Improved Order of Red Men

Adoption Degree


Kindling the Council Fire
Instructions: The council fire must be kindled in the Chiefs degree for the transaction of all Tribal business, except for the conferring of the Adoption and Warriors’ degrees, care being taken that only qualified brothers are present.
Promptly at the time stated for kindling the council fire, if a quorum be present, the Sachem shall assume his station and give one rap with the tomahawk, at the sound of which there shall be silence, and say:
Sachem: Brothers, come to order and invest yourselves with the regalia of your rank. Chiefs, assume your stations. Guards, secure the wickets and return to and remain in the council chamber until further directed. Sannap, ascertain if the wickets are properly secured and the chieftaincies filled, and report.
The First Sannap inspects the wickets. If they are not guarded he so reports to the Sachem, who shall immediately appoint a guard or guards therefor. If they are not closed he so reports to the Sachem, who shall order the guards to close them. He then notes and reports any vacancies there may be in the various chieftaincies, which the Sachem shall immediately fill by appointment. These requirements having been fulfilled, the Sannap proceeds to the council brand, and, after saluting the Sachem with the sign of respect, reports: Sachem, your commands have been obeyed. The wickets are secure from intrusion, the chieftaincies are filled, and the Guards are at the inner wicket awaiting your pleasure.
The Sachem then continues: Sannap, you will take up the universal password and explanation and the password of the Chiefs’ Degree, and send to me all brothers not in possession thereof, or who may give the same inaccurately.
The Sannap does as directed. If the attendance warrants it, the Sachem may detail the Second Sannap and other Chiefs to assist. A brother not in possession of the words, or who gives them incorrectly, will be kindly directed to approach the Sachem for instruction. All being found correct, the Sannap (with assistant if one has been detailed) proceeds to place at the council brand, salutes the Sachem with the sign of respect, and reports: Sachem, the words have been given correctly by all not sent to you for instruction, and all present are clothed in appropriate regalia and entitled to remain.
To which the Sachem responds: Sannap, resume your station.
The Sannap returns to his station. The Sachem then says: Guards of the Wickets, approach the council brand.
The Guards then proceed to the place at the council brand, where they remain standing until the Sachem concludes his charge, as follows: Guard of the Forest, you will see that the outer wicket is securely closed during the burning of the council fire so that no paleface may enter or pry into our secrets. You will permit no member of another Tribe to pass your wicket without giving the Proper signal and the universal password of the current term.
Guard of the Wigwam, you will allow no one to pass your wicket without first giving the proper signal, the explanation of the universal password, and the password of the degree in which the council fire maybe burning. You will permit no one to enter or retire during the kindling or quenching of the council fire, or during the ceremonies attending the conferring of the degrees, or otherwise when it will disturb the solemnity of our deliberations.
These commands you will both strictly observe unless otherwise directed by the Sachem. Guards, retire to your stations.
The Guards salute the Sachem with the sign of respect and return to their respective stations.
The Sachem then gives two raps with the tomahawk, at which all the elected and appointed Chiefs rise. He then says: Sagamores, it is your duty to observe and require that each brother enters the council chamber clothed in appropriate regalia, gives the signs correctly, and demeans himself properly, thus assisting me in preserving order and decorum in the council.
The primitive Red Men ever recognized a Supreme Being controlling the destiny of their Tribes. No important matter was ever undertaken without an invocation for His guidance and protection. We, as Improved Red Men, wisely follow their example and imitate their reverence. Therefore, brothers, you will now arise while the Prophet invokes the Great Spirit in our behalf.
The Sachem calls up the Tribe with the usual raps.
The Prophet takes a position at the place of the council brand, facing the Sachem, and repeats the following:
O, Thou Great Spirit of the Universe, good and powerful as Thou art, whose power is displayed in the splendor of the sun, the glories of the night, the foliage of the forest, the roaring of the rivers and great waters of the deep, look down from Thy majestic throne of grace and shed Thy bounties upon all true Red Men.
Do Thou, Great Spirit, inspire each Red Man’s breast with that holy courage which will teach him to paddle his canoe safely to “that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns.” Teach him truth, wisdom, and brotherly love toward his brother Red Men. Grant that our walks be upright and pleasing in Thy sight. Banish all discord from our Councils, that our council fires may forever burn to Thy glory. Bless us with plenty, and reward our labors two-fold. May the Red Man and paleface be friends. Enable us to prove by our good works that we are brothers, and show the stranger that with us virtue, charity, love, peace, freedom and friendship dwell. Inspire our Great Councils with wisdom that they may guide their respective Tribes in the right path, that they go not astray and follow the path of the evil spirit. Preserve our homes from danger, and make us wise and virtuous. Teach us the trail we must follow while we remain in the forest of life, and when it is Thy will that we shall cross the river of death, take us to Thyself, where Thy council fire of love and glory burneth forever in righteousness.
O, Thou Great Spirit, hear us!
Brothers respond: O, Thou Great Spirit, hear us!
The Prophet then returns to his station, after which the opening ode may be sung, the Sachem saying: Brothers, we will now sing the opening ode.
Opening Ode
Come, brothers, let us one and all,
In peace and friendship sing,
That every Red Man’s path may be
Free as the eagle’s wing.
Supported by our warriors now,
Our Sachem ready stands,
To hear what may be said, and do
Whate’er the Tribe commands.
Then let each brother stand prepared
His efforts now to aid,
And when the council fire is lit,
Let none the Tribe degrade.
