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Crew21_Adv

OA Ceremonial Costumes (and Principle Character)

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Fellow Scouters and Arrowmen,

 

Greetings!

 

Simple question (hopefully), but for my education, could we discuss websites, stores and manufacturers of Ceremonial Costumes? Where can I look and purchase costumes for my Chapter and Troop?

 

Either for their Delaware Indians or any of the Native American Tribes. Thanks in advance for your input.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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The outfits that your lodge & chapter would use for ceremonies (in my area we don't like to call them 'costumes', they are outfits or regalia) should be based on the native clothing of the tribes in your area.

 

You (and your lodge & chapter) should do research as to the appropriate clothing in your area. I know that there are many within the OA who do this (there is a whole section at NOAC for American Indian Activities on this, and in some sections there are people in other lodges who can help you). You should be looking to MAKING your own outfits, based on the research you do. I know that there is information out there on the Delaware Indians.

 

(I can't help you, because my research is on the Seminoles and other Southeastern tribes)

 

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Gotta agree with Mr emb021.

 

That said, who mandates regalia be of the Lenni Lenape? No one so far as I know.

 

From what I've seen, our lodge uses a Cheyenne nation prototype. BTW, one of the ladies just given her Vigil call was for hundreds of hours of making regalia parts for the C-Team (her hobby).

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Fellow Arrowmen,

 

A few additional comments to clarify my request..

 

We thought of making costumes, which isn't out of the question, yet. But purchasing would certainly be faster to expedite our Chapter.

 

I was hesitant to call them "costumes", but that is how the are referred as in the OA Guide for Officer and Advisors handbook. So in a rush, I stuck with that initial choice of words.

 

Finally.. Yes I would agree.. It would be equally fascinating to model Ceremonial Costumes after local tribes. And I have seen this in OA chapters as far away as the Puerto Rico Council and the Aloha Council, stretching the local island native legends slightly into native american OA ceremonies. Both fortunately and unfortunate, I am again in the Transatlantic Council. A very unique Scouting way.

 

To explain why I requested the Delaware Indians. We can camp and hike places that some scouts only dream about. We do have American Indian visits from military and US businesses during the October Native American month and rarely a very modest and diverse Pow Wow, but ultimately we have no local American Indian tribes nearby. So, without a local tribe to model, we would have to create our best model probably off of the Delaware Indians or the Lenni Lenapi Tribe.

 

All your advice is greatly appreciated. And, please continue to post if you know of good authentic native american manufacturers or their webpages. Thanks again!

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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Another resource is local Pow-wows. We got a lot of input from there. Remember to bring tobacco (you can buy it at the pow-wow) You need to give a small amount of tobacco before asking questions about someones regalia. It is concidered very rude to not do so... and they don't have to give you the right answer! You can usually contact local tribes for info... and history museums. Also, just because the natives went "commando" doesn't mean the boys need to do so. This came up as an issue in our lodge. We had one man that was determined that the boys would be "authentic" but the boys were too modest. Our DE (very much into the native info... he is even a drummer and singer) said that the boys can even wear their BS shorts under the loin cloth if they want to do so.

 

 

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Crew21_Adv,

 

I was a part of the TAC council many many moons ago. So I thing going with the Deleware nation costuming (please don't bash me about what we call the clothing, as I've heard that regailia is now no longer acceptable), is a great idea. You might want to check out ebay, I've seen accessories, ribbon shirts, breech clothes, and several other N.A. items, that were handmade. If you pm me, I can give you me email address and pass you along with some other that would take too long to post here.

 

WWW

Cary P

Vigil Honor 84

 

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Around here we find the Lenni Lenape Costume to be a bit lacking in the warmth department we go with a local theme the current custumes were hand made sometime during the early 60's

 

Phillip Martin

aka

AK-Eagle

 

 

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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

 

 

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I am an explorer from 30 years ago who helped make 2 of her brothers bustle outfits and 1 old timers outfits. As an Explorer I was able to dance and i have my own women's outfit that I am willing to sell. I do know that my brother sold all of his outfits. My suggestion would be-if you can find a complete outfit that fits your needs, look at the overall price, and then figure out what the individual "ingredietns" will cost you and then figure in your time. My brother hand a belt, headband, and chaps out of 13cut beadwork that my mother and I beaded. It sounds good that "we need to build the costumes ourselves, however, it is usally mothers and other people who end up doing the work. My brother was the scout, and out of well over 300 hours put into the project I don't think he put is 5 hours. I say buy if you can so your family members will still be talking to you when you sell the outfit dirt cheap 2 years after you slaved over the project

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I started making the headdress in Bill's 1950s Handbook for PLs for fun, which lasted about 2 hours, into a third of annoyance before I got over it. :o

 

I allowed the perfectionist in me to kill it altogether when I realized that ALL the imitation eagle feathers are oriented one way, so it was going to be impossible to create a symmetrical row of feathers, that is, on the left side of my forehead, they would all be tilted right. And since they were all tilted, the finished thing would look like it was sideways all the time.

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Back in the '70s-'80s when I did such things we made all our own stuff. We mostly used blackfoot style for two reasons; first Hollywood had sadly pre-programmed people to think beads and feathered war bonnets whenever they heard the word " Indian" and if the cubs didn't see such stuff they came away disappointed, secondly it was fancy and being teenaged boys we liked it.

We spent many an hour wrapping feathers, sewing leather, learning beadwork, studying old photos. As I remember it took over 100 hours to make our first war bonnet. I also made some very good friends, and learned to respect much of the "Indian" way of life

Now days you have countless vids on how to make almost everything at the click of a mouse. and you can buy a lot of premade stuff. If you need it fast you may have no other choice.

Crazycrow is your friend, Greyowl used to be pretty good as well but I hear they have gone " el cheapo" in the last few years.

 

YIB Oldscout

 

PS I am currently making a 20 inch drum for the dance team. as it is a lot bigger than any I made on the past and my memory of 40 years ago is a bit fuzzy, any one have any tips?

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