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Frank Geionety, Kiowa artist and storyteller, will present a program of story telling and songs, and a discussion of Kiowa traditions at the Museum of the Americas in Weatherford on Saturday, Sept. 25. The first presentation will be at 1 p.m., and will be repeated at the opening reception 7-9 p.m. An exhibit of his original works of art and prints will be on display.
Geionety will show traditional crafts, demonstrate the way a sense of family is essential to a strong cultural heritage, and offer his own artistic vision. He will sing the legends and tales in his native language (Kiowa) and then render them into English. Dressed in dance regalia, his presentation is both a step back in time and a contemporary vision of his heritage. What he does energizes the Kiowa traditional culture.
Geionety was born in southwest Oklahoma in 1956 and graduated from Mountain View High School in 1976. From high school he went to Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas, but finished his two-year degree at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, Colorado. Never abandoning his art, he has worked in security for the American Indian Movement and as a wildland fire fighter, joining fellow Kiowa and Apache from Oklahoma. He has been a member of the Kiowa Gourd Clan since 1975.
As an artist Geionety works in a number of media: graphics, acrylics, oils, free hand-drawing, and portraits. In addition, he does feather work (fans, gourds, bustles). He is particularly keen on painted hides with natural pigments.
The Kiowa maintain a strong heritage. On July 4 each year the Kiowa Gourd Clan gathers in ceremonial dance in Carnegie, Oklahoma. The focus is upon language, tradition and culture. One manifestation of cultural perspective is the pledges from the dancers of a beef, sacks of flour or money for the next encampment. These pledges will serve as the commissary for the gathering a year hence. These pledges are not solely for the Kiowa, but are pledged to feed even the guests of the tribe. Indeed, for a non-Kiowa to sit under the arbor watching the dancers is to evoke invitation to dinner or lunch with people never before met, now new friends.
The exhibit runs from Sept. 25 – Oct 16 at the Museum of the Americas, 216 Fort Worth Hwy. in Weatherford. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Satursdays. Admission is free. For more information, call 817-341-8668, or visit www.museumoftheamericas.com. Group talks can be arranged. Art works will be available for purchase.