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Old 12-31-2001, 10:17 PM   #1
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New dancers need help

Greetings,
I am assisting some Boy Scouts in forming a drum group and dance team for the Order of the Arrow. I have some information, but not enough to be successful. Could anyone reccommend links and or books to help with the regalia. We've been to two pow wows as a group and it has really sparked interest. I'ld like to keep it going.
Jerry
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Old 01-01-2002, 07:46 PM   #2
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have you asked for help from other OA lodges in your area. also, ask around at pow wows.

as for good books. Scott Evans has two : Northen Traditional Dancing and Mens Fancy. both are reall y good instructional books. also, Missouri River Patterns has a Grass Dance pattern.

but the better thing is to ask and learn. and if your up for a drive, you should check out the link to the North Carolina OA seminar at the end of this month in Statesville, NC.


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Old 01-01-2002, 11:15 PM   #3
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WW,
thanks for the info on the books. As for OA lodges, we will be meeting with those at conclave. Hopefully, there will be some great classes and that will help.
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Old 01-02-2002, 10:58 AM   #4
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um, normally they don't teach at conclave. they are normally for compitions and fellowships.


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Old 01-02-2002, 12:22 PM   #5
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You should look at the archives. This question has been asked and answered in the past. I tend to keep too much in the archives rather than delete things.

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Old 01-02-2002, 08:42 PM   #6
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also, if you have questions pertaining any of the styles, you can ask them in their respective forums on this web page. there are a lot of knowledgeable people on here, that would answer almost any questions that you may have.


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Old 01-03-2002, 06:23 AM   #7
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all i would like to say is if they are going to be taught i hope you show them the ways right, not wrong because OA sometimes teaches members the wrong way and thats not good
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Old 01-03-2002, 10:34 AM   #8
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that's true. alot of people in the OA don't care about the right ways. but there are alot that do try to teach the right ways.


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Old 01-04-2002, 04:11 PM   #9
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Trust me, I want to do things the right way. I don't agrre with all the indian lore stuff that the BSA sells. I am using an old photocopy of a Ben Hunt book to get me started. Part of getting teams started, I have been asked to conduct an Indian Lore Merit Badge Seminar. I know for a fact that some mb counselors don't do an adequate job. I have also met some who have done a fantastic job. Hopefully I will be in the later catagory. Thanks to everyone who has responded and please keep them coming.
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Old 01-04-2002, 04:24 PM   #10
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Be careful with Ben Hunt

Ben was pretty ground breaking with his techniques when those original books came out, but that was back then. The material and tools available to make outfits are very different from Ben's day. I'll elaborate a little later.

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Old 01-04-2002, 08:13 PM   #11
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yes please be careful with ben hunt. he's alot out dated and it's one of the many things that gives the BSA a bad name.


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Old 01-04-2002, 09:26 PM   #12
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Real quick, I read in one of Hunt's Books that cartridge shells could be used instead of dance bells and hair pipes. IS THIS STILL TRUE??? I have been telling all the leaders that hunt to save their shells for making bells, chokers, and bandoleers. I have about 10 pounds of shells so far. Thanks for the tip on Hunt.
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Old 01-05-2002, 05:51 PM   #13
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Yes, I have been to a few pow wows lately and have seen empty shell casings used for
bells and breast plates. But they are few and far between. I would make my breast plate and bandolier out of hairpipes. If you don't want all of the weight use plastic ones

Last edited by jmm; 01-07-2002 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 01-05-2002, 08:33 PM   #14
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Again I want to thank everyone for their support. I am glad that shell casing can be used as I have over 10lbs of them. Another question I have: For Straight and Traditional dancing, can leggings be made from old wool pants? I was told this back in 1994, and the the leggings I am using are made in this manner.
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Old 01-07-2002, 07:58 AM   #15
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Put the Ben Hunt book down

I would put the Ben Hunt book away. When Ben Hunt put those books out in the 50's or 60's, his information was pretty good. But he was encouraging use of materials and using tools that were available in the 50's & 60's. Things are very different now. We have tools and material to work with that Ben didn't. Dance clothes have evolved and changed since then. He didn't write about what we know as contemporary traditional dancing because it didn't exist. Grass dance outfits in their current form didn't exist. PM me if you'd like more specific examples.

I don't want to completely put Ben Hunt down because he did travel around and learn from Native Americans in Wisconsin, South Dakota, and other places. He was writing things that were not written before that. Ben was also a great teacher. I can think of four guys who live in the Milwaukee area that used to go to his cabin to work on outfits. They are all top notch dancers with beautiful contemporary outfits. One in particular has many superb outfits. If Ben was still around today my guess would be that he would be all over contemporary tools and materials for building outfits.

Here are couple of other opinions I have.

1. In the age of the internet, dancers are becoming too reliant on books and web sites and want quick and easy to understand information. THE BEST PLACE TO LEARN ABOUT DANCE CLOTHES AND DANCING IS AT A DANCE. Get out there, see what's being done, make some new friends and talk to people. It's not going to happen over the internet and e-mails.

2. My friend JMM and I politely disagree on bullet shells. I think they are the exception rather than the rule. In my worldview (which some people find to be scary or disturbing), breastplates and bandoliers are made of hairpipe. Plastic or bone is fine. Bells are made of bells. If you find 100 dancers with bullet shells in their out fits, probably 90 to 95 of them are white hobbyist dancers. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that the top ten dancers at Schemitzun, Denver March Pow-wow, Gathering of Nations, Red Earth, Bismark, and any of the other big dances that the winning dancers set the new outfit styles for the year, that none of them have bullet shells in their outfits.

