Recorded and Edited by Willard Rhodes
The Kiowa Language
Music Of The American Indian from the Archive of American Folk Culture L35
The broad, open plains of western Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles provided a congenial homeland for this nomadic people after their migration from the north. Tribal tradition as well as the accounts of early explorers places the Kiowa as far north as the Yellowstone River in the late seventeenth century. After leaving the mountains of western Montana before the beginning of the eighteenth century, they came in contact with the Crow, with whom they have maintained friendly relations through the years. Later they drifted into the Black Hills, only to be driven out by the incoming Sioux and Cheyenne. The call of the mountains seems to have been strong with the Kiowa for they finally established themselves in and around the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma.

The Kiowa was probably one of the first tribes of the southern Plains to acquire the horse, sometime in the seventeenth century. One can hardly exaggerate the importance of this acquisition to the Indian, for it wrought social, economic, and political changes which can only be compared with those resulting from the Industrial Revolution in Western European and American society. Up to this time, land travel for the Indian had been limited to the short distances that he could cover on foot with the help of the dog travois for the transportation of his few possessions and camp equipment. Now he could travel great distances with speed and comfort and move his camp with ease. His nomadism was definitely accelerated. The cultural exchange that resulted from the frequent and repeated contacts of tribes roaming the Great Plains gave rise eventually to a fairly homogeneous culture for this geographic area. The Kiowa soon became one of the wealthiest tribes of the Plains. The buffalo hunt, facilitated by the use of the horse, now provided a more abundant food supply, larger tipis, and better clothing - in short, some of the luxuries that raised the living standard well above the subsistence level. The horse became the medium of exchange in economic manipulations, both within and without the tribe, and a man's wealth was reckoned in terms of the number of horses he owned. According to a report of the Commissioner of Indians Affairs in 1869, the Kiowa, with about fifteen hundred people, had six thousand horses, and this number by no means represents the size of their herd during the years when Kiowa economic life was flourishing, unhampered by conflict with white settlers.

More important than material wealth, though inextricably linked to it, were social rank and status. Noble personality traits and virtues were socially recognized and respected, but the highest honors were reserved for those who distinguished themselves in warfare. Raids for horses and captives among the neighboring tribes, and among the white settlements of Texas and Mexico, offered opportunities for the ambitious young warrior to advance socially while acquiring the necessary wealth with which to demonstrate his generosity and validate his rank by the dirstibution of property. This activity brought the Kiowa into direct conflict with the United States government in its efforts to maintain peace and provide protection to white settlers and travelers in the Southwest.

The pressure of the westward movement in the mid-nineteenth century, the building of the railroads, and the large-scale operations of the fur and hide companies proved disastrous to the Kiowa and to most Indian tribes in this area. Suddenly the bottom dropped out of the economy and social organization of the tribe. The once abundant herds of buffalo, the basic source of food, shelter, and clothing, were decimated by the unregulated hunting by both Indians and whites. The Kiowa found themselves confined to a government reservation administered by an Indian agent with the support of the military. They were no longer free to acquire wealth and prestige by raiding. In view of the socially approved patterns of behavior developing out of the history of the tribe, one can feel only sympathy for the Kiowa in their difficult adjustment to the culture of the white man which encircled them, and to which they were forced to conform. Today the Kiowa are first-class, patriotic citizens, industrious, cooperative, progressive, and happily adjusted to their modern life.

Before the Kiowa were settled on the reservation and given individual land allotments, the tribe had been divided into twelve to fifteen bands, each under the leadership of a headman, or topotok'i. Consisting of an extended family group to which a few families of friends and hangers-on might attach themselves, the band, or topotoga, operated as a self-contained unit, economically, socially, and politically. Likewise in matters religious, the topotoga was more or less self-sufficient; ordinarily each band held one of the ten sacred medicine bundles of the tribe known as the Ten Grandmothers. Each bundle was in the keeping of a priest who inherited his office. Among the functions of the ten medicine priests were the mediation of disputes and the bearing of the peace pipes. The bundles were held in the highest veneration by the tribesmen who made vows, sacrifices, and petitions before them with regular frequency as well as at times of Coss.

