Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Humbly Pray

I humbly pray to Good Grandmothers, Good Grandfathers of the Four Sacred Directions and the Creator of All Good Things for those who harbour, that which holds them back from living the beautiful abundance that was meant from them.

I pray that those feeling stuck in harmful cycles of self-defeat actively seek all avenues of personal development so that they break the harmful cycles that manifested in their life.

I pray that those who have experienced harmful past experiences stop allowing these events cause them to make choices that impede the wondrous possibilities that are meant for them to discover.

I pray that those holding onto relationships that no longer honour their spirit; find the strength through self-love to finally let go. I pray that they recognize their personal resiliency.

I pray for those who need encouragement that loving and supportive individuals step forward with compassionate energy and in the spirit of friendship so that they feel strengthened in their healthy choices. At the same time, I pray that they realize that it was their own inner resolve that brought them to a place where they have decided to make healthy choices that honour their spirit.

I pray that they create value by finding the lesson in all life experiences to grow forward on their Healing Journey. I pray that further life lessons that are imparted with love, gentleness and kindness so that the lessons promote personal growth.

Most of all I pray, Good Grandmothers, Good Grandfathers of the Four Sacred Directions and the Creator of All Good Things that they feel embraced by your presence so that they know without a doubt that they are loved.

Good Grandmothers, Good Grandfathers of the Four Sacred Directions and the Creator of All Good Things, I hold my hands up high in gratitude for the gift of life. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving us.

All my Relations.
Emily ~ (ejh)
Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw

Medicine Wheel

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 30

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 30
"I started drinking more seriously, seeking refuge, seeking death actually, from a world that was feeling more and more unnatural to me. Following a painful accident related to drinking, I finally realized that I must decide whether I want to follow my grandparents or truly take up this life. Circumstances that followed led me to choose life."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
My life is run by choices and decisions. Every choice I make today will carry with it the consequences of that choice. Every decision I make today will carry with it the consequences of that decision. The question I will ask myself today is, "Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?" Which ever one I choose will have a lot to do with the consequences I will experience today. If today was the last day of my life, what choices and what decisions would I make?
Oh Great Spirit, guide my path today and help me see the value of choosing the Red Road.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 29

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 29
"The devastated earth, the air, water, the extinct species of mankind, animalkind, and plantkind, the drugs, suicides, family separations - these are all the result of false ceremonies."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
All life is a ceremony. Every act is a ceremony creating a result in our lives. Every ceremony we do always brings results to our lives. If we do bad medicine to others, we do bad medicine to ourselves. If we keep on doing bad ceremonies, we will eventually destroy ourselves. Any time we live our lives out of harmony, we are doing bad ceremonies. Any time we treat anything with disrespect whether it is another human being or a plant or an animal, we are performing bad ceremonies. These ceremonies not only have an effect on ourselves but will simultaneously affect everything. We need to use our power well, only do good ceremonies.
My Creator, teach me only good ceremonies. Teach me ceremonies that accomplish good for all the people. Good ceremonies cause good results. Teach me ceremonies that are helpful.

