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About Wisumahi

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  1. Hi, This is one of the most interesting topics related the OA and one of the most abused. First and foremost it would be appropriate to say that using the material culture of a local tribe is a process fraught with trouble. For example, if you are in California, the clothing is likely to be none at all or very inappropriate sacred ceremonial clothing. Other regions have similar problems for Scouts. It is also the case that many tribes have not been well researched and there are no appropriate resources available. Now, let's address powwows: the clothing used at powwows is DANCE CLOTHING, not ceremonial clothing. I.e., it is not appropriate for ceremonials for the most part. Other than moccasins and porky hair roaches, most powwow clothing is just not right. Then there is the issue of our image of Native Americans. For the most part when we think of Native Americans, we see the image of Plains Indians: Sioux (Lakota), Crow, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, etc. The warbonnet, the headdress most closely associated with Native Americans, is a Sioux invention. It has become adopted universally by Native Americans, though. The horned headdress we think of for Meteu is also, in the main, a Plains headdress. There is something else that is of value to consider: there is so much research and published material on the ceremonial clothing of the Plains that it makes assembling such an outfit somewhat easier. That, in itself, is not controlling, but it is helpful. I am going to suggest something here that borders on heresy today: get a used copy or one of the new reprints (available from Crazy Crow) of the late Ben Hunt's Indian Crafts and Lore. Look at what he has to say about Sioux ceremonial outfits and you will be on the right track. You have to be careful when you use Hunt because his research was not complete. But if you stick to Sioux and ceremonial things, you will be okay. Another thing that is so easy to do these days is use search engines like Google to look for designs and patterns. When it comes to headdresses, you can buy them, but most are now made in Asia and are simply poorly made. However, making a warbonnet takes some skill and time. So, if you choose to buy one, make sure the feathers are white with black tips and that the base fluffs are white. There is so much more I would like to help you with, but this could go on forever. Just remember that using a pattern for pajamas with buckskin-color cloth is not a good idea! In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  2. Wisumahi

    other honor societies?

    Hi, Jeffrey, One of the oldest still in existence is the Tribe of Tahquitz, Long Beach Area Council, Long Beach California. Most of the early societies converted to Order of the Arrow lodges. In Southern California, the Tribe of Siwinis, serving both LA Area Council and Arrowhead Area Council, passed into oblivion and those councils started OA lodges named Siwinis (252, still in existance) and Wisumahi (478, now merged), respectively. There was a second Tribe of Tahquitz that served the Riverside County Council; it, too, became an OA Lodge, Tahquitz (127, now merged). There apparently was also a loose confederation between the two Tribes of Tahquitz. Yet another was the Tribe of Gorgonia that Served the Orange Empire Council. It became San Gorgonio Lodge (298, now merged). Not very many exist today since the OA became so popular and offered a number of advantages in terms of organization and national support. In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  3. Wisumahi

    Drum Teams

    Hi, again, I am delighted to hear that you are headed for NOAC: it is a great event! You may find, though, that Ceremonies tend to deal with how lines are delivered, etc., and do not focus on the accuracy of outfits. For that aspect, you must look mostly to AIA. There are also workshops on headdresses, beadwork, quillwork, and numerous other topics that may interest you. There are also classes galore! If you do come to the staff powwow (Gathering of Nations), you will see some excellent outfits. I will be in an Old Time Sioux outfit, but there will be outfits from many categories and all are generally top notch. In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  4. Wisumahi

    Drum Teams

    Hi, Hillis, You are truly on track to become an avid American Indian hobbyist. Are you going to NOAC? If so, you will have many opportunities to enhance your education in this area. AIA at NOAC is filled with classes and activities that will be of great help to you. There are singing classes in which you can learn either southern or northern. And you can meet Scouts from your area. I believe you are located in the SE; if so, you should look into attending the Carolina Indian Seminar and/or the Tiak Lodge Indian Seminar. Both of these are normally held around January and February. They are excellent events to attend if you want to learn from some of the same folks who teach at NOAC. Another item I should mention about NOAC are the competitions. There are dance competitions for 5 categories of dance and you will be able to see the best dancers and outfits in the OA. In addition there are craft competitions and there should be an "expo" in which staff members will display some of their best craft items. Finally, There are two powwows: one in which only staff dance ("The Gathering of Nations") and an open powwow ("The Founders' Day Powwow"). Both of these are fun events...and you should feel free to ask any staff member any questions you have. They are always happy to help. How do I know? Because I am on the AIA staff and I know my colleagues well! In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  5. Wisumahi

    historic tent question, shelter halfs?