In mid-summer the bands assembled in one large camp for the tribal Sun Dance ceremony. This was an occasion of great importance, for in addition to the celebration of the religious rites, it provided an opportunity for social intercourse on the tribal scale. Old friendships were renewed, courtships were consummated in elopement, and the men's societies met to select and accept new members from among the eligible young warriors. In the dedication ceremony at the opening of the Sun Dance, warriors who had at best four heroic acts to their credit, had participated in all types of warfare, and had "counted coup" on Indian enemies, recited their deeds before the assembled tribe. Buffalo dances before and after the Sun Dance were occasions for the honoring of these distinguished warriors. Feasts and give-aways honoring favorite sons and daughters validated the rank and prestige of the wealthy families while furnishing pleasant social events for their friends.

The Sun Dance ceremony was under the direc-
tion of the keeper of the taime, "a small image, less than two feet in length, representing a human figure dressed in a robe of white feathers, with a headdress consisting of a single upright feather and pendants of ermine skin, with numerous strands of blue beads around its neck, and painted upon the face, breast and back with designs symbolic of the sun and moon."* Ceremonial preparations for the dance included the building of sweat lodges for the purification of the dancers, scouting for a tree to serve as center pole of the dance lodge, charging the tree in sham combat before it was chopped down by a captive Mexican woman, moving it to the dance ground, and the building of the dance lodge. The dance began after sunset and continued for four nights and days. The taime keeper was joined in the dance by his four associates, the taime shield keepers, and any tribesmen who might wish to participate. Men vowed to dance a certain number of days in order to obtain various benefits for themselves and their families. It was believed that the fulfillment of a Sun Dance vow "warded off sickness, caused happiness, prosperity, many children, success in war, and plenty of buffalo for all the people. It was frequently vowed by persons in danger from sickness or the enemy."** Self-torture or self-mortification, which was an essential element of the Sun Dance complex as practiced by so many of the Plains tribes, was not present among the Kiowa. The last Kiowa Sun Dance was held in 1887.

From late summer to December the Kiowa were busily occupied making preparations for the long, cold winter months. The men went out on daily hunts for buffalo, while the women worked hard preserving the meat and tanning the hides. The accumulation of a sufficient food supply to carry them through the winter was of the utmost importance. Winters were spent in small camps located along streams sheltered by adjoining woodlands. In these periods of little organized activity there was plenty of time for social intercourse. On long winter evenings grandparents and parents entertained the children with legends and songs. The adventures of Sende, the Kiowa trickster, were a never ending source of delight to both young and old. And the hand game, which is a guessing game played to the accompaniment of songs, afforded opportunity for gambling in a lively and exciting social setting.

The clothing which the women made of deerskin, though simple, was of fine design. For the men, there were moccasins, breechclout, and shirts; for the women, boot-moccasins and a one-piece, slip-over dress, Children's clothing was patterned after that of adults, but reduced to size. The Kiowa obtained metal early; of it, the men made jewelry, decorative ornaments, and horse trappings. By the middle of the nineteenth century, earrings, finger-rings, hair-plates, belts, bracelets, and necklaces had become distinguishing features of the tribal costume.

Today work in metal craft is little practiced. Many women, however, are active in the Southern Plains Indian Crafts Center, a cooperative organization devoted to the adaptation of old tribal arts and crafts to contemporary living, Dresses, scarfs, moccasins, hand bags, bead work, all inspired by traditional designs and techniques, are but a few of the many objects that may be purchased from the Southern Plains Indian Crafts Center, which has its headquarters in Anadarko, Oklahoma.

In the Field of painting, the Kiowa have demonstrated their artistic genius through the works of a number of distinguished artists, Kiowa artists have been successful not only in the delicate and sensitive medium of watercolor, but also in bold murals of panoramic dimensions.