While the Sachem, at his discretion, may omit the singing, it is expected this discretion will he used only on rare occasions, as music adds dignity and interest to the ceremonies. The ode having been sung, the Sachem then says: Chiefs and brothers, the laws of the Order make it obligatory on the Sachem to preside at this council fire of the Tribe, to preserve harmony among the members, and to see that the brothers act courteously toward each other. In obedience, therefore, to the power entrusted to my keeping, and with the assistance of the Sagamores, the council fire will now be kindled. First warrior, light the council brand.
The First Warrior lights the council brand.
Senior Sagamore: Our Sachem is wise. Junior Sagamore, let our swiftest runners proclaim it to the Guards of the Wickets.
Three raps by the Senior Sagamore.
Junior Sagarnore: It shall be done. Guard of the Wigwam, at the proper time you will notify the brothers in waiting. The council brand is lighted. Let silence prevail.
Two raps by the Junior Sagamore.
Sachem: Such is my will and pleasure. The council fire is kindled in ample form.
The Sachem gives one rap, at which all will be seated. The Guard of the Wigwam opens his wicket and informs those in waiting that the council fire is kindled, and that they may enter in the proper manner, a brief time therefore being allowed by the Sachem before calling for the first number of the Order of Business.
Order of Business
After the council fire has been kindled, the Sachem shall proceed accordance with the following Order of Business:
Sachem: The Chief of Records will call the roll of Chiefs, note absentees, and then read the records of the last council.
As the Chief of Records calls the names, the Sannap responds ‘present” or “absent,” as the case may be, for each regular Chief. The records of all councils held since the latest approval of the records are then read. Errors or omissions may then be noted and corrected. The Sachem then says: Unless objection is made thereto, I will declare the records approved. Pauses a moment. I so declare.
Sachem: Is any brother in distress or unable to follow the hunt?
At this time it is proper to report upon the distress or illness of a member not already under the care of the Relief Chiefs, and to refer each case to the appropriate committee for attention and subsequent action.
Sachem: We will now hear and act upon reports of Relief Chiefs.
Usage varies as to the manner of receiving reports from the Visiting Committee or Relief Chiefs. In most Tribes, however, the excellent custom prevails of assigning a sleep to each member of the committee, and then to require from him a report of the condition in which he found all brothers visited unable to be in the forest. Brothers unable to follow the hunt, but able to be in the forest are required to report their own condition, under such regulation as the Tribe may adopt. Appropriations to carry out the recommendations of the Visiting Committee, or of the Relief Chiefs, may be made now or under the head of “New Business.” Permit no neglect of our benevolent obligations.
Sachem: Collection of Wampum. Brothers now have an opportunity to pay their dues to the proper Chief. Kindly remember that upon prompt payment of your dues depends your right to receive, and the power of the Tribe to pay benefits as set forth in our Laws.
Time is given for collection of wampum, according to the custom adopted by the Tribe; after which the Chief of Records (or Collector of Wampum) will call off the names of the members who have paid since last report, and will name the amount of wampum received from each.
The Order of Business thus far given shall not be varied or suspended. The remaining portion may be changed in its order as the Tribe may decide, or the Sachem, if there be no objection, may direct.
Sachem: Chief of Records, have you any report upon applications for membership to present?
All reports of committees on applications for admission must be properly signed by at least a majority of said committees and left with the Chief of Records, who now reads the reports. The applicants are then twigged for.
Sachem: First Warrior, you will scout the forest and ascertain if there is a paleface awaiting adoption,~ or a brother claiming advancement.
The First Warrior retires after giving sign of respect, secures the desired information, and reports accordingly.
Conferring of Degrees
Sachem: Brothers, we will now proceed to confer the ... degree.
When the Chiefs’ Degree is to be conferred this form is not to he used. When the Adoption, or Warriors’ Degree is to be conferred, the council fire is temporarily quenched in the Chiefs’ Degree, and rekindled in the degree to be conferred, according to the following form. At the proper time the Sachem gives one rap with his tomahawk, and says: In order that we may confer the ... degree upon the paleface (or brother) in waiting, it is my Command that the council fire be quenched for a time in the Chiefs’ degree and kindled in the ... degree, without form. Senior Sagamore, you will make the necessary proclamation.
Senior Sagamore: By direction of the Sachem, I now declare the council brand quenched in the Chiefs’ degree and kindled in the ... degree, without form, and during the will of the Sachem.
The Guard of the Wigwam opens his wicket and informs the Guard of the Forest and the brothers in waiting. If there are any in waiting who have only the degree about to be conferred, then they arc admitted by communicating to the Guards the password of said degree, and proving themselves in good standing.
The ceremonies then proceed as arranged for the degree to be conferred.
Sachem: Chief of Records, are there any propositions for membership?
The Chief of Records replies, and the same are disposed of according to the rules.
Sachem: We will now receive and act upon reports of select or standing committees.
If more than one committee shall report, the Tribe may decide the order in which reports shall be presented. It will be in order to take such action at this time upon said reports as the nature thereof may require.
Sachem: We will now consider deferred business. Chief of Records, is there any business from a previous council, or specially assigned, awaiting our attention?
Under this number shall be considered only such matters as remained undecided at a previous council, or which were postponed or specially assigned to this council by vote of the Tribe. It is the duty of the Chief of Records to keep a record of such unfinished business or special assignments, so as to be able to immediately inform the Sachem thereof upon inquiry.
Sachem: We will now consider new business.
At this time it is proper to introduce and act upon any business that may lawfully come before the Tribe.
