"Songs to Soothe a Mother": Intertextuality and Intertribalism in Kiowa War Mother Songs
Yamane, Maxwell Hiroshi
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War Mother songs were first composed for the women of the Kiowa War Mothers Chapter 18 organization during World War II by two main composers, Lewis Toyebo and James “Jimmy A” Anquoe. These songs initially functioned to provide encouragement for both the servicemen deploying overseas and their mothers, and later were performed to honor returning veterans. Through musical and linguistic elements, War Mother songs serve as an intertext of multiple pre-reservation songs and dances (War Journey, Scalp, and Victory), but also reflect changes in warfare and post-reservation lifestyle in the twentieth-century. After World War II into the Korean and Vietnam Wars, War Mother song performances continued to honor veterans, both returning and fallen in battle, in a mix of Kiowa contexts and intertribal spaces.