Smudging Prayer

Thursday, August 28, 2014



According to the former doctrine and practices of the Oglala, the influences that surround a young woman during her first menstrual flow will control her after life either for good or for evil, according to the preponderance of good or evil influences at this time. The Buffalo ceremony secures for the beneficiary the special care of the Buffalo God, the patron god of chastity, fecundity, industry, and hospitality, the virtues most to be desired of a woman. Therefore, it was given for a young woman soon after her first menstrual flow in order to aid the good influences that surrounded her at that time and to announce that she had arrived at woman's estate. One for whom this ceremony was performed was called a buffalo woman and had certain prestige in ceremonial and social affairs. One made a buffalo woman by this ceremony was a very different person from a Buffalo Woman, one of the mythical people who dwell in the regions under the world.
The Buffalo ceremony is now almost obsolete among the Oglala, but certain rites relative to it are occasionally practised. It was a festal occasion similar in most details to the Hunka ceremony and differing from it in that a formal camp circle was not made and in the rites performed by the conductor. The father of the young woman, or, if he could not act, her nearest kinsman, supervised the preparation for the occasion and chose the one to conduct the ceremony. If he was entitled to paint his hands red he could act as Conductor, but it was preferable to have a Shaman, for the prestige of the young woman was in proportion to the notability of the ceremony and feasts. It might be either a very simple or a very elaborate occasion, depending on the ability and inclination of those having it done. The essentials of the ceremony are to invoke the spirit of the buffalo and through it secure the influence of the Buffalo God for the young woman; to impress her with the importance of resisting lasciviousness and practising hospitality. The occasion should also inculcate the virtue of liberality. The author observed the performance of this ceremony on several occasions and was permitted to be present with an interpreter and take notes at one of the more elaborate performances. The following is a description of the ceremony as it was given at that time, with explanations of some of the rites as made by the interpreter. 1
Museum. In the main, the procedure was the same as stated here, but a few points of difference deserve notice. When the altar square was prepared the Shaman painted a number of red lines upon it, parallel to the north and south sides. He took up paint in his fingers and sifted it very skilfully, making a line by one movement of the hand. As he did so, he pronounced a formula, which he said signified that these were the paths of life for women. No women occupied the tipi, it being filled by men among whom the writer and his interpreter were given seats. At one point in the ceremony, the Shaman cast burrs out of the tipi, stating that thus might trouble fail these women, particularly those caused by jealousy and envy. Before the rites with the bowl and the rutting dance, the Shaman filled two handsome pipes and gave one to each girl. They left the tipi and each selected an elderly man to smoke for them. Upon their return the rutting dance and the procedure with the bowl occurred as given above. However, the girls did not remove any of their clothing and immediately upon their final withdrawal a feast of dog was brought in and served. The "canes" given the girls were painted red and tipped with buffalo wool.}
p. 142
The young woman had her first menstrual flow on the fourth day of June and the ceremony was performed on the fourteenth day of the same month. Ample provision had been made for the feast and invitation wands sent to many people. The day before the ceremony many guests arrived and were camped in an irregular manner near by and others continued to come until nightfall. All were in a jovial mood, and there was visiting, games, singing, and dancing until late at night. The young woman abided alone in a large new tipi. The following paraphernalia had been provided for the ceremony:--
A buffalo skull with the horns attached.
A new wooden bowl.
A fire carrier.
A drum.
Two rattles.
A supply of dried chokecherries.
A supply of dried meat.
A supply of sweetgrass.
A supply of dried cottonwood.
A clout and new dress for the young woman.
An eagle plume with the quill wrapped with skin from the head of a mallard drake having the green feathers on it.
At dawn the next morning the people were astir and as the eastern sky grew red the shaman who was to conduct the ceremony came from his tipi and facing toward the east sang this song:--
"A voice, Anpeo, hear it.
Speaks low, hear it."
According to the interpreter, Anpeo is the red aurora, the forerunner of the sun, a God who should be invoked by song to secure a pleasant day and this song was such an invocation.
Immediately, the people busied themselves with preparation for the occasion. Before the sun was up, the mother and some other women took
p. 143
down the tipi the young woman had occupied, but immediately set it up again. This was done because the tipi was to be used as a ceremonial lodge and no ceremony will be efficacious if a woman is present during her menstrual flow or if the influences that surround her at that time are present. Such influences remain about a tipi that a woman has occupied during her period until it is taken down and again set up. Therefore, this tipi was taken down and the evil influences were thus driven from it and it was fit to be immediately set up and used for the ceremony.
When the mother began to take down the tipi the young woman took the bundle in which she had wrapped her menstrual discharge and went out alone and placed it in a plum tree. This was done as an offering to the Buffalo God which should be placed in a plum tree because it is the emblem of fruitfulness and hospitality preferred by the Buffalo God; also, if any person or thing should obtain possession of any portion of a woman's first menstrual discharge such a person or thing would thereby have an influence over the woman that might be exercised to cause her to do foolish or shameful things. The bundle should be so placed in a plum tree that the coyotes cannot get it, for they are often the emissaries of Iktomi and try to get such bundles for him so that he may have the power to make women ridiculous. Such bundles have a potency of their own and if disturbed may cause eruptive diseases of the skin and falling of the hair, in witness of which see young men with pimply faces and many coyotes without hair. Having deposited her bundle, the young woman returned to her father's cabin and remained there until she came from it for her part in the ceremony. The women set up the tipi with its door toward the east and the father of the young woman levelled the catku and made an altar between it and the fireplace. He then placed the buffalo skull on the altar and spread sagebrush around it and over the catku. Women built a fire of the cottonwood north of, but near the tipi, and this fire was kept replenished until the close of the ceremony. Cottonwood was used for this fire because this wood is repugnant to Anog Ite, the double or two-faced woman who incites to bickerings and licentiousness; the fire was built on the north side to ward against the approach of Wazi, the wizard, who might make the ceremony of no effect. While making the fire, the mother sang this song:--
"The spirit of the dry wood.
Those coming are pleased.
The spirit of the dry wood.
Wazi is going away."
The interpreter gave this as the meaning of this song:--A spirit fire made of dry cottonwood pleases the Gods. The spirit fire so made will
p. 144
drive away the wizard, Wazi. This song was an invocation to have these things accomplished.
As the sky grew red before the rising sun, the Shaman stood facing east and said, "Anpeo, I am your friend. I have prepared the red paint you like best. I have mixed it with marrow fat. Tell this to Wi that He may be pleased. Give your potency to this paint." When the sun was rising he said, "Grandfather, look with favor on us. Command the Gods to do as we ask of Them. We will do nothing to displease You this day. Tell the West Wind that I am His friend so that He may keep the Winged God from the sky."
Then the father placed in the lodge a pipe and smoking material, the wooden bowl, chokecherries, sweetgrass and sage, the eagle plume, and the fire carrier. He then announced to the Shaman that the lodge was ready for the ceremony. The Shaman went into his tipi and donned his regalia. This was a headdress consisting of a cap made of buffalo skin with the long shaggy hair on it and a small buffalo horn attached to each side so that it would stand out from the head as buffalo horns do; from each side hung a pendant made of white weaselskins and hawk quills. From the rear hung a strip of buffalo skin with the hair on and a buffalo tail attached to it so as to come below his knees when standing. This was the formal regalia of a buffalo medicineman. His only clothing was a breechclout, leggings, and moccasins. His hands, body, and face were painted red, symbolizing his sacred powers as a Shaman; there were three perpendicular black stripes painted on his right cheek, this being the sign of his authority on this occasion. When he came from his tipi he held in his right hand his Fetish and two small wands, each having a small globular package wrapped in soft tanned deerskin attached near the smaller end; in his left hand he carried his ceremonial pipe and a staff made of chokecherry wood. He faced the sun and sang this song:--
"The Sun is going.
The Sun is going.
Traveling they go.
My kinsman is going.
My kinsman is going.
I do this thing."
The interpretation of this song was that the Sun on His daily journey dispersed the evil beings that lurk about at night and that on this journey He confirmed the mystic power of the Shaman to do his mystic work. As he chanted the song, the people gathered about and stood in respectful attitude and then he harangued them, lauding the young woman and her father,
p. 145
and his own proficiency as a Shaman. He then announced that the ceremony would soon begin.
The people immediately assembled in and about the lodge. The father sat at the left of the catku with the men at his left against the wall of the lodge to the door. The mother sat at the left of the door and the women sat at her left against the wall of the lodge to the catku. Those who could not seat themselves thus in the lodge sat in a circle in front of the lodge door, the men together on the north side, the women on the south.
When the people had arranged themselves the Shaman walked with slow strides to the fire at the north side of the lodge and after inspecting it sprinkled sweetgrass on it. This he did to add the potency of sweetgrass to that of the cottonwood fire in order to still further please the Gods.
He then entered the lodge and passed slowly around on the south side, deliberately scanning each woman to discover if any were present during the menstrual flow. If he had found one such he would have ordered her to retire from the lodge. He returned to the door as he came from it, so as not to pass between the altar and the catku, for it is a sacrilege to pass between an altar and the catku of the lodge. He then carefully scanned the men on the north side and if he had found one unworthy he would have ordered him to retire from the lodge. He then sat at the catku and gave the fire carrier to the father, who brought burning coals from the cottonwood fire and placed them at the north side of the altar, making the spirit fire there.
While he was doing this, the Shaman arranged the sagebrush around the catku and altar, meanwhile intoning something in a low voice. It was explained that he did this to ward off evil beings and influences. He then filled his pipe in the ceremonial manner and lighted it with a coal from the spirit fire. He blew smoke from the pipe into the nostril cavities of the buffalo skull and then passed the pipe to the father, who smoked and passed it. The pipe was passed until all in the lodge had smoked in communion. While the people were smoking, the Shaman painted the right side of the forehead of the buffalo skull red and then painted a red stripe from the occiput to the middle of the forehead. This is the symbol of the Buffalo ceremony. He then placed the skull on the altar with its nostril cavities towards the fireplace and then on each side of it thrust upright into the latter, one of the small wands he had brought into the lodge. Then he made incense by sprinkling sweetgrass on the spirit fire and in a formal manner filled his ceremonial pipe and lighted it with a coal from the spirit fire. He then invoked the God, the Four Winds, by pointing the mouthpiece of the pipe first toward the west, and carrying it horizontally in a circle, pausing a moment at the north, east, and south. This was done
p. 146
because in any ceremony pertaining to the Gods, after the smoke in communion and the incense of sweetgrass, the Four Winds have precedence before all other Gods and they should be so recognized in order to propitiate them.
The Shaman then said, "My friends, we have smoked with the spirit of the buffalo, and the influence of the Buffalo God will be in this lodge." He then sang this song:--
"Buffalo bull in the west lowing.
Buffalo bull in the west lowing.