Sachem: Has any brother of the Tribe, or any visiting brother, anything to offer for the benefit of the Order?
The “Benefit of the Order” is intended to be, and should be, made a leading feature of the Order of Business. The Sachem should notice the presence of Past Chiefs and prominent brothers of the Tribe, as well as visiting Chiefs or brothers, by a courteous invitation to give a short talk for the benefit of the members. Members who are able to entertain by song or story should not be overlooked. In most Tribes the very excellent practice prevails of appointing an Entertainment Committee, which arranges a short program of entertainment, from time to time, to be presented under this number. It is improper to present at this time any proposition calling for the expenditure of wampum, except to be acted upon at a succeeding council. At the proper time the Sachem says: If the Chiefs or brothers have nothing further to offer, we will proceed to quench the council fire.
There being nothing further offered, the Sachem says: Chief of Records (or Collector of Wampum), you will give the total receipts of the sleep, and the names of brothers who have paid since Rule 4 was passed, and the amounts paid by each.
Report having been made, the Sachem continues: Keeper of Wampum, have you received and receipted for said amount?
Proper reports being made, and errors or omissions corrected, the Sachem proceeds to quench the council fire according to the regular ceremony.
A paleface being in waiting for adoption, the Sachem directs the Chief of Records (or Collector of Wampum) to retire and propound the following questions, and record the answers thereto in the Question Book, provided for the purpose. They must be answered satisfactorily and signed by the paleface before entering the council chamber.
These questions must also be answered satisfactorily and signed by brothers applying for admission by card or dismissal certificate, before the applicants shall be admitted to the council chamber. Suspended brothers, when reinstated, are not again required to sign the Question Book:
1. What is your name?
2. How old are you?
3. Are you an American citizen, or, if not, have you declared your intention of becoming such?
4. What is your occupation?
5. Are you free from all constitutional or local diseases?
6. Do you believe in the existence of a Great Spirit, in Whose hands all power doth exist?
7. Do you hold membership in any Order of Red Men, or have you been rejected within the past six moons; or suspended or expelled by or from any Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men?
8. Do you promise not to bring suit in any Civil Court of your State against the Tribe, for the redress of any grievance, the adjudication of which is provided for within the Order by the laws thereof?
9. Do you pledge your most sacred honor to keep secret everything you may see and hear in the council chamber?
10. Are you willing to subscribe your name to the truth of these declarations?
..............            Signature of Candidate.
..............            C. of R. or C. of W. [With date]
The candidate at the same time also signs the Constitution.

The Chief will collect the proper fee from the paleface (or brother) return to the council chamber, salute the Sachem with the sign of respect, and report: The candidate has answered the questions satisfactorily, and signed the Constitution.
In case of the admission of a brother by card, dismissal certificate or reinstatement, the Chief will report: Brother has complied with all the requirements of our laws and now desires admission.
The Sachem will then say: Sannap, you will retire to the forest and escort Brother ... to the council chamber.
The Sannap salutes the Sachem with the sign of respect, retires to the forest, escorts the brother through the inner wicket to the place of the council brand (members to be called up by the Sachem as they enter), where both salute the Sachem, after which the Sannap will say: Brothers of ... Tribe, I have the pleasure to introduce to you Brother ..., who has complied with all the requirements of our laws necessary to become a member of this Tribe, and I hope you will extend to him a brother’s greeting.
After an intermission of a few breaths, the Sachem seats the brothers with the usual rap, and the Sannap conducts the brother to a seat.
Special Instructions
When more than one candidate is to receive the degrees it is sometimes necessary or more convenient to confer them in entirety on but one, and by observation on the others. On such occasions it shall be the imperative duty of the First Sannap, before the ceremonies begin, to conduct all, except the one who is to receive the full work, into the council chamber, and arrange them in front of the Prophet’s station. They shall be required then and there to assume the Pledge of Honor. The Pledge of Honor shall be administered by such chief as the Presiding Chief shall designate. It shall be the duty of the First Sannap to note that each and every individual candidate shall assume the proper position and take the Pledge. When this ceremony shall have ended, the First Sannap shall conduct the candidates to seats together in the council chamber, where they will remain in care of a competent chief, and have clear view of all the ceremonies, and be able to hear all the charges and instructions by the officiating chiefs.
The Sachem is permitted to give aloud the several degree passwords, but the universal password must be given in a whisper to each candidate individually. At tribal institutions the Sachem may call to his assistance in giving the universal password such competent chiefs as he may select. He may also call for similar assistance in exemplifying the grip.
When the Sannaps examine those present in any degree except the Chiefs’, it shall be their duty to require all members of other tribes to prove themselves in good standing in the Order. This proof may be by showing a receipt for dues for the current term, or by giving the universal password for the current term. If the brother is a newly admitted member, he may show his receipt for degree fee. Any visitor announcing himself at the wicket shall be required to give the Guard of the Wigwam similar proof.
The degree ceremonies illustrate several ancient customs of the Aborigines. The introduction to the Adoption and Warriors’ Degrees are outlines and explanations of the purposes and scenes that are exemplified by the ritual, and if studied and used by the officiating chiefs as a basis on which to work, will not only add to the beauties of the ceremonies, but will make such impression on the minds of the candidates as time cannot efface.
The illustrations are not of imaginary scenes and incidents, but are from true conceptions of the customs, traditions and history of the North American Aborigines.
