Dixie 2017: American Indian Events

Each year, Dixie is distinguished from other conclaves throughout the nation by its cornerstone of American Indian Events. American Indian Competitions at the Dixie Fellowship provide competitors with an opportunity to showcase and strengthen their skills in a friendly, competitive environment. Read more about this year’s guidelines below!

Any number of contestants from each lodge may participate in the individual dance competition. The rules are as follows:

a. Dancers must wear authentic, appropriate outfits. War bonnets and chiefs’ outfits are unacceptable (Subject to judge’s discretion)
b. No part of any protected species on any outfit. Violations will result in automatic disqualification.
c. Dance the style dictated by your outfit. Do not mix outfits.
d. Dancers may compete in only 1 category due to time restraints
e. Disqualifications will be up to the discretion of the American Indian Events Coordinator and Adviser and will be determined based upon the specific dance style. Dancers must be prepared to dance either indoors or outdoors.
f. Participants must be under 21 and be registered participants of the fellowship.
g. All contestants must pre-register and confirm their registration prior to the designated time in the Dixie schedule.
h. No outfit construction is permitted at Dixie, nor is dance practice.
i. There will be 6 categories of dance.
i. Old Style
ii. Traditional
iii. Straight
iv. Grass
v. Fancy
vi. Chicken
j. Awards will be given to the top dancers of each category. All judges’ decisions are final.
k. Within the guidelines found in the U.S. Code as to the American Flag (pg. 19, section 4d), flags should not be used as apparel. If you own such items, remove them prior to Dixie. Note: This excludes beadwork


1. Judging

The basis for judging the outfits will be:

1. In keeping with the Order’s purpose of preserving American Indian traditions, the outfits must be authentic.
2. The quality of workmanship by the maker of his personal outfit will be a point of consideration. Therefore, more authentic outfits with more quality work will receive a higher rating than an authentic outfit with lower quality work. However, judges will also consider quantity versus quality. Therefore, each outfit part must be judged on the type of work and the quality of work.
3. The overall attractiveness of the outfit will also be taken into consideration when judging the outfit. The individual’s outfit parts should coordinate to relay an overall effect of continuity in the outfit.

Participants must be under 21 years of age. One outfit entry per participant is allowed.

2. Grading System

The grading system shall be:

a. Judging sheets will state from Dixie Guidelines.
b. The majority of the outfit being judged must be participant’s own work, not necessarily his own materials. He cannot be wearing a borrowed or purchased outfit or parts and claim it as his own, otherwise disqualification will result. If the participant is wearing items not made by him he must notify the judge prior to being judged. Items not made by the participant will not be judged.
c. We encourage all participants (self-crafted, borrowed, or purchased) to have their outfits evaluated based on Parade of Braves criteria so that they learn more about their dance clothes.

3. Individual Outfit Awards and Categories

a. Awards in each event will be given only if judges feel one is merited and deserving.

i. Old Style
ii. Traditional
iii. Fancy
iv. Grass
v. Straight Dance
vi. Chicken Dance
vii. Specialty Dance

b. For a new category, outfit submissions must be made at the Council of Chiefs meeting prior to the Dixie Fellowship.

c. Good, Excellent, Superior, and Super Superior Ribbons will be given according to the individual’s scores determined from their judging guidelines score sheet.


Singing will be done in a team fashion. Each team will be required to sing 2 songs. A warm-up song is permitted and is not judged. Songs to be performed must have written documentation, which must be given to the Section American Indian Events Coordinator on Friday during registration at the American Indian Events booth/office.

Awards will be given to the top three teams. All judges’ decisions are final.

The judging criteria listed are guidelines which are subject to interpretation by the judges.

1. Team Sing Competition Rules

a. All singing will be done in a team fashion.
b. Written documentation is required for each song. (Origin, tribe, source, etc.). Each lodge must provide ten (10) copies of this documentation.
c. Each team is required to sing songs of its choice.
d. The songs are restricted to Northern and Southern Plains singing.
e. Minimum time of 2 minutes and a maximum time of ten minutes for both songs.
f. Each team must provide its own drum and drumsticks.
g. Authenticity and presentation of songs are considered by judges.
h. Participants must be under 21 and a registered participant of the Fellowship. All team members must be from the same lodge and in good standing with his lodge.
i. Check in at competition office upon arriving at the Fellowship.
j. A judge from each lodge will be selected and approved by the lead singer of the host drum. Each judge must be present at the judges’ meeting. Check schedule for time and location.


