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  • origin of the 49

    Does anyone know, Why it is called a forty-nine? Who started the term, when, and why? I've been ninen for 20 some years, know lots o' songs, but no idea where the name came from. Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    ________

    Yeah, I sing a "little" 49 my own self.

    I have been asking for years where the numeral 49 came from - in association with todays "aftercirricular powwow activities."

    I finally got an answer that made sense and a lot of Kiowas who I respect, agreed with.

    P.M. me and I'll share with you my findings.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

    Comment


    • #3
      origin of the 49

      Most folks in Oklahoma agree that "49" songs or "Courting" songs were originally composed by Kiowa singers before their ceremonial dances were outlawed by the U.S. Government in the early 1890s. The songs are used for social dancing as a series of "War Journey" songs and are now referred to as "49" songs.

      The term "49" has numerous interpretations, however it is said that it refers to the glory days of the Kiowas around 1849. Some of the songs are serious, while others are often humorous, and still others take on the ups and downs of personal relationships.

      One of my favorites is one called the "One-eyed Ford."

      "When the dance is over sweet heart,
      I will take you home in my one-eyed Ford,
      hay ya eye ho eye ho eye ho eye ya"

      or how about...

      "If you really love me honey, hay ya,
      If you really love me honey, hay ya,
      come home, come home,
      If you really love me honey hay ya."

      or...

      "Just got back from Santa Fe,
      girls down there they'll make you pay,
      sure do miss those western skys, yo hay ya
      If you be my sugar, I will be your honey,
      weyo hay ya, weyo hay ya, weyo hay ya"

      Many Kiowa "49" songs were originally composed with Kiowa words in the songs. Today, many English words can be heard in the songs as a result of their evolution and spreading throughout the Pow-Wow circuit.

      "Be good, be kind, help each other."
      "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

      --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

      Comment


      • #4
        __________

        Leave it to dem' Kiowas to start something that: involves a good time, snagging, is done in the dark and can get you beat up if you over indulge!

        j/k


        Most noted Kiowa singers can attest to learning how to sing at 49's before coming to the "big drum."

        In the 50's through 70's, 49s were held in the dance arena after a powwow. During this time older people would sing and rounddance around the 49 drum. I have heard where some of these rounddance circles were up to 18 rows deep!

        Many dirt roads have become legends to the modern 49 including but not exclusive to: Corn Bread's, Moonlight Mile, Ware Road, Four Corners, Grafitti Bridge, the Monument, South Roads, the Y, Moccasin Trail, The Oil Derricks, The Cemetary, Sunny Side, Cowboy Hill, East Roads, Burgess I and II, The Hobbit, Bixby and The Field.

        Good 49 singers know that there is a difference between 49 songs and round dance songs. They will not mix them during a set.

        There is a starting song, then the older 49 or war journey songs are sung. Then a good mixture of vocable (songs with no words),
        49 songs with Indian words and 49 songs with English words are sung. Some of these songs have titles such as: the pizza song (sung in Comanche), matagitza (Sung in Cheyenne), the turtle song (sung in Kiowa), Black Jack Daisy, To Hell With Your Old Man,
        and Western Front.

        Towards morning you will hear what are called "morning songs and courting songs." These are round dance songs with words. They should not be sung during a set of 49 songs (unless you don't know what your doing). These include such titles as: Party Time, Love Sick Blues, When the Sun Goes Down at Night, Indian Girls, I'm from Oklahoma and Give Me Five Minutes More.

        The closing song is affectionately called "bird legs." If you are at a 49 when this is sung . . . . you are there at your own risk! *LOL

        Good 49's will have two drums going at the same time, hundreds of people and lot's of singers (both men and women) on the outskirts having a good time!