That the work of the Adoption Degree may be comprehended, and to secure uniformity in the same, the attention of the Order is called to the following, which is to be accepted as the theory of the lesson taught in the Adoption Degree. A party consisting of the Warriors, Braves and Scouts, in charge of the Junior Sagamore, is out on the hunt. The shades of night falling upon them while distant from their camp, they rest for the sleep. Weary from long trailing and unsuccessful, till are soon lost in slumber. A paleface, wandering through the forest, is discovered, captured, tried and condemned. His captors conduct him through the forest to the encampment of the Tribe (this distance being represented by trailing twice around the council chamber prior to exit), where they arrive about twilight on the following sun. After passing the wickets the captive is confronted by the Senior Sagamore, who again apprises him of his fate. Tied to the stake and about to be subjected to the fiery ordeal, he is rescued by the Prophet, and given a token which insures his welcome by the Sachem. The ceremony typifies the custom of “Adoption” or “Naturalization” among primitive Red Men.
Adoption Degree
Part First
After the Report of the Chief of Records (or Collector of Wampum) that the questions have been answered and the fee paid, the ceremony of Adoption proceeds, as follows:
Sachem, one rap: Brothers, we are now about to teach a paleface the mysteries of Redmanship. During the conferring of the Degree of Adoption, every member, except the Chiefs in the performance of their duties, will keep his seat and observe strict decorum and silence.
The Sachem gives two taps, which call up those Chiefs who are to lake part in the ceremony. Prior to this he designates a qualified brother to fill his station. He then advances three paces to the front, the Chiefs doing likewise, except Warriors, Braves and Scouts. Preceded by the First Sannap, the Sachem trails down and around the council chamber, followed by the Second Sannap, Prophet, Senior Sagamore, Junior Sagamore, Warriors, Braves and Scouts, in this order. When all are in place, the line must cross the council chamber diagonally to paraphernalia room, where all will clothe themselves in appropriate costume.
Council chamber must be darkened, no council brand lighted, the tepees partly dismantled to represent a deserted camp. Candidate is brought in and seated near the inner wicket, under charge of the Guard of the Wigwam, so he can observe this part of the ceremony. The floor movements and tableaux referred to in the diagram are optional.
Scene First – Night - The rumbling of distant thunder, followed at intervals by a dull flash of lightning. Two Indian scouts enter (they being in advance of a party of Hunters, who, seeing the rapid approach of a storm, are seeking for a suitable place to encamp for the sleep); as the scouts are trailing they discover an Indian camp, and they proceed to see if it is deserted, Cautiously approaching the tepee of the Senior, and being satisfied from its partially ruined condition that no one is within, they trail by imaginary paths to the tepee of the Prophet, then to that of the Sachem, exhibiting the usual Indian caution. During these movements the storm is rapidly approaching, when a vivid flash of lightning illuminates the camp, and they perceive the remains of a fire and being satisfied that the camp is deserted, they decide to report to the Junior. They then trail toward the inner wicket by the same paths, and immediately after their exit a signal is heard, which locates the Hunters (represented by the Warriors and Braves). They enter and trail around the camp, examining everything suspiciously. The Junior being satisfied as to the surroundings, orders his party to prepare for rest and sleep, and while this is being done the First Scout lights the council brand, the Second Scout having stolen away and placed himself near the candidate at the inner wicket. The Junior Sagamore, having lighted his calumet, draws a few breaths, and then reclines near the fire, the Hunters being close together around the burning embers.
The storm at this time is at its height, vivid flashes of lightning, accompanied by loud peals of thunder, then followed by the sound of rain. The entire party creep close together, and as the storm passes over all are apparently in slumber. (The Guard of the Wigwam will now have candidate standing). The Second Scout takes charge of candidate, instructs him to follow him (the Scout) around the outskirts. As they pass around, the First Scout, being alarmed, trails around in like manner. When nearing the Junior Sagamore, the Scout discovers strangers and immediately awakens the Junior Sagamore and informs him by signs that strangers are near. They both trail after the Second Scout and candidate, when a vivid flash of lightning reveals the strangers, and the Junior Sagamore exclaims in a loud tone of voice: Spies! traitors in our camp!
This awakens the Hunters, who hurriedly arise, exclaiming: Seize them! seize them!
The Braves will firmly seize the candidate, the Second Scout escaping, the Junior Sagamore advancing toward the captive, saying: Hunters, this paleface has trespassed on our hunting grounds, the penalty for which you will now determine. Assemble at once in council and let us upon his fate decide.
The Hunters will then gather around the fire and deliberate, the Second and Third Braves standing, and in charge of candidate.
Junior Sagamore: Hunters, what say you?
The charges herein designated for the First Brave may be divided among the four Braves.
First Brave: This paleface is of a hated nation; let us put him to the torture!
A pause.
First Brave: But he is a squaw and cannot bear the torture.
A pause.
First Brave: He fears a warrior’s death!
A pause.
First Brave: Let us burn him at the stake!
Junior Sagamore: Shall the penalty for the trespass be death at the stake?
All: The stake! Torture at the stake!
Junior Sagamore: We will now conduct him to the camp of our Tribe, where he will undergo the penalty decreed. Hunters, let us onward to our camp.
The Second and Third Braves having charge of the candidate, and with the Scouts (the Second Scout having stolen back unobserved) in the lead, followed by the Junior Sagamore, Braves with paleface, and the Warriors, trail around the council chamber twice, making exit to paraphernalia room. If desirable, the Second and Third Braves, with candidate, will halt at the inner wicket and remain there until after the dialogue, in first part of Scene Second, between the Sachem, Prophet and Senior Sagamore, when they retire.
