Kiowa Dancing Research Paper

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According to Kiowa legend, a young warrior man was separated from his group. In some oral lineages, it is said that this warrior was not separated from his group, but the last survivor after a horrific battle. After many days, he grew hungry and thirsty. He then came upon a hill and heard some odd noises coming from the other side. When he looked over the hill he saw a red wolf singing and dancing on its hind legs. The red wolf had a shaker made from a gourd in one hand. After listening to the red wolf sing, and watching him dance for many hours, the red wolf called out to the young warrior. He gave the warrior food and water and told the young warrior to take the songs he had heard and the dancing that he had seen back to his tribe. The young…show more content…
The dance steps and use of the rattles are easy for anyone to learn, but not everyone is always invited to participate. At some performances only tribe members, and members of other tribes that have received an invitation to participate, may participate. The dance is performed in a circle, much like many other Native American dances. There is a large central drum in the middle of the circle. During the song the dancers take small steps in place. Sometimes during these steps the dancers do not even take full steps, but rather just bend at the knee a little bit. These steps can also be in a circle as a group, or everyone can stay in place. When the central drum begins to get louder, the dancers begin to take higher steps in place, lifting their heels up off of the ground and shaking their gourds harder, creating a louder rattle. Due to the simplicity and physical ease of the choreography in the gourd dance, many of the dancers are elderly men. Most of the younger dancers enjoy performing in more competitive, fast paced dances, such as the fancy dance or the southern straight dance. Many of the elderly men are also war veterans, some injured, some not. If they are injured, the gourd dance is often times one of the few dances that they can still participate in, as it is not very physically

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