3. For leggings, I guess it doesn't matter where you get your wool, as long as you make leggings. Don't let your guys wear wool pants as a substitute for leggings. Depending on the kind of straight dance leggings you want to make, I've seen several pairs made out of heavy canvas. They look pretty good if you don't want to pay for leather.

I'm trying not to sound like a jerk or to be unsuportive. But from your posts you seem to be starting out like most bad OA dance teams do. I know from experience because I started dancing in one of those bad OA dance teams. It wasn't until I put the Ben Hunt book down and started traveling around a bit that I realized how wrong I had been doing things. Feel free to send me a PM with other questions.

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Old 01-07-2002, 10:12 PM   #16
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Greetings,
I am very glad for the input because I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT! Please keep up with ALL comments and criticisms. The only way to learn is to ask. Powwows around here (LA) don't start up until March. Calendar is booked up already. I am hoping that some of the people I met up with a few years ago are still around. unfortunatly, been moving around too much to keep contact. THANKS
Jerry
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Old 01-08-2002, 02:25 AM   #17
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Ben Hunt and OA

I am quite familiar with the OA and know what they do and don't like. Lately they have been on a more low key approach to their "Indian" look. They have scaled back their emblem from the traditinal indian head, to a more conservative arrow head. The Handbook, though it does not provide details of what the organization deems acceptable, does note the Ben Hunt bok(s) in the glossary with a side note stating that these books are "to be used for techniques only" and states that more accurate designs should be found elsewhere. My library holds copies of the handbook dating back through the Diamond Jubilee (1985) and all have this same notice. I have original copies of his books, and the techniques are sufficient for those starting out. He does have a book on bedwork which is mostly technique instruction and if you can find it is very useful. If you are interested in books on bead or quill work technique I can provide a list of suggestions.

I'm sure you know what the OA prefers, but for quick reference, stay away from the hollywood indian image. Old west movies and TV shows would fall under this. Vary the outfits. Mostly aimed at ceremonies, some lodges tend to make 4 carbon copies of an outfit, sometimes with the only difference of the material color. Try to stay with the general area of where your lodge is located. If you are east coast, the tribes had quicker access to English cloth and materials, south and west recieved Spanish influence, etc. Your greatest resource is a pow wow. Go to several. Take notes, ask questions, lots of questions. I've not yet met a singer or dancer who would turn away a question from someone who is interseted (and sometimes who is willing to sit for a few stories!). Bring a camera, but ask before you start shooting. Many dancers don't like to be photographed.

I can't stress enough that you go to pow wows and ask questions, make sure you do this. I know I'm not the first to say this!
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Old 01-08-2002, 06:07 PM   #18
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Exclamation Start off right

A long time ago I started off with and individual who was going to teach us how to dance. He had a war bonett, an apron, mocs and a vest. And that is what he danced in. He was full blood, and about 38 years old. That was about 20 years ago. Needless to say, he was the only one I've ever seen dance dressed like that.

Get rid of old Ben. Put him on the shelf and go to a good dance. Buy the books that have been suggested. Buy some videos out of Crazy Crow or your favorite trading post. Look at the photos of the best dressed dancers, and try to look like them. Taking short cuts don't always cut it.
When you go to dances help the boys by suggesting the best dancers to watch.
I know were you are starting from, I've been there. But please don't stay there. Help to make your guys the best in the country, not just in your area. Be the best of ther best not the best of the worst. ( not a statement about any one)

I would be happy to give some ideas that may help your group.
Send me a personal message or post a note on here.:seenoevil :seenoevil :seenoevil
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Old 01-08-2002, 09:12 PM   #19
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Wow, you can tell I'm one Indian who is behind the times. I never knew there was a wide selection. I've heard of books, and I saw a movie once for moccs. Was it ever confusing with all this graphing and techical terms. I kept telling my coordinator that I knew how to do it (I had already been making my own for years), but after that, I was confused. My moccs turned out horribly. When in doubt, go to your family. My auntie grabbed those moccs and fixed them right up. My advice is to go to a tribe near you and learn the old fashioned way. Also that guy on the video danced and all of us who have been dancing (Our tribe believes you teach a child to dance when they learn to walk.) had to laugh. There are just some things they don't teach you.

Examples for Contest: Complete outfits ie you have everything that a grass, fancy outfits generally have = points. The first grand entry is usually worth the most. There is a difference between northern and southern drums. Learn them both. Buy different cd's and tapes from various groups. Develop your own style and steps quick.

P.S. I hope my jokes about those videos didn't offen anyone who has learned from them. Remember I have only seen one.
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Old 01-10-2002, 11:37 AM   #20
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Thumbs up

Cex,

I think that you are right . It is best if you learn young from your family members. And to see good dancers in person. But I have seen some really bad dances put on in our area. And if a person who does not know anything about dancing see's it for the first time, they will get the wrong impression. About what to wear and how to dance.
Most of the people putting on dances in this area have no family tradition and no background to call on for what is right and wrong. So they just do anything that pops into their head.
Another source can be Whispering Wind, they have some good shots at some big dances.
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