Scene Second – Twilight - The council chamber must now be partially lighted, the stake in position, the tepees properly placed, and the council fire extinguished.
The Sachem accompanied by the Sannaps, now enters, followed by the Prophet and Senior Sagamore. All will slowly trail around the camp toward the tepees, while the following charges are delivered.
Sachem: The sun, with lengthened trail, has sunk beneath the distant hills, and its last rays, still lingering, salute the coming night!
Prophet: And ere tomorrow’s sun o’er yon mountain rises, our hunters will return.
Sachem: Then let us to our tepees go, and there repose until the Scouts announce their coming. We leave you, Senior Sagamore, now in charge. You, with the Sannaps, our faithful runners, will allow no strangers to intrude upon our camp!
The Sachem and Prophet will now enter and close the flaps of their tepees and recline therein.
Senior Sagamore: First Sannap, trail toward yon rocky bluff which hides the distant vale. Some tidings of our hunters you may bring. Second Sannap, you our Sachem’s tepee will guard!
The First Sannap will trail slowly through the camp toward the inner wicket. The Second Sannap will guard the Sachem’s tepee. The Senior Sagamore will seat himself in front of his tepee, light a calumet and smoke.
During this interval the Junior Sagamore has divested the candidate of his coat and clad his feet in moccasins. The Warriors substitute clubs for bows and arrows, the Braves have their knives. When all is ready the Junior Sagamore advances to inner wicket and gives the usual signal.
Guard of the Wigwam: Who comes there?
Junior Sagamore: The Junior Sagamore with a pales face whom the hunters have captured in the forest.
It is suggested that the Guard of the Wigwam should also be clothed in costume.
The Guard advances in direction of Senior Sagamore and says: Senior Sagamore, the Junior reports the capture of a paleface found trespassing on our hunting grounds.
The Senior Sagamore advances a Few paces toward the wicket, and says: Admit them.
Enter Junior with Braves, Warriors, paleface and Scouts. The Scouts drop out of line of march and stand near the tepee of the Senior Sagamore. The First Sannap leaves his position and watches every movement of the Chiefs. The others trail once around the council chamber, halting a short distance in front of the Senior’s tepee, who, beholding the captive, rushes toward him with uplifted knife, but is intercepted by the Junior, who says: Hold, Senior! It has been in council decreed that the captive shall be tortured at the stake!
Senior Sagamore: At the stake! Then let us proceed. Paleface, you have been captured by the Braves in our hunting grounds. The penalty for your trespass is death at the slake, unless some chief interposes. Why have you tempted your fate? Or, is it your wish to become a Red Man?
The paleface must answer affirmatively or he cannot proceed.
Know, then, that Red Men are men without fear, and none but such can be adopted by our Tribe. Are you a man of courage?
Paleface answers.
Then before you can be admitted you must prove yourself such. Honest and brave men meet death with a smile—the coward trembles at the very thought.
Warriors, seize your prisoner! bind him to the stake.
The warriors will lay down their war clubs, seize the paleface, and bind him to the stake with thongs.
Too often have we been deceived by those who professed friendship, but who repaid our hospitality with ingratitude and treachery. What they have been, I fear he is—a spy! Therefore, prepare your keenest scalping knives and your weightiest war clubs. Our brave Junior Sagamore will superintend the execution.
The Senior Sagamore retires to his tepee; the Junior turns towards the Warriors and Braves and says: Warriors, prepare for the execution ! Braves, make ready and pile high the fagots. He has declared he is a man without fear. The flames will test his boasted courage. Proceed!
The Warriors will secure their war clubs, the Braves will gather the fagots and place them at the feet of the paleface and around the stake; cones of red fire will be placed behind the stake. The action here must be rapid, so that proper dramatic effect may be produced. When this is done the Junior says: Braves, light the fagots!
The Braves will right the cones, and at a signal from the Junior, the Warriors and Braves, led by the Junior, will perform a scalp dance around the paleface. While it is expected that the dance will be given in a realistic manner, any loud yelling, uncouth noise, or, in fact, anything that may be heard outside the council chamber, is absolutely prohibited.
The First Sannap, having observed what was taking place, hurries to the Prophet’s tepee and explains by signs the situation to him. The Prophet, leaving his tepee and coming nearer to the scene, perceives the danger of the paleface, and exclaims: Hold!
He rushes into the group, and up to the captive, scatters the fagots, and seizing a knife from the Junior Sagamore cuts the thongs that bind the paleface, and looking at the Warriors and Braves, says: Is it fit that you should execute on suspicion alone? Is it not more becoming of Red Men to show mercy to the stranger who has been found astray in the forest? The tomahawk has been buried, and the innocence of his intent has been proved by his courage. I pronounce him a man without fear. Retire!
There should be no demonstration on the part of the Warriors or Braves after the Prophet has directed them to retire. His word should at all times be heeded. The Warriors then recline in front of the Sachem’s tepee. Braves in front of Senior’s tepee. The Prophet turns to the captive.
Paleface, Kishe Manitou saw fit to create the red skin and the white, therefore they should be brothers; but the speaking books of the palefaces teach them their wisdom, which makes them mistrustful and covetous; with the children of the forest it is otherwise. All their wealth and stock belong to the Tribe in common. Honor is given to whom honor is due, and they hold it to be their duty, in every case of difficulty and danger, to assist a brother.