    Hi, I joined the Boy Scouts in 1953 and my troop had no communal gear other than flags, flag poles, and cooking equipment. Each Scout was expected to have his own gear: back in those days equipment from World War II was in abundance. We all just visited a local, well-stocked war surplus store and got our gear. Each Scout got a shelter-half, one half of an Army or Marine puptent. I think our SM brought along a spare in case we had an odd number of Scouts, but you could make a lean-to type shelter if you did not want to have a whole puptent. Other equipment we had were US-issued packs, canteens and canteen carriers, web belts, and sleeping bags. Back in those days the sleeping bags were filled with kapoc, a plant-derived material that had the unfortunate property of soaking up water. It was not a good idea to let any rain fall on it! Times have changed so much with materials such as ripstop nylon, readily-available down, synthetic fill, etc. One more item that might amaze today's Scouts is how we were transported to campsites and trailheads: in the back of a stakebed truck. In fact, my post traveled from California to Philmont in the such a truck. No seats, seatbelts, etc. But it was a lot of fun...except when it was raining! Wisumahi
  6. Wisumahi

    Old patches mix n match

    Hi, emb021! We wrote: ""(2) On the pocket I sewed a Philmont "Dollar" patch with 5 segments." "I was an Explorer in the 50's and earned all the patches that requiered earning. " Did you earn those segments? There were requirements for them. Personally, I would have gotten a 1950s Explorer shirt off eBay, rather then using a Venturing shirt. I have gotten several that way. "" Yes, I earned all all but two segments, Philmont Horseman and Frontiersman. At any rate I earned only have 5 and they are the ones on my shirt. I still have my old Philmont Program Hand Book with all the requirements and checklist that I used. Philmont was one of the most memorable highlights of my youth Scouting experience. I memorized the Philmont Grace and, if called upon to say grace at a Scouting event, I still use it. It is elegant in its simplicity. I have not tried to get a vintage uni shirt on eBay: that is a great idea. I still have one of my old uni shirts and much of my personal memoribilia. I was amazed at the prices on eBay for those items now. I was the last person in my lodge to get a felt Vigil sash: I see they now sell on eBay for ca. $1000! Had I known that in the 50's, I would have made a small investment in some spare sashes back then! In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  7. Wisumahi

    Old patches mix n match

    Hi, Gang! Well, I decided awhile back to completely ignore the UP and make a retro-uni from some modern parts. So, I took a Venturing uni shirt, removed the Venturing patch over the right pocket and began adding patches. Here is the list: (1) Over the right pocket I sewed on a 50's Explorers patch. (2) On the pocket I sewed a Philmont "Dollar" patch with 5 segments. (3) On the pocket flap I sewed on a Wisumahi Lodge 478 S2 patch. (4) On the button I hung a 1950's OA ribbon with a 1950's Vigil triangle pin. (5) On the right sleeve I sewed on a CAW patch and a National Standard Explorer Unit patch (6) Over the left pocket I sewed on an Eagle knot and an Explorer Silver Award knot. (7) On the left sleeve I sewed on a RWS patches for San Bernardino and Calif; I also sewed on a Region 12 patch. I left the American flag on the right sleeve and the epaulets on the shoulders (but those might go before the next wash). I was an Explorer in the 50's and earned all the patches that requiered earning. In fact, they are all patches that I have had since my youth. Probably I have about $350 worth of patches on my uni. AND I love it! The OF's in my area are all thinking about doing the same! Wisumahi
  8. Wisumahi

