Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Odd Ceremonies

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    > I am sure that members of the African
    > Scouting Associations have native influences
    > in their ceremonies, much as we do do here
    > in the USA.

    Do you think white South Africans do that?

    > I've met a lot of folks who had no problems
    > with the OA.

    Back in the 1970's, a frat at my college was doing black-face dances as part of their ritual. They all said the same thing... they know some black people who don't mind. Black people helped them come up with it. It's not offensive if they can find a guy who thinks it is awesome.

    I don't see what dressing up in fake Indian gear (I've never seen anything that looks like the native dress of any particular tribe in any of our OA events) and doing fake drumming and fake dances has to do with Boy Scouts, being an honor society, or giving service to others.

    Just seems like very valuable and hard-to-come-by time is being spent pretending we are Indians or that we are somehow special and accepted as part Indian or Indian like (no, we're not, folks. Get real)... wouldn't this time be better spent working on other things that are so frequently brought up on these forums?

    With everyone claiming youth and adults have little time to do scouting at all, am I really going to drive my son to a scout camp so he can make a fake headgear with some overweight white guy who is absolutely not an an athropologist or native historian and then fake dance around a fire or do fake ceremonies? No, I'm not going to do that. That's insane.

    If you really feel confident about native acceptance of these practices, put together a team, and head to your local reservation, and get on a sidewalk, and start performing. See how that works out for you.

    I think that frat that did the blackface dancing would have fared similarly in Harlem.

    We had a native family in our pack a few years ago. They saw an OA ceremony with drums and dress for the boys to receive their bobcat, and boy did we hear from them afterward about that. They were NOT happy, and NOT supportive.

    If scouting is fun with a purpose - I see no purpose for the fake native stuff.(This message has been edited by BSA24)

    Comment


    • #17
      >>"> I am sure that members of the African
      > Scouting Associations have native influences
      > in their ceremonies, much as we do do here
      > in the USA.

      Do you think white South Africans do that?">>


      I am sure there might be some such ceremonies in their Scouting Association, I don't know for sure because I live in the USA, not South Africa. Who are you to tell folks in another country what kind of Scouting ceremonies they should use?

      For every person with Native American heritage you state has a problem with OA ceremonies, I am sure that there is another with Native American heritage who does not. Why is it that only the folks of Native American heritage who agree with YOU are right?

      I am not sure why you seem to be so hung up on African culture, and black-face. There are plenty of different cultures/heritages in this country, and many different ceremonies, based on those heritages.

      Why is it that you are not railing against Santa Claus, and Christmas celebrations? Using your logic, only the Greek have any right to use Saint Nicholas in any kind of ceremony. So you had better forget about hanging up those stockings as I have a Greek friend who will be insulted!

      Then there is All Hallows Eve. Do you dress your kids up, and take them around to beg for treats?

      My nieces celebrate the 4th of July, but then they are Daughters of the Revolution.

      Comment


      • #18
        BSA24,

        You will find as many opinions of the OA in the Native American community as there are individuals. I dance and frequented POWWOWS.COM which is an excellent resource for those interested in dance and singing. And there are folks on both sides, pro OA and anti-OA on there.

        I admit I hate seeing the fake "Hollywood" Indians. And when I was more involved in OA and NA affairs, I pushed and pushed and pushed the concept of doing research and doing it right. Is it harder and more expensive, absolutely. But I've found that if you are willing to do it right, and in a respectful manner, folks in the NA community will support you.

        Again look at some of my previous posts on this topic in other threads, and for every instance of an Anti-OA comment by a Native, I can show you a Pro-OA one.

        Beside the story of Lumbee singer who is now our AIA adviser for the lodge, a singer with group which I discovered was started on the porch of the scout camp's dining hall if my memory of our conversation are correct, I have another, recent one.

        I taught an Indian Lore MB class at a MBU (I know, I know but let's discuss MBUs on another thread ), and one of the adults that sat in was Lakota, I was thinking "OH Crud how is this going to work out," but stuck to the game plan except for one thing: when things related to the Lakota came up, I referred to her about it, and sometimes a good discussion came about, one time it was a personal, religious matter, and was dropped.

        After the class was over, she came over, thanked me and gave a lot of positive feedback. She was asked to be an Indian Lore MBC, and since her son was attending the MBU wanted to sit in and see how it's done. She had concerns b/c she had read some negative stuff about the Boy Scouts, IL MB, and OA. But she wanted first hand experience before getting an opinion of her own.

        Comment


        • #19
          I find it odd that BSA24 whitewashes all OA-related events that involve American Indian culture as "fake". I taught our sing team in Florida Lakota songs. They went to Pine Ridge in 1995 and sang for a week and the elderly Lakotas were tape recording them because they knew the music and language better than the kids on the reservation.

          At a couple of NOACs I was the "chief of staff" for Curtis Zunigha, the elected chief of the Delaware tribe in Oklahoma, he was very impressed with the efforts and work that the OA members put into making accurate clothes.

