Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1994


Published in Great Plains Research 4:2 (August 1994). Copyright © 1994 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Today, intertribal participants at Southern Plains powwows (Oklahoma and Texas) celebrate common history and culture-their sense of "Indianness"-through the enactment of ceremonial song and dance. The Kiowa playa central and assertive role in the Southern Plains powwow network. and they use the Gourd Dance as the vehicle to identify their "Kiowaness." The thesis of this paper is that the Kiowa continue to maintain their tribal identity through performances of the Gourd Dance. which they claim as their own. The maintenance of identity is traced from the late nineteenth century through the evolution of Kiowa dances leading up to the Gourd Dance.