Bill Goldsworthy (BGOLDSWO@AOL.COM)
Sat, 17 Jun 1995 16:55:54 -0400
Hi, my name is Bill Goldsworthy and I am the current Section Chief of Section
C-4A; Order of the Arrow and hope that this can be of some assitance.
Yes, the Order of the Arrow is permitted to use Native American attire in our
ceremonies and in dance (Lodge Dance teams etc.) but the use of wigs, face
paint, body paint and protected animal species is prohibited. The rules
governing the use of these items is for competition but still apply for
regular OA weekends. "Use of face and body paint is prohibited at sectional
and national competitions. Use of face/body skin coloring or wigs in
simulation of ethnic traits is not acceptable.*" Outfitting should "not
violate local American Indian concerns, should be of same tribe or region,
and as authentic as possible*"
Being a veteran ceremonies enthusiast it is easy to see members fall into a
sterotypical "Indian" outfit and this is stressed by many ceremonialist as
not proper attire. It is encouraged to sutdy the local tribe and base the
ceremonial outfits on those. Also, the OA participates in Native American
Dance like I mentioned before. Their is the a similar set of rules
discussing the proper attire, dances, etc. that should or should not be
performed by members of the OA. ((Whether or not they are religous or
non-religous, mainly...religous dances are unacceptable to be performed by OA
members unless written permission by the Tribal Council of the specific
Members are urged to "learn and respect the difference between the social
dances, songs, crafts and regalia, and those associated with religous
practices.***" Rules include: "aviod dances utilizing masks, pipe ceremonies
and Petions to a higher power.*"
So the final answer is NO members are not allowed to use wigs, body/face
paint or any other type of material, song or dance deemed offensive by the
Native American society.
This is expressivly forbidden at Sectional/National events but occasionalyy
Lodges use them at their own discretion (Also not approved of)
I know that in my Lodge the Northern Hoop of Tecumseh Lodge is an integral
part of our lodge and have provided many things and much help so I trust that
there is no hard feelings between the two groups.
I know I have rambled on a bit but I wanted to give evidence to support my
answer. In no way is the Order of the Arrow trying to be offensive or mock
the Native American traditions, "it is a fascinating feature of the OA, not
the main features of it, but they are an exciting part of the program.**"
Bill Goldsworthy, C-4A Section Chief
==quotes taken from:==
* "Field Operations Guide" produced by the National and Regional
Organization;Order of the Arrow:BSA
** "The Order of the Arrow" handbook, produced by the BSA c 1989 BSA
***"Ceremonies Training Syllabus" produced by the OA NAtional committee for
the 1994 NOAC, Order of the Arrow;BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City