War Dance Songs Of The Kiowa Vol. 1

Volume 1

Indian House
Singers: Ralph Kotay, Dixon Palmer, Rusty Wahkinney, Bill Ware, Tom Ware, Truman Ware, Mac Whitehorse, Mildred Kotay, Maxine Wahkinney, Florene Whitehorse, Lucille Whitehorse
Comments & translations of the songs as told by Mac Whitehorse
The O-ho-mah Lodge is the original war dance society of the Kiowa. It began about one hundred years ago when Daw oi ki, a prominent Kiowa warrior, received the sacred war dance tail-bustle from the Cheyenne, and with this responsibility was given the right to perform the songs and dance that is a part of the O-ho-mah* tradition. To receive and keep the tail-bustle is not only a great honor, it is also a great responsibility, requiring much sacrifice on the part of the keeper. To date there have been six Kiowa keepers: Daw oi ki (Been wounded many times), Po tone (Otter water), Zet koi ait (Big bow), Gui kaa de (Wolf laying down - Charley Saloe), Tsen tai de (Whitehorse), and Mac Whitehorse who received the bustle in 1952.
Many prominent Kiowas have been members of the Lodge over the years, and today the Lodge has about 50 members. Although the O-ho-mah Lodge is primarily a men's organization, traditionally there have been two girl members - the O-ho-mah Princesses. When an O-ho-mah dance is held, only the men and the two princesses may dance in the center of the dance ground, other women may dance but on the side areas of the ground. The members do not dance on the starting song, but wait until the second song. There is no whipman, as in some war dance organizations, any member can go in front of a seated dancer, tap his foot in front of him and turn around, and the seated dancer is supposed to get up and dance. The O-ho-mah Lodge holds their traditional dance each year on the last weekend of July.
The singing of the O-ho-mah Lodge is unique. Although many songs have been changed over the years, the O-ho-mah Lodge strives to perform them in the manner in which they were originally composed, including many nuances of style specifically Kiowa.
The songs recorded in these two volumes are just a few of the many O-ho-mah Lodge songs. Many of the songs belong to O-ho-mah families, and other are simply old-time war dance songs with no particular ownership. There are many songs which we had to leave out which we wish we could have included here, but it was not possible at this time. However, the songs here have been recorded for all the members of the O-ho-mah Lodge, as well as for other to hear and enjoy.
We are indeed grateful to the singers of the O-ho-mah Lodge, and to the owners of the personal songs recorded here for their help and cooperation in making this recording possible. We are very pleased to present these traditional war dance songs of the Kiowa sung by the O-ho-mah Lodge Singers.
*In Kiowa, O ho mah means war dance.

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Native Words



O-ho-mah Starting Song No one dances this except George Bosin. Kiowa
O-ho-mah Lodge Song All the members get up and dance on this one.
O-ho-mah dancers, get up and dance. It's good. Kiowa
War Dance Song 1 This is James Silverhorn's song. Kiowa
War Dance Song 2 Some words can go in here, but we didn't put them in. Kiowa
War Dance Song 3 Kiowa
War Dance Song 4 Kiowa
War Dance Song 5 Kiowa
War Dance Song 6 Kiowa
War Dance Song 7 A group of Kiowas once went down to Waco, Texas, and sang this song over there. We call it the Waco song. Kiowa
War Dance Song 8 This is Jasper Doyah's song. Kiowa
War Dance Song 9 This used to belong to Steve Mopope; he passed it on to his grandson, Woodcoy Santos. Kiowa
War Dance Song 10 Kiowa
War Dance Song 11 This is Arlis Geikaumah's song. Kiowa
War Dance Song 12 Kiowa
War Dance Song 13 Kiowa
War Dance Song 14 Kiowa
War Dance Song 15 Kiowa