        Some of the best 49's in the south are: Red Earth, Stroud, Pawnee, Tulsa IICOT, Indian Hills and Carnegie 4th of July.
        Last edited by WhoMe; 09-25-2003, 11:08 AM.
        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

        Comment


        • #5
          WhoMe,
          It's just like peelin' an onion, there are always more layers of meanings and explanations underneath. Thanks for the details.
          Hist'n

          "Be good, be kind, help each other."
          "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

          --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

          Comment


          • #6
            Lots of good info, Whome. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Some i knew, some i didn't. I've been to some nines you mentioned. Always a good time.

            Comment


            • #7
              ______

              Not much has been formally written about the 49 and its origins.

              Lots and lots of hearsay and urban legends have been exchanged about how it began.

              Local southern folks just refer to it as a "9." Whereas people in the north, east coast and west coasts often call it a "49er."

              Many times a afterhour party is called a 49er.

              If you want to have a good time and hear some singing check out these 49's. (Disclaimer: *Some years are "definitely" better than others):

              1. Gathering of Nations
              2. Taos Powwow
              3. Barona Powwow
              4. Orange County Powwow
              5. Stanford Powwow
              6. Univ. of Washington Powwow
              7. Denver March
              8. Crow Fair
              9. United Tribes
              10. Hinkley Powwow
              11. Dartmouth Powwow
              12. Schemitzun



              ** A forty-nine is not a forty-nine without 49 singing!**
              Last edited by WhoMe; 09-26-2003, 11:55 AM.
              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WhoMe
                __________

                Leave it to dem' Kiowas to start something that: involves a good time, snagging, is done in the dark and can get you beat up if you over indulge!

                j/k


                Most noted Kiowa singers can attest to learning how to sing at 49's before coming to the "big drum."

                In the 50's through 70's, 49s were held in the dance arena after a powwow. During this time older people would sing and rounddance around the 49 drum. I have heard where some of these rounddance circles were up to 18 rows deep!

                Many dirt roads have become legends to the modern 49 including but not exclusive to: Corn Bread's, Moonlight Mile, Ware Road, Four Corners, Grafitti Bridge, the Monument, South Roads, the Y, Moccasin Trail, The Oil Derricks, The Cemetary, Sunny Side, Cowboy Hill, East Roads, Burgess I and II, The Hobbit, Bixby and The Field.

                Good 49 singers know that there is a difference between 49 songs and round dance songs. They will not mix them during a set.

                There is a starting song, then the older 49 or war journey songs are sung. Then a good mixture of vocable (songs with no words),
                49 songs with Indian words and 49 songs with English words are sung. Some of these songs have titles such as: the pizza song (sung in Comanche), matagitza (Sung in Cheyenne), the turtle song (sung in Kiowa), Black Jack Daisy, To Hell With Your Old Man,
                and Western Front.

                Towards morning you will hear what are called "morning songs and courting songs." These are round dance songs with words. They should not be sung during a set of 49 songs (unless you don't know what your doing). These include such titles as: Party Time, Love Sick Blues, When the Sun Goes Down at Night, Indian Girls, I'm from Oklahoma and Give Me Five Minutes More.

                The closing song is affectionately called "bird legs." If you are at a 49 when this is sung . . . . you are there at your own risk! *LOL

                Good 49's will have two drums going at the same time, hundreds of people and lot's of singers (both men and women) on the outskirts having a good time!

                Some of the best 49's in the south are: Red Earth, Stroud, Pawnee, Tulsa IICOT, Indian Hills and Carnegie 4th of July.
                That would make for interesting conversation at a future 9.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WhoMe
                  ______

                  11. Dartmouth Powwow
                  12. Schemitzun



                  ** A forty-nine is not a forty-nine without 49 singing!**
                  awww man....only number 11 on the list.....

                  aye......hahahha....

                  ;)
                  Underneath all this genius I'm just a human being.....but I'm working on that.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ____

                    9Trotter:

                    Heck no I wouldn't be talking like that at no '9. But you've gotta admit that peep's gotta' know there is more to it than a big party. I don't know how long you've been 9'n, but each year it seems like the quality of singing is going down. At the "great" Anadarko Indian Expo 49 this year, there were over a thousand peeps there. . . 95% were under the age of 21.

