandpa & aunties & uncles,
                              thats what it is all about TRADITION

                              just my piddleya** two cents.........LWB


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