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The Gourd Dance

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  • AmigoKumeyaay
    replied
    old thread

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  • kiowawarrior31
    replied
    Last edited by kiowawarrior31; 06-09-2008, 08:21 PM.

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  • knowledgeseeker
    replied
    Thanks

    I thank you all for giving me information. The Gourd Dance is an interesting and wonderful dance that I hope I will fully understand with time. Thanks again for all of your views.

    Leave a comment:


  • CHEROSAGE
    replied
    I want to applaud Knowledgeseeker and Allimperfect for asking and that they know that they don't know. I don't have all of the answers for all peoples, just what I was taught.

    Thanks to all of you for not executing our new guest!!!!!!!
    WA DO!!!!!

    I recommend what has already been stated. Just go and attend these dances. Most are not ceremonials, not Tribal specific. Many today are open to the public. Go and have fun. The more you go to the more people you will meet. Make friends. Ask some questions and try to learn what is true and customary. Learn that protocol varies amongst the different peoples. We do have some common protocol traits amongst most of our nations. Seek your family and allow them to teach you. This will take time. You will know when you are ready.

    Enjoy yourself and try not to be offended. Welcome to our world.

    Leave a comment:


  • park
    replied
    More on the subject

    Those are some good words from luvstraightdancrs.

    Allimperfect:

    I understand your frustration, but don't feel like you're alone and that no one understands you. Pick yourself up and do something about it.

    I noticed you live in Plano. There are lots of NDNs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and a bunch of others. There are also plenty of dances in the area and even more within a 3-4 hour drive. Keep an eye out on the Powwow Calendar or others posted on the web. Or PM me and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

    I'm given the impression by your post that you're interested in gourd dancing. Having given some thought to it, I don't know how Mohaves in AZ approach the dance and there are things you can try before you head back there. We all start somewhere.

    The first thing you can try is go to some of the local dances and don't stress about participating. Most dances in Texas have gourd dancing before intertribal. Bring a chair (like those break-down pocket chairs everyone has nowadays) or sit in the bleachers if they have some. Don't sit on the benches ringing the arena and don't move anyone's blanket (it reserves a seat). Bring a case of soda to donate to the meal or concession stand. If you start going regular, bring a covered dish of food. Gestures like that go for miles. Meet people. Hang out. Buy raffle tickets and support the host organization. Pay special attention to how the head dancers dress, dance, and conduct themselves in and out of the arena. The head staff is chosen for a reason (experience, respect, etc.)

    It may take a while, but you will learn how to conduct yourself, make an outfit, sing the songs, whatever. Good luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • luvstraightdancrs
    replied
    I agree with LWB and Park -- This place can be enlightening and entertaining at times. If I came off as critical or anyother way, excuse me. I was merely trying to point knowledgeseeker back into the direction of the party that brought him in.

    This dance is serious and not one to be taken lightly. There are alot of interpertations and meanings behind the things that you see. Unless you talk with someone you can't understand just from watching. I just think you should have a fairly complete understanding before entering the arena.

    Yes, no one knows everything and I don't pretend to. But I think everyone has their own opinion and beliefs about what goes on in the arena. There is always room to learn and take into consideration other aspects and beliefs. You have to sort of pick and choose what is right and wrong. There are alot of traditional or old school people that are willing to share their knowledge - then there are those that are new to all of this and have read all the books and therefore have all the answers.

    My best advice is find someone that you trust and believe. Take a little from here and there - but don't try to learn it all in a day. I've been around a long time and still learn something new each day.

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  • Allimperfect
    replied
    Well, that's why I'm here... To learn what to do and what not to do because I have no one here to help me. All of my relatives who are natives are in Arizona... I don't have any friends who are native so I decided to come here and hopefully get an idea of what I should and should not do before I actually went to an event.

    :( It's really hard when you have no one around you to teach you these things and that's why I'm here.

    Leave a comment:


  • park
    replied
    to allimperfect

    I agree with LWB. Nobody likes an "instant indian."

    These ways are not easy because they require a lot of time, effort, and dedication. If a person takes care of those things that are necessary, then he/she will be taken care of. If these ways are not respected, there are consequences. Sincerely doing your best is all that can be asked of you. Everybody makes mistakes, but you have to be concerned about whether and how a person makes things right.

    That's why (I think) people come across as hostile on occasion, because they see a threat to something that is serious. It's more than just living history or fun.

    Having said that, I have been taught (and pass on to others) that you should always feel better leaving a dance than when you arrived. So, it can be fun.

    Regardless of how much people come across as "knowing it all," the ones to be sought out and trusted are the ones who realize they don't know it all and continue to learn everyday. But look around, there are right ways and wrong ways. Unfortunately, some people can't or refuse to see the difference.

    I think this board is useful because it gives interested people more information in a shorter period of time than they would ever get face-to-face at a dance. But it's no subsitute to learning the traditional way (meaning time and experience and listening to your elders).

    Leave a comment:


  • LWB
    replied
    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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  • Allimperfect
    replied
    Rules, rules, rules

    I just registered and so I'm new to powwows.com 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.


    -WinterFawn

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  • CHEROSAGE
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • luvstraightdancrs
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • MaggieB
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • luvstraightdancrs
    replied
    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..........

    Leave a comment:


  • MaggieB
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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