A. Group Dance Teams
Group dance teams shall be made up of four (4) or more members (at least three of whom must be dancers). All members MUST be from the same lodge. No section teams or teams made up of members from more than one lodge may enter the competition. All team participants must be under twenty-one (21) years of age at the time of the conference, be registered members of the Order of the Arrow, and registered conference participants.
B. Acceptable Historical Group Dances
In choosing the dance(s) in which you will perform, consider the following:
1, Dances must be NON-RELIGIOUS and in good taste.
2. Society, clan, or family dances are acceptable ONLY if written permission from the Tribal Council, society, clan or family of the specific tribe from which the dance comes grants permission. Note: SUCH WRITTEN PERMISSION MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE BOUND PACKET REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION. Therefore, permission must be requested far enough in advance to meet the registration packet deadline. Without this permission the dance will not be allowed.
3. Tribal Councils have asked that The Boy Scouts of America refrain from performing the following dances (THESE DANCES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR CONFERENCE COMPETITION.) Masked dances of: Pueblos, Apache, Iroquois, Creek, Cherokee, or Northwest Coast tribes. A mask is defined as anything that covers the face of the wearer hiding his true identity. The Ghost Dance, The Pipe ceremony, The Pipe Dance, The Sun Dance, The Hopi Snake Dance, Gourd Dance and the Peyote Ritual.
4. Dances that are kept so secret that information on them is incomplete should be avoided. You must have accurate information.
5. Synchronized line dancing, as done at modern day powwows is NOT appropriate for Historical Group Dance competition.
6. At the request of several gourd dance societies and their members, Gourd Dancing will not be allowed in group dance competition after NOAC 2009.
7. TIME LIMIT is fifteen (15) minutes total time on stage. Total time includes: prop/scenery set up (if any), narrative, dance(s), dance clothes changes (if any), and removal of any props/scenery. Timing begins when the first participant steps onto the competition floor. Note: Background scenery is not necessary or required.
8. Teams are limited to a maximum of two (2) dances. Performance of more than one dance is not required, but teams should ensure that judges are provided enough presentation time to fairly assess the team’s knowledge and abilities.
C. Rules Concerning Dance Clothes
1. No protected species parts allowed on any dance clothes. Please be aware of State and Federal laws regarding endangered species parts.
2. Within the guidelines found in the U.S. Code as to the American Flag, flags are not to be used as wearing apparel. With this in mind, no type of U.S. Flag(s) will be permitted as a part of dance clothes and should be removed prior to the conference. Flag motifs in quillwork and beadwork are acceptable.
3. National Order of the Arrow Face Paint Policy: Order of the Arrow National Conferences and activities conducted beyond the individual lodge will not permit face paint, body paint or wigs to be used in social or competition dancing, in ceremonies, or ceremonies competition.
The Boy Scouts of America policy regarding firearms and knives, as stated in the Guide to Safe Scouting will be followed.
D. Group Dance Registration Procedures
1. The team must submit three (3) copies of their required research material by the judges meeting on Friday Night at the Dixie Fellowship. Copies will be returned to the individual lodges. Late submission will result in an automatic deduction of three (3) points from each judge. (This is modified from the NOAC Guidelines requiring these to be mailed in by a preconference deadline).
2. The team’s Chairman and/or Adviser should attend the Friday Night Judges meeting to confirm research reading and competition times.

E. Group Dance Judging Criteria
Teams competing in Group Dance will be judged and awarded a score by each judge on the judging panel in each of the seven (7) areas discussed below. Each area is worth a maximum of ten (10) points and teams may receive a point score ranging from 0 to 10. Some areas have mandatory point deductions associated with failure to comply with stated guidelines, rules, etc. Each judge in the affected area will take mandatory point deductions. Team standing/placement is determined by totaling all points received from the judges. Actual scores/points given by judges will not be provided to the teams, however critique sheets from all judges will be returned to the lodges on Sunday morning.
1. Authenticity
a) The dance(s) must be historical group dance(s) of specific tribes – therefore –northern plains or pueblo are not appropriate because they are culture areas, not tribes. Inter-tribal is even less specific. The dance(s) and dance clothes should represent one particular tribe during a particular time in their history. The current and/or historic use of the dance(s) and their proper interpretation by the team will be considered.
b) Group dancing is a coordinated effort. It is not a series of solo performances grouped under one title.
c) Size of team- No preference is given to large or small teams therefore all teams will compete in one category. The judges look for quality of presentation and the selection of dance(s) suitable to the lodge dance team and the resources available to them.
2. Research – Although a formal academic style paper is no longer required, teams should complete the following questions in a narrative style with the express intent to let the judges know that appropriate research for your dance(s) has been done.

