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Gourd dancing is not a veterans dance

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  • Gourd dancing is not a veterans dance

    Everytime I read This post that you people put your always talking about the gourd dancing being a veterans dance, its not a veteran dance. I have roots in carnige and have also lived in carnige. Some of my family are members of the Kiowa Gourd Clan. It's a Kiowa dance, this is coming from a kiowa man.
    Dayum I make some keen DrumSticks!!!!!!sigpic

  • #2


    In Carnegie it is considered a ceremonial dance. In this context the members of the Kiowa gourd clans consist of "MEN WHO WILL BRING HONOR TO THEIR RESPECTIVE KIOWA GOURD DANCE SOCIETIES (3)."

    However, when you take this dance out of context . . .

    "All Hell Breaks Loose!"

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::devil ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


    • #3
      Seems a little self-righteous...

      Carnegie? You mean in Oklahoma? I am no genius but I can spell all the places I have "roots in". [sigh]

      The argument of gourd dancing being a solely "Kiowa dance" has merit, especially from a well-versed "Kiowa Man" of some 27 years of age, as I will be certain to take heed that anyone who resurrects something may lay claim to it! Yes, yes, lesson learned Obi Wannabe. (I have no derision for the Kiowa or their associated gourd clan folks. I do question any Indian under the age of fifty who claims to know anything. I, for example, know nothing.)

      As for taking the dance out of context -- as a serious note -- does this imply that anyone who is not Kiowa and dancing at Carnegie has *******ized something? Seems to me a little self-righteous…:Eyebrows


      • #4
        You all are correct (as I have been taught) that Gourd dancers don't have to be veterans of the present day military. I do know that some of the Gourd dance Societies do have the Vet. status as a requirement.

        I have asked this question several times to different elders both in my family and those that I just highly respect. I have been given mostly the same responses. We don't need to be a Vet. to gourd dance because this dance is for our Warriors. They go on and tell me, now today who are our Warriors but or Veterans. Not all of our men Warriors are necessarily Military( of any branch). But we are very proud of our military men and women. Most of the Elders(males) in my family that I was able to talk to were Veterans(War Vet.'s).

        I believe that the answer is veried with the different societies but generically the answer is It is a dance honoring our Warriors. How are we able to show our Warriors status today? We are for the most part Military Veterans. Some are lifers and some only one tour of duty. Let's honor all of our men and women Vet.'s.


        • #5

          No, the Kiowa are not the only ones that claim the gourd dance.

          The Comanche, Cheyenne and Ponca have also made claims at one time or another to this dance.

          However, the Kiowa have a legend that goes along with this dance that has been passed down. This legend gives credit to the Red Wolf as THE originator. The Kiowa were instructed to remember who gave this dance to them at the end of each gourd dance song with a symbollic wolf howl. This has been adopted by all who sing gourd dance songs today.

          Many gourd dance societies have been given permission to start their own gourd dance organizations "by tribes other than the Kiowa."

          It is these gourd dance societies that have gone on to have Head Women Gourd Dancers and initiated Women Veterans and allowed them to shake a gourd.

          The Kiowa Gourd Clan has only given this dance to the Otoe-Missouria tribe(s) and the Otoes - in return - treat this dance with the respect, dignity and reverence it deserves.


          Age should not be the ultimate criteria on determining knowledge. Some humble young adults have been born into a culture and know the meanings behind 'certain aspects' of tradition by "living it."

          On the other hand there are elders that have never been raised around their culture or have recently been exposed to it. Yet, some of these elders have been expected to produce knowledge.

          This is not disrespect. . . . . Just fact.
          Last edited by WhoMe; 08-11-2003, 12:16 PM.
          Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


          • #6

            As previously indicated, I bear no ill will. (Nor did you imply as such.)

            I was merely appalled by the uninhibited proclamations of the thread originator. They created, for me, an overall picture of an ignorant Indian Eminem hiding ongoing feelings of personal cultural inadequacy through overt manifestations of social grandeur. (It made me ill.) This was clearly not the “humble young adult” of which your eloquent tag line specifies.

            Of course, there was never any significant point in my making reply [to him]. If one cannot spell where you “have ties”, then you clearly are not in possession of enough knowledge to have intelligent discourse on any topic. With such a handicap, the often contradictory and always environmentally malleable etiquette of the gourd dance may as well be rocket science! (…taught on Mars, in gibberish, by Al Sharpton…):Angel:


            • #7

              The rhetoric juncture of angularity juxtaposed . . .

              all because of "CARNEGIE?!!!!!!!!"


