American Indian Events Show, Tuesday, August 4, 1998
The third show of the week was highly anticipated by Arrowmen attending the 1998 NOAC. The Indian Show highlights the best singers and dancers that the Order of the Arrow has to offer. The show was preceded by the usual music, along with a "Lenny Loosejocks" cartoon about aliens and the ever-exciting LottOA. Echockotee Lodge #200 from Jacksonville, Florida, was the winner of the V.I.P. seats. Echockotee's NOAC contingent is known as "The Flying 100" because they brought nearly that many Arrowmen to the Conference.
National Vice Chief David Petrush began the show with a welcome. The story of the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of the Cherokee from the southeast, was then told by a narrator as scenes from that era were re-enacted. We were told that this story of perseverance and survival despite adversity was part of the reason our founders chose American Indian lore to be such an important part of our Order. Today we still have our ceremonies, our Legend of Uncas and Chingachgook, and our dance teams that demonstrate respect for American Indians. We were reminded of this by the presentation of scenes from the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony.
It was now time to honor American Indians through dance and song, featuring the best Arrowmen in each dance category. The Grand Entry Song was sung by Wahissa Lodge #118, the 1998 National Order of the Arrow Singing Champion, as all of the dancers entered the Coliseum. The American flag was carried in by Curtis Zunigha, Chief of the Delaware Indians. Each category of dance was demonstrated and the top three finishers in each one were recognized. The results are listed on this page.
After these demonstrations and awards we were told about the Maury Clancy Campership Fund, which assists American Indian Scouts with scholarships for camp. Donations were accepted at the exits.
The final dance demonstration of the night was from Eswau Huppeday Lodge #560, the 1998 Group Dance National Champions.
The closing statements involved the significance of dance as a pleasure for its' participants and viewers. Our founder, Dr. E. Urner Goodman, encouraged lodges to study American Indian "culture and their dance and their costume and their mode of life. And then let's bring it all together as a living tribute to these early Americans, to pay back some of the debt we owe them." This idea of respecting and preserving American Indian culture is certainly a motive for this show. The coments as we left the Hilton Coliseum seemed to indicate that this goal had been achieved in the minds of many Arrowmen.
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