Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People.

[Pocahontas comes down center with a basket filled with branches that bear small red berries.  The children and two of the maidens gather about her, and then fall back as she begins speaking, so that she has the center of the stage.  Greatest interest is evinced in all she does.

POCAHONTAS (speaking slowly, as one does in an unfamiliar tongue, yet clearly and deliberately).  I—­Pocahontas—­daughter of Powhatan, great chief,—­speak—­language of—­paleface.  Powhatan teach me. (Points to way from which she has come.) Yonder—­I—­went.  Prayed to River God.

[Makes gesture of worship, raising basket above her head.  The semicircle about her widens respectfully.  A maiden then approaches and takes basket.  Pocahontas smiles in sudden childlike delight, and holding out chain of beads that fall from her neck to her waist, says with pretty intonation: 

Beads.  Jamestown.

[Watches them for a moment as they glimmer in the sun.  Then with sudden laugh seizes the Indian maiden nearest her, and by gesture summons the other Indian maidens.  One of the very old squaws with a half-wry, half-kindly smile begins a swift tapping on the drum that has in it the rhythm of dance music.  The Indian children withdraw to the doors of the teepees, and Pocahontas and the Indian maidens dance.  The old medicine-man adds his flute-notes to the rhythm of the war-drum.

The Indians being a notably silent people, this scene must be given mostly in pantomime.

From the forest at right comes the faint sound of a crackling branch.  Instant attention on the part of all.  The dance stops.  The Indian maidens stand poised, listening.  The women shade their eyes with their hands.  A small Indian boy lays his ear to the ground, and then cries:  "Powhatan!" Two expectant semicircles are formed.  All look to wards right.  Powhatan enters, Pocahontas runs to meet him.  Tableau.

Powhatan then indicates that others are coming from right.  Young braves enter with John Smith in their midst.  His hands are bound behind him, his face is white and drawn.  Children at sight of him scamper to teepees.  The rest show signs of curiosity.  Pocahontas stands with clasped hands and startled eyes, regarding Smith most earnestly.  A brave bears Smith’s weapons.  Smith is led to right foreground.  Block of wood is brought him for a seat.

The Indian women, maidens, and children retreat to the extreme background, where they sit in a semicircle, watching.  Then Powhatan and braves withdraw to left, where they form a circle and confer, one brave at a time addressing the rest in pantomime, with many gestures, some towards Smith, some towards the path by which they brought him.  Occasionally the words "Algonquin,” “Chickahominy,” “Jamestown,” “Opeckankano,” “W’ashunsunakok" are spoken.  When Powhatan speaks in pantomime the others listen with occasional grunts of satisfaction and approval.  It is evident that the prisoner and the fate awaiting him are under discussion.

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Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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