Joe Big Bow

Kiowa Flute, Drum and Song


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Details: Audio Cassette, Produced and Recorded by Alan Govenar

Joe Big Bow is one of the last living bearers of traditional Plains Indian songs. His family is known throughout Kiowa lands for their artistic, musical, and spiritual contributions to American Indian culture. Joe learned most of his extensive repertoire of songs from his grandfather and other Kiowa elders. These songs represent only a small sampling of Joe's singing knowledge. The gourd dance songs which he presents are linked back to the complex of songs and dances that were connected with the hunting and warfare which were part of the life of Southern Plains tribes before the twentieth century. In the flute selections, the sounds of wind, birds and animals exemplify this spiritual musical motif. Many songs from his repertoire are sung at ceremonies accompanying rites of passage. His songs exemplify the richness and diversity of musical expressions found among American Indians. This audiocassette tape was produced by Alan Govenar and, funded by Documentary Arts, Inc.