Some of their best works have found permanent homes in the Department of the Interior Building, Washington, D.C., the Federal Building in Anadarko, the Federal Building in Muskogee, the University of Oklahoma at Norman, and numerous museums and private collections both here and abroad.

*James Mooney, Calendar History of the Kiowa, p, 240.
**Hugh Lenox Scott, Notes on the Kaddo, p. 347.

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Native Words



Sun Dance Songs Though the Sun Dance was widely diffused among the Plains tribes, there was considerable variation in the ceremony as it was celebrated by the various tribes in this vast geographic and cultural area. Tribal differences are to be noted in the Sun Dance songs as well as in other elements of the ceremonial complex. The two songs recorded here by George Hunt were remembered from his youth. Today they are unknown to the younger generation of singers. Indian music lives only as it functions in the life of the people. When its cultural setting, be it religious or secular, is destroyed or altered, the music either disappears or undergoes radical changes. It is well over half a century since the Sun Dance was forbidden to the Kiowa by the United States government.

These two songs are sung without words. The first follows a descending sequence of tones, F, E, D, A, F sharp, D, A; the second follows another series, E, B, A, G, F sharp, E, B.
Setanke's Death Song (Crazy Dog Society Song) Despite the peace councils and treaties made with the United States government, the Kiowa chiefs and warriors found it difficult to abandon their old way of life and settle down to an uneventful agricultural existence. Ambition for war honors as well as the attraction of loot in horses, mules, and captives continued to draw men out into the open plains on raiding expeditions. These motives were deeply colored with a brooding resentment of the invading white man whom the Kiowa held responsible for the evil days that had befallen them. In 1871 Satanta (White Bear) led a raiding party of about a hundred men into Texas where they attacked the Warren wagon train, killing seven men and capturing a train of mules. Shortly afterward Satanta and two associate chiefs, Setanke (Sitting Bear) and Big Tree, were arrested and held at Fort Sill before being returned to Texas, where they were to stand trial by civil authorities. Setanke vowed that he would never allow himself to be taken away. Loyal to the principles of the Ko-eet-senko (Crazy Dog) Society, membership in which was limited to the ten bravest warriors of the tribe,
Setanke preferred death to what he considered dishonor. As the three prisoners were being taken in two wagons from Fort Sill to Jacksboro, Texas, Setanke said, "See that tree?" indicating a large pecan tree by the side of the road some distance ahead. "When I reach that tree I will be dead." Whereupon he began singing the song of the Crazy Dog Society.

Setanke had managed to free his hands from the handcuffs that bound him, and seizing a knife, which he had previously concealed, he stabbed his guard, In the skirmish that followed, the old chief was shot. This historic incident* is but one of the many tragic episodes which cloud our past history, The sudden and overwhelming impact of modem civilization upon an ancient culture brought its measure of tragedy and suffering. This is most fittingly memorialized in the "Death Song" of Setanke, whom the Kiowa hold in the greatest respect and reverence.

The melody, extending through a range of a twelfth, follows a sequence of tones, D, C, A, G, F, E, D, C, A, G. In typical Plains style it starts high and descends in terraced phrases until it comes to a point of repose on the final G.

* Alice Marriot, The Ten Grandmothers, pp. 112-125, and W. S. Nye, Carbine and Lance, pp. 123-147.
haw 'ahgaw 'al 'ah 'ohboy goongtdaw
'oy dohm deyl kgee 'ohboy k'aw
'oy pbahee deyl kgee 'ohboy daw
I live but I cannot live forever
Only the great Earth lives forever
The great Sun is the only living thing
Ghost Dance Songs As the Indian's world passed away from him, there arose hopes and beliefs that a Messiah would come to restore the old order, From the west there emerged a new religion, the Ghost Dance, which spread from tribe to tribe like a prairie grass fire. A new earth was to appear with wild horses, elk, and buffalo in abundance. The spirits of dead relatives were to be resurrected, and the entire Indian race was to live again in its aboriginal state of freedom and happiness. An Arapaho named Sitting Bull, who had visited, seen, and talked to the Messiah himself, introduced the Ghost Dance among the Comanche, Kiowa, Caddo, and Wichita in 1890.

