Gulf Coast Tia Piah Society
Formed in 1977, the Texas Gulf Coast Tia Piah Society continues to closely follow the traditions so generously given by its mother organization, The Kiowa Tia Piah Society of Carnegie Oklahoma. Similar to other Gourd Dance groups sanctioned by the Kiowa, Texas Gulf Coast Tia Piah is led by four head men, a secretary and treasurer. As in the past membership is by invitation, non-members that are well respected within the powwow community will be asked if they would like to join the Texas Gulf Coast Tia Piah Society.
The Society is a non-profit organization that operates on the funds raised through raffles, the concession stand and donations. While at the dance we encourage you to participate in the raffles, visit the concession stand and if you would like to make a tax deductible donation our treasurer is seated at the Master of Ceremonies table.
The Gourd Dance
Is the traditional dance of the Tia-Pe-Go, one of several historic Kiowa warrior societies that originated hundreds of years ago. These societies served to police and protect tribal encampments and each society had their own songs and dances. Only two such societies exist today The Tia Piah and Black Leggings Society. Oral history relates this dance was given to the Kiowa by the Red Wolf and is honored at the end of every song with a howl.
Following decades of dormancy between the World Wars, the Kiowa revitalized the dance in the 1950’s. There are presently three Kiowa Gourd dance societies; The Kiowa Gourd Clan, The Kiowa Tia Piah Society of Carnegie Oklahoma and The Oklahoma Tia Piah. Although the Gourd Dance has become popular and spread to other tribes and organizations across the country, its origins rest with the Kiowa in southwester Oklahoma.
Kiowa Tia-Piah Societies
“The Tia-Piah Society is a Kiowa Warriors Society. The Dance is Tia-pe-go. A Chief’s Dance symbolizing that he is ready to go, ready to die, “Tia-pe-go”.
Atwater Onco, Kiowa Elder, Historian, Veteran WWII