By: Donna Brown NTL Tribal Reporter
This is the story of more than just Regalia. This is the story of two women trying to preserve their culture and the sharing of knowledge between generations. It is the story of tradition and the ties that bind to make us family.
Keatichie Gold grew up knowing that she was Native American, and was welcomed into the Caddo Tribe, even though she was not a member. She was taken in by her mentor and friend Mrs. Hunter, who was an elder in the Caddo tribe. Mrs. Hunter taught her about tradition, history and language. As Keatichie danced Ms. Hunter made her the most amazing gift and gave her the Southern Cloth Regalia you see her dancing in in the photos below. Keatichie’s Regalia is over 30 years old and had been worn in the circle many times as she danced. When Keatichie was older she found out that she was part of the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana though her ancestral lines from the Perot, Grappe, Trichel, Almond, Dartolon, and Lebrun families.
Keatichie competed as a dancer at powwows all over the East Coast. She danced Buckskin and Southern Cloth. After Katerina, she developed a lung disease and can no longer dance. Her Buckskin and Southern Cloth regalia have remained put up until now when Alexandria Brown took up dancing for the Natchitoches Tribe. Alexandria is from the ancestral lines of the Desadier, Larenaudiere, Parilla, and Perez lines.
Alexandria and Keatichie have similar stories as both were mentored by tribal elder outside their tribe. Alexandria was taught dancing by Ms. Walraven of the Ebarb Choctaw Apache Tribe. She has been dancing for less than a year. She danced in the circle in honor of her family and ancestors for the first time in November 2019 at the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana Powwow.
Keatichie and Alexandria share the bond of tribal dancers, but it is much more than that. Keatichie says “ I did a lot of praying and watched Alexandria, and saw that she was an old soul. I see that her heart is with the elders and those who cannot dance. She has a beautiful kind heart and a compassionate soul, this is why I decided to give her my regalia”. During a recent visit, Keatichie passed on her Southern Cloth and Buckskin Regalia that she once wore, to Alexandria. Keatichie states “ I honor her with my regalia, just like she honors me by dancing with it in the circle, not just for me, but for all those who can no longer dance or have yet to learn how”. During the visit, Keatichie shared lots of powwow stories and traditions with Alexandria. Some of the highlights of this visit were watching as Alexandria was taught about the Buckskin, given the feather fan Keatichie danced with. I was also treated to the rare joy of listening to her and Keatichie sing together. Alexandria also got to meet her cousin Taylor Gold. Keatichie and I enjoyed hearing them sing and talk with each other, who knew they would be so much alike.
Alexandria looks forward to wearing the regalia in the Powwow Circle soon. She want to both honor Keatichie and our family and tribal members as she dances for those who cant and works to help others learn.