Lowing he speaks."
The explanation of this song was: The Lakota designate the rutting time of the buffalo by the term, "The buffalo bull is lowing in the west" and that the ceremony represents the buffalo during the rutting time. The Shaman then laid a bit of cloth on the skull and said, "My oldest sister, I make an offering of this robe to you."
He then directed that the young woman be brought into the lodge. Her mother led her in and seated her between the altar and the fireplace. She sat with her legs crossed, as children and men sit. The Conductor, the Shaman, then sprinkled sage on the spirit fire and said, "Iya, go away from this place so that this may not be a lazy woman." Sprinkling more sage on the fire he said, "Iktomi, go away from this place so that this young woman may not do foolish things." Again sprinkling sage on the fire he said, "Anog Ite go away from this place so that this young woman may not do shameful things." The fourth time he sprinkled sage on the fire and said, "Hohnogica go away from this place so that this Young woman may not be troubled when she is a mother." He then made incense with sweetgrass on the spirit fire and said, "Bull buffalo I have painted your woman's forehead red and have given her a red robe. Her potency is in her horns. Command her to give her influence to this young woman so that she may be a true buffalo woman and bear many children." He then said to the young woman, "You have abided alone for the first time. The influence of the lower Gods has possessed you. You are now a woman and should be ashamed to sit as a child. You should sit as a woman sits." The young woman's mother then came and arranged the young woman so that she sat with her feet and limbs together, sidewise, as women sit.
The Conductor then said to her, "You should always sit as women sit. If you sit as men sit, your mother will be ashamed of you. Young men will say that a coyote has taken your bundle." The explanation given of this address is: if an Oglala woman sits with her legs crossed as men sit, this indicates that she is a lewd woman; and if it is said of a woman that a coyote has taken her bundle, it is equivalent to saying that she is considered
p. 147
a lewd woman. The Conductor then arose and walked slowly four times around the young woman, scanning her closely. Then he sat at the catku and said, "I sought a vision and saw the messenger of the white buffalo cow. I sang this song:--
The messenger of the buffalo in the west.
The messenger of the buffalo in the west.
I will give you a robe."
"Then the messenger said: 'A spider; a turtle; the voice of a lark; a brave man; children; a tipi smoking.' I have spoken with the Gods and I will tell you what these things mean. The spider is an industrious woman. She builds a tipi for her children. She gives them plenty of food. The turtle is a wise woman. She hears many things and says nothing. Her skin is a shield. An arrow cannot wound her. The lark is a cheerful woman. She brings pleasant weather. She does not scold. She is always happy. If a brave man takes you for his woman you may sing his scalp song and you may dance his scalp dance. He will kill plenty of game. You will have plenty of meat and skins. You will bear him many children and you will be happy. There will always be a fire in your tipi and you will have food for your people. If you are industrious like the spider; if you are wise like the turtle; if you are cheerful like the lark, then you will be chosen by a brave man, and you will have plenty and never be ashamed. These things I saw in the vision: A coyote; worn moccasins; and I heard a voice in mourning. The Buffalo God sends this message to you. If you listen to Iktomi, or to Iya, or to Anog Ite, then you will be lazy and lewd and poor and miserable. A brave man or a good hunter will not give a dog for you. Your robe will be old and ragged. Your moccasins will be worn and without color on them. The buffalo horns are on my head and I speak for the Buffalo God. The buffalo tail is behind me and this makes my word sacred. I am now the buffalo bull and you are a young buffalo cow. I will show you what the bad influences would have you do. I will show you what the good influence would have you do."
He then formally filled his ceremonial pipe and lighted it with a coal from the spirit fire. While he smoked it the people sang a wordless song in unison with the sounding of the drum and rattles. Then the conductor formally emptied the residuum from the pipe on the spirit fire and sang this song:--
A man from the north, gave me a cane.
I told this Young woman.
She will live to be old.
Her tribe will live."
p. 148
The given explanation of this song is: The man from the north is. Wazi, the wizard, who appears as a very old man. So when the Oglala say of a man that he is a man from the north, they mean that he is a very old man who needs help. To give a cane to an old person indicates a willingness to give such aid as may be needed. The expression, "I told this young woman" means that the Shaman has formally stated to her the rules that should govern her conduct in life. The second stanza implies that if she will observe the rules that have been explained to her, she and her offspring will live long.
Then the drum and rattles were sounded and the people began to sing a wordless song in unison with the beating of the drum. The conductor went to the door and stood a moment facing out, then he turned and began to dance toward the girl, stepping in time with the drum, and repeatedly uttering a guttural cry something like "Uh-hu-hu-ah." He danced up to and beside the young woman and back to the door. Then he danced up to the other side of the young woman in the same manner. He repeated this at each side of the young woman, the music and his step becoming more vigorous, so that at the last he was dancing in a frantic manner. Then he went outside the door and getting on his hands and knees, bellowed and pawed the ground as a bull does, then lifted his head and sniffed in different directions as if trying to locate something by scent. Then he came on his hands and knees into the lodge, lowing as he came. In this manner, he sidled against the young woman, when her mother placed a wisp of sagebrush under her arm and threw some sage in her lap. The Conductor then sidled against the other side of the young woman and the mother placed sage in a like manner under her arm on that side and threw more sage in her lap.
Then the Conductor sat at the catku and said to the young woman, "That is the manner in which the Crazy Buffalo will approach you to tempt you to do things that will make you ashamed and will make your people ashamed of you. Your mother showed you in what manner you can drive away the evil things that would harm you. She will teach you how to do this. If you remember this a man will pay the price for you and you will be proud of your children. According to the interpreter, the price of a woman was the equivalent of six good buffalo robes and it was an honorable and desirable distinction for a young woman if, when a man chose her be would give this price for her. She could afterwards proudly make the boast that her man had paid the price for her.
The Conductor then took the wooden bowl and putting into it chokecherries and water, mingled them, intoning a song in a low voice as he did so. He placed the bowl on the ground and said to the young woman, "We
p. 149
are buffalo on the plains and this is a water-hole. The water in it is red for it is sacred and made so by the Buffalo God and it is for buffalo women. Drink from it." The young woman stooped and drank from the bowl in the manner that the buffalo drink. Then the Conductor went on his hands and knees and drank from the bowl in the same manner. Then he took the bowl in his hands and said, "My friends, this young woman gives you this red water so that you may drink of it and be her friends. Let all who are her friends drink of it." He then passed the bowl and it was passed from one to another until all had sipped from it.
Then the Conductor directed the young woman to stand and take off her dress, which she did, handing the dress to him. He spread the dress over the buffalo skull saying as he did so, "This young woman gives her dress to the buffalo women. One who needs it, may take it." After a pause, a woman from outside the lodge came and took the dress. Then the Conductor gave the young woman a bit of sage and told her to eat it; as she chewed it, he said to her, "Sage is bitter, but your mother has shown you how to use it." He then gave her a bit of sweetgrass, and bade her eat it. While she was chewing it be said, "Sweetgrass is good. It pleases the Gods. You should remember these things." He then took the wands from beside the buffalo skull and handing them to her said, "These are your Buffalo charms. You should keep them for they will keep bad influences away from you. They have the potency of the Buffalo God and of the spirit of the buffalo. They will keep the two-faced woman, Anog Ite, from you. They will bring you many children." He then directed the mother to arrange the young woman's hair, which she did, parting it carefully in the middle, and braiding it into two strands which she brought over her shoulders so that they would hang in front as women wear their hair, instead of behind, as a girl's hair is worn.
Then the Conductor painted red the right side of the young woman's forehead and a red stripe at the parting of her hair, and while doing so he said, "You see your oldest sister on the altar. Her forehead is painted red. This is to show that she is sacred. Red is a sacred color. Your first menstrual flow was red. Then you were sacred. You have taken of the red water this day. This is to show that you are akin to the Buffalo God and are His woman. The Buffalo God is pleased with an industrious woman. He is pleased with those who give food to the hungry. He will cause a brave man to desire her, so that he will pay the price for her. She may choose the man she desires. If he has other wives she will sit next to the catku. They will carry wood while she mends moccasins. You are now a buffalo woman. You are entitled to paint your face in this manner."
He then tied the eagle plume at the crown of her head and said, "The
p. 150
spirit of the eagle and the duck will be with you. They will give you the influence of the Sun and the South Wind. They will give you many children." He then handed her a staff of cherry wood and said, "This staff is of the sacred cherry wood. It will aid you in finding plums and choke-cherries, so that you may make plenty of pemmican." He then directed the mother to remove the clout from the young woman, which she did, handing it to the Conductor, who handed it to the father, and said, "You are now a woman. The buffalo woman is your oldest sister. Go out of this lodge." He then began to intone a song without words and the young ,woman arose and looked confusedly about, then went from the lodge. After she had passed from the door, all the inmates of the lodge, except the Conductor, arose and went from the lodge. All assembled outside the lodge and went from it. Then the Conductor took the buffalo skull from the altar and turned it upside down, and destroyed the altar. He then took his paraphernalia and went to his tipi, removed his regalia, and then joined the people. The father harangued the people and gave a horse to the Conductor, and after this there was a general giving of presents, the presents being grouped on the ground, and the people standing in a circle about them. Each person who gave a present either harangued, or employed someone to harangue for him, calling the name of the one to receive the present, who came and took it. A number were haranguing at the same time and the people were shouting, singing, and joking, so that there was a jovial hubbub. After this there was a feast, the principal dish of which was dog meat. This feast continued until far into the night. The next forenoon the guests began their departure, but it was not considered good form for anyone to go immediately after the feast, so some lingered a day or two.
Songs for the Buffalo Ceremony.
Number 1.
A man coming from the north.
Give me a cane.
So I told this girl
She will live to be old.
And the whole tribe will live.
Number 2.
A man scratched himself beside a bank.
He proved to be a buffalo.
He said, "Young man take care for yourself.
Young man try to be straight.
It will be to your good."
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Number 3.
From the rising sun I heard many voices.
And they were traveling west.
Ahead came an old man with white hair and a cane.
He said, "Good men be good.
And you will live long.
I will give a cane to the aged, and to this young woman."
Number 4.
Where the sun goes down I saw many animals
They said to me to prepare this place.
So you will see it and live long.
The above is Antoin Herman's translation, but as the songs are in the ceremonial language of the Shamans, it is probable that a much better interpretation could be given. For instance, a better interpretation of the first line of the first song would be: "Wazi inspires this ceremony." In the language of the Shamans, "A man coming from the north" means the wizard, Wazi, who, according to their mythology, taught many ceremonies to the Lakota. All these songs are related to the Buffalo ceremony, and it requires a liberal interpretation of the concepts they express to comprehend them. In the original, the meter is adapted to the music of the Lakota.