Paleface, I understand you have expressed a wish to be numbered with our Tribe; if so, I would advise our well-tried Junior Sagamore to refer your case to our Sachem, and, if accepted by him, he will impart to you that which will make the forest as free to you as the air is to the eagle, and every Red Man you meet will know you as a brother.
Paleface, I have done.
Prophet now retires to his tepee and the Junior Sagamore advances to paleface.
Junior Sagamore: At the recommendation of our Prophet, I will refer your case to our Sachem. What says our Senior Sagamore?
The Senior Sagamore advances toward the Junior, and says: What the Prophet says is good. To your care, caution and bravery I commit the captive.
The Senior then retires to his tepee.
Junior Sagamore: Know, then, that no paleface may approach the presence of our Sachem, until he shall have pledged himself to lock in the inmost recess of his bosom, all he may hear and see in the council chamber; which is to be kept secret from all persons not members of the Improved Order of Red Men. Are you willing to take this pledge of honor?
The paleface must answer affirmatively.
Braves, conduct the paleface to our Prophet.
Braves conduct the paleface to Prophet.
Having arrived in front of the Prophets tepee, the Junior Sagamore says: Prophet, this is the paleface whose life you have caused to be spared. He wishes to take the pledge of honor.
Prophet: Paleface, it is a duty incumbent upon me, before you can be introduced to our Sachem, to administer to you a sacred pledge of honor. One which I assure you will not conflict with your civil or religious liberty. Let your thoughts be seriously upon the pledge while you repeat it after me.
Therefore, place your left hand over your heart, in token of sincerity, extend your right hand toward heaven, in token of appeal to the Great Spirit, say “I,” pronounce your name aloud, and repeat:
The Junior Sagamore will see that the proper position is taken by the candidate. All being in position, the Prophet will continue.
Pledge of Honor
Being desirous of becoming acquainted with the mysteries of the Improved Order of Red Men, do hereby solemnly promise and declare, that I will keep secret from all persons, except such as I shall prove to be entitled thereto, all signs, ceremonies and passwords, now or hereafter communicated to me.
I further promise, that I will never kindle a council fire of a Tribe unless legally authorized so to do, nor participate in any not kindled and working under authority of the Great Council of the United States.
I do further promise, that I will obey the law of this Order, and exhaust the remedies thereof, before applying to the civil courts for relief or redress of any grievance I may have against any branch of the Order.
I do further promise, that I will not knowingly violate the sanctity of the home circle of a brother, and will protect and defend him from wrongdoers, to the full extent of my power, and in and out of the council chamber extend to him the loyal and fraternal friendship due from one true Red Man to another.
All this I promise and pledge my sacred honor to maintain, even should I cease to be a member of the Order.
So help me the Great Spirit.
The candidate assumes a natural attitude and the Prophet continues: Your pledge of honor having been given, which we in good faith accept, you will now be conducted to our Sachem, by our Junior Sagamore and his Braves. But a token of my favor you must bear to him as proof that you have taken the pledge of honor, and are entitled to receive the signs and other mysteries of this degree. It is the Eagle’s Plume, fit emblem of my protection, and will obtain for you the knowledge you crave.
Gives an Eagle’s Plume to candidate.
May the Great Spirit bless and safely guide you.
Retires within his tepee, and the Junior Sagamore steps in front of the candidate and gives the command: Braves, conduct the paleface to our Sachem.
The trail is then taken, the Junior Sagamore leading, the candidate with a Brave on either side following, then the other two Braves. Sufficient distance should be taken from the Sachem’s tepee to permit proper action by the Warriors and the Sachem. The Junior Sagamore should be in front, then the candidate, and then behind, the Braves; the Braves going to this position after the others are properly placed. During this time the Warriors in assumed slumber have been inclining in front of the Sachem’s tepee. All being in position the First Warrior, warned by their approach, arouses the other Warriors, who all seize their clubs and rush toward the candidate, forming the tableau, so that the Junior Sagamore stands in front of, and protecting the candidate from the uplifted clubs, while the following dialogue ensues, in which the part taken by the First Warrior may be divided among the four Warriors.
First Warrior: Who dare disturb our Sachem?
Junior Sagamore: The Junior Sagamore, with a paleface, who is desirous of being adopted by our Tribe.
First Warrior: Is he a man without fear?
Junior Sagamore: He has proven himself such.
First Warrior: Has he taken the pledge of honor?
Junior Sagamore: He has, and brings in witness thereof the Prophet’s peaceful sign.
First Warrior: Then we will report him to our Sachem.
The Junior Sagamore then returns to his tepee, the Warriors will assemble at the right of the Sachem, facing the side of the paleface. The Second Sannap, satisfying himself in regard to the stranger near the Sachem’s tepee, arouses the Sachem from his slumber by saying in a loud voice: Sachem! Sachem! A paleface stands before you!
The Sachem is reclining within his tepee, and hearing the Sannap report the arrival of a paleface, he arises, throws aside the flap of the tepee, gazes therefrom, perceives the paleface, takes a few steps toward the Warriors, and in an angry tone, says: Ugh! Do Red Men sleep that a paleface should thus gain admission into our camp?
There being no response from the Warriors, the Sachem grasps his tomahawk, raises it as if to throw at the paleface, when the First Sannap interposes and seizes the arm of the Sachem. The Sannap says: No! Sachem, no! Thy children when on duty never sleep! This paleface was found astray in the forest, and taken captive by the Hunters. He expressed a wish to join our Tribe. After due trial he passed the ordeal, and came out as a man should who knows no fear. He has also taken the pledge of honor, and, in witness thereof, brings this token from our beloved Prophet.