              """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""
              Last edited by WhoMe; 08-12-2003, 10:23 AM.
              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


              • #8
                Re: Gourd dancing is not a veterans dance

                Originally posted by NDNTacO49
                Everytime I read This post that you people put your always talking about the gourd dancing being a veterans dance, its not a veteran dance. I have roots in carnige and have also lived in carnige. Some of my family are members of the Kiowa Gourd Clan. It's a Kiowa dance, this is coming from a kiowa man.
                'kiowa man'
                care to add more to this subject ? any more responeses from you
                everything needs a bit more taste that's were Spicy comes in


                • #9
                  HA HA I had a good laugh at my self! I forgot the e... sue me... Why do you think you are better than everyone else? indian with a job? do you think you are the only one here with a job? and you should put away your thesaurus.... you know good and well that no one talks like that.... anyways you should judge anyone or think that you are better than anyone else, your make your self look mul-bane..... Do you think I am wrong for what I said.... I only stated the truth..... If you don't wanna hear it from me you can ask any other kiowas and you will get the same answer that i have gave you.... there are my high standing men in the kiowa gourd clan that are not vets... we have veteran clans, that are for vets. but gourd dance is not a veterans dance never has and never will be.... all you women who wanna gourd dance because you are a combat veteran, it will never happen....The Kiowa Gourd Clan doesn't require you to be a Veteran......! Nuff Said!!
                  Dayum I make some keen DrumSticks!!!!!!sigpic


                  • #10
                    I am a member of the Kiowa Tiah Piah Society. And I am Veteran. However, when i was initiated to the society, I was 16. These societies are not for only veterans. The Kiowas had societies set up for differents types of people. This particular society (i'm afraid to try to spell the words in Kiowa) was a society for the men around the camp that acted as the policing force of the camp.

                    I am also tired of the other tribes claiming the gourd dance. Many of the songs are very old. It could have been believable had one of the tribes made all the songs in Kiowa.
                    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!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bqueton
                      I am also tired of the other tribes claiming the gourd dance. Many of the songs are very old. It could have been believable had one of the tribes made all the songs in Kiowa.
                      :Chatter I didn't say it, but I'm not arguing either.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Miss_Kiowa
                        :Chatter I didn't say it, but I'm not arguing either.

                        Sorry but someone had to say it.
                        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!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bqueton
                          Sorry but someone had to say it.
                          Hey, I'm not scolding. *aho*


                          • #14
                            Veterans vs Gourd Clans - Powwow organizers, heads up!

                            If you are a powwow organizer, Gourd Clan leader, or Veteran Head Dancer, this post is especially for you, and I ask your forgiveness if you feel I am wrong in my thoughts.

                            First off, I am a female combat veteran. And before I go any further, let me state unequivocally, I am NOT seeking to change the traditional membership requirements for Gourd Clans, nor am I seeking to participate in Gourd Dancing!

                            I have a great deal of respect for the Gourd Clan traditions, in fact, I usually speak to other women veterans concering the differences between Gourd Clan and Gourd dancing as opposed to being a veteran, since they are not necessarily the same thing!

                            However let me say, I have encountered some problems at powwows because of the Gourd Clan. As a veteran, I am accorded a certain level of respect, however as a woman, I am not eligible for membership into a Gourd Clan. This has presented some problems at some powwows... which I will go into below...

                            I am merely addressing a situation of concern because there ARE Women Veterans...

                            Where I have noted a problem, is not during the Gourd Dance but during Grand Entry, and Flag honors.

                            Many powwow organizers do not differentiate between the Gourd Clan, and Veterans, when it comes to position in Grand Entry, or in honoring the flag.

                            The easiest way to explain what I mean is to tell you of an incident which occured to me at a powwow, one which I had attended in previous years without incident:

                            I arrived at the powwow during the Gourd Dancing. The head veteran dancer was also leading the Gourd Dance. As a result, I was unable to visit with him prior to Grand Entry. However, I was know to him and other tribe members as a veteran, and had been honored a previous year, by him, during the Gourd Dance, when I was invited into the circle and in line with the Gourd Dancers for one of the sets. And believe me, I did recognize this as a great honor! And on previous attendance, as at most powwows, I have taken part in the Grand Entry coming in with the other veterans (as is the case at most powwows I attend).

                            At Grand Entry time, I approached the other veterans and was welcomed amongst them as they lined up. A vietnam vet invited me to enter alongside him, towards the rear of the others, many of which were Gourd Clan members. There were Gourd Clan members ahead of me, including non-veterans and "children" (young men in their early to mid-teens). I entered the circle behind the flags and the majority of the male veterans, but ahead of the War Mothers and the Head man and lady dancers, etc...

