Gourd dancing is not a “pow wow style” of dance.
Gourd Dances are held regularly by several groups especially in Oklahoma. Today the dance is being done at pow wows before, after, and between intertribal dancing.
The dance was resurrected by the Kiowa Tribe. Several tribes historically held Gourd Dances including the Ponca, Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne. Today there are several Gourd Dance Societies or groups.
The gourd is either a real gourd, or a stainless steel salt shaker or an evaporated milk can. They are decorated with leather, beads, string, feathers, and horsehair. The dancer wears a ribbon shirt, buckskin leggins or pants, and a sash round the waist with fringed ends. The dancers also wear a Gourd Blanket over their shoulders. The blanket is made of red and blue wool. A bandolier made from mescal beans is worn across the chest from one shoulder to below the waist. Gourd Dancers either wear boots or moccasins. The moccasins are decorated with beads, tin cones, horsehair, and dye. During the song the dancers move around the circle slowly dancing and shaking their gourds. Ss the song changes to a louder, stronger beat, the dancers stop in place and lift their heels up as they shake the gourds harder.
Find out more in the gourd dance forum.
See more pictures of gourd dancing in the gourd dance gallery.