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Kiowa tribe breaks earth on dance ground

CARNEGIE  Ground has been broken and development is underway for new dance grounds behind the Kiowa Tribal Complex in Carnegie.

For years, Kiowa Business Committee members, as well as Kiowa tribal members, have kicked around the idea of creating an events area behind the complex, said Keith Vasquez, tribe information officer. Some people had suggested a powwow ground, or a walzking trail, or a park, or a general outdoor events venue. Recent actions created a reason to put things into motion, he said.

Due to the construction of a new Washita River Bridgeon the north side of Carnegie, much of the lower Carnegie Park is occupied by construction material, equipment and workers. Because of the work being done in the area, a 60-year-old event was left without a home for its annual celebration, Vasquez said. The long-time occupants of the park for an annual July event, the Kiowa Gourd Clan approached the Kiowa Tribe with their concerns. This turn of events the Kiowa Tribal Chairman, Matt Komalty to make an executive decision to develop a dance ground in the acreage southeast of the tribal complex.

"The Kiowa Tribal Park would not only accommodate the Kiowa Gourd Clan's Annual Fourth of July Celebration, but will be used for all Kiowa groups and members: Kiowa Black Leggings, War Mothers, TiaPiah, O-Ho-Mah and others throughout the year, for many events," Vasquez said.

Ground was broken the morning of Aug. 2, 2017, and, without much pomp and circumstance, a parcel of tribal acreage was blessed for a new beginning, Vasquez said. A small red flag was planted to mark the center of the new dance ground, followed by Phil R. "Joe Fish" Dupoint who said a few words before a prayer over the area. A Kiowa Transportation Department road grader began clearing the area with a quick swath to officially start the project that covers approximately 30 acres.

The Lawton Constitution

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