Sachem lakes Prophets token, examines it, shows it to the Warriors, and then says: From our beloved Prophet?
First Sannap: Yes! From our beloved Prophet.
The Sachem places tomahawk in his belt, turns to the paleface, grasps him by the hand, and says: Then, indeed, are you welcome.
Warriors will retire to positions in front of Sachems tepee, Braves retire to their positions. Sannaps will remain standing, on either side of Sachem. The Sachem says: Man of the sea, you have left your accustomed walks in life to range the forest with Red Men. if you deem it pleasurable, and can appreciate true happiness, you have decided rightly; for no enjoyment can equal that which springs from the conscious performance of a good action.
We feel it our duty as Red Men to watch over and supply the wants of the afflicted of our Tribe, and to shield them from danger as the eagle shields her young and tender brood.
We shall expect you to enter warmly into our principles, for only by so doing can you attain an honorable name among Red Men.
My friend, as you are unacquainted with our mysteries, I will now proceed to give you the key, by which the secrets of this Degree will be revealed to you.
In all properly arranged council chambers there are two doors, which we term wickets—an inner and an outer wicket. At the outer wicket is stationed the Guard of the Forest, and at the inner wicket the Guard of the Wigwam. When you approach the outer wicket you wvill give this alarm ... When the Guard responds you will communicate to him the password of this degree, which is ... Having received this he will permit you to pass the outer wicket. You will then clothe yourself in regalia, which for this degree is a green sash.
You will then advance to the inner wicket and give this alarm ... This will call the attention of the Guard of the Wigwam, to whom you will announce your name and the name and number of the Tribe to which you are attached, which is Tribe ... No: ...
The Guard will report the same to the Senior Sagamore, who, if there be no objection, will direct him to admit you if correct. The Tribe shall be the judge of the validity of any objection.
You will then again communicate the password of this degree. Having received this, the Guard will permit you to pass the inner wicket.
You should observe that all alarms and words are to be given so low that none but the Guards for whom they are intended may hear them.
Having entered the council chamber, you will advance to the place of the council brand, and, facing the Sachem, salute him thus ... He will recognize your salutation thus ... This will insure you a welcome. You will then be seated.
Should you wish to leave the council chamber before the council fire has been quenched, you will advance to the place of the council brand and salute the Sachem with the same sign as on entering. Being recognized, you are at liberty to retire.
You have now been duly instructed in the unwritten work of the Adoption Degree.
Turning to Sannaps, he continues: Sannaps, conduct the brother to our Prophet, to receive his final charge, and then to me again.
The Sannaps, with the brother between them, proceed to the right, around the council chamber, until they arrive in front of the Prophet’s tepee. The First Sannap says: Prophet, the brother comes from the Sachem’s tepee to hear your words of wisdom.
Prophet: My brother, the mysteries of this degree being now in your keeping, it yet remains for me to speak these my parting words:
Let Freedom, Friendship, Charity, and Truth,
In future be your motto and your guide;
Good will to one and all alike extend,
And hail each worthy brother as a friend;
Let Freedom sever all the servile bands
That now unjustly rob man of his rights,
And let not selfish motives e ‘er restrain
The generous impulse of a noble deed;
And when through life serenely you have passed,
And landed your frail bark beyond life’s sea,
May your eternal lot be cast with those
Who know no sorrow, and can feel no pain.
I now have done.
Chiefs, arise and hail your brother!
At this command the officiating Chiefs only will arise. The brother being led around the council chamber under escort of the same Chiefs who brought him from the Sachem to the Prophet, followed by the Chiefs, all singing the following Adoption Ode:
Brother, welcome, hear our greeting,
You are made a Red Man now;
Hand to hand with brothers meeting.
Welcome here while time is fleeting,
At the wigwams shrine to bow.
From the Red Man’s heart is flowing
Virtue, harmony and peace;
Is your mind with friendship glowing,
Freedom in your pathway showing?
Brothers’ love shall never cease.
At the conclusion of the ode, the Chiefs in costume will assemble as in council, the Warriors and Braves forming a circle, and the Chiefs located so that the Sachem is supposed to be in the East, the Senior in the West, the Prophet in the North, and the Junior in the South. All seated on the floor. The Sannaps in charge will enter circle, seat the brother on a robe, and seat them. selves in the circle. The Sachem, arising, will proceed as follows: You are now regularly adopted a Red Man according to the usages of our Order. You have passed through certain ceremonies that may have seemed strange and startling, but which have a meaning and significance you will more fully understand as you advance through the various degrees.
Among primitive Red Men the custom of adoption into their Tribes prevailed from the earliest times. The captive was obliged to run the gauntlet, which was a far more trying ordeal than that through which you have just passed. A regular ceremony of adoption was performed in every case, and all were required to undergo this test of their sincerity, truthfulness and power of endurance. Those who faltered or proved false were immediately dispatched; but those who passed successfully through the ordeal were adopted into the Tribe and treated with the utmost affection and kindness. By these means all recollection of their distant kindred was gradually effaced, and they were bound by the ties of gratitude to the Tribe which had adopted them.
We have adopted you, and expect you to faithfully fulfil your duty to the Tribe and the Order, with that zeal and fidelity which have characterized the the Red Man of the forest. You are bound in duty and in honor to aid your brethren in adversity, and they are equally bound to assist you.
