Author Topic: wynoochee sundance  (Read 10251 times)

Offline Bears Ghost

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wynoochee sundance
« on: August 21, 2015, 08:04:34 am »
Just wondering if anyone has info on a guy called Coony?  He is supposedly a sundance chief/intercessor and medicine person here in Washington state. I know people who dance there and have grave concerns about some of the behaviors at this event.

Epiphany

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2015, 02:43:43 pm »
Looks like some folks have spelled his name "Kuni" also.

i'm in western Washington state - the Wynoochee area is on Olympic Peninsula, river etc. Do you have any more details on this person?

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2015, 04:53:49 pm »
I know that he lives on the Skokomish rez and think he is Skok. I think he was/is also involved with the Smokehouse. Beyond that, I too have heard some things that don't sound good about the Wynoochee dance. I was told that there is a Lakota family that supports it, I don't know there names. But I also know that some of the "Ghosthorse" people have been going there for a few years. Some white people dance there. I had a friend who used to go to Coony's to sweat but she stopped because she says there was "too much drama." The man's wife was the source of much of the drama. and she is white.

Epiphany

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2015, 05:30:52 pm »

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2015, 05:51:18 pm »
I think that is him. Odd that he was referred to as "the pipe carrier" for the Skokomish people when the pipe was only introduced to them in the 70's maybe? I am sure that there were pipes but not used in this manner. The traditional beliefs there were the Smokehouse (also called "ceowin" sp?) and later the Shakers. (My husband's grandmother was Skok and I kow a little---very little--about this)

Oh, and I want to clarify that when I said that Cooney's wife was white I did not mean to infer that because she was white she was causing the drama. No, from what I hear, she causes the drama because she is trying to "out NDN" all the others and because she is on the controlling side. There is also lots of gossip and backstabbing. And I heard that from multiple sources. So that alone would keep ME from going to that sundance! If I was inclined to go to one.

Epiphany

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2015, 06:05:39 pm »

Offline Bears Ghost

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2015, 10:08:06 am »
My main concerns are the stories I hear from observers/supporters about inappropriate language, protocols & contact between male & female dancers. I've heard tales of hula danci g women, Heyokas every year that dress as women. To my knowledge of Sundance, as both supporter and dancer my whole life, a heyoka only appears every other year & never dressed as a woman. They represent the Wakinyan or thunder beings. The traditional Sundance was taught to my family by the late Grandfather Fools Crow. Who stayed with my grandparents while teaching us his way. So, I feel that I have a fair grasp of the requirements for a proper ceremony. Great harm can come to people if the leaders aren't properly trained. How would a coastal native become an intercessor for a ceremony that doesn't belong to the coastal peoples?  He may be native, but is he legit as a medicine person or Sundance intercessor? Who trained him? Why are non-natives allowed to dance & possess eagle parts? Something doesn't add up.

Offline Bears Ghost

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 10:34:24 am »
I've run into his wife at a few events & definitely found her overbearing and not nearly as informed or humble as the wife of a medicine person or supposed Sundance chief should be. None of the people I've spoken with involved with the dance even know the true meaning of the symbolism of the dance. Apparently,  they've been led to believe that it's all about male sacrifice & praying for self gain, as well as prayer for others. My family has been taught that none of the Sundances west of the Rockies are safe or endorsed by the ceremonial leaders and should be avoided entirely.

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 04:17:06 pm »
I tried to call one person who might be able to answer these questions, but she is working this weekend. She used to go to that sundance but quit because of some of the goings on. But she may know how he became an intercessor.

Offline Bears Ghost

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 07:54:38 am »
Thank you for your help.I've heard rumors of claims that he was trained by someone from my rez, Fort Peck. The only intercessor I ever knew in the last 20 years was Melvin Grey Bear & our Sundance leader was my uncle,  Floyd Youngman. They were taught by grandfathet Frank Fools Crow when I was a young boy , I'm 49 now. Neither of them alproved of the Wynoochee dance. I was told last year that a guy called Tall Tom was piercing dancers. I know him from our dance at Fort Peck & he was never given training or permission to lead or pierce dancers, at least not by my uncles that is.

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 08:25:46 pm »
Well, I found out that he did not get trained by anyone at Ft. Peck. He was trained by a family in Kyle, SD. I will have the names later today or tomorrow. I also found out that the family that trained him wasn't involved for a few years but are now involved again. During the time they weren't involved is when some of the inappropriate behavior happened. And as to his wife, I guess many just ignore her or work around her. ;) People that know Cooney say he is a very humble man. Anyway, as soon as I get the names, I will share them.

Offline Bears Ghost

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 09:54:17 am »
Isn't Kyle where the Chips family comes from? There are a lot of questionable people in that area claiming medicine/ceremony training. I have more than a few relatives down that way who say it's a mess with phonies. Between the Ghosthorse people & non-ndns,  I don't see how much good could come from a ceremony that belongs elsewhere.  Maybe this thread can shed some light on the questionable details.

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 04:17:21 pm »
Ok, so this is what I found out. Cooney had a personal vision to do the sundance at Wynoochee. He approached Kenny Farmer, Carol Apple and their families about being trained etc. He also had a meeting with Farmer, Apple, Dave Lopeman (Chair of the Squaxin Island tribe in who's area Wynoochee is) and Arvol Looking Horse. Now, that is as much as I know as I don't know any of the people involved.

Offline Bears Ghost

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2015, 07:36:13 am »
Thank you for the info. I personally was told by Arvol Looking Horse that none of the dances west of the Rockies are sanctioned by the Intertribal council on ceremonies. All non-ndn participants were to be immediately asked to return all eagle parts and pipes to the ndn people and not participate in the actual ceremonies. They must leave the sacred circle and only be supporters for native dancers. I know that at legitimate dances across the plains non-ndns are not allowed to dance or tend sacred fires any longer. Seems I should contact the council on this matter for any further investigation.  Thank you all for your help.

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: wynoochee sundance
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2015, 04:29:23 pm »
Please let us know what you find out.