Kiowa Gourd Dance Society history and traditions

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A Kiowa gentleman explains about how the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society began, who is allowed to join this society, and the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society traditions.

Kiowa Gourd Dancer

Kiowa Gourd Dancer

 The Gourd Dance is a Kiowa dance ceremony. It is believed that the dance originated with the Kiowa.

it is a man’s dance often danced by warriors or veterans, although the Gourd Dance has its own unique history.

Gourd Dancing may precede a pow wow or it can be a separate event, not directly connected with a powwow.

Many Native Americans dispute the origin of the legend of the Gourd Dance.

A Kiowa story recounts the tale of a young man who had been separated from the rest of the tribe.

Hungry and dehydrated after many days of travel, the young man approached a hill and heard an unusual kind of singing coming from the other side.

There he saw a red wolf singing and dancing on its hind legs. The man listened to the songs all afternoon and through the night and when morning came, the wolf spoke to him and told him to take the dance and songs back to the Kiowa people.

The “howl” at the end of each gourd dance song is a tribute to the red wolf. 

In the video below, a Kiowa gentleman explains about how the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society began, who is allowed to join this society, and the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society traditions.

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