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First Totem

A requirement from the beginning has been that each lodge shall have a totem. Totems would later become a required element for insignia. While today’s lodge sometimes issue patches without their lodge totem on them, it is not the standard practice and it was virtually unheard of pre-1970. At the first ceremony on July 16, 1915 both Goodman and Edson wore tortoise shaped totems on their ceremonial robes. The 1916 Wimachtendienk Constitution specified the tortoise as their totem.

First (White) Sash

There are no known examples or photographs of the original black sash with white bar or arrow on it.

The earliest photograph known showing a Wimachtendienk sash being worn is 1919. This photo was taken at Treasure Island at the Council Fire Ring during a Friday evening public First Degree induction ceremony. The photograph is black and white and shows a white background sash with a dark arrow on it. Because the colors red and black have the same value in black and white photography there is no way to know if the arrows on the sashes in this early photo are black or red.

First Sash (Black)

One of the enduring mysteries of the early days of the Wimachtendienk is the question of what the very first sashes of our Order looked like. There are two differing written accounts, both from extremely reliable eyewitnesses that were present at the beginning in 1915. Harry Yoder, the first guide and charter member of the Order, wrote circa 1921,

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