Mikanakawa Lodge of the Circle Ten Council in Dallas, Texas, recently held an American Indian Affairs weekend. This was a new event for lodge, and it was where Arrowmen were encouraged to build regalia for ceremonies or learn how to dance in different styles. The event in early October was an event to captivate the younger and upcoming Arrowmen of the lodge.
Scott Lollar helped organize the event and he said, “The goal was to have a relaxed weekend where new Arrowmen could be taught about ceremonial regalia, different forms of dance, how to sing and other American Indian Activities.” Lollar said the lodge’s executive committee hoped to keep the event laid back and low key without a schedule or mandatory classes. It was an introductory event to teach new Arrowmen the basics rather than have a strict outline that they needed to follow.
In the morning, the main focus was building regalia and learning different ways to perform ceremonies. They had their expert ceremonialists teaching inexperienced Arrowmen how to perform ceremonies at their finest and brought out their expert textilists to show how to make and decorate regalia as well as personalize it. There was also some friendly competition going on between the Arrowmen for the ceremonies. “They wanted to see who could recite the entire Pre-Ordeal ceremony, all 4 principals, perfectly,” Lollar recalled. “One boy was extremely committed and had practiced this ceremony for years and was able to step up to the plate.”
In the afternoon, the focus was more on dance. The Mikanakawa Lodge is proud to say that out of the top 10 dancers at NOAC 2015, they are the home to two of them. They brought out their award winning dancers for some informal dancing in the afternoon and late evening. Saturday evening ended with everyone gathering for a pow-wow where participants could practice what they had just learned that afternoon. After the pow-wow, they all gathered around a campfire and shared experiences.
Everyone who had attended the event had a blast and learned a lot. The parents learned a lot too because it was an excellent way to let the parents know just what exactly their children were getting into. The key to putting on a great event is a motivated planning team. Originally, this idea had come to the LEC from the advisers. Lollar explained how that youth took that idea and created this year’s event. “The advisers had been talking about how they wanted to put an event like this on for years but they had never found a free weekend,” he said. “Finally, they had the opportunity to make this dream a reality and bring it to the lodge. As soon as the advisers suggested this to the LEC, they immediately drew all of their attention to that as they were extremely driven to get this done.”
After weeks of advertising and planning from the committee, the event had finally arrived and they had a huge turnout of Arrowmen. Since the event was such a success, the lodge plans on having this event again in the future as an annual tradition.