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Comanche

Anthropology

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Singing To The Spirits: Cultural And Spiritual Traditions Embodied In The Native American Gourd Dance, Alicia M. Gummess Apr 2013

Singing To The Spirits: Cultural And Spiritual Traditions Embodied In The Native American Gourd Dance, Alicia M. Gummess

Honors Projects

In this paper, I provide a brief overview of the history and practice of the Native American Gourd Dance, a traditional ceremony integrating music and dance practiced by Gourd Dance societies in Southern Oklahoma. I examine the reasons behind its popularity and spread to other regions of North America, including the Southwest and the Northern Plains. Gourd Dance performances usually occur in the context of larger ceremonial gatherings called pow wows, in which Native American communities hold dances to celebrate their values and practice their religious beliefs and cultural traditions. Pow wows feature many traditional and more modern Native American ...