    scout law

    Gents, I hardly know where to start. I have read much of what B-P wrote what has been writen about him. Further, I have spent considerable time at B-P House in London and absorbing much of what is there, a wonderful experience. Here is an online list of the many books B-P wrote and he was a prolific writer: http://www.scouting.milestones.btinternet.co.uk/bpbooks.htm Let me point out a few: Reconnaissance and Scouting; this was written in the late 1800's and it is more than coincidental that Boy Scouts got its name based on military Scouting. B-P was a proponent of good military scouting and he chose the name for Boy Scouts very carefully. How Girls Can Help Build up the Empire; this was co-written in 1912 by B-P for girls and the title says it all! Marksmanship for Boys; Meant for Boy Scouts for wartime training. Written in 1915. The website featuring the bibliography also features this: http://www.scoutingmilestones.freeserve.co.uk/index.htm Remember, other than being the founder of Scouting, he was the "Hero of Mafeking", a significant siege during the Boer War. It was there he observed the Cadets and their great value to the military effort. He cited their service as one of the inspirations for Boy Scouts. B-P denied that Scouting was militaristic and, yet, at the same time he exulted in patriotism and stated that the kind of preparation Boy Scouting provided would be useful in wartime. Some authors think that he became sensitized to the notion that Scouting was early preparation for the military and he made statements to the contrary. However, the very words he selected to use such as Scouts and Patrol belied that. Remember B-P was a very literate man and could choose his words carefully! Here is an online list of many of the books written about B-P: http://www.scouting.milestones.btinternet.co.uk/books.htm Amongst them you will find some of the concepts I mentioned in my earlier note. I am not a B-P scholar and have contributed no primary knowledge about him: I merely have cited some of the many works I have read about him. Finally, I wish to note that B-P was a product of his time, Victorian England. He was as much an icon of those times as were Rudyard Kipling and Benjamin Disraeli. They all took great pride in the notion that "The sun never set on the British Empire." And that fact was closely associated with the British military. Wisumahi
  9. Wisumahi

    scout law

    Hi, I think we sometimes forget that what Baden-Powell attempted to create was a paramilitary organization for middle and lower class boys. The very name, "scouts", is derived from the military function of persons whose job it was to sneak into enemy territory and get information for military planners. His experience in SA led him to believe that the men who were not officers, i.e., did not come from the upper classes, had insufficient background to prepare them for military duty in the sorts of places where the British Army did its work, the colonies in Africa and Asia. That is, they did not have the survival skills that would serve them well under conditions of the veldt, the bush, the "Road to Mandalay", etc. In addition, he felt that their upbringing may not have had the same kind of honor-enducing education that good-old-boy upper classes in Great Britain went through. Thus, they needed to be introduced to that through Scouting. All of this was directed at producing generations of young men who were well-prepared to step directly from a Scout uniform to a military uniform. In his day, the public (i.e., private) schools relied heavily on rote learning and Baden-Powell applied that to the Scout Law, for instance: one had to learn and repeat a rather cumbersome set of laws (compared to the American version) along with the more cumbersome commentary. Of course, the fun version of this was Kim's Game. At any rate, it was directed at educating the lower classes and at developing their memories in the same fashion that the priviledged upper classes experienced in their formal schooling. It is no mystery as to why "honour" and "loyalty" are at the top: these were two of the most important concepts one learned in the upper classes. If you will read some of the novels or poems of the time, "Beau Geste", "Gunga Din", etc., you will see these traits held in the highest esteem... on paper, at least. So, how important is reverence as a skill for a military scout on a dangerous mission? Wisumahi
  10. Wisumahi

    Vigil Knot??

    John, you wrote: "It's way too much to expect perfect altruism (especially from me), thus plenty of adult recognition is a tool in the box for retaining Scouters." And I am fully on board. We cannot RECOGNIZE Scouters too much. They are wonderful folks who are devoted to helping young men along a pretty rocky path to a useful and fulfilling adulthood. I think we should take every opportunity to recognize the men and women who go the extra mile for our youth. Every opportunity and then some! However, let's do it in a dignified and adult-appropriate manner. I love the example of the small triangle on the OA ribbon. How much more dignified and appropriate that is compared to a bunch of beads and pouch or whatever hanging around one's neck. To recapitulate, all I am saying is save special places on the uniform for a few and very special awards. And what more special than the highest award that a Scout can EARN, the Eagle? In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  11. Wisumahi

    Old uniform question

    Oops--I forgot one: on the right sleeve below your troop number, you put your position patch. Sorry, Wisumahi
  12. Wisumahi

