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msnowman

Face painting ceremonies

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In the thread I spun this from was the reminder that when doing AoL to keep BSA regs in mind about Indian face painting. Fair enough, respectful is always a good rule to follow.

 

So, my question is this - how about a face painting ceremony that in no way references American Indians in any fashion. I'm thinking the Painted Tiger/Wolf/Bear where you paint a yellow stripe on their forheads (the sunlight that guides you along the Cub Scout path), etc. All the colors are tied to Cub Scout values. Any reason why this would be considered disrespectful?

 

My feeling is no, there is no issue with this type of ceremony. It isn't meant to mimic an American Indian ceremony or face painting of any kind. At least when I did the Bears 2 weeks ago it was more of "Bear marks" than paint as I used my finger to leave the colored spots on their faces.

 

Thoughts? Comments?

 

YiS

Michelle

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You just described our Bobcat ceremony. I don't have it in front of me but blue was for this and yellow was the sun, and orange was something else. A final mark went on the parent's nose. I never saw a parent wipe off that mark during the ceremony or meeting. They all wanted their boy and them to be seen my someone at home with the markings. This is a well received ceremony and there is no reason you should not do it.

 

 

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Cubs love ceremonies of all kinds. Face painting is not unique to Native Americans and I say go fot it.

 

Every year, our final pack meeting was always an outdoor campfire. At the start of the meeting, and with great mystery, I'd char several wine corks in the campfire. I'd then make a big show about smudging each cubs forehead and nose with the charred corks, making them 'one with the fire'. The ceremony made no reference to Native Americans (and any cultural symbolism was probably tens of thousands of years more ancient). They loved it!

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Cubs love ceremonies of all kinds. Face painting is not unique to Native Americans -- I say go for it!

 

Every year, our final pack meeting was always an outdoor campfire. At the start of the meeting, and with great mystery, I'd char several wine corks in the campfire. I'd then make a big show about smudging each cubs forehead and nose with the charred corks, making them 'one with the fire'. The ceremony made no reference to Native Americans (and any cultural symbolism was probably tens of thousands of years more ancient). They loved it!

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We did something like this as part of awarding the arrow of light. The boys enjoyed it as well. Only thing was it took longer than expected! But I see no problem with these sorts of ceremonies. The problem, I think, is when we start pretending to emulate a culturally specific ceremony either without understanding it or in an improper context. To put this another way: the Catholic Church knows a thing or two about impressive ceremonies. We obviously wouldn't copy their rituals in a pack setting just for the "wow" factor because it would be inappropriate most of the time. That doesn't mean we avoid using candles just because the Church also uses candles though.

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We use face painting ceremonies for all our rank advancements except AofL. The parents love them as much as the boys. We too use the colors as they relate to the Scouting values. Have had no complaints from anyone.

 

Carol

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