Lone Scout




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by Ernest Thompson Seton

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The Lone Scout is a favorite for a single dancer. The dancer should be in white for the best effect and carry a light fifteen-inch wooden shield on the left arm and a light five foot spear of wood in the left hand. The making of these is sufficiently shown in the cut.

It tells the story of a scout who went forth alone.

First, the drum gives a long roll to notify the audience the scout is coming in, then three thumps for the scout to appear.

He springs into the Ring, holding the spear high in one hand, and the shield in the other. He gives a loud shout then changes the spear to the left hand with the shield. He pats his mouth with the flat right hand to make the war cry; then dances to the two-time (Zon-zi-mon-de or Muje Muke-sin will do to accompany the drum) around the ring twice, showing off, as this is supposed to be in the village, swinging the spear and buckler high in the air or clasping them together; making playful passes at the spectators, tossing back his long hair or feathers streaming behind--doing all in graceful gesture to the music. This is Part I, the show off in the village.

Next the dancer goes on the real war path, crouching somewhat now, shading his eyes with his hand on the shield, listening for every sound, peering here and there, and sometimes sticking the spear into things to pick them up for examination. Thus he goes once around to two-time music.

At the beginning of the fourth round, he stops and starts, he has found a trail and by his action must show that he has. He follows an imaginary track all around, picking up leaves and trying the wind or looking for helpful signs. When at length back to the starting point, the next act begins.

Suddenly he descries a lone sentry, unconscious of enemies, and is all tense excitement. Now he crawls up, keeping step to the music which is now in march time, putting in all possible expressions to tell the story, until nearly within throwing distance, he rises, makes a "stodger" or feint with the spear, then another, and at the third or last (rising higher each time) finally is just about to let go when a noise out to one side suddenly attracts his attention. He turns quickly to realize that close at hand is a band of his tribal enemies and that he is in a trap. His expression of triumph changes to fear. He shrinks to the ground and swiftly runs away till at the exit where he turns, and, flinging back a defiant yell, shakes his spear at the foes and is lost to view.

A long drum roll closes the scene.

The Birch Bark Roll






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Storm Cloud ] [ Lone Scout ] Shoshoni Dog ] Caribou Dance ] Animal Dance ] Hopi Corn ] Spring Dance ] Fall Dance ] Snake Dance ] Courtship Eagles ] Peace Pipe ] War Dance ] Refference ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Native Skills ] Totem Poles ] Indian Sign Language ] Indian Ceremonies ] Indian Dance ] Indian Songs ] Birch Bark Dances ] Birch Bark Songs ] Birch Bark Plays ] Indian Games for Boys ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.