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  • women gourd dancers

    Yesterday a friend and I had a discussion about women gourd dancers. We were talking about women veterans dancing along side the men with blankets, fans and shakers/rattles.
    I would like to know what you all feel about this.
    Definitely, they paid thier dues!
    Not in my lifetime.
    Yes, but they should have different type of blanket(added fringe or ribbonwork)fan and shaker/rattle.
    Did someone say women dancers? Woo Hoo!
    "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

  • #2

    A lot of women in OK where a regular red and blue fringed shawl. Some have symbols of their group and some are plain. I have made a few of these. I would only say whre this type of shawl if you have been asked to be part of such a group. Don't think they look nice and I want one to wear.


    • #3
      Sorry Beth but Mato is talking about ladies that actually shake, not just participate in a shawl on the outer edge of the circle.

      I have seen ladies do this, though I must say they are all from tribes other than the ones that claim origin of the dance. I can't say I agree with seeing ladies dancing in that role, however it is not for me to decide, I just know how my dad taught me. As for the drum actually singing gourd at the time, it is not uncommon for a drum to stop singing or even leave if something like takes place while they are singing.

      I agree that in this day and age a female veteran is ask and does put her life on the line just like her male counterpart, but as to whether the gourd dance should be opened up to women so they can shake...well, that is something that should be addressed in Carniege and no where else.

      "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

      "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

      My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


      • #4
        Which do you say has the "right" to dance, a decorated woman vet or a young boy? Who would you want to turn away?

        Things to make you go :34: :Thinking


        • #5
          I don't think it has so much to do with who has payed what dues, but rather women have their dances; war mothers, wolf songs, scalp dances etc, and men have theirs.
          Tha-ke'-tha-pi Wa-kon-ta


          • #6
            gourd dance


            I was taught by the Kiowa. I dance inside the circle with a shawl on. I have Kiowa friends that where the red and blue shawl that dance inside the circle. That is the only way I know is the way I was brought in. No names will be dropped in this response.


            • #7
              Beth: I understand what you are saying. What I am talking about and what pb49 was trying to tell you I am talking about is the women dancing side by side with the men, wearing robes and using fans and shakers. This is what the discussion is about. Hope that clears it up for you .
              "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


              • #8

                Thanks. Have never seen that done. But I will see my Teachers in May and will see what they have to say. May not get time in April. I know that is a long way off but I am curious myself.


                • #9
                  No women should not be allowed to do this dance like the men. This is a man's warrior society so rules have been set thats the way they stay. Just like other tribes have rules when things are done thats the way they stay.


                  • #10
                    Good topic. I'm part Kiowa. As a young girl, I grew up attending groud dances in Carnegie, Oklahoma. In all my experience, I have not seen a woman, veteran/non-veteran, to wear and dance the same style as the men in gourd dancing. If the Tribe does not mind a woman out there dancing similarly to the men, then neither do I. Until such a time, I will keep my place and respectfully others will too.:)


                    • #11
                      I won't call a woman vet to go out and dance, I won't tell her she can't. If she is lead to be there i will stand beside her.
                      Never go commando in another man's fatigues!!!


                      • #12
                        Since this is a poll, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion....a woman's place is behind the man. Being a veteran is a big deal, but it's just not her place. In a gourd dance arena, a woman shouldn't even walk in front of a man.


                        • #13
                          Since everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I will state mine. My Daughter is Active Duty during this trying time in our nations on going history, I would proudly stand behind her in any Gourd Dance if she wanted to do that. I feel if a woman has served in the Miltary Active Duty, she should be allowed to Gourd Dance. My daughter was in Kosovo facing armed people recently. Her life was is as much danger as any of her male counterparts. She is an SP in the Air Force.


                          • #14
                            My sister is currently a Lieutenant flying OH-58 Kiowa helicopters as part of the 101st. Her mission as a forward observer is to find the enemy and help coordinate the attack of the Apaches. Her mission is one of the most dangerous missions in the armed forces today. She has grown up in these ways and has no problem standing behind the men at Hethuskas and Gourd dances. She understands she has a place at those dances and does not want to over step her bounds. She likes to dance at scalp dances and take part when the wolf songs are sung at the Hethuska. Her views don't make her any less of a vet the then men dancing. At the last Hethuska she went to many of the men honored her and gave away to her. I feel we really shouldn't rock the boat.
                            Tha-ke'-tha-pi Wa-kon-ta


                            • #15
                              Women gourd dancers

                              One of the main things that wacipi / powwows do is help us as a people to hold our traditions together in a changing world. The gourd dance is a men's warrior society dance and as a vet with 22 years in the army I dance for myself and for all of my brothers who did not make it back from the Nam. I don't think that I am an elder just because I'm getting old or a hero just because I have a Silver Star and some other trinkets from the war. When I dance I am one who carries on a tradition that goes all the way back. Women Have their traditions too - sclp dances and wolf songs at Hethuska as well as the "supporting outer circle" during gourd songs. I believe that it is wrong of a woman to break the age-old traditions of our people by doing trying to dance like a man. I would not be impolite or "make a scene:, but I would not gourd dance in the circle with a woman who is trying to act like a man. We had a lady try to dance with Mens Traditional a couple of years ago at a good powwow in Gulfport, MS and the drum went flat.


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