Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honor your elders...

Today I had the amazing honor of meeting Kiowa elder, Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune. It was incredible to learn by listening to her stories & to hear her sing Ghost Dance songs. She is an amazing, inspirational woman. I only hope to be half as wonderful and wise as she when I am 80.

She spoke about kinship, naming, & other tradition, as well as how the generation gap can sometimes cause conflict in the community. A topic that was particularly important to her was continuing tradition. She told us about the traditional structure of the Kiowa and about Kiowa medicine. I wish I had photos of today, but I didn't have the presence of mind to take any. However, I will share a photo with you that was posted by The Jacobson House (all rights to the photo belong to them), when she was there to tell Kiowa stories. Ms. DeLaune also teaches Kiowa language courses and some of her songs have been recorded.

In Under the Green Corn Moon, she sings a Kiowa lullaby (which can be heard here). She also sings a Christian hymn on Beyond Beautiful: Christian Songs in Native Languages, Presented by the National Museum of the American Indian

Dorothy is Roman Catholic and participates in the Native American Church. She says that there is only one God and the paths of the two religions lead in the same direction. Listening to her speak was incredible and I only wish we had been able to have more time with her than just one class period. She has a wonderful sense of humor and her wisdom & knowledge is immense.

***Be sure to look through the links. There is even more available if you google her.

1 comment:

  1. What a memorable experience. The lullaby was just fantastic! Thank you for telling us a little about it!