141:1 in 1902 the Editor was present at a ceremony performed by a different Shaman in which there were two girls. The essential equipment for the ceremony was secured for the footnote p. 142



He then directed that the older man who was to be the Hunka of the younger sit beside the younger. He did so and the Assistant and Recorder held a robe so that it hid the older and younger man from view. The Conductor took two small globular packages wrapped in deerskin, colored red, and with them in hand went under the cover. While there, he murmured something. The interpreter said that the packages were talismans and that the Conductor was giving one to each of the Hunka and telling the secrets of their potency.
When the Conductor went under the cover the drummer sounded the
p. 139
drum and began singing in which the people joined. When this song was sung they sang another. When they ceased singing, the Assistant and Recorder removed the covering and the Conductor went and sat at the catku. When the two Hunka were exposed they were bound together with thongs, arm to arm, side to side, and leg to leg, and each had a stripe of red paint across his right cheek from forehead to chin, the older man having an additional red stripe parallel to the other, to indicate that the Hunka ceremony had been performed for him on a previous occasion.
The Conductor then said to the younger man, "You are bound to your Hunka, and he is as yourself. When you put the red stripe on your face remember this. What you have is his. What he has he will give you if you wish it. You must help him in time of need. If one harms him You should take revenge, for it is as if you had been harmed. If you have horses, or captive women, or robes, or meat, they are his as they are yours. His children will be as your children and your children will be as his. If he is killed in war you should not be satisfied until you have provided a companion for his spirit. If he takes the sweatbath or seeks a vision, you should aid him and help to pay the Shaman. If he is sick, you should make presents to the Shamans and to the medicinemen. The Hunkayapi are your people. If you are a true Hunka, they will not let you be in want. You should heed the words of your Hunka Ate. You should be as his son."
The Conductor arose and standing, said, "My friends, this young man is now Hunka."
This concluded the ceremony. The people first went from the lodge, then the two newly-made Hunka, bound together as they were, went to the preparation tipi and there clothed themselves in the ordinary manner. The Conductor remained alone in the lodge and through the door he was observed to wrap the implements used during the ceremony into a bundle; then he turned the buffalo skull with the horns down and pressed them into the ground; then carefully set the stone into the ground so that the painted portion was uppermost; then he destroyed the altar, extinguished the fire, and came from the lodge.
Soon the women took down the lodge, but left the skull and stone as the Conductor had placed them. These things were done because the people believed that when a tipi had been used as a ceremonial lodge, it should be used for no other purpose until after it has been taken down and set up again.
After the ceremony, there was a "give-away" of presents, with much enthusiasm, so that probably the new Hunka and his friends were recompensed for all they had given in preparation for the occasion. This was followed by a feast that continued far into the night.
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The author was present at another performance of the ceremony when a man adopted a boy about twelve years of age. At this time no one other than the man and the boy took part in the ceremony. It was performed in a tipi erected for that purpose, in which were the altar, the buffalo skull, and the implements for the ceremony, but no stone. All told, there were eleven persons present. The man's hands were painted red and he performed the ceremony in a much abridged manner, himself doing all the rites, except that he did not hide the boy under cover, nor give him a talisman, nor bind him with thongs. The presents given were few, and the feast, small. In this case the man became Hunka Ate and the boy Hunka.
Short-bull, a Brulé chief of prominence among the Oglala, at one time waved a horse-tail over the author and placed a stripe of red paint on the author's forehead, and, with no further ceremony, declared the author hisHunka, and ever afterwards addressed him as such.



He then emptied the pipe, putting the residuum on the fire, took the ear of corn, and thrust the rod to which it was attached, into the altar so that the rod stood upright. He said, "Our Grandmother gave us this corn. She sent it to the Lakota by the Buffalo woman. The South Wind came with her. The plume is the Buffalo. These embrace the Earth and her children are many. These things the Shaman can explain to you." He then sang this song:--
"Hunka, Hunka, Hunks, in the west.
The voice of Hunka, hear it."

An interpretation of this song is: the patron God of the ceremony in the west, the Buffalo, approves the performance of this ceremony, the younger man must heed that which is told to him and that the ceremony is to be continued.


The Conductor then removed the ear of corn from the altar, giving it to the one who had charge of it and replaced the buffalo skull on the altar. He then took red paint from his pouch and said, "This paint is sacred for I prepared it ceremonially. Its potency is benevolent." He then gave the paint to the Recorder and told him to paint the skull. The Recorder painted a red stripe on the skull, from the right eye socket to the nasal cavity and then painted red the upper part of the stone that supported the skull. The Conductor then gave him black paint with which he painted a black stripe parallel to and behind the red stripe on the skull. The Conductor
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explained that the red stripe signified that the spirit of the buffalo was Hunka to all Hunkayapi and the black stripe signified that the spirit of the buffalo was an authority among the Hunkayapi.
The Assistant made incense with sweetgrass and the Conductor took the lean meat from the scaffold and cutting it into bits gave it to the younger man, telling him to give it to the people, but to keep a bit for himself. He did so, and the Conductor did the same with the fat meat. When the younger man was seated after distributing the meat the Conductor bade all to eat. When the younger man had the meat in his mouth the Conductor said, "I am hungry. Give me some meat." The younger man said, "I have no meat." The Conductor said, "You have meat in your mouth. You should take it from your mouth and divide it with me." The younger man did so. Then the Conductor said, "My moccasins are old and my feet are sore." After a pause, as if waiting, he said to the young man, "You should give me your moccasins." The younger man did so. Then the Conductor said, "My body is naked and I am cold." The younger man took off his shirt and gave it to the Conductor who said, "My leggings are old and ragged." The younger man took off his leggings and gave them to the Conductor.
The Conductor then said, "My friends, this man has done as a Hunka should do. He has given of all that he had. He took the food from his mouth and divided it with me. He gave me his moccasins, his shirt, and his leggings, and now he is naked and has nothing. I will put the red stripe on his face for he is Hunka. I put this stripe on his face so that the people may see it and know that he has given all his possessions away, and know that they should give to him. I will put the stripe on his face and on the face of his Hunka so that they will remember this day, and when they see one in want they will give to that one."



