Howdy! And welcome to another Tuesday blog. Before I go into the most interesting part of the blog and tell you about the awesome abilities of the American Indian scouts of old, I wanted to mention that I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and also my most recent release, SENECA SURRENDER to two lucky bloggers. Just leave a comment and you are automatically entered into the drawing for the book — remember to look over the Giveaway Guidelines at the right side of this page.
One other important point: we all rely on you to come to the blog tomorrow (Wednesday — usually at night) or Thursday to see if you have won. Unlike some other sites, we don’t contact you if you are the winner. So please do check back.
The reason why I’m giving away the ebook, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is because it is a book about a hero who is, among other things, a scout. In researching this profession, I ran across some extremely interesting abilities that these men of old had. Now, I find it interesting, indeed, that these men could tell from a mere trail the thoughts, health, etc. of the man/woman/animal who had left that trail. This information, some of which I’ll quote, comes from the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, by Tom Brown, Jr., a man, who as a young boy was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout, and who was trained by that man as a scout. Grandfather is what Mr. Brown called this old Apache scout. So this passage is from this book.
“(Grandfather) defined the tracking that we had done as typical or novice tracking, but the tracking of the scout was defined as master tracking. Even at the onset, the difference became obvious. Grandfather told us that the earth was like an open book, filled with stories. These stories were written not only in the softest ground but also on every other type of soil even on rock…”
And here is where one really begins to learn about the old American Indian Scouts (those scouts who worked for the United States army were not the scouts of old). Anyway, again, another quote from THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, “You must stop looking at the tracks as lifeless depressions in the ground. Instead, and you have noticed inside of the track is a tiny landscape. There are hills, valleys, peaks, ridges, domes, pocks, and countless other little features. These features the scouts developed into a science, that which they call the ‘pressure releases.’ It is through these pressure releases that the scout can know everything about the animal or man that he is tracking. The scouts of my clan could identify and define over four thousand of these pressure releases, and I know of no peoples of the earth that have been able to do the same.”
Mr. Brown goes on to explain in his book how these pressure releases can be read and identified, and he goes on to say that because man or animals are stabilized by their feet on the ground, they are always in motion and always having to keep balance — even to the tiniest of moves. It’s because of this constant need to keep balance and shift that produces the “pressure releases.”
Mr. Brown goes on to say that he and his friend, Rick, who was learning about tracking also, would start to identify their own moods and look at the pressure releases and note the difference between that mood and some other emotion — and study their own tracks — he says that everyone became a source of study.
He even goes on to say that “Grandfather taught us to expand our awareness and tracking beyond even that level. He would stand beside a tree, point to a missing limb and ask, “How long ago was this done? What did it and how? What direction did the cutter come from? Was his axe or saw dull or sharp, was he right- or left-handed, what degree of strength did he have? Grandfather told us that we should always hold one question in our minds at all times: What is this telling me?”
By the way, the picture to the left is a picture of a young Charles Eastman, a Sioux Indian, who became a lawyer for his people. I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that it was Charles Eastman who established the Boy Scouts long, long ago. If he didn’t establish it, he certainly helped to create it. Charles Eastman also wrote several books with the help of his wife, whom he met in collage. She was white. I believe some time ago, there was a television story concerning Charles Eastman and his wife, and I believe that Adam Beach played the part of Charles Eastman. This was an interesting fact to learn for me, because I have never really known that the Boy Scouts came to us from the American Indian — I had never stopped to consider it until I read about it from either one of Charles Eastman’s books or another book.
Well, that’s all for today. Next blog I’d like to tell you a little about the water dance of the scout. Did you know there was such a thing? I can’t help but think sometimes that it is a shame that one culture coming in will often destroy the culture that is there already. There is so much we could have learned from the American Indian of old. I always look forward to these blogs so that I can tell you a little about what I’ve learned because I think it so vital to keep these things alive.
I’m also giving away another book, SENECA SURRENDER, in e-book format because this is my latest book to be released.
So come on in, leave a comment, and let me know what you think of this very vital role of the American Indian culture, the Scout.