    Eagle service projects

    Hi, I earned my Eagle in 1956 and we had no Eagle Project. You had to earn 21 merit badges--and they were different than the required ones today--had been a Life Scout for 6 months, served your troop as a leader, and served your community in a variety of ways. I cannot remember if this was a BSA requirement, but in our troop one had to present letters from various community leaders indicating one's standing. One had to be from one's school's principal. I think the Eagle Project was a wonderful addition to the Eagle requirements. Wisumahi
  13. Wisumahi

    Old uniform question

    Hi, fellow Scouts! Sorry for being so late in getting to this...too much rain here in Northern California! I was a Boy Scout from 1953 to 1956--at which point I became an Explorer--and I have to tell you that our uniforms were much less adorned than those of today. On the left sleeve we wore a city strip, a state strip and our unit's numbers; on our right sleeve we wore just our circular black and red patrol emblem--and up to 6 mbs on the long sleeve. On, under, or over our left pocket we wore service stars and attendance awards, our rank, and our AOL. Over our right pocket could wear a jambo patch, on flap we could wear an OA flap, on the pocket we could wear a "temporary" patch such as a camp patch, OA fellowship patch, etc, and, of course, we could wear an OA ribbon on the button. In 1960, the BSA issued a 50th Anniversary Acheivement patch: my buddies and I wore that below our right pocket, but I think it was officially supposed to go somewhere else. I just do not remember where. You could also wear an interpreter's strip that you earned. I can only remember two knots--and you had to be eighteen to retire your rank patch and switch to a knot(s). They were Eagle and the Explorer Silver Award. That was it: no epaulets, no American flags, no "Trained" strips and all the other badges that have spread out over our present day uniforms. It might be fun for you to find a 50's "Handbook for Boys" and have a look. Wisumahi
  14. Wisumahi

    Vigil Knot??

    "I have always felt it inappropriate to critize others for their choices as to what knots they wear. We may not know what their reasons are, and it might NOT be for show or to brag." Hi, emb021! I guess I was not clear: I am not critical of the adults who wear all those myriad of knots. I am critical of the BSA for creating the opportunity. I think the BSA encourages an inappropriate display of awards on adults by having such awards in knot form. I also think it diminishes the importance of one of the most important things a Scout can achieve, the award of Eagle Scout. That said, I am also critical or lodges that have all these beaded geegaws and jimcracks to string around members' necks. My goodness, do we really need to look like some refugee from Mardi Gras as an indication of participation in OA events? You see, I like something more subtle and emblematic of the solemnity that I associate with things like Vigil: the perfect example is the one you mentioned, the small triangle that can be attached to one's OA pocket ribbon. Tell me that is less classy than a bunch of cheap beads and other ornaments strung on fake sinew or whatever other type of string is available that day. Well, I sorta felt I would get some slings and arrows for my retro-view of Scouting awards. But, just step back and take a look at today's uniforms and all the places we can put patches, etc. With the exception of the back of the shirt, there is hardly a barren spot left. Honesty, is that an improvement over the traditional uniforms of 50 years ago that I wore? If you have never seen such a uniform, look in an old "Handbook for Boys". Sometimes elegance is not at all complicated, but rather, understated. And sometimes elegance says it all. Remember it is still called BOY SCOUTS and not adult scouts. In Brotherhood, Wisumahi
  15. Wisumahi

    Vigil Knot??

    Hi, John-in-KC! Thanks for the kind words. However, we may be in the very small minority. I have so many examples of what I believe to be over-awarding and going too far in the OA/Scouting. In my lodge (and many others) one is give beads of various colors for attending events. These are then strung on a necklace that one wears to OA events. In addition, things like pouches are added when one attains Vigil. I cannot express properly how foolish I think a 50 year-old looks wearing a necklace with all sorts of beads and fuu-fuus on in it. I mean, seriously, is that truly behavior that should be emulated by youth? I know a Scoutmaster who is just a prince of a man: he wears just one knot--and he can wear more-his Eagle. However, when you talk to him about his adult experience as an SM, all he wants to talk about is how many Eagles have sprouted their wings in his troop. I guess he reminds me of my late, sainted SM... But do not get me wrong: I think we should recognize the wonderful adults who work with Scouts. And recognize them regularly for their great service to youth. I just do not think we should plaster all those awards on adult uniforms. In Brotherhood, Wisumahi