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Order of the Arrow Needs To Stay Southeastern.

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I was active in scouting for about 30 years total. I earned my Eagle Scout and was very active in a scouting fraternity known as the Order of the Arrow, where I also gained the highest level as Vigil Honor. The OA and people I knew through the OA lodge got me started on the reenacting, which I have done ever since.

One thing that those of us in Florida became very good at was constructing the Seminole clothing. People like Rick Obermeyer, David Mott, and Jason Woltz would go all over the country and photograph pieces in museum collections, like in the Smithsonian vault. The guys from North Carolina who work on Cherokee clothing, took an interest to what we were doing as well, because that is very similar to what they wanted to do.

When I got started with the OA back in the late 70s, we were doing our ceremonies wearing generic Plains outfits with the flannel buckskin pajamas with strips of plastic beadwork on the side, and the feather bonnets from craft catalogs. Outfits like those are no long acceptable. Native Americans are offended at stereotypical portrayals of their people and culture that came out of Hollywood westerns.

So we were very proud that in Florida, we developed a good reputation and have some very knowledgeable instructors so there should never be any more of the Hollywood Indians for OA events and ceremonies.

In fact, what I would like to see is that for the 100th anniversary of the OA in 2015, is ceremony dress as Lenni Lenape since that is where Dr. Goodman borrowed the OA legend from 100 years ago. I wonder is anyone will dare to dress up as Lenape circa 1915? I would love to see that.

But I am getting off track. We have the people and the knowledge to do accurate, correct regional portrayals if OA lodges want to do Seminole. Unfortunately, it looks like lodges are reverting back to the stereotypical Indian. I see no excuse for this. Also, the lodges are not using their own people and resources to go Seminole. I have been down here in Osceola lodge #564 home area for almost 9 years, and they have never asked me to come talk to them at one of their chapter meetings about Seminole clothing. They certainly know I am here. I do not know if they do Seminole clothing anymore down here, and doubt that they do.

Let me tell this to you scouters: There are very few people who can teach accurate clothing instructions at OA weekends like myself, David Mott, Rick O, or Mike Brown. It is not a subject like OA ceremonies or lodge administration that most any OA member can instruct. The lodges are not teaching Seminole clothing at their home, and the state-wide OA region meets are also not doing it.

If they are not doing Seminole outfitting, they need to correct that. Generic Plains Indian outfits are not acceptable. 1830s Seminole or even 1900s Seminole outfits are not difficult. The same effort they go through to make the stupid generic unacceptable outfits can be used to make Creek/Seminole outfits instead. Stick with the regional tribes, not the generic Hollywood stuff that is no longer acceptable anywhere.
Current Location:
the hammock
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awake awake
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