One word or one sentence responses are not adequate. The questions asked are intended as starting points in your narrative, feel free to elaborate and add pertinent information as needed. Remember: your goal is to give the judges as much information as possible.

The questionnaire is designed so that it can be divided between members of the team that way the printed research does not fall to only one individual. Each section can stand alone and will be read as such. No penalties will be given for differences in writing style. No word or page count will be done but a well-rounded, thought out document will carry more weight than a hastily conceived, slapped together response to the questions. You may want to cite (including page numbers) specific publications, periodicals, web sites etc. from your bibliography to support your narrative. ALL RESEARCH MUST BE TYPE WRITTEN AND SUITABLY BOUND. Suitably bound means stapled with a cover and back sheet of at least 65-lb. card stock. Three ring binders, plastic comb binding, duo-tang style folders, etc. are NOT required.

Research Questions:
a) Describe the dances you will be performing. Tell us the history of the dance(s): Tribe, time period, why it (they) were performed (if known) etc. Is the tribe indigenous to your area? (not a requirement). Are the dance(s) still being done today?
b) What song(s) will you be using? What is the English translation, if known? Is the song(s) only used for this dance?
c) Tell us how you “found” the dance(s) and who taught them to your team; your adviser, American Indian friend, Youtube, personal observation etc. Please note, no source will carry more weight than another, we are just interested in your source(s),
d) Please describe any props you will be using if appropriate. Props are not required. Photos/drawings would be helpful. If no props are to be used simply state: NA
e) Please describe the dance clothes you will be using. Are they specific to the dance? Who made your clothes? Are the clothes still being seen today?
f) Tell us anything else you think would be helpful to us in judging your entry.
g) Please include a bibliography of your sources for your research; i.e. books, publications, unpublished materials, interviews, personal correspondence, websites, etc.
h) Please include name, address, and phone number (e-mail if available) of a contact person representing the team.
i) NOTE PLEASE: Xeroxed pages from any published works are NOT acceptable. Due to a lack of audiovisual equipment, videotapes, video CDs, DVDs, and data discs are not usable.
j) As noted above in Registration Procedures D (section 1), late research submissions will result in mandatory point deductions.
3. American Indian Dance Clothes – Teams will be judged on the authenticity and completeness of the dance clothes. If a particular dance does not call for special dance clothes, teams will be judged on the quality and appropriateness of each participant’s dance clothes. In the event of a team performing more than one dance, points will not be subtracted for using the same dance clothes for both dances, if from the same culture area.
4. Performance of Dance – Teams will be judged on the quality of the interpretation and presentation of their dance(s). Good use of allotted dance time will be considered. Teams will lose one (1) point for every minute or part thereof that they exceed their scheduled dance time from each judge. PLEASE NOTE: If a team chooses to use the same dance(s) or dance clothes at consecutive Dixie Fellowships, they can expect to have a more critical review from the judges. Specifically, the judges will look for additional research as well as improvements and refinements in dance clothes, dance, and presentation.
5. Ability to Perform as a Team – Teams will be judged on their ability to perform their dance(s) so as to exhibit a true oneness and feeling for the dance(s). Teamwork and perceptive interpretation of the dance(s) by the team as a whole will be considered.
6. Music – Teams will be judged on their use of drumming, singing and any other necessary musical accompaniment that should be used for their particular dance(s). As always, quality as well as authenticity of the musical aspect will be considered. The use of recorded music will be allowed, but it will cost the group a mandatory deduction of three (3) points by each judge in this judging area.
7. General Effect and Impression – The general effect and impression of the overall presentation will also be evaluated. This somewhat subjective area will permit judges to evaluate the educational, entertainment and informational worth of the overall presentation.
8. Recognition and Awards – Awards will be given to the top three teams.