          None of it's "fake". It's just different levels of skill and instruction.

          Comment


          • #20
            The comments about OA being fake and insulting to Native American culture are simply part of the PC mentality of today. Yes, there have been some poor renditions of ceremonies and regalia; yes, some scouts involved do not give it the seriousness one would hope; yes, there have been a few real faux pas's over the years that did not show the OA as particularly cognizant of Native American history and tradition; but more often, the efforts are well done, and regularly receive positive feedback from local tribe representatives. In our area, we have local Chumash leaders that on occasion participate in ceremony.

            I continue to be a bit dismayed by the apparent overboard reactions by a few on these forums in response to various issues. It would concern me that they would possibly be that contentious and strident on local issues; not an example we might consider within the idea of "Scout Spirit".

            Just saying.

            Comment


            • #21
              My experience is similar to Tokala's.

              Many OA members and many lodges spend a lot of time and effort researching Native American Culture to get it right. In some OA Sections, you get some very high caliber people coming out to teach NA culture. And many lodges have good relations with their local tribes and experts from that area.

              Yeah, you will sadly get certain individuals, or even certain lodge or sections in which the level of knowledge when it comes to 'indian lore' is pretty poor. But to tar everyone with the same brush isn't right.

              It's telling that the people who are usually the ones to get bent out of shape about the OA's usage of indian lore are seldom american indians...

              Comment


              • #22
                Tokala's post: Lokota songs in Florida, and Delaware tribe in Oklahoma. Seems a bit odd to me. I don't want to read anything into it, but I'm curious why local tribes or cultures weren't chosen instead.
                BDPT00

                Comment


                • #23
                  "Tokala's post: Lokota songs in Florida, and Delaware tribe in Oklahoma. Seems a bit odd to me. I don't want to read anything into it, but I'm curious why local tribes or cultures weren't chosen instead. "

                  It depends on the usage.

                  When it comes to ceremonial outfits, most lodges like to use the local tribes for inspiration. Down here in Florida, that means the Seminoles.

                  But when it comes to getting drum/dance teams going, the general style is to following the drumming/dancing that is seen at Pow Wows. This means southern or northern drumming and singing, and following the usual dance styles: fancy, grass, northern traditional, old style, etc. So in many cases the local tribes aren't done BUT might by some lodges. Hence you'll see wining team dances from Florida using Seminole, Pacific Northwest using those tribes, and New England area using Iroquois, etc.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I don't see what dressing up in fake Indian gear (I've never seen anything that looks like the native dress of any particular tribe in any of our OA events) and doing fake drumming and fake dances has to do with Boy Scouts, being an honor society, or giving service to others.

                    "Just seems like very valuable and hard-to-come-by time is being spent pretending we are Indians or that we are somehow special and accepted as part Indian or Indian like (no, we're not, folks. Get real)... wouldn't this time be better spent working on other things that are so frequently brought up on these forums?

                    With everyone claiming youth and adults have little time to do scouting at all, am I really going to drive my son to a scout camp so he can make a fake headgear with some overweight white guy who is absolutely not an an athropologist or native historian and then fake dance around a fire or do fake ceremonies? No, I'm not going to do that. That's insane. "

                    There has been a focus developed on this thread concerning historical and cultural accuracy but my observation as a former unit leader, the debate on accuracy is a distant second to what the boys think.
                    Being boy driven and all, the boys make program and patrol decisons, troop direction and most importantly individual decisions, their opinions and observations on OA dance teams don't reflect a concern about accuracy. What their opinions and observations do reflect, almost universally, is that the Indian Dance OA stuff is super lame. The Webelos 1 and below seem to think it's neat, Webelos 2 start to think it's a little "babbyish", Boy scouts from 11 on up think it is outdated, very lame and it is a big turn off from having anything to do with OA. Thier observation isn't that they would like it if it was accurate, they just think it is plain nerdy, hokey and out of touch.

                    I'm sure kids probably thought the Indian Dance stuff was really cool in the sixties when shows like Gunsmoke and Bonaza were huge hits on TV and the American West was still popular and visible in American Culure but that was 4 or 5 decades ago. If OA wants to attempt to appear relevant and maybe slow it's decline in membership, perhaps it's time to change up this part of OA.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      No one has to participate on the ceremonial or dance team if they do not want to.

                      Also, I have never really heard any rumblings from the Lodge's executive committee that they would like to do away with this aspect of OA. Are you guys really sure the youth want to do away with this or is it just some of the youth?

                      Also OA is a National organization so you do not know how the youth believe in the entire organization based on your little piece of the world.
                      (This message has been edited by johnponz)

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The bar is very high for proper Indian garb and ceremonies...anything less than stellar is laughable and an insult. No middle ground.

