04 October 2010

Dancing Fawn and the Coyotes

A "Coyote"

Even though we are STILL in the moving process,
we try to take time now and then for some family fun.

One of our favorite autumn activities
is attending a primitive skills gathering.
The-Man and I have been attending since before the Treasure was born,
and we have been taking her most of her life,
so it is just an expected part of our seasonal routine.

Unfortunately we have already moved all of our camping gear,
so this year, due to time constraints and having no equipment,
we decided to simply "day camp."

One of the highlights of this annual event is the
Oogabooga Initiation.

The Oogabooga Tribe is an Iroiquois Secret Society.
The tribe, and it's initiation ceremonies,
have been in existence for around 40 years,
and there are tribe members around the world.

Due to it being a Secret Society and all,
and as I was sworn to secrecy when I was initiated,
I really can't tell you much more than that.

But I can tell you that it is a lot of fun,
clean family fun, and if you ever attend one of these gatherings
and have opportunity to join the tribe,
it will be well worth the wait.

It does require that you choose a Native American name for yourself,
and if you don't choose your own name,
one will be choosen for you.

You'll want to choose your own name.....trust me.

There are drums, a campfire, a "spirit" guide, and coyotes.

The Treasure really wanted to sit at the fire circle this year,
but that is not allowed unless one has been initiated.
So we stood in line for...um...2 1/2 or 3 hours...
yeah, there were around 35 initiates this year!

Our lengthy wait was made much more pleasant
by interesting conversation with a new friend
who was also waiting to be initiated...
he amused me greatly by choosing
"Rotten Skunk Butt"
for his Native name...

The newbies are secluded in the dark in an area away from the main fire circle,
and they are given stern instruction by a "spirit" guide:

1) Bring a gift for the chief;
2) No smiling-- this is serious business.
3) Never trust a coyote...
4) Choose wisely...
5) Have fun!

Coyotes are the big problem.
They cannot be trusted!
But they are around, everywhere.

Now for an almost-7-year-old,
being left in the dark for several hours with phantom-type characters
dressed in coyote pelts with war painted faces...
who sneak up on you and just stare at you
or whisper at you or brush your face with feathers...
that can get a girl spooked in a hurry!

But the Treasure sucked it up and decided to stick it out.
She REALLY wanted to join the tribe!
We assured her that the coyotes wouldn't hurt her,
all she needed to do was ignore them
and stay focused on the chief and obey him when she got to the fire circle.

So the coyotes gave her a lot of opportunity to fine-tune her ignoring skills...
They pestered her a lot,
but she wouldn't even look at them and they finally slunk away.

She survived the initiation...with great courage...
and we are proud to say she is now an official
Oogabooga member.
She may be young, but she could teach anyone of any age
a thing or two about staring down a Coyote!

Chief "Wolf Speaks"

Welcome to the tribe,
Dancing Fawn!

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