The dance consisted of the participants joining hands in a large circle and moving slowly around in a clockwise path while chanting the Ghost Dance songs. In the center of the circle, the medicine man exercised his power to induce a hypnotic trance in each of the dancers. One by one the dancers would drop to the ground in a state of trance, remaining there sometimes for as much as an hour, during which time they had visions of reunions with dead relatives.

One young Kiowa, Ahpeatone, deeply affected by the new religion, traveled to Nevada to see the Messiah, only to discover that he was a Paiute Indian named Jack Wilson and that his supernatural power was no greater than that of other Indians, Ahpeatone returned to his tribesmen completely disillusioned. As the Kiowa listened to his story, a tragic disappointment descended upon them. A few continued the dance for some time, but when it failed to produce the promised result they gradually abandoned it and sank into a state of despair and apathy.

Herzog in his study Plains Ghost Dance and Great Basin Music, finds the Ghost Dance songs "so closely related to each other that they must be conceived as representing a distinct type, forming an integrated 'style' of their own." The musical natures which make these songs distinct are: (1) narrowness of melodic range, (2) general lack of accompaniment, (3) tendency for phrases to end on the tonic, (4) symmetrical structure achieved by the repetition of every phrase. Herzog concludes that the musical evidence indicates that the Ghost Dance songs originated in the Great Basin and spread out over the Plains without being strongly affected by the musical
styles of the various tribes accepting them.

The opening and closing songs of the Kiowa Ghost Dance presented here as sung by George Hunt are at variance with Herzog's conclusions. Both songs, extending through a range of a twelfth, are sung with accompaniment and,
although some phrases are literally repeated, the structure of terraced phrases and descending melodic movement suggests a strong influence of the prevailing Plains musical style. Most Ghost Dance songs are sung with words. Here the words are reserved for the concluding phrases of the songs, reminiscent of the Plains practice of singing a song through with meaningless syllables and introducing the words on the repetition of the song.

The first song employs the following tones, E, D, C sharp, C natural, A, E, D, C natural, A. The second song is based on the same series without the C sharp.
Opening Song

'ahgyahtoh 'eym 'ohntdahee pbey yahtoh

Closing Song

'ahmagaw naw gaw hohmaw
taheeng saw gool gyahk'eeyah daw
Opening Song

The smell of the cedar smoke will make you

Closing Song

I am giving you a feather
The white-painted cross also goes with it
Legend Song 1 The first of these songs is sung as part of one of the stories about the adventures of Sende, the Kiowa trickster. There are many stories about Sende, but they could only be told after dark. This is a story about Sende and the prairie dogs. One day Sende was going along when he spied a group of prairie dogs playing. Sende was tired and very hungry. As he looked at the prairie dogs he thought how nice a roasted prairie dog would taste. So he stopped and talked to the prairie dogs. He told them about a new dance he knew and offered to teach it to the prairie dogs if they wanted to learn it. The prairie dogs were delighted and begged Sende to teach them the new dance. Sende showed them how they must form a big circle and dance with their eyes closed while he sang the new dance song. He warned them not to open their eyes until he had finished singing. This is the song he sang.

As the little prairie dogs danced past Sende, he hit them over the head with a big stick and knocked them dead. But there was one smart little girl prairie dog who was curious and wanted to know why they had to dance with their eyes closed. So she peeked through her half-opened eyelids, When she saw what was happening she ran away before Sende could strike with his stick.

