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  • Gotta question

    I have only attended Powwows in Colorado and Wisconsin and have been looking for Powwows to attend in the Texas area since that is where I live now. The one and only time I went to an Native American event it was held at Traders Village in Houston. For three hours I watched 7 guys with rattles, long sleve shirts, and blankets over one shoulder dance in a line and walk back and forth handing money to each other ( I never saw who ended up with all the money though). I sorry to say I was deeply disappointed in the whole thing. Afterwards someone told that they were doing a gourd dance. Was this really a gourd dance, or someones really perverted variation of it?

    I would appreciate an answer, I'm not trying to be rude, but I was the only one watching, everyone else stayed about two seconds and left. It has made me very leary of trying to attend any events or Powwows in Texas.
    Last edited by Bornfree; 04-19-2004, 01:39 AM. Reason: Neede to add something

  • #2
    Boring to watch, but not to dance and sing for


    Yes, that sounds pretty much like gourd dancing. Not sure why this village chose to have gourd dancing since gourd dance is definitely not a spectator sport but is dearly loved by those that participate in it. There are many intertribal powwows down in Texas (both native and non-native sponsored), so don't knock everything in the area too fast. You are however, probably going to see gourd dancing as part of the activities at most of these events since there are many tribal members from tribes that do this dance that now live in that part of the country.

    Oh yeah, and just so you know...the singers probably ended up with most if not all of that cash you saw being placed in front of the various dancers. Many folks get a bit carried away with all that these days, but basically what they were doing was honoring the various individuals,

    Hope this answers your questions

    "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.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info. I was really upset I had brought friends with me who wanted to see a "Powwow". This was a get together at a very large flea market, set up especially to draw people in, and to help the Native American community join together. I was laughed at for months. They shopped the flea market and I waited and waited for some different styles of dancing.

      I have a friend who attends powwows in Austin, tx and just loves gourd dances.

      My first time and I have been finding it really difficult to even think of gong back, I give it another try. thanks again.


      • #4
        Bad First Impressions

        The "dance" at Trader's Village has been going on in Houston for years and years. There is also a Trader's Village in Dallas, which hosts a powwow in conjunction with the Dallas-Ft Worth Intertribal group. The Houston gig was typically hosted by the local intertribal organization, which has been plagued by scandal and accusations (surprising, huh). As of several years ago, it no longer exists. Since then, it has been taken over by the Dallas group. I went out there too and thought it stunk.

        There are plenty of other dances in and around the Houston area, as well as DFW, Austin and San Antonio. The latter two cities have about 1 big dance a year. Austin's is usually the first weekend in November.

        And, yeah, that was gourd dancing, which of course originated in Oklahoma. Ask some Kiowas about it. They'll fill you in.


        • #5
          I don't know which part of Texas you are from, but we have our annual pow-wow the first weekend (fri. & sat) of June every year. This year it will be held on June 4-5, at the Alabama-Coushatta ball park 17 miles outside of Livingston, TX (between Livingston & Woodville). I believe it's listed on the pow-wow calendar if you want more information.

          There are quite a few pow-wows in the Houston area, but if you are not used to the "scenery" then it might not be for you. There were two this past weekend. One was at Rice University in Houston and another in New Caney, TX.
          Bead All You Can Bead


          • #6
            As was mentioned, the Austin Indepdent School District Powwow is usually the first weekend of November. This year's date is November 6, 2004. Their website is It was well attended the last two years. There is a powwow held in September in Killeen, but I don't have the date handy. Hope this helps.


            • #7
              Well Bornfree. I would have thought that if there were only three dancers, that the committee would have scheduled a shorter dance session. Usually there are more dancers at a Gourd dance.

              I would also like to invite you to the McAllen Powwow in McAllen TX in Oct..


              • #8
                It was seven dancers actually, but stillnot enough IMO. I'm sure if I had known what was going down it might have made more sense . I understand when you honor someone, but they never said they where honoring anybody the whole time. I would actually like to see it done right, from the pictures on this sight it looks like it would be a lot more meaningful.

                I would also enjoy attending any events in the houston area, I am planning on trying to go to the one in Clear Lake at the beginning of May. Is the one in MacAllen (?) on the calender?


                • #9
                  Hold up pardner

                  I would be careful about the Clear Lake thing. You might want to make a call or two to check with the organizers. Sounds kinda new-agey to me. It might just sour you more on Texas.


                  • #10
                    Oh yeah really new agey by the sound of it, it may be just a driveby.


                    • #11
                      At prices today, I wouldn't waste the gas.


                      • #12
                        I would like to second the advice to be careful with these new agers especially in the gourd dance world. we have a bad enough time trying to keep this semi-legit. Too many people out there wanting to gourd dance but just don't know the truth of the dance.

                        The McAllen dance is called "The Way South Powwow". You can PM Lipanlady for more info on this very good dance.


                        • #13
                          Advice taken, won't be going.


                          • #14

                            Your best bets would probably be:

                            May 7-8 Fredericksburg, TX

                            June 4-5 Livingston, TX
                            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!


                            • #15
                              The Texas Gulf Coast Tia-Piah Council (Kiowas) have powwows every third saturday September through April. The powwow last weekend in New Caney was sponsored by them...the big finale for the end of the powwow season for them. Since it's the end of april they won't start up till next sept. The powwows are held in Pasedena at the salvation army gym just off preston (can't remember the cross street). Outsiders are welcome. They start with gourd dancing at 7 and have social dancing (dances other than gourd) about 8:30.


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