nakaani-kaloosioni: kiiwahtekaataawi ‘New Word: Let’s Dance Around It/Stomp Dance’

In a normal year, we host a large public stomp dance during our Winter Gathering in Miami, Oklahoma. We could not have it in person this January, but we want to give our community a chance to learn more about the language we use at a stomp dance. 

Kiiwahtekaataawi is our word meaning “let’s dance around something.” It can be used generically for dancing around anything but, more importantly, it’s strongly connected to our stomp dance. In this case, the “something” that we dance around is a fire or, when dancing indoors like we do during Winter Gathering, it’s a fake fire. If you want to be specific and include the word for fire, the phrase is kiiwahtekaataawi koteenki ‘let’s dance around the fire.’ This phrase is part of what we recite when we call everyone out to start the next dance. The recitation ends with, “kiiwahtekaataawi kiiwahtekaataawi kiiwahtekaataawi,” which is the signal for everyone to come out and dance around the fire.

We just had our online Winter Gathering this past weekend with a great turnout! One of the presentations was on stomp dancing and we have recorded it with plans of making it available to community members on the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma’s closed Facebook Group soon.

Featured photo by Jonathan M. Fox

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