Indian Style refers to the representation of the Lenni Lenape Indians and their customs both through regular Scouting events as well as the Order of the Arrow.


Indian Style has entered the common lexicon as a description of crossed legs while seated on the floor but in Scouting it also includes crossed legs when seated in a chair (cross the ankles underneath the seat) and also crossed/folded arms when seated. This is the advised seating position at Troop Meetings.

Many troops and council organizations, notably Horseshoe, also adopt Indian customs to parade rest. Instead of stepping out to the side with the left foot and placing hands behind the back, the scouter will step back with the right foot and hold crossed arms up at shoulder height. This stance is used by many at the Retreat Ceremony. A modified version is used by adult leaders and SPLs at grace. Instead of stepping backward, one simply holds their crossed arms up and then slaps their right hand down and their left arm.

The "Indian Salute" also includes the crossed arms style. Typically used only in OA ceremonies or the OA Pageant itself, it is used as a salute to the chief of the tribe. The OA member will cross arms and then slowly extend the right arm forward and then back in a combination salute and wave. The chief will then return the salute in a similar fashion. Those saluting the chief might even kneel while doing so as a further sign of deference and respect. In some ceremonies those saluting might say "Ho, chief." and the response is "How." This greeting is actually taken from a linguistically related people, the Huron of Canada, and used simply because of the English familiarity with the phrase as part of some imagined universal Native American language. Both the spelling of haau and the meaning as merely a sign of approval have changed over time to its current use in the pageants.

Drum BeatsEdit

No OA event or pageant would be complete without a drummer coordinating all the actions.


The Indian style of walking follows a methodical toe to heel two part step. Each part is done in time with a drum beat with the planting of the toes being the accented beat and motion followed by a more subtle placing of the heel down on the ground. In ceremonies "braves" typically walk in single file and of course in step together in this fashion. They often have their arms raised and crossed in the style described in the section above. Once the group has reached its destination three loud drum beats are given in succession to signal a halt.

Tapping OutEdit

When the chief is tapping out individuals he will strike them three times on the shoulder and the drum is played three times with the strikes. The first strike and first beat are the most accented and then followed by two others in closer succession.


The Indians never start running but always in their slow and deliberate walking. Either while searching for people or at the end of a ceremony after the column of braves has begun to leave, the braves will begin to run. This is signaled by a rapid drum beat that contains no accents. There is no two part step to confuse the braves who may run as they please. Some might run with their arms still crossed or they might make the lookout sign with a hand shielding their eyes from the (nonexistent) sun. When departing the running will be accompanied by shouts and other Indian whoops.

Other ActionsEdit

When individuals are moving independent of the main group their movements are often set off simply by a single beat. They will then walk to their next position. Once there there might be another drum beat to signal another portion of their movement or an action like a salute to the chief.

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