The Conductor then carefully emptied the ceremonial pipe on the chopping board which accompanies the ceremonial pipe and gave it to the Assistant, who put the residuum on the fire. This must be done in a formal manner whenever a ceremonial pipe is smoked, for it was considered a sacrilege to dispose of the residuum in a ceremonial pipe in such a manner that it might be trodden under foot. The Conductor then formally filled the pipe withcansasa, and lighted it as before, and standing in the door of the lodge, pointed the mouthpiece toward the sun, and said, "Grandfather , we will bring you a grandson this day." This alludes to the custom of the Hunkayapi, who often addressed the Great God, the Sun, as Grandfather, thus indicating that He is the patron God of the Hunkaya relationship; and the address meant that another Hunka would be made
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that day. The Conductor then sat at the catku and gave sweetgrass to the Assistant who made incense with it. The Conductor then addressed the younger man, saying, "I will now make you a Hunka. I will teach you how to live as a Hunka. These men before you whose bodies are painted red are Mihunkayapi. They will be Hunkayapi to you. When they speak your ears should be open."
Then each of the seven Mihunka present made a speech, the substance of each speech being commendation of Hunkaya, or a statement of the obligation of a Hunka to his Hunka and to the Hunkayapi, the substance of the latter being that a Hunka should give preference to his Hunka above all others of mankind, and that they should be willing to give anything to, or do anything for, each other; that they should listen to the Shamans so that they may please all the Gods; that if the Hunkayapi do this it will please the Gods, and They will give success in forays against the enemy to get women or horses; that when they seek the enemy the women will sing their songs in their praise; that their offerings to the Rock will please the Earth and the Buffalo, and They will give industrious women who will bear many children; that the Great Spirit will direct their arrows, and harden their shields, and put breath in their horses when they are old; that the Buffalo will provide them with robes and moccasins, and a place of honor in their tipis and that their spirits shall not wander over the world.
An explanation of the allusive portions of these addresses is that before going on a foray each Lakota should compose a song which will be known as his song. If he does a notable thing, then the women will sing his song as a meed of praise for him; that before going on such a foray each one should make an offering to the Rock, the patron God of success in war, and this will propitiate the Earth, the patron God of fertility, and the Buffalo, the patron God of nuptials and fecundity; that the Great Spirit is the God that gives movement to anything that moves, and controls the direction of a movement, and He also gives vitality to everything that breathes. The Buffalo is also the patron God of the chase and of providing. The doctrine is, that the spirit of a man that is adjudged unworthy to go to the spirit world, is condemned to wander forever over the world.
During all these rites the people were quiet and attentive. When the Mihunkayapi ceased speaking there was an intermission of about half an hour, during which some of the women began preparation for the feast.


The Conductor reëntered the lodge and sitting at the catku sang this song:
"Kindred sacred are coming,
They come toward me.
Kindred sacred are coming,
They come from the west."
An interpretation of this song is that the influences of the relationship of Hunkaya were coming to the Shaman from the west. The doctrine is that quite all that are sacred come from the west. As he sang, most of the people resumed the places they had occupied during the preceding rites and then the Conductor filled and lighted the ceremonial pipe as before and the Assistant made incense of sweetgrass. When he had smoked and emptied the pipe the Conductor said, "The smoke of the pipe goes to our sacred brothers and they will carry it to the Buffalo God who will be pleased with the odor of the sweetgrass." The sacred brothers here spoken of are the Four Brothers, the Four Winds, who are the messengers of the Gods.
The Conductor then bade the bearers of the wands to stand and wave them over the younger man and as they did so be said, "These horse-tails are sacred. Our grandfathers made them. The influence of the Sun is in the eagle quills and of the Great Spirit is in the horsehair attached to them. When one is made Hunka these tails are waved over him. Their influence will do him good. It will cause him to remember his Hunka and theHunkayapi. It will shield him from the Winged God so that he will not be made a Heyoka. The South Wind gave the horse-tails and He is pleased this day. I will wave the horse-tails over you." This address is in accordance with the doctrine that the Hunka ceremony is of ancient origin and has the approval of the Chief of the Gods and the Great Spirit so that They influence the relationship of Hunkaya and will shield a Hunkaseeing the person of the Winged God and prevent his becoming a heyoka and forever after speak and act in an anti-natural manner: that the South Wind, Who is the prevailing God of good weather, shows His pleasure by granting a bright and pleasant day.
The Conductor then filled and lighted the ceremonial pipe as before, and standing between the fireplace and the altar, facing westward, lie extended the mouthpiece toward the west, then holding it horizontally, he moved it in a circle until it was extended toward the north, where he paused for a moment; and in the same manner he moved the mouthpiece and extended
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it towards the east, the south, and the west again. He then bowed low and held the pipe with its mouthpiece extended toward the sun and said, "Grandfather, we have offered the spirit of the smoke to Your messengers and to the West Wind by whose tipi You will go. . They will tell You that we will bring You a younger son this day." This address alludes to the doctrine that the West Wind has His tipi on the top of the high mountain at the edge of the world where the Sun passes when His daily journey is done.
The Conductor then took the wands and waved them over the young man. As he did so, he sang a song and the drummer sounded the drum in unison with the singing. Some of the people joined in singing the song. The substance of the song was that the influences in the wands would pass to the younger man and make him Hunka. The Conductor then sat at the catku and addressed the younger man as follows: "My grandson, theseMihunkayapi are painted red to please the powerful one, the Sun. They have told you how Hunkayapi should live. If you will do as they have done, the women will sing your song in praise of you. The Hunkayapi will be as brothers to you. Your robe will be good and your moccasins new. You will know what offerings to make to the Rock when you see the red stripe on a stone. The Gods will give you eagle quills. The Buffalo will cause your women to be industrious and to bear many children. The Gods will protect you in war. They will keep your women and children from the enemy. If you listen to the Buffalo He will aid you in the chase so that you will have plenty of meat and robes and so that the wolf will be afraid of you. I sought a vision and the Bear God spoke to me. This is what I saw:--A blue horse and eagle quills; women singing in a circle; the council lodge; a large robe with a buffalo cow painted on it. This is what the Bear said to me:--'The young man should have the horse-tails waved over him; he will provide for his women and children; he will be brave and truthful and the people will listen to him; be will have plenty and give freely; he shall never cut the nose of his woman. My grandson; I have prepared a fetish. I will give it to you. If you will be controlled by its potency, it will be thus with you. This fetish has the potency of the Bear. He told me how to make it. Then I asked the Bear what he would tell me. Standing like a man He said, 'Iya and Iktomi are traveling.' I will explain this to you. If you are lazy or a coward you will sleep with the coyotes. You should not cut your woman's nose. No woman will gash her flesh for you. The buffalo will laugh at you. If you tell lies Iktomi will trick you. Anog Ite will show you both her faces. Your women will stiffer and your babes will have pains in their bowels. But if you listen to the Shamans the South Wind will stay with you. If you laugh at the Shamans, Wazi will stay with you. I will now wave the horsetails over you."
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He waved the wands over the younger man and then over each one in the lodge. Then he took the rattles, one in each hand, and said, "These rattles are sacred. The color of the Sun is on them. The color of the Earth is on them. The influence of the Gods is in them. Their rattle calls the spirits. The plume makes them potent." He then sang a song without words, shaking the rattles in unison with the music. The drum was sounded in unison with the rattles and some of the people joined in singing. The Conductor shook the rattles, first over the younger man and then over each one in the lodge. He then sat at the catku and said, "The spirit of the buffalo is Hunka to all who are of the Hunka ceremony. It should now be pleased."
As are most formal speeches by the older Oglala, this address is largely figurative, so that to comprehend it one must understand something of the doctrines of the Lakota and be somewhat acquainted with their figures of speech. These doctrines hold that the color red is a symbol of both the chief of the Gods and of all things sacred and that it has in itself a potency which, when it is formally applied to anything, dedicates it to some good purpose. Applied to a person as a rite of a ceremony it devotes the person to the objects of the ceremony; applied to things connected with a ceremony it consecrates them to the ceremony. Thus, the Mihunkayapi whose bodies were painted red were devoted to the Hunkaya and their council could be relied upon. Red paint on a stone consecrates it and makes of it an altar on which may be placed offerings to the God, the Rock, which one should make when about to undertake some dangerous deed. The expression, "The Gods will give you eagle quills," alludes to the custom that if one is about to undertake some daring exploit he should provide himself with eagle quills, so that if he is successful in his undertaking, and it is such as will entitle him to wear eagle quills, he will possess them; the only way of honorably possessing eagle quills for this purpose is to pluck them from a living eagle. To do this required the aid of the Gods. These doctrines hold that Shamans are vicars of the Gods and can communicate with Them relative to any matter; that they can interpret communications from the Gods, which usually are in mystic form, and that their interpretation is authoritative.
The expression, "A blue horse and eagle quills" means a war horse with a decoration of eagle quills and it implies that if the one addressed goes to war he will have the success that will entitle him to wear eagle quills as an insignum. "Women singing in a circle" alludes to the custom of the women who stand in a circle when they sing a man's song in his praise, and implies that they will do so for the one addressed. The expression, "The council lodge" implies that the one addressed will be so honored that he will be a councilor for his band. The expression, "A large robe with a
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buffalo cow painted on it" alluded to a custom of the women that when one had made an unusually large or fine robe she would seek a vision and then paint on the robe a device or figure to represent the communication she received in the vision, thereby imparting to the robe a potency agreeing with the vision. If the robe were given to another, and the secret of the communication told to the one receiving it, the potency remained operative in the robe. The figure of a buffalo cow thus painted on a robe indicates that the wearer, or the wearer's women will have offspring.

