2018 Wichita Annual Dance Features Both New and Traditional Events

Elders Roundtable and Guest Lecture Added to Weekend

Front Page Grand Entry Pic

The head staff for the 2018 Wichita Annual Dance included 2000 Wichita Tribal Princess Candace Dawn French as head lady dancer and Ponca tribal member Matthew Roughface as head man dancer. See the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes Facebook page for more photos. 

The sounds of drums and bells carried on-outdoors-throughout all four days of this year's Wichita Annual Dance, held August 9-12, 2018, at the Wichita tribal complex.

The 43rd annual celebration began at 8 a.m. Thursday, August 9, 2018, with the flag raising. This year's Wichita Annual Dance featured the flag of Orren H. Roulain. A flag raising took place for the following three mornings as well.

The Head Staff for the dance included emcees Cy Ahtone and Wilson Daingkau; Tony and Daryl Galindo as Arena Directors; Grasslodge as Traditional Drum; O-Ho-Mah Lodge as Host Drum; Matt Roughface as Head Man Dancer; Edward Whitewolf as Head Gourd Dancer; Candace French as Head Lady Dancer; Phillip Tsonetokoy as Head Teen Boy Dancer; 2017-2018 Wichita Tribal Princess Makennah McAdams as Head Teen Girl Dancer; Jaylen Pherigo as Head Junior Boy Dancer; and Brianna Hill as Head Junior Girl Dancer. The Kiowa Women Warriors Color Guard also carried in the flag during the dance's grand entries.

Thursday evening's dancing for "Wichita Night" opened with the Drum Dance by Grasslodge Singers. Other events throughout the night included the crowning of the 2018-2019 Wichita Tribal Princess, Lacee Machelle Leonard; specials for Corbyn Brown and Julian Nava; specials in Tiny Tots, Junior Girls, Junior Boys, Teen Girls, Teen Boys, Adult Women, Adult Men and Golden Age Women; Big Wolf Songs; Snake Dance and Buffalo Dance.

Friday evening's dances on August 10, 2018, was dedicated to Tiny Tots, Junior Boys and Junior Girls categories. This included Junior Girls Cloth/Buckskin; Junior Girls Jingle/Fancy Shawl; Junior Boys Traditional/Straight; and Junior Boys Fancy/Grass. Grasslodge Singers served as the Drum for the evening. A special contest also took place in honor of Head Teen Boy Dancer Phillip Tsonetokoy.

Saturday held additional activities that took place up until time for gourd dance. This included the annual Spirit Walk and Run, held in the early morning hours. This year also included two additional activities. The first of these was an Elders Roundtable in the Wichita Community Building, with a panel that included Shirley Davilla, Marcella Ruckman and Dennis Delaware. Gary McAdams served as moderator. Topics ranged from the dances held at Camp Creek to the influence of Creek missionaries on the Wichita community. Discussions also included Wichita language, as well as which relatives that tribal members could and could not tease. The Community Building activities concluded with a guest lecture by Dr. Christopher Lintz, entitled "Archaeology, the Antelope Creek Culture and Group Interactions Across the Southern Plains and Beyond."

Saturday's events resumed with gourd dance in the afternoon, followed by supper break and an evening grand entry. Contests for the evening included Teen Girls Cloth; Teen Girls Jingle/Fancy Shawl; Teen Girls Buckskin; Teen Boys Straight; Teen Boys Traditional/Grass; Teen Boys Fancy; Golden Age Women; and Golden Age Men.

Dancing concluded on Sunday afternoon with gourd dance, followed by an evening supper and grand entry. This evening was dedicated to adult categories and included Adult Women's Cloth; Adult Women's Jingle/Fancy Shawl; Adult Women's Buckskin; Adult Men's Straight; Adult Men's Traditional/Grass; and Adult Men's Fancy.

Sponsors for this year's dance included the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, National Endowment for the Arts, Oklahoma Arts Council and Sugar Creek Casino.