                    Noodlz,

                    I didn't put the locations in any particular order. I have been to Dartmouth twice, with two different drum groups. Both times we had a 'kick 49!
                    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      REAL 49'N

                      Well as for what was told to me by elders back home, the forty nine started by the Commanche tribe. It was a war journey cerenony and i do know some specifics about the ceremony but u would have to pm me for that. They would sing these songs before and after war. The Commanche and the Kiowa were originally enemies and it was used against them actually. Yet they made peace and became allies and well shared the songs and ceremony. It was sung on a hide instead of a drum as we have today. The war leader would hold that hide and start to beat the hide calling his singers who was also the guyz who woere going to war also. They would hold the hide and sing standing up and also they would dance around in circles as they sang thru the village. These were almost memorial songs cuz that might be the last time you would hear that person sing(he was going to war). So a real "nine" singere will not sing round dance when it is still 49 song time. Round dance is sung when the sun comes up. The term 49 comes from the Anadarko expo back in the 30's or some time long ago. It was the year that the Gurls Of Forty Nine Days wa featured. Well these gurls went to the after party and when the other tribes went home they would refer to the party by talkin about the gurls of 49 and eventually it became the name of the party. The "49" was born. the tradition of singing at nite came from the rezervation era when the army held tribes on the rez. These people wanted to go hunt or just wanted out of there and if they did they were killed or inprissoned. So they would sing all nite keepin the soldiers up then when everyone fell asleep the next day they would run for it. The songs were also medicine for the run. Well i hope this helps clear up some things. I am Angelo Normand from Anadarko I havent been home in a while so look for me this summer cause ill be home Nine'n.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank God for the NINE:agree?:
                        blah blah blah....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I like Whome's version.


                          Most peeps don't dance anymore do they? Playin that jig music at a nine don't cut it either.

                          Give me a jug of wine, a full moon and good crowd without the gun play and we can nine all night long.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: origin of the 49

                            Originally posted by Historian
                            Most folks in Oklahoma agree that "49" songs or "Courting" songs were originally composed by Kiowa singers before their ceremonial dances were outlawed by the U.S. Government in the early 1890s. The songs are used for social dancing as a series of "War Journey" songs and are now referred to as "49" songs.

                            The term "49" has numerous interpretations, however it is said that it refers to the glory days of the Kiowas around 1849. Some of the songs are serious, while others are often humorous, and still others take on the ups and downs of personal relationships.

                            One of my favorites is one called the "One-eyed Ford."

                            "When the dance is over sweet heart,
                            I will take you home in my one-eyed Ford,
                            hay ya eye ho eye ho eye ho eye ya"

                            or how about...

                            "If you really love me honey, hay ya,
                            If you really love me honey, hay ya,
                            come home, come home,
                            If you really love me honey hay ya."

                            or...

                            "Just got back from Santa Fe,
                            girls down there they'll make you pay,
                            sure do miss those western skys, yo hay ya
                            If you be my sugar, I will be your honey,
                            weyo hay ya, weyo hay ya, weyo hay ya"

                            Many Kiowa "49" songs were originally composed with Kiowa words in the songs. Today, many English words can be heard in the songs as a result of their evolution and spreading throughout the Pow-Wow circuit.
                            Never beeen to a 49 and to embarased to ask what it was really about this helped out. Is there contests to or is it more like a party with just singin and dancin?




                            :D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Angelo..... I actually heard the same thing about the origin of the name.... "49" was a reference to the burlesque girls in the "Girls of 49" show at the Anadarko Expo back in the 1930s (I think at that time it was still the Caddo County Fair....).

                              Also heard a real similar explanation of the origin of the whole deal... that it came from Comanche war journey ceremonies.... and because of that, there's a reason why it's at night. But like Angelo said, that's a bit too much to be throwing out on the net all in public.....
                              Functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism.

                              Comment

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