                            All went well until we lined up behind the flags after our second turn around the circle... the arena director slipped through the lineup, and came up to me, and told me I had to move, there had been a complaint, that I was in the wrong part of the procession, that I was in with the Gourd Dancers. The vietnam vet next to me stated that I was a veteran, and he had invited me to enter with him and the other veterans, and I was where I was supposed to be. The arena director said it was told to the head veteran dancer (who was also the head gourd dancer) that I was with the Gourd Clan members, and that was why I was being told to move.

                            I was unable to move during the Flag song, and when the other veterans moved to post the flags, I followed, as staying where I was was both akward and would have drawn more attention, and because I was determined to honor the flag I had served, and sort out the problem afterwards.

                            As we came around behind the drummers, the head veteran dancer pointed at me, in the center of the circle, in front of everyone, and called out "You do not belong here"!!!

                            I was totally and completely shocked! I knew this was not the time or place to cause a scene, plus, there was no place to go, so I lined up behind the other veterans as the flags were posted.

                            After, we exited the circle, and he went to walk away! I went after him and confronted him about the matter. He said he'd received a complaint that I had taken my place with the Gourd Dancers and that by Kiowa tradition, no women were permitted. I told him, I did NOT take part in the Gourd Dance, and I did not enter the circle during Grand Entry with the Gourd Clan, I entered with my fellow veterans, and what was more, they had invited me amongst them!

                            He offered me a private apology on the spot, and walked away. He made no attempt to correct the public way he had dishonored me in any manner.

                            At the second Grand Entry, the arena director came to me, and apologetically told me that I was to enter behind the War Mothers! The women were OUTRAGED that I was not being accorded the same honor as a male veteran. They banded around me, and placed me at the front of them in the lineup. Which placed me again at the rear of the male veterans. They also had a quick discussion as to how to rectify the matter of honoring the flag, and decided that they would follow the Gourd Dancers and Veterans when they carried the flags out, and line up along side them, so that I could take my place in line with the other veterans and pay honor also.

                            The women tried to make right, what one of my own brothers had dishonored.

                            I take no joy in describing this event. It was very painful, humiliating, and embarrassing, not only for me, but for everyone.

                            I place the blame for this incident squarely on the tribal leadership and powwow organizers. They went with the assumption that Gourd Dancer = Veteran, in figuring the escorting and posting of the flags, and did not account for the possibility of differences, such as there are traditionally NO female gourd dancers, but there are definately female veterans!

                            What they should perhaps have done instead, was to ensure that during the Grand Entry procession, it was announced that the Gourd Clan would be "honorably escorting" the Flags and the Veterans, followed by... etc etc...

                            That is the normal procedure followed at almost every powwow I've attended that has Gourd Dancers present. In the North, Gourd Dancing is not common, and most tribes have veterans who form honor and color guards to bring in the flags.

                            Anyway, I only bring this point out in the hopes of providing some insight and education, especially to powwow organizers!

                            Wadaduga ~ Dragonfly
                            of the tsalagi, Ani-Yunwiya,
                            The Principle People, Cherokee


                            • #15
                              Let Me First Say That I Am A Kiowa, And Though Young I Know My Ways As Well As Can Be Expected-. [For Those Fellow Gkoy_Gous (Kiowas) I Am From The Botone And Kaubin Family, Blood Decendent Of Lonewolf And Satanta...]
                              I Have Witnessed My Own Grandmother, Ida Kaubin Standing Up And Directing A Woman Out Of The Gourd Dance Circle Where She Did NOT By Any Means, Belong In My Opinion (Repeat, In My OPINION) The Gourd Dance Is Strictly For Men, Yes... And We Recognize That There Are Female Veterans, Just As We Recognized In The Old Days That Though They Were Not Appointed Warriors, Women Of The Tribe Would Fight And Defend Their Famillies Just As Fiercely As Any Male Would.
                              I Honestly Agree That Behind The Male Veterans But In Front Of The War Mothers Was The Right Place To Be, At Very Least Out Of Respect For The Kiowa Tradition. However I Am Sorry For Your Embarassment, Seeing As You Were Just Invited By A Friend To Dance With Him And Didn't Mean Any Harm. But Just A Tip For Future Gatherings- The Arena Director Has Run Of The Whole Arena, And Keeps The Flow Going.... Its In Many Ways, HIS Arena, Including Lining Up The Dancers For Grand Entry. Just Asking Him The Appropriate Place To Line Up You Could Avoid Some Confusion? Just A Thought....


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