The song is childlike in its simple repetitive pattern and narrow range of tones, A, G, F, D, A. The vocal line of the song moves in a triple meter while the accompaniment is beaten with a stick in a duple meter of even beats.
tsadaw tsadaw tohn baht'ohnt'ney
'oy yah pohlaw tsey
The prairie dog, the prairie dog, is shaking his tail
That's the end of my short song
Legend Song 2 The second song tells how a young boy received his vision enabling him to become a medicine man. George Hunt related the story as follows:
Once there was a poor old woman who lived with her young grandson. She was not outcast by the people but was just really poor. The grandmother had a black buffalo spoon which she thought the world of. One day her grandson was playing with the spoon and lost it, so she whipped him for losing her property which she valued so greatly. The child felt very guilty and went inside the tipi and lay down at the back. While he was lying there a vision came to him that he was to become a great medicine man who would be lucky in the way of food. He would always have a good supply of meat.
The melody is based on the following tonal sequence, E flat, B flat, A flat, G flat, F, E flat, D flat, B flat.
t'awng kohng gyahpoytseyp
naw tahlyooee deytahhohl
naw kohmeby 'awteydaw tsey
'awdey daw 'ohmgyah
I lost the black spoon
And so my grandmother whipped me
Lying unhappy in the tipi I had a vision that I would be
Lucky (in the quest for food), a medicine man
Legend Song 3 The third song is that of the "Antelope Drive." The story goes that during the antelope drive the antelope buck sang this song. When he had finished, he jumped the corral and ran away. George Hunt gave the following free translation of the text: "What a dangerous thing to live in this world because of the danger of being slain. It's a great pity that I have to be one of those that are slain in hunting."

The song, following a pentatonic scale, D, C, A, G, F, D, C, is patterned in clearly defined phrases.
dey gyah zeylbah naw 'ahgyah goongtdaw
hohndey 'ahgaw 'ohn naw 'ahgyah goongtdaw
It's bad, that I am alive
And I am sorry for myself, sorry that I am
Christian Prayer Song 1 It was not until 1881 that the Christian churches began sustained missionary activities among the Kiowa. That year Rev. J. B. Wicks of the Episcopal Church preached to the Indians at Fort Sill, later transferring his work to Anadarko. Shortly after, the Baptist Church established a mission at Rainy Mountain which developed into one of the strongest and most active churches among the Kiowa. In time, Mennonites, Methodists, Catholics, and members of the Dutch Reformed Church followed with mission churches. The first of these two Christian Prayer Songs is described by George Hunt as "the first church Kiowa song." The text follows.

Based on a pentatonic series of tones, D, B, A, F sharp, E, D, the song is clearly structured in a pattern of phrases that can be described as a a b c b' c b. The meter is definitely triple with a prolongation of the final tone of each phrase. These features in combination with the melodic movement of the song suggest the influence of white gospel hymns.
hawndey daw gaw k'eeyah pawnseyp (repeat)
Jeezasyah dey daw gaw k'eeyah pawnseyp
Jeezasyah dey hawn dohsey
t'eygyah kgohn baw k'eeyah pawnseyp
Who came down from heaven to save? (repeat)
It was Jesus who came down to save
Why did Jesus come down from Heaven?
He came to save the souls of all the people
(repeat last two lines)
Christian Prayer Song 2 The second song is perhaps the most beloved Christian hymn of the Kiowa. The words follow.

It is based on the following tones, D, B, A, G, F sharp, E, D, B, A, and consists of four phrases, a a b b.
dawkgee 'ah'ee bahdawtsahhee (repeat)
mang dey gyahk'ohmaw 'eyt tsang heydeytdaw naw
bah'ohn tahdaw
beyhey gyahkohndaw gaw'ohndaw
naw 'eymohn tahdaw
God's Son, to Him we pray
The door of the heavenly home will open
And we shall be happy
There will be no death but eternal life
And you shall be happy
Peyote Songs Sometime around 1870 the Kiowa received a new system of belief-the peyote religion. This movement was destined to have a wide intertribal distribution in the years that followed. It had its origin in Mexico and by the eighteenth century had crossed the Rio Grande. The neighboring Comanche, who had received peyote from the Mescalero Apache, shared it with the Kiowa before passing it on to the Wichita, Pawnee, Shawnee, Ponca, Kickapoo, and Kansa. The Kiowa, too, were active in the dissemination of this pan-tribal religion, teaching its ritual to the Oto, Southern Arapaho, Southern Cheyenne, and Creek. Today, the peyote organizations in Oklahoma are united under a charter and a certificate of incorporation granted "The Native American Church" at Oklahoma City, under the signature and seal of the secretary of state, dated October 10, 1918.

