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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Shoshonean Reunion XVI
by Paula Karty - Comanche Nation News Staff
credits: all photos by Paula Karty - Comanche Nation News Staff

Shoshonean-Numic Language Reunion

Members of the Comanche Nation perform a demonstration of the Gourd dance during the 2015 Shoshone Reunion.

This year, Comanche tribal members traveled to Elko, Nevada to participate in this year’s Shoshone Reunion. The event took place September 10-12.

Activities planned for this year’s reunion was a Sunrise Service and Flag Raising Ceremony every morning. This event kicked off each morning at the Elko Band Senior Arbor, which started that day’s events. Comanche Nation Princess, Kelsey Codynah, was present and participated in these special services each morning.

Every morning, a breakfast was served for all the participants at 7 a.m.

The first day was full of workshops held at the Shoshone Welcome Center. Most of the workshops was filled to capacity and was standing room only. The afternoon activities consisted of workshops and presentations pertaining to the similarities of the Comanche language and the Shoshone language, the differences and meanings of tribal Songs, and the different crafts each tribe has and still does today.

The Sovo Family serving as the drum group for the 2015 Shoshone Reunion, sings traditional Comanche powwow songs, while riding in this year’s parade.

The Comanche Nation hosted two workshops at this year’s reunion: One was “Comanche Beaded Saddles” by Beth Giles. Giles displayed her fully beaded saddles. Giles talked about the different designs and colors of her saddles. The other was “Comanche Storytelling and Language” by Sam Devenney. Devenney spoke the Comanche language and told stories in the Comanche language. Devenney explained the similarities of the Comanche and Shoshone language.

The Reunion Parade was held on September 11, where several tribal members participated in the parade. The Comanche Nation Princess rode in a car they provided for her, the Chibitty and McClung families paraded, as well as the Sovo family, who served as the drum group for this year’s activities. The Comanche National Museum paraded and threw T-shirts out to the crowd, also parading was a float consisting of Comanche Tribal Elders

Comanche Nation Princess Kelsay Codynah waves to the crowd during the parade of the 2015 Shoshone Reunion in Elko, Nevada.

Following the parade, a Fashion Show was held. The American Flag as well as the flags of each tribe was brought in by tribal veterans. The Sovo family sung a Veterans song and a Memorial song for the posting of the colors. The Comanche Nation Princess danced in behind the flags leading all the Comanche women who danced in honor of the flags.

Many Comanche women attending the reunion participated in the Fashion Show. The women dressed in traditional Comanche regalia from cloth dresses to buckskin dresses. Tribal Elder Rita Coosewoon served as the Master of Ceremony for the Comanche people. Coosewoon gave descriptions of each woman’s regalia. Coosewoon also gave a little bit of history about the attire that was worn by each woman participating in the fashion show.

The last and final day of the reunion was held at the Southfork Tribal Complex, which is located at the base of the Ruby Mountains.

The day’s activities began with a sunrise and flag raising ceremony, with breakfast following.

A Spirit Walk/Run started at the Southfork Tribal Complex, it’s path was a few miles through the Ruby Mountains, ending back at the Southfork Tribal Complex.

Many activities were taking place on this final day. The Horseshoe Tournament had many participants consisting of men and women.

A Handgame Tournament was also going on. The style of handgame was the Northern Style, which is opposite of the way the Southern Tribes play. Each team only consisted of five players, the guesser was looking for the unmarked bone. The southern way the guesser looks for the mark bone.

2015 Shinny Ball Champions.
Comanche women prevail victorious two years in a row.

The Shinny Ball game was one of the highlights of the day. The Shoshone Tribe was trying to avenge themselves against the Comanche team. During last year’s reunion, the Comanche team defeated the Shoshone team, three games to zero. The Shoshone team had to redeem themselves at this year’s event.

The Shoshone had the Comanche on their home turf and was ready for victory. But the Comanche wasn’t going down easily or without a good battle.

As the game began, the Shoshone had the upper hand against the Comanche. The Comanche got a open break way, controlling and passing the Shinny up the field. With the Shoshone closing in on the Comanche, trying to prevent a defeat. The Comanche got a open shot at the goal and came away victorious.

This makes two years in a row that the Comanche team has defeated the Shoshone team in Shinny Ball. Last year’s Comanche team consisted of the Indiahoma Women’s Basketball team, this year the Comanche team consisted of women from the Indiahoma area as well.

A contestant of the Fry Bread contest uses a stick to turn her bread cooking in the frying pan.
Fry Bread cooking for the Fry Bread competition of the 2015 Shoshone Reunion.

Another activity going on was the Fry Bread Contest. Contestants were expected to build their own fire. Each contestant was given only one match and a few sticks of wood. Once the fire was built they were allowed to prepare their dough with the ingredients provided, once the dough was prepared then they were allowed to began cooking their bread.

During the Dancing portion of the reunion, the Comanche Nation performed several tribal dances. Before the beginning of the Comanche demonstration the Lord’s Prayer was performed in sign language by the Comanche Nation Princess, Kelsay Codynah along with former Comanche Nation Princess Diana Gail Sovo, as well as the Walters Service Club Princess, Amber Rose Quis Quis and the Red River Intertribal Club Princess.

After a Grand Entry of dancers, the Comanche Flag Song and Memorial Song was sung by the Sovo family. The tribe demonstrated the Gourd Dance along with other dances such as: Round Dance, Horse Stealing Dance, Buffalo Dance and Two-step.

A special song was sung for Tribal Elder, Leonard Chibitty.

The Comanche Nation presented the Shoshone Tribe with special gifts of homemade, Plum jelly, Buffalo Jerky from Mike Myth, Cedar in handmade cloth bags, and bags of Copes Dried Corn, which is a food delicacy of the Comanche people.

Several Comanche tribal members competed in the Hand Drum Competition. Each tribe performed their own special Hand Drum song.

Approximately 80 Comanche Tribal members, including tribal elders, registered for the Reunion this year. The Comanche Nation, was well represented at this year’s reunion. Even though the trip was long, tribal members had an enjoyable time making new friends and visiting with old acquaintances.

The Shoshone Tribe showed great hospitality towards the Comanche people.

Next year’s 2016 Reunion will be held in Fort Washakie, Wyoming just prior to their Eastern Shoshone Days in Fort Washakie.

Walters Service Club Princess, Amber Rose Quis Quis, models her specially made Comanche buckskin dress during the Fashion Show of the 2015 Shoshone Reunion.

Tribal elders of the Shoshone Tribe participate with the Comanche during the performance of the Two-step.
Comanche Nation Princess, Kelsay Codynah, along with former Comanche Nation Princess, Diana Gail Sovo, dance the Comanche Nation’s Horse Stealing dance for the Shoshone Tribe, in Elko, Nevada.
The Sovo Family sings the Comanche Flag song during the presentation of the colors. The Sovo Family served as the drum group for this year’s Shoshone Reunion.
Several games of Handgame was going at the same time during the 2015 Shoshone Reunion. The Hider is revealing in which hand she hid the unmarked bone, scoring a point for her team.

Ladies from the Shoshone Tribe perform a Shoshone Prayer song in their native language to start off the Hand Drum competition during the final day’s activities of the 2015 Shoshone Reunion.
Women from the Comanche Nation dance in during the Grand Entry portion of the 2015 Shoshone Reunion.





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