The implication is that the one addressed will be abundantly provided with clothing and his woman will bear children. The purport of the address is that the Bear God first showed to the Shaman that which indicated an honorable future and then told what must be done to attain this future, the last of which is, "He shall never cut the nose of his woman." This alludes to the Lakota custom which permitted a man to cut off the tip of the nose of his woman if she was unfaithful to him. The expression, "Iya and Iktomi are traveling" means that Iya the great God of evil, and Iktomi, the imp of mischief are continually going about seeking to incite mankind to deeds of evil or of shame. The term, "You will sleep with the coyotes" means you will be so impoverished that you will have no shelter to sleep in. "You should not cut your woman's nose" means that if you are in such a shameful condition you are not justified in shaming your woman. "No woman will gash her flesh for you" alludes to the custom of the woman who, when mourning for their dead, gashed their flesh so as to cause the blood to flow as a token of the sincerity of their mourning; hence, it means that if one is lazy and a coward, no woman will mourn for him when he dies. "The buffalo will laugh at you" means that a lazy one will have no success in hunting or the chase and will want for food. "Iktomi will trick you" and "Anog Ite will show you both her faces" mean that misfortune, shame, and dispair will come upon the lazy one. "If you laugh at the Shamans, Wazi will stay with you" means that if one does not give due and proper respect to the Shamans that one will be accursed by the Gods.

When the Conductor had thus addressed the younger man he filled and lighted the ceremonial pipe as before, blew smoke from it into the nostril cavities of the buffalo skull on the altar, and then gave the pipe to the younger man, saying, "Smoke with the spirit of the buffalo, for you are now as its brother. He will help you that you may have plenty of meat and hides."
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As the younger man smoked the pipe, the Conductor removed the skull from the stone that supported it, placed a splotch of red paint on the stone, and then said, "We will smoke with the Rock." He took the pipe and blew smoke from it against the stone. He then gave the pipe to the younger man who also blew smoke on the stone. While he was doing so the Conductor said, "You have smoked with the Rock and He will make you strong so that you will not quickly grow weary." The Shaman then took the pipe and said, "We will smoke with our Grandmother." He then blew smoke from the pipe upon the altar and gave the pipe to the younger man who did likewise. The Conductor said, "We have smoked with the Earth and She will provide us with all things."



At dawn of the next day the people were astir, preparing the morning meal, and for the ceremony of the day. As the sun appeared over the horizon, the Conductor faced it and chanted an invocation to Wi, invoking that God to speak for the people to Taku Wakan, the Gods of the weather. While he was doing so the people remained in a reverential attitude. Immediately after his invocation, women erected a large tipi to be used as the ceremonial lodge with its door toward the entrance of the camp circle, that is, toward the east. Near the south side of the area, with its door toward the south, they erected a smaller tipi to be used as the preparation tipi. On the previous day, the Conductor had appointed an akicita, or marshal, of the camp, and he now appeared, with three black stripes painted perpendicularly on his right cheek as the insignum of his office.
Soon after the Conductor returned to his tipi he began chanting and drumming in a low tone and continued so for some time. Then the people began to appear in gala attire, painted and decorated according to their fancies, and wearing such insignia as they were entitled to have: the Hunkayapi, with the red stripes on their foreheads; the buffalo women with their hair partings marked in red. When the Conductor came from his tipi his hands and body were painted red and his face was striped in red; red zigzag lines decorated his arms. These decorations were all symbolical, as explained in the section on the Sun dance (p. 82). His regalia as the Conductor consisted of a headdress or cap made of tanned skin, to which a small buffalo horn was attached at each side so as to stand out from the head as the horns do on a buffalo. The cap was further adorned with hawk quills and strips of white weaselskin. In his right hand he held the ceremonial pipe and in his left a hawkskin. The latter was his wasicun, or
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ceremonial pouch. As he came forth, he chanted a song, the substance of which was that he was wise and powerful and could communicate with the Gods. He ordered the Assistant and the Recorder to prepare the ceremonial lodge. This they did by smoothing and levelling the catku and preparing an altar between it and the fireplace. They placed a stone beside the altar and a buffalo skull on it. Then they erected the scaffold at the south side of the altar. The father of the younger man brought meat, both fat and lean, and hung it on the scaffold. A drum was placed inside at the left by the door of the lodge.
When this was done the Conductor inspected the lodge and then brought from his tipi the wands, rattles, and counting rod, and gave them to those chosen to take charge of them, the Assistant having the fire carrier and the Recorder the counting rod. The Conductor then began chanting and marching around the area inside the camp circle, a procession forming and following him in this order: first, those who were to participate in the ceremony, then the Hunkayapi, and finally, the people. The procession marched four times around, some of the people soberly, and others jovially talking and laughing.


When the procession began, the younger man and his two friends entered the preparation tipi, pulling down and tying the flap. When the procession bad gone the fourth time around the circle, the Conductor said, "My friends, we have gone around the world. Yata has closed the door on WakinyanIktomi has gone to the home of IyaTatanka is in the lodge." This speech was a metaphor meaning that by the formal march in every direction immunity from lightning was secured; Iktomi, the imp of mischief and disturber of ceremonies, was driven away; and the Buffalo, the patron God of Ceremonies, prevailed in the camp. The Conductor then went to the preparation tipi and said, "The enemy is in this tipi. Who will help me take him?" The older man who was to be made Hunka said, "I will."
The Conductor asked him, "Are you Hunka?" He replied, "I am Hunka." Then the Conductor cried in a loud voice, "Hunka must die for each other." He then said, "We will capture the enemy." He rushed to the door of the tipi, cut the strings that tied the flap, and he and the older man went in hurriedly. In a few moments, they came out leading the younger man by the arms, the Conductor singing the song of a returning warrior. They led the younger man toward the ceremonial lodge, singing as they went. The people followed them, some joining in the song. When they came to the lodge the Conductor said, "We will kill the enemy but if
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anyone will take him for Hunka we will not kill him." The older man said, "I will take him for my Hunka. Take him into the lodge." The older man conducted the younger into the lodge and sat him between the altar and the fireplace, facing the altar.
As many as the lodge would accommodate then entered it and seated themselves in the following order: the Assistant at the right of the catku and the Recorder at the left of it; men Hunkayapi on the right side of the lodge and women Hunkayapi on the left; the drummer beside the drum and the bearers of the rattles in front of him. At the right of the Assistant, and in front of the women, were first, the bearer of the ear of corn and next at his right the bearers of the wands. The people who could not have seats inside sat in a circle before the door of the lodge, the men together on the north side and the women on the south. While the people were arranging themselves, the Conductor stood beside the door and sang:--
"The meadow lark my cousin.
A voice is in the air."

He repeated this song four times. Like all the ceremonial songs of the shamans, this is figurative. It is explained as follows: To the Lakota, the meadow lark is the symbol of fidelity, just as among English-speaking people the dove is the symbol of peace. By claiming relationship to the lark the Shaman claimed power to influence for fidelity. By saying, "A voice is in the air," he implied that the influence for fidelity pervaded the camp. Such vague and indefinite expressions were common among the Lakota and though they are difficult of interpretation, they were comprehended by them.