                        Some lodges do their best to respect Native American culture. The problem is just as many other lodges have a footlocker of old crappy costumes they pull out during ordeal weekend, mumble thru their lines, thus sullying the whole ideal

                        There was a time the BSA took Indian Lore very seriously...check the literature from the 30s and 40s, and just not OA.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          While some folks may not be interested in ceremonies, dancing, and singing, others are. and that's good because the OA does indeed have so much more to offer than AIA stuff. NLS, cheerful service at camps, camp promos, Arrowcorps, Summit Corps, etc.

                          But I've helped restart two lodges' AIA programs, and help start a new chapter's AIA program. So I know there is some interest out there.

                          As for anthropologists, historians, archeologists, etc, how do you know they aren't?

                          The 1994 National Old Style Dance champion, sorry I can't think of his name, last I talked to him was working on his PhD in anthropology, all because of his involvement in the OA.

                          One guy I worked with was a dancer as a youth,and that help spark his interest in archeology. While working on his masters' he had a dream job. He was teaching Archeology MB at summer camp, and getting some college credits at the same time, because he was some work on a site that the university wanted to work at, but couldn't get access to until after the camping season. can we say "WINNER"

                          And while I admit I am a Cold War historian because of my thesis, my original goal was to specialize in US Colonial History, with an emphasis in Native American-European relations. Did some preliminary research for a thesis in the topic, but had to abandon that course when a prof died, and the colonial prof assumed his admin job, cutting her classroom time.

                          And can you guess where I got my interest in that era from?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            To explain why Lakota from Pine Ridge and Delaware from Oklahoma in West Central Florida...those were my resources that were legitimate. Saint Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa are built out. Any Indian culture is hidden in main stream society. Most of the proclaimed "Indians" around here aren't legitimate sources. There are no reservations or centers of culture. The closest Seminole "settlement" is the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. Before they started the big Vegas-style games, there used to be a small village of chickees and alligators, etc. I used to wander through there and talk with some of the people. We even had one of them sing with us.

                            For the most part, kids want to dance pow wow styles because that allows them to participate in a lot of events. Deciding to do Seminole stomp dancing really limits your opportunities to participate at a pow wow. The Lodge uses Seminole clothing for ceremonies because it is the local cultural influence. Can you imagine the uproar if they wanted to use Timucua clothing for ceremonies?

                            The youth in Timuquan originally started singing Ponca and Kiowa songs because we had resources to teach them. The youth discovered Lakota music and decided that they really wanted to sing that type of music. We found credible, legitimate sources for them.

                            As for the Delaware, I was assigned to ensure that Curtis was at all of his appointments at 2 NOACs. He and I talked about tribal politics and their annual dances, but I never started to learn their music. He had an interview with the University radio station at Indiana University in 1996 and it was the funniest thing that I ever saw and heard. The woman interviewing him asked how he was elected chief. He described how he was tied to another guy in the tribve and they had a knife fight to the the death and he survived and won the job. The woman took the story hook, line and sinker.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              "I don't see what dressing up in fake Indian gear (I've never seen anything that looks like the native dress of any particular tribe in any of our OA events) and doing fake drumming and fake dances has to do with Boy Scouts, being an honor society, or giving service to others."

                              I can't speak for YOUR lodge, but in my area, the gear is NOT fake, the drumming is NOT fake, and the dances are NOT fake.

                              Many people put a lot of time, effort, money, and research into creating accurate outfits, both for ceremonies AND for dance (they aren't the same). The drummers and singers are doing real, authentic songs, many times taught to them by real Native Americans, which would be accepted at any legit Pow Wow, and the dancers are in proper clothing and doing proper dancing that, again, would be accepted at any legit Pow Wow. (and many are).

                              We have drummers, singers, and dancers in our area who actually are involved in the larger world of Native American Pow Wows, some even traveling around the country to some of the major pow wows. Nothing fake about them.

                              In addition, we've had several youth who have become professors of anthropology thru their interest in Native American culture they gained in the OA, working with real tribes and doing real research on their culture. Again, nothing fake about them.

                              Yeah, as we've pointed out many times on this and similar treads, there are lodges out there with cr*py outfits and poor drumming, dancing, etc. Please do NOT insult everyone else by acting like that is the norm or the like.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfxYR2hgBV0&feature=fvwrel

                                Which tribe is it where the guy in the war bonnet walks around with his arms folded in front of him?

                                Which tribe used the traditional native battery method to spark a fire instantly

                                Bonus question:

                                Which tenet of Youth Protection do you see violated in this video?

                                I've been a member of the OA for decades, and I've never seen anything but this sort of thing at OA ceremonies in all that time. I've never seen any actual native americans assisting with anything in the OA. Maybe that is a local thing. By native american, I mean someone who grew up within native culture, who speaks the native language as a first language, not a second, not someone like me who is 1/4 of something other than Irish/English/German/Polish.

                                Does it matter if this is done properly and authentically if the reasons for doing it are entertainment and the costumes being worn have symbols on them (akin to the Eagle Scout medal) that the boys have not earned in that tribe and have no right to wear?

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X