"I returned to my Plains Indian tribe, the Kiowa to help them preserve precious oral traditions. But they gave me the most valuable gift of all."

Kiowa Tribal Elders send a modern Kiowa grandchild on an unexpected quest.


The Documentary

Independent filmmaker and Plains Indian Kiowa, Donna M. Rowell provides an inside perspective of the multi-generation passing of
oral traditions from Kiowa Elders to grandchildren in Vanishing Link winner of "Best Oklahoma Documentary" at Trail Dance Film Festival.

“Local Kiowa Elders broke traditional barriers to make sure the Kiowa culture does not vanish,“ states Rowell.

Kiowa Singer, Georgia DuPoint who shared sacred tribal stories and songs expressed, “Some child, even with just an ounce of Kiowa blood, will hear these songs and stories. He needs to know about the Kiowa. He is still Kiowa.”

In an effort to preserve oral traditions and share them traditionally, through the unique voices and rhythym of Kiowa grandparents, Rowell spent 5 years recording stories and songs from elders in the tribe.  All of them wanting to give this gift to future generations

Vanishing Link is told as a traditional Plains Indian storytelling, unfolding with its own unique rhythm, entwining Rowell’s personal journey with never-before shared Kiowa stories, songs and art.  

Rowell expressed, “It was critical to me that this be a Kiowa story told by Kiowa Elders as they have shared with Kiowa grandchildren for generations. I wanted Vanishing Link to go beyond documentary.  It needed to be an experience.”


Forging the Next Links



2006 was a hard year for the Kiowa, we lost many Elders. And with their passing, the tribe lost priceless Oral Traditions.

Several, like Fred Tsoodle and Margaret Bear Cody shared stories, songs and thoughts with me a few years back. Their stories will be passed on, but many sacred stories will no longer be heard.

We as a tribe are at a criticial point, to be remembered or forgotten.

I choose to use the latest technology to forge our next links. I'm launching a new web site, www.emerginglinks.com that will focus on discussing and sharing native stories. Initially it will have a blog, and a place for video and audio stories to be viewed.

It's a start in keeping the ways of our ancestors remembered. Please visit www.emerginglinks.com, and be an emerging link for your tribe.

Embrace the New, Revere the Old

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