The peyote ceremony, centering around the eating of peyote-a small, fleshy cactus with hallucinogenic properties–is an interesting combination of nativistic and Christian beliefs and practices. In the all-night meetings, which are held in a special tipi, the singing of peyote songs constitutes an important part of the ritual. Ceremonial paraphernalia, consisting of a staff, a small gourd rattle, and a water drum, specially wrapped and tied for each meeting, are passed clockwise around the circle of participants. Each person is expected to sing four songs, and each song is sung four times. The singer holds the staff in his left hand and accompanies himself with the rattle in his right hand, while the person to his right provides an accompaniment on the drum. Peyote songs are always sung by individuals, never in chorus, and with a mild vocal technique which distinguishes these songs from other songs. At four stated intervals during the ceremony, the leader sings special songs which are always sung at these points in the ritual. It is these four songs, "Opening Song," "Night Water Song," "Morning Sunrise Song," and "Closing Song," which are presented here as sung by George Hunt. Each song is sung only twice instead of the traditional four times.

Since peyote songs, particularly the four special songs, are passed on from one tribe to another as an integral part of the ceremony, it is not surprising that they manifest a unity and distinctness of style that sets them apart from other tribal music. In describing the style of peyote songs, McAllester notes that they are:
(1) sung with a relatively 'mild' vocal technique; (2) they are fast; (3) the accompaniment is in eighth-note units running even with the voice and adding to the impression of speed; (4) they are uniquely consistent in the use of only eighth and quarter-note values in the vocal melody; (5) they have the usual Plains phrase patterns but in addition show a significant incidence in paired patterns, restricted compass and unusually long and flat codas; (6) the finals show a cumulative use of the tonic for phrase endings; (7) at the end of the typical peyote song, as diagnostic as the Christian 'amen,' comes the phrase 'he ne ne yo wa-'.
Christian Hymn 1 Whereas many Indian tribes have been content to accept the white Christian hymns which have been translated into the native language by the missionaries, the Kiowa have preferred to create their own original hymnology. Emotional and spiritual needs that were formerly satisfied with songs from ceremonies now extinct are served today by this sizable body of native religious music. Following the old culture pattern, these songs are ofttimes received in dreams. Contrary to the general Indian practice whereby the making of music is the prerogative of the men, Kiowa women are active as folk composers and some of the most beloved hymns have been originated by them. The triadic melodic pattern of these two songs, extending through a wide range of an octave and a fifth, starting high and descending by a series of terraced phrases to the low final tone, is characteristic of the Plains style. It is evident that these hymns are genuinely Indian and not a weak hybrid adaptation of white music. hohnday 'ohnday 'eymdawkgee yaw aw gohdaw
'eydawtsah heetdaw
I am happy that I acknowledge Thee as my God
I will praise Thee
Christian Hymn 2 The first song employs three basic tones, E flat, C, A flat, with their duplicates in a lower octave and occasional embellishing tones emerging from the native style of singing. The second song is similarly triadic in its melodic structure. The tonal material consists of F sharp, E, D sharp, D natural, B, and their duplicates in a lower octave. The trill at the opening of the song is a distinctive musical feature that is to be encountered in other Kiowa songs ("Flag Song," B7). Dawkgee 'eedaw hohndey 'ey' ohmey yan tdah 'ohmey
beytdaw dawkgee 'ah beyldohdey
naw 'ee k'eegaw kgeedaw 'eyngt'agyah
heydawgyah kgeedaw 'eyngt'agyah
beytdaw dawkgee beyl dohdey
The Son of God made me happy and helped me
He is God and He is thinking about me
My children and I enjoy good days
He is still with us and the days are good
God will always be with us
Round Dance When the Kiowa received the Round Dance from the Dakota Sioux early in the twentieth century, it became an exclusive dance of the Kiowa women's Round Dance Society, now extinct. Today it is danced by men, women, and children who form a circle by locking arms with the dancers to the right and left and facing toward the center. The circle moves clockwise with a shuffling dance step that is perfectly coordinated with the rhythmic beat of the music. In the center of the circle, a chorus of men standing around a large drum beat a vigorous, percussive accompaniment to their spirited singing. The music, with its infectious, compulsive rhythm, and its exciting vocal tone-color, commands a vital rhythmic motor response from the dancers. Often the women dancers join in the singing.

