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Tamet Lodge - Gabrieleno, Pimu & Sequoyah  

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About Gabrieleno, Pimu & Sequoyah Chapters

Camps: Josepho, Emerald Bay, Wolverton
1946-1949




From the History of Tamet Lodge
in the Area 12-A Program,  March 28-31, 1947,  p.4

 
           Tamet Lodge organized into chapters for the first time in the summer of 1946.
Prior to that summer, the Lodge was exclusively based at Camp Josepho in Rustic Canyon, Pacific Palisades. But with World War II over, Crescent Bay Council ambitiously decided to reopen Camps Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and Camp Wolverton at Sequoia National Park in the High Sierra. Since Order of the Arrow was popular among the staff and integrated into the summer camp program at Josepho, the OA was expanded into all of the Council summer camps, each having their own chapter of Tamet Lodge.



Summer Camping Promotional
Excerpt from Crescent Bay Council Brochure
Spring, 1946
 
     Area 12-A Conference
Program Excerpt  p.1
March 28-31, 1947
 
   


The challenge of election into the Order of the Arrow
was used as a motivational message to encourage
 attendance at summer camp.



Tamet Lodge proudly hosted the third
gathering of Order of the Arrow Lodges in
Southern California, Arizona & Nevada


            The names of local indigenous Native Americans were chosen for the Camp Chapters: Gabrieleno for Josepho; Pimu for Emerald Bay and Sequoyah for Wolverton. Unlike today where chapters represent the different districts of the Council, these first Tamet Lodge Chapters existed only at summer camp. Arrowman and inductees at summer camp were members in the Camp Chapter. Away from summer camp, each Arrowman was again a member of Tamet Lodge. This undoubtedly created some confusion right from the start. For example, in 1946-48, Tamet Lodge founder and first Chief Jack Davies, served on staff at  Camps Josepho, Wolverton and Emerald Bay. Presumably he was in Gabrieleno Chapter when he was at Josepho, Sequoyah Chapter when he was at Wolverton, Pimu Chapter at Emerald Bay and lastly was just in Tamet Lodge the rest of the time.

          With the closing of Josepho as a summer camp after the the 1948 season, Tamet Lodge set out to reorganize its bylaws in 1949 which, among other things, ended the Camp Chapters. They were replaced with three OA chapters created by combining  pairs of Crescent Bay Councils', then, six districts. Two years later, the three District Chapters were split into six, one for each district. When the new District Chapter system first took effect on February 10, 1951, Arrowmen were members all year-round of the Chapter for the District where their Scout unit was located, irrespective of the Camp they attended or staffed. Beverly Hills Chapter was the first to adopt an Indian name (Sioux) in 1954 and all of the district chapters were authorized to pick Indian names in 1957.

          There is almost no memorabilia known to exist from the original Camp Chapters. What little information there is about them comes from sparse references in historical Tamet Lodge documents.
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Arrow Neckerchief Slide
Late 1940's








Carved & painted wooden arrow
embedded in a Sequoia cone.
Crafted by an unknown Arrowman at
Camp Wolverton.



 
Ritual Team Armband
circa 1947


Sequins sewn to cotton and sewn to flannel with snaps. In the summer of 1947, armbands were made and distributed to
the Tamet Arrowman involved in the OA tap out ceremonies at Camp Wolverton.
 
About Sequoyah


          Sequoyah was a Cherokee Indian born in Tennessee who later resided in Alabama in the early 1800's.  He is credited with creating a phonetic alphabet that set the Cherokee language to writing for the first time. There appears to be no connection between Sequoyah and the early inhabitants of the California Sierra other than "Sequoyah" is very similar to "Sequoia", the location of Camp Wolverton. California's Sierra has a rich Native American history that includes two distinctive Indian groups, the Western Mono and the Tubatulabal, who inhabited the region now included within Sequoia National Park.

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About Gabrieleno

          Gabrieleno, or Gabrielino, is the common name used during the Twentieth Century to describe the Native American people who inhabited Los Angeles County, California, before the arrival of Europeans. They are now referred to as the Tongva, or San Gabriel Band. Tongva means "people of the earth" in the Tongva language, a Uto-Aztecan language. The Tongva are also sometimes referred to as the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe and the Fernandino-Tongva Tribe. Following the Spanish custom of naming local Mission Indian tribes after nearby missions, they were called the Gabrieleño in reference to Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. Likewise, those in the San Fernando Valley and the nearby Tataviam people were known as Fernandeño after Mission San Fernando Rey de España.

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About Pimu

          Catalina Island was originally inhabited by people of the Gabrielino/Tongva Tribe, who, having had villages near present day San Pedro and Playa del Rey (Sa'Angna) regularly traveled back and forth to Catalina for trade. The Tongva called the island Pimu or Pimugna and referred to themselves as the Pimugnans. Archeological evidence shows Tongva settlement beginning in 7000 BC. These Pimugnans had settlements all over the island at one time or another, with their biggest villages being at the Isthmus and at present-day Avalon, Shark/Little Harbor, and Emerald Bay. The Gabrielino/Tongva are renowned for their mining, working and trade of soapstone which was found in great quantities and varieties on the island. This material was in great demand and was traded along the California coast and as far south as Baja California.

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