Kiowas Cheer On One of Their Own in World Cup

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown June 25th, 2014 Last Updated on: June 25th, 2014

Al Jazeera America visited members of the Kiowa tribe in Oklahoma to see how they're helping cheer on one of their members, Chris Wondolowski. Here's an excerpt from their interview with his grandmother.

“I’m a fluent Kiowa speaker. I’ve been all over the world. But I don’t understand soccer,” said Dorothy Whitehorse-Delaune, Wondolowski’s 82-year-old grandmother. “But for somebody that didn’t speak English until they were 6 and then having someone playing on an international team, and he’s from your family? It’s just overwhelming. Look how far we’ve come.”

He is known as Wondo by some and also by his Kiowa name, Bau Daigh (pronounced bow dye) which translates to “warrior returning from battle.” As for soccer, there is no word in Kiowa for the sport. However, Whitehorse-Delaune has one idea for what it could be called: pau-ah-dau ate on-goo-goo.

She broke it down: pau-ah-dau for “ball”, ate for “there,” on-goo-goo for “kick.”

“That’s the only way I could explain it if I was telling one of my elders. ‘They’re playing kickball, pau-ah-dau ate on-goo-goo,’’’ she said. “That’s the name I would give to soccer, but I don’t know what the goalie would be.”

Photo by Garett Fisbeck for Al Jazeera America

Photo by Garett Fisbeck for Al Jazeera America


Chris Wondolowski is also a Nike N7 Ambassador. Here's a video they created about him:

“One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.” is a USsoccer.com video series with the members of the U.S. Men's National Team. Here's Wondolowski's Story with them:

As you can imagine the Kiowa youth have definitely taken a liking to soccer now. Maybe we'll see a few more playing in future World Cups!

The United States Men's National Team will take on Germany this Thursday at 11:00am on ESPN. You can bet the Kiowas will be rooting their boy on!

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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She is adorable. Proud. Love it.

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