During World War I this dance was known also as the Soldier's Dance, but that name has been abandoned in favor of the older name. As the dance is not ceremonial in function and as it engages both men and women in its performance, it is a popular form of diversion and entertainment at social gatherings. The basic pattern of the dance is so simple and so widely diffused through the Plains country that it provides an ideal medium for participation at intertribal gatherings such as the American Indian Exposition, held annually during the month of August at Anadarko, Oklahoma.

The song presented here is attributed to James Anquoe. It honors the Forty-fifth Division of the U.S. Army, the Thunderbirds, in which so many Indian boys from Oklahoma served during World War II and also during the Korean War.

Extending through a range of an octave and a fourth, the melody follows a descending pentatonic pattern of tones, G flat, E flat, D flat, B flat, A flat, G flat, D flat, with G flat serving as a tonal center.
'ah soht gootohgyah p'at dohp 'eydohm
toh pbahee tdey hoy 'eygaw gyatsandaw
The Thunderbirds are going across to scout around
Sometime soon they will return victorious
Rabbit Society Dance The Kiowa possessed a strong military organization consisting of six societies or order's which were graded according to the age and achievement of the individual members. Boys of six to twelve years of age were initiated into the Rabbit Society where they were drilled in future duties as warriors by certain old men. Like other societies the "Rabbits" had their own songs and dances. In their dances the boys imitated the jumping of rabbits, a movement suggested by the rhythm of the song. During the period when the Ghost Dance was popular, the Rabbit Society would perform before or after the religious dance. Today the dance is performed by young boys and girls at large gatherings, where it serves as a memorial of the past and a source of social entertainment and amusement. The song is vocalized without words on a descending series of tones, F, E flat, D flat, B flat, A flat, F, E flat, D flat, A flat, extending through a range of an octave and a sixth with A flat serving as a ground tone, Kiowa
War Dance Song 1 The War Dance Songs of the O-ho-mo Society (War Dance Society) are among the best-known and most popular Indian music today, the Kiowa are reported to have adopted this society from the Southern Cheyenne sometime around 1880. Among other Plains tribes this lodge is known as the Omaha Society. Since the O-ho-mo Society is in a state of decline, many of the dances associated with the ceremonialism of the society are dying out. Today a distinction is made between the old-style dance called the Straight War Dance (or O-ho-mo Dance) and the Fancy War Dance. Matthew Whitehorse, leader of the group that recorded these songs, referred to the two styles as the "Slow War Dance" and the "Fast War Dance." An example of each is presented here. The new style seems to have developed around 1920 in response to the desire of a "Wild West Show" manager to have his Indian performers execute the dance as his non-Indian audiences believed it should be. Gamble believes that "another influence was that of the 'Charleston' and similar dances," Fancy War Dance contests are often held in connection with large gatherings, and dancers vie with one another in the complexity and intricacy of their steps and the vigor of their performance.

