Indian Ceremony
Posted On: 2020-12-25

This is really more of an outline or a complete meeting with the opening and closing based on authentic Indian rituals. It should be held out of doors with a real fire but it could be done indoors with an artificial one or the opening could be changed. If done outdoors, the fire can be arranged in a number of ways to light as if by magic or as if from the heavens. (one way is to have someone off stage shoot an arrow into a prepared fire - a highway flare attached to the arrow does the trick of starting the fire, or the arrow may be "shot" down a wire, etc. )

The Cubmaster and his assistants should be in Indian costume as should the boys. The more adults who participate in costume in this meeting, the better. A tom-tom should be beaten slowly during portions of the ceremony. One assistant should be the Medicine Man and have a peace pipe, a rattle, and some"magic dust" (fireplace crystals) which he periodically throws into the fire while he mutters something unintelligible.

Start by having the parents seated and the boys march or dance in, to the beat of the tom-tom. After the Cubs are seated around the fire (still unlit), the medicine man comes forward and intones:

I know not if the voice of can reach the sky;

I know not if the Mighty One will hear us pray;

I know not if the gifts I ask will be granted;

I know not if the word of old hath been received;

I know not what will come to pass in days to be;

I hope that only good will come, my children, unto you.

At this point, he pauses while the fire is caused to light. As the flames begin to build the tom-tom picks up the tempo briefly and then slows back to the ceremonial tempo. The Medicine man continues:

Now I know that the voice of man can reach unto heaven; Now I know that the Mighty One hath heard me pray;

Now I know that the word of old - we have truly heard it;

Now I know that Tirawa Atias, Heaven, Our Father hearkeneth unto man's prayer;

I know that good and good alone, hath come, my children unto you;

The Medicine man hands the peace pipe to Akela (the Cubmaster) and steps back, to return occasionally throwing "magic dust" into the fire. Akela lights the peace pipe for the fire and then does the following business and dialogue. Akela puffs smoke to the sky and points stem up, saying, "I offer this to Wakantanks for all the good comes from above." Then with a puff towards the earth:

"I offer this to Makakin, the earth, whence come to all good gifts."

Then a puff of smoke is blown in each of the cardinal points starting at the West and going to the North, East, and South as he says to each in turn:

"To you, Wiyo Peyata, (west wind) who dwells where the sun, fails, help us with the strength of the thunder.

To you, Wazi Yata, (Northwind) who dwells whence comes the cold, sends us the cold winds and lets the tribe live.

To you, Wiyo Hinyanpata, (east wind) who dwells where the sun continually returns, send us good days and let the tribe live. To you, Ito Kagata, (South wind) who dwells in the direction we face with outstretched arms, may the sunshine out in full to us and let the tribe live.

(The foregoing is based on a Pawnee ceremony called the Hakp. At this point, you could have a pledge to the flag and recognize visitors. Then the following could be varied to suit the need. )

ASSISTANT We have one who would join our ranks.

AKELA Who would join us?

ASSISTANT

(Vary the dialogue if there are more than one etc.)

AKELA Bring him forward.

(New member comes forward and is inducted with the appropriate dialogue according to the custom of your pack.)

ASSISTANT Akela, we have braves who have studied the trail of the Wolf.

AKELA What have they learned from the Wolf?

ASSISTANT They have learned the language of the ground, the tracks, the ways to food.

AKELA Bring them forward to be honored.

(Boys are bought forward and presented their Wolf badges and or Arrow Points.)

ASSISTANT We have braves who have followed to bear.

AKELA What did they learn from the Bear?

ASSISTANT They learned the secret names of the trees, and the call of the birds - the language of the air.

AKELA Bring them forward.


 

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