The Sachem will advance to candidate, grasp him by the hand, assist him to arise, and will say: In conclusion, my brother, I bid you welcome to the friendship and hospitality that have ever characterized the true Red Man, and which I trust will continue to distinguish and adorn this noble Order. I hope we may never have cause to regret your admission among us, but that by your exemplary conduct you may prove an ornament to the Tribe.
In due season you will receive higher instructions and greater knowledge as a Warrior and Chief. After proper probation you will be entitled to seek these exalted ranks, and we trust you will be found worthy of the distinguished honor they confer.
The Sachem gives two raps with tomahawk, the officiating Chiefs will arise, and, with the Sannaps in the lead, will trail once around the council chamber, form two lines leading to the inner wicket diagonally across the council chamber, and the candidate in charge of a brother not in costume is conducted between lines quietly out of the council chamber. (An ode may be sung.) When the wicket is closed the Chiefs will trail around the council chamber to paraphernalia room and divest themselves of their costumes. After the room has been restored to its usual appearance, the council brand is lighted, the Chiefs will enter and trail in the same manner as on retiring, and resume their stations. The Sachem will give one rap with tomahawk and say: It is my will that the council fire be quenched in the Degree of Adoption. All those not entitled to remain will retire beyond the wickets. First Sannap, you will satisfy yourself that all present are entitled by their rank to sit with our chiefs in council.
At this time the new members, also all others not qualified to remain, retire; no salute to the Sachem being required. The Sannap makes an examination, and having satisfied himself, reports, giving the sign of respect.
First Sannap: Sachem, I have found all present entitled to sit with our chiefs in council.
Sachem: Senior Sagamore, you will make the necessary proclamation.
Senior Sagamore: By direction of the Sachem I now declare the council fire quenched in the Adoption Degree and rekindled in the Chiefs’ Degree for the transaction of Tribal business.
The Sachem gives one rap, the Guard of the Wigwam opens his wicket and notifies the Guard of the Forest. The regular order of business is then resumed.
Quenching the Council Fire.
The time for quenching the council fire having arrived, the Sachem gives one rap, arises and says: Brethren, I thank you for your attendance during the council fire. We are now about to quench it and return to our families and friends. As its embers are smoldered so may all heart burning and discord disappear from among us and our Totemic bond remain unbroken. As we separate, let us carry away with us the precepts taught around our council fire and let them rule our intercourse in the forest of life. Then by our deportment we will deserve and retain the love of our families, the respect of each other, and the approval of the paleface nation, to the honor and glory of the Improved Order of Red Men. In quenching our council fire it is proper we should ask the protection of Kishe Manitou until we meet again. Therefore, you will arise while our Prophet invokes the Great Spirit.
The Sachem gives the usual raps. At the sound of the tomahawk all arise. The Prophet proceeds to the place of the council brand, facing the Sachem, and repeats the following:
O, Thou Great Spirit! we acknowledge Thy wisdom and goodness toward the Red Men of our Tribe. We ask Thee to watch over us during the slumbers of the night and while following the hunt. Guard us from all harm, succor the distressed, feed the hungry, and clothe the poor. Do Thou, Great Spirit! impress upon each Red Man’s heart to bear patiently the lot assigned him on earth, so that when he is called from the hunting grounds of his fathers he may meet the shaft ol death with unwavering courage, and feel assured that Thou wilt sustain him through the “dark valley of the shadow of death.” Hear us, O, Great Spirit!
Response by the brothers: Hear us, O, Great Spirit!
The Prophet returns to his station, and the Sachem then says: Brothers, we will now sing the closing ode.
My country, ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim’s pride.
From ev’ry mountain side
Let freedom ring.
Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.
The ode having been sung, the Sachem then says: Brothers, in quenching this council fire, it is incumbent on me to caution you against making known any of the proceedings of the Tribe to palelaces. Let the secrecy we here profess, and the pledge of honor we have taken, ever remind us of our duty to the Tribe, to the Order, and to ourselves, lest condemnation and reproach cross our path, and we be no longer worthy of the endearing title of Brother!
The members will respond: Our Sachem is wise.
Sachem: Junior Sagamore, we are about to quench the council fire, and you will give the proper instructions to the Guards.
Junior Sagamore: Guard of the Wigwam, invite the Guard of the Forest to open his wicket and enter the council chamber.
The Guard of the Wigwam opens the inner wicket and says: Guard of Wigwam, Guard of the Forest, you are directed by the Junior Sagamore to open your wicket and enter the council chamber.
The Guard of the Forest complies, enters the inner wicket, which is then closed by the Guard of the Wigwam, who says: Junior Sagamore, the Guard of the Forest is present.
The Junior Sagamore reports to the Sachem.
Junior Sagamore: Sachem, your commands have been obeyed. The outer wicket is open, and the Guard of the Forest is present.
Sachem: Brothers, the council fire now to be quenched will be rekindled on the sleep of the ... sun, ... moon, at the ... run, ... breath.
First Warrior, collect the books and odes and extinguish the council brand.
The First Warrior collects the books and odes, extinguishes the council brand, and returns to his station. At this time the Sachem shall see that all rituals and odes are returned to him, and shall so report.
Sachem: Senior Sagamore, make the proper proclamation to the Guard.
Senior Sagamore: Guard of the Wigwam, at the sound of the Sachem’s tomahawk you will throw open your wicket and permit the brothers to retire.
Sachem: The council fire is quenched.
The Sachem gives one rap with the tomahawk, when the Guard of the Wigwam opens the wicket and the brothers retire.