The first song employs only four tones and the duplicates of two of those tones in a lower octave, G flat, E flat, B flat, A flat., G flat, E flat. The second song is similarly economical in its tonal material, following a series, G, F, C, A, G, F. There are no words in either song.
War Dance Song 2 Kiowa
Squat Dance The Squat Dance consists of two clearly defined alternating units. During the Slow section of the song, the male dancers squat wherever they may be, in a tense position, poised and ready for the following action. With the quickened drum beats of the fast section, they leap to their feet and dance with bold spirited movements. Like so many dances of the Plains tribes the Squat. Dance provides the dancer with an opportunity for improvisation and individual expression. Though the steps follow a basic pattern they allow for considerable originality and variation. The dance is believed to be a fairly modern one among the Kiowa. Gamble states that "in an early form of the dance when the dancers were squatting, one or sometimes two 'war honors' men walked or ran counterclockwise, at the same time encouraging the dancers and reciting war deeds. These 'war honors' men had to be those who had fought rear guard action. The dance was said to represent warriors fleeing from a numerically superior enemy."

The tonal material of this song is extremely simple and consists of A, F, C, B flat, A flat, F, in a descending order. The body of the melody is clearly triadic in its outline since the B flat appears only in the closing phrase as a neighboring tone. The retardation of tempo in this phrase is rare in Indian music and stands forth as a distinctive feature of the song. Whether the A natural in the opening phrase represents the singer's intention or the result of vocal enthusiasm and miscalculation in reaching for a high tone is a question that could be determined only by comparing several renditions of the song. Unfortunately time did not allow for more than one recording of this song. The melody is vocalized without the words.
Indian Two-Step This dance is so widespread among the Plains tribes that it rightfully may be regarded as a pantribal dance. Among the Dakota Sioux, from whom the Kiowa are reported to have acquired the dance sometime before World War I, it is known as the Rabbit Dance. It is the first Indian dance in which men and women danced as partners and undoubtedly reflects the influence of white dance steps and positions. The couples form a circle which moves in a clockwise direction. At a call of the leader the direction of the circle may be reversed during the dance. Sometimes couples make individual circles within the forward movement of the large circle of dancers.

The triple-metered drum beat with a rest on every second beat is characteristic of the dance. The song divides itself into two distinct sections. The tonal material consists of G sharp, F sharp, C sharp, B, A (of variable pitch), F sharp. The A of this series lies somewhere between A natural and A sharp giving, in its melodic relationship to the F sharp below it, what is known as a neutral third.
Flag Song The patriotism generated by World War I and World War II found expression in a number of new war songs inspired by the events and situation of those crucial years. The flag songs, centering on the American flag as a symbol, have survived the period which gave them birth and today they function as a tribal anthem, "just like the Star Spangled Banner." Sung at the opening of ceremonies and public gatherings, they command the same respectful attitude and behavior that one accords the national anthem. The singers believed this song to have been made during World War I.

The most distinctive musical feature of the "Kiowa Flag Song" is the trill on F and E flat in the introductory section. The melody is triadic and based on the following sequence of tones, F, E flat, D flat, B flat, F.


The songs sung by George Hunt (Al-6) were recorded at Riverside Indian School, Anadarko, Oklahoma, in August 1941. A Presto Disc Recorder, Model 7-K, was used. The "Christian Hymns" (A7, B1) were recorded at a Sunday afternoon service at the Big Tent on the Fair Grounds, Anadarko, Oklahoma, during the American Indian Exposition, August 1951. The songs led by Matthew Whitehorse (B2-7) were recorded at Riverside Indian School in August 1951. For the recordings made in 1951, a Presto Tape Recorder, Model 900 A-1, was used.
t'ahee gaw 'ohlt'agaw
beyt'agyah 'ohl hahyee
hohndey 'ohndey bah'ohngyah
Raise the flag with care
Go out and whip the enemy
And be glad.