When the Conductor ceased singing this song he entered the lodge and sat at the catku. He then filled and lighted a pipe in the formal manner and handed it to the Assistant, who smoked and passed it to the younger man, who also smoked and passed the pipe. It was passed until all in the lodge had smoked in communion, the Conductor smoking last. He emptied the residuum in the pipe carefully beside the catku and said, "The grandfather, the father, and the sons are with us. The Earth and the Buffalo are in this lodge. We have smoked together as friends, and the spirit of the pipe has gone up to the Great Spirit. I will now make incense to drive away the evil powers." The meaning of this address is that all the Gods above the world were with them and that those on the world, the Earth and the Buffalo, were in the lodge; that the potency of the mediating
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God, Wohpe, which abides in the smoke of the pipe, had gone from all in the lodge to the Great Spirit and would propitiate Him. ,
The Conductor then handed the fire carrier to the Assistant and the counting rod to the Recorder, and commanded the Assistant to bring fire. He brought burning coals and placed them together on the fireplace, using the fire carrier to handle the fire. The Conductor then made incense by first sprinkling sage and then sweetgrass on the fire. While he was doing this, the Assistant arranged the buffalo skull on the altar, propping it up with the stone that had been placed beside the altar, so that it faced the catku.. Then the Conductor filled the ceremonial pipe with cansasa, and the Assistant brought a burning coal on the fire carrier and held it so as to light the pipe. The ceremonial pipe is lighted in this formal manner in order that the potency of the sun, which abides in the fire, may be with the potency of the mediator, which abides in the smoke of the pipe. As the Conductor smoked the ceremonial pipe be said, "Grandmother, you have not taken the horns from this skull. The spirit of the buffalo still watches for Anpeo. We will honor these horns."
The Shamans usually addressed the Goddess, the Earth, as Grandmother, It was taught that when the horns fall from the dried skull of a buffalo this Goddess has taken them from it; that the spirit of the buffalo abides in the skull as long as the horns remain on it; that the spirit of the buffalo is as one with the God, the Buffalo; that the God, the Buffalo is the comrade of the God, the Sun, and is most pleased when in His light. Anpeo is theakicita, or forerunner, of the sun. It is the red aurora. With this explanation the allusive meaning of the address may be comprehended.


While the Conductor was smoking, the Assistant arranged the meat on the scaffold, the lean meat at one end, the fat at the other. Then the Conductor addressed the skull and said, "Hunka of Tatanka, this meat was yours, but you gave it to me. If there is any part of it that you wish, tell us and we will give it to you." In this address it is assumed that the meat is the flesh and fat of a buffalo. The spirit in the skull is addressed as Hunka ofTatanka, the Buffalo God. The allusion is to the doctrine that the Buffalo God caused the spirits of the buffalo to give their meat to the Lakota; and that when a buffalo was killed for its meat, a portion should be left as an offering to propitiate the spirit.
The Conductor then sprinkled a powder on the meat and said, "My medicine is good. It will make this meat sacred." He then gave the
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[paragraph continues] Assistant sweetgrass and he made incense by sprinkling it on the fire. Over this incense the Conductor prayed as follows:--"Great Spirit be with us this day; West Wind, keep the Winged God in your tipi this day; Sun, we ask that You keep Iktomi and Anog Ite from this camp this day." The doctrine is that the God, the West Wind, is the comrade of and has controlling influence over the Winged God, whose voice is thunder, and the glance of whose eye is lightning; that Iktomi is an imp of mischief who delights in making ceremonies of no effect and Anog Ite is a double, or two-faced woman who foments discord and licentiousness.
Then the Conductor addressed the people and said, "I am a Shaman. I know how to wave the horse-tails as did our grandfathers. I will do it that way now. The young people forget how to do this. Shamans will soon be cold and hungry. This young man wishes to be Hunka. I will make him Hunka as our grandfathers were made Hunkayapi. The Sun looks on us and the Wind is pleased. The Wolf has gone to the hills. The Earth and the Rock and the Buffalo are in this lodge. These Gods will help me make this young man Hunka."
It was taught that the wolf and coyote were the accomplices of Iktomi and Wazi, the wizard, and did their bidding. The allusive meaning of the latter part of the address is that the Chief of the Gods, the Sun is favorable; the principal God controlling the weather, the Wind; was propitiated; that the accomplices of the mischievous beings had fled from the camp; that the potencies of the Great God, the Earth, were in the altar, and that of the great God, the Rock in the stone on the altar, and that of the Taku Wakan, or Relative God, the Buffalo in the buffalo skull, were present in the lodge.



The following is a description of an elaborate performance of the ceremony observed by the author. Fortunately, the interpreter at the ceremony was Bruce Means, who was able to interpret the old forms of Lakota speech. One of those made Hunka at this ceremony gave the information relative to the preliminaries, thus enabling the author to give quotations. The informant desired to be Hunka with a much older and experienced man in order that the latter might be his Hunka Ate, therefore be proceeded in the following formal manner. He chose two friends, gave them a feast, and requested them to convey his proposition to the man he wished as hisHunka. He gave them presents which they took to the man, telling him what their friend wished. He accepted the presents which was the equivalent of an agreement with the desires of their friend. Then the young man gave a feast and invited his two friends and the older man to partake of it with him. After the feast , they sat in a tipi around a fire of burning coals and the older man, being a Shaman, filled and lighted a pipe in a formal manner, moving it in circles four times over the fire and said, "Spirit Pipe we smoke this pipe to you. Let your power come to it so that the spirit in the smoke may go to the Taku Wakan." First he, and then the others, smoked in communion, each before smoking, moving the pipe in a circle four times over the fire, and invoking one or another of the Four Winds to grant a good day for the Hunka ceremony. Then the Shaman moved the mouthpiece in a circle, first pointing towards the west, then the north, east, south, and back towards the west again, and then upwards, said, "Tate, we offered smoke to your sons. Command them to give us a good day for the Hunkaceremony." The four then agreed upon the time and place for the performance of the ceremony and chose an old Shaman to conduct it.
A short time after this, the four went to the tipi of the old Shaman and there agreed upon the following organization for the ceremony. The old Shaman, by virtue of their choice, became the Walowan, or Conductor. He appointed a Wowasi, or Assistant, a Patapaowa, or Register, and the four agreed upon two men to have charge of the wands, two to have charge of the rattles, one to have charge of the ear of corn, and a drummer. They discussed as to whom invitation wands should be sent and such other matters relative to the ceremony as occurred to them. Soon thereafter the younger man sent invitation wands to such as were to be considered honored guests. All who wished might attend such ceremonies and would be welcomed, but only such as had received wands would be considered invited guests. In this case, the older man had little means, so the younger man
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and his kindred, supplied most of the provisions for the occasion. He borrowed old wands, rattles, rod, and scaffold, for old implements of this kind were considered more efficacious than new ones.
The day before the ceremony was to be performed the author went to the place where it was to be held and found many people already there, their tipis placed so as to form a camp circle. Others continued to arrive that day, and all placed their tipis in the circle. A festive spirit prevailed and that evening the people grouped according to their inclinations, some to talk, some to sing, and some to play games. After dark, an old woman went to the top of a hill and chanted a warning to the wolf to stay away from the camp, and tell its master, Wazi, to do so. Then she ululated shrilly several times.



The implements required for the rites are:--
1. To be provided by the participants:
    2 Hunka wands
    2 rattles
    1 ear of corn
    1 fire carrier
    1 counting rod
    1 scaffold
    1 drum
2. To be provided by the conductor:
    1 ceremonial pipe
    1 buffalo skull with the horns attached
    1 fetish, or ceremonial bag
The materials to be used in the rites are:--
1. To be supplied by the participants:
    Meat, both fat and lean
2. To be supplied by the conductor:
    Cansasa, or smoking material
    Paints, red, blue, yellow, and green
The Hunka wands are often called the Horse-tails. Each of them should he a wooden rod about four spans long, round and tapering from the size of a man's great toe at the larger end to the size of a man's little finger at the smaller end. About one third the length from the larger end, six quills from the tail of the golden eagle should be loosely attached by their calami and shafts in such manner that when the rod is held horizontally, the quills radiate from the wand with the webs pointing from the larger end. About one third the length of the rod from the smaller end, a bunch of hair from a horse-tail should be attached, making a tassel. A similar tassel should be attached to the smaller end by binding it to the rod with buffalo hair. The rod should he painted red and may be ornamented in any additional manner.
The rattles should be globular receptacles made of rawhide about the
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size of a man's fist. They should contain something that will make a rattling noise when shaken, such as small pebbles, and should be attached to handles about a span long. Opposite each handle which should be wrapped with buffalo hair, an eagle plume should be attached. The handles and receptacles should be painted red.
The ear of corn should be perfect, with the husk removed, and should be rigidly bound to a wooden rod. The rod should be about three spans long, round, and about as thick as a man's little finger, one end to which an eagle plume should be attached, should project about a hand breadth beyond the tip of the ear of corn. The rod should he painted red and the ear of corn should be painted with four stripes, one each of red, blue, yellow, and green.
The fire-carrier should be a wooden rod about four spans long, round, and as thick as a man's great toe. It should be split at one end and the split held apart by a wooden wedge to make a fork with which burning coals can be lifted and carried. It should be painted red.
The counting rod should be a round wooden rod, about as long as the height of a short woman. It should be a little larger around than a man's thumb. One end should be curved through about a quarter of a circle a span in diameter and on the opposite side at the beginning of this curve there should be a protuberance of about a thumb breadth in height. The rod should be painted red.
The scaffold should consist of three round wooden rods, each about as large around as a man's finger. One should be about three spans in length and each of the others about two spans. The two shorter should each be pointed at one end and forked at the other, so that when thrust into the ground they may support the longer rod. All three rods should be painted red.
These are all the implements that are peculiar to the Hunka ceremony; all the other implements and materials have been described in the section en the Sun dance.
There are several essential rites peculiar to the Hunka ceremony. These ,consist of the formal uses of the wands, rattles, ear of corn, and scaffold to induce the Hunkaya, or Hunka, relationship. The other rites are common to other ceremonies. These rites, which have all been explained in connection with the Sun dance, are smoking the pipe in communion, making incense, offering the pipe to the Gods, and invoking the potency of the Buffalo God.

The conductor of the Hunka ceremony may add to the above-mentioned rites as many appropriate rites as he deems fitting for the occasion. Thus, the Hunka ceremony may range from a very simple affair to an elaborate event.

Hunka Ceremony


The Hunka ceremony is a Lakota ceremony in which two persons adopt the Hunka relationship toward each other and thereby both assume a more restricted relationship with all for whom the ceremony has been performed. The term, Hunka1 expresses the relationship of each of the two persons to the other, while the term, Hunkaya, expresses their relationship to all others for whom the ceremony has been performed. The term,Hunkayapi, designates the persons for whom the ceremony has been performed.
The relationship of Hunka is difficult to define, for it is neither of the nature of a brotherhood, nor of kindred. It binds each to his Hunka by ties of fidelity stronger than friendship, brotherhood, or family. The relationship ofHunkaya is similar to that which the members of a society bear toward each other, but the Hunkayapi have no organization as a society and recognize no distinction among themselves as HunkayaHunka may be a relationship somewhat like that of parent and child, when one is much older or more experienced than the other. In such case, the older is Hunka Ate to the younger, while the younger is simply Hunka to the older. If aHunka Ate has the confidence of the people, they, whether Hunkayapi or not, may title him Mihunka, which indicates reverential respect.
The practice of assuming the Hunka relationship has existed among the Lakota since ancient times. It is probable that at first there was little ceremony other than an agreement between two persons; but that when the practice became more common the Shamans assumed control, adding rites until the ceremony assumed its present form. The most common designation of the ceremony is, "They Waved Horse-tails over Each Other." This appears to fix the time when the ceremony was given its present form, for it alludes to a prominent rite of the ceremony. According to the Oglala calendar a certain year is designated as "When They Waved Horse-tails

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over Each Other." The Lakota custom was to name each year according to some event that was peculiar to, or first noticeable, during that year. Therefore, it is probable that the year "When They Waved Horse-tails over Each Other" was the year when the Hunka ceremony was first performed with the rite of waving horse-tails over each other, or, at least, the year when this rite was first noticeable. This year corresponds to A.D. 1805. Perhaps at that time the horse was a rare animal to the Lakota and as its tail was the most noticeable feature, the Lakota considered it sacred, with the potency of sacred things, in the same manner as they considered sacred the tail of a buffalo. The old Lakota still so consider horse-tails and wave them over others to cause an amicable influence. 1
Any two persons may become Hunka, provided a Shaman will perform the ceremony. This proviso makes it difficult for a white man to become a Hunka, for the Shamans are reluctant to perform the ceremony in such cases. Any two Oglala may become Hunka, provided one who is entitled to paint his hands red will perform the ceremony, but the ceremony is most esteemed when it is performed by a Shaman. One who wishes to become Hunka should first consult with the one with whom he desires to form that relationship; or, if he wishes to become Hunka with a child, he should consult with the parent, or the one who controls the child. If the consultants do not agree the matter should be abandoned. If they agree, they may proceed, and, in case one of them represents a child, he should represent it during the ceremony, except in the rite of placing the mark or badge of a Hunka, which should be placed on the person of the child to become a Hunka. Having agreed to become Hunka they should agree as to who shall perform the ceremony. He must be either a Shaman, or one who is entitled to paint his hands red and should know the rites and how and when to perform them.
He should be notified in sufficient time to enable him to prepare for the ceremony, or if he should refuse, to choose another. When this is done, then suitable provision for the ceremony should be made. When two adults are to become Hunka it is expected that they will share alike in making the provision, but if an older person desires to become Hunka with a child, he should provide most for the occasion. The requirements are sufficient food

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for the feasts, articles for presents, and the material and implements used in the rites. Those who are to provide should give as liberally as is within their power, even to the extent of impoverishing themselves. Their kindred and friends should aid them, for the degree of the ceremony and the notability of the occasion is in proportion to the feasts and presents expected.


122:1 According to the late Rev. W. J. Cleveland, the term hunka, while conforming to Dakota phonetics appears to be a foreign word. This opinion of Rev. Cleveland deserves serious consideration because of his perfect familiarity with the language. The Oglala conception of the term is a kind of relation like that of a brother, father, mother, sister, or child and parent. The relationship is not exactly such as we consider fraternal, but was looked upon by the Dakota as approximately the same as blood kin. In fact, the hunka relationship often takes precedence over blood relationship. Now, if it turns out that Rev. Cleveland's theory is correct, then we may suspect that there is some relation between this term and the Pawnee term, hako, which has been used by Miss Fletcher as the name for a similar ceremony. As just stated, there are historical reasons for believing that the Pawnee are chiefly responsible for the introduction of this ceremony to the other tribes of the Plains--Editor.
123:1 This ceremony is essentially the same as the Hako of the Pawnee of which we have a published account. It also appears to be a form of the ceremony known to early explorers as the "Waving the Calumet," though not necessarily identical with it. If 1805 is really the date for its introduction to the Oglala, then they can make no claims to its origination, except in so far as they may have modified the ritual to bring it into harmony with their own ceremonial concepts. Further, since an important part of the Hunka wand stick is the horse's tail and since the ceremony is sometimes spoken of as the ''waving of horses' tails over one," we must infer that the ceremony took its present form since the introduction of the horse.--Editor.

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 28

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 28
"With prayer and good intentions, we make our lives sacred and come into balance."
Only through prayer can we make spiritual changes that are permanent. You have told us that all life is sacred. Today I intend to serve you, my Creator. Allow me to overcome temptation, and if one comes along, let me see the lessons that will give balance. You have told us that all life is sacred. Let me see today with a sacred eye. Let me see beauty in all things.
My Creator, let me know what You would have me be today. Let my intentions be honest, respectful, humble, and loving.