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CHAPTER VII.


INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS.


127. Industrial occupations among the C̸egiha may be treated of in three grand divisions: I. Those relating to the Sustenance of Life; II. Those concerning the Protection of Life; III. Those which have to do with the Regulation of Life. The first and second of these divisions are not fully differentiated.

To the first division may be assigned those industries pertaining to Food, Clothing, and Shelter. Food is obtained by hunting, trapping, fishing, and cultivation of the ground. In order to obtain it one is obliged to resort to weapons, traps, farming implements, &c.; and to prepare it for a meal, there are several processes required, as well as implements or utensils used in those processes. This gives rise to another kind of industry, the manufacture of those weapons, traps, implements, and utensils. Among the industries pertaining to the Protection of Life are War Customs (especially defensive warfare) and the Practice of Medicine. (See Chapters IX and X.)

The following are connected with the Regulation of Life: The Government and the Law. (See Chapters XI and XII.)

The following relate to the Sustenance of Life.


HUNTING CUSTOMS.


128. Kinds of hunting.—There are two kinds of hunting known among the C̸egiha. One is called "abae," answering to the ɔiwere "kinañʞra," and the "wotihni" of the Dakotas. This refers to the hunting of the larger animals by a few men, or even by one person, the family of each hunter having been left at home or in the tribal camp. The other kind is the "ʇe une," when all the people go in a body, with their families, moving from place to place as they seek for herds of buffaloes. This latter is often called "gaqc̷aⁿ" by the Omahas and Ponkas, and "ʞiqraⁿ'" by the ɔiwere tribes.

129. Hunting seasons.—The summer hunt was not undertaken till the corn and pumpkins had been planted, the weeds cut, and the beans gathered. The time for the return was when the wind blew open the "jqcazi," the sunflowers and the flowers of other species of the "ja," which was about the first of September. It was only during the sum-


  
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mer hunt that the tribe camped in the tribal circle on the open prairie. The fall or winter hunt gave a name to the season when it began "t'angaqc̷aⁿ," the hunting fall, or later fall, as distinguished from "t'aⁿ" the harvest or earlier fall. This later fall corresponded with the latter part of October. Then some of the men took their families with them, and went in pursuit of deer, or occupied themselves with trapping beaver and otter. But most of the people went on the fall hunt when they sought the "m-ha," literally, "spring hides," that is, those which had thick hair. They did not camp in the tribal circle, as it was too cold to pitch their tents on the open prairie; but each head of a family had his tent pitched in a sheltered spot; and for this purpose the hunters did not always go in one large party, but scattered in several directions, camping wherever they could find heavy timber or brush that could protect their lodges during heavy winds. They returned home in the spring about the month of April.

130. Preliminary feast held before the departure for the summer hunt.—The principal chief or head man of the Hañga gens prepared a feast, to which he invited all the chiefs and brave men. An Iñke-sabĕ man was sent as iekic̷ĕ (crier, herald) or wagc̷a (messenger) around the village, and he called to each guest to bring his bowl and spoon. When the guests had assembled at the lodge of the Hañga chief the two principal chiefs sat at the back of the lodge, opposite the entrance, and on each side of them were ranged the subordinate chiefs around the circle, according to their rank. After them were seated the braves, as far as the entrance, on the left side of which sat the giver of the feast, while on the right side were the wagc̷a (Wakaⁿ-maⁿc̷iⁿ and ehaⁿ-maⁿc̷iⁿ, the keepers of the sacred tents of the Hañga), who were expected to attend to the fire and the kettles. The sacred pipes were lighted, according to the prescribed rules, and passed around the circle. (See 18 and 111.)

The object of the council was explained by one of the head chief's saying, "Come! consider the question. Let us remove. In how many days shall we remove?" The question was then discussed by others, and having agreed among themselves what course to pursue, one said, "qĕ cti gc̷taⁿi ʞĭ wataⁿ' zi-hi ctĭ gc̷taⁿi ʞĭ, dba jaⁿ' ʞ aⁿwaⁿ'haⁿ ta"—When they have prepared their caches and have worked (i. e., examined) their cornstalks, let us remove after an interval of four days. When the chiefs perceived what was the sense of the council they decided on the route. When the food was sufficiently cooked the wagc̷a removed the kettles from the fire. Then one of the head chiefs called a young man by name, saying, "haⁿ ctĕ we'c̷itañ'-gă," Handle that kettle for us. Then the young man holding a spoon in his right hand dipped it into one of the kettles, took out a piece of a choice part of the meat. His left hand being elevated, with extended palm, he presented the meat in the spoon to each of the four winds, beginning at the entrance of the lodge, and he finished the ceremony by casting the meat into the fire.




  
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Then the food was served out to the guests, the best portions of it being placed before the chiefs. Each person who received a portion thanked the host, using the appropriate kinship term, as, "Hau! jiⁿc̷ha!" Thanks! elder brother!—"Hau! kag!" Thanks! younger brother!—"Hau! negha!" Thanks! mother's brother! The old men present thanked the host, chiefs, and young men. Food is precious to them, so they talked a long time about it. The young men left some of the food in the kettles for the criers and old men, who then ate out of the kettles instead of bowls. The feast ended, smoking succeeded, after which the guests rose in succession, thanked the host, and passed out of the lodge in an orderly manner, beginning with those on the left of the entrance and fireplace. These passed in single file before the head chiefs, and round the rest of the circle of the guests, till they reached the entrance when they passed out. Then those on the right of the fireplace made a complete circuit of the lodge, passed before the head chiefs and went out of the lodge. In each case the guest followed the course of the sun as he appears to revolve around the earth. The criers sang through the village in praise of the host, whom they thanked for his hospitality. They also thanked the chief's and young men who were present at the feast; and they proclaimed to the people the decision of the council.

131. Preparations for the departure.—The women buried in caches whatever they wished to leave. Food, etc., was placed in a blanket, which was gathered up at the corners and tied with a thong; then the bundle was allowed to fall to the bottom of the cache. Many of such bundles were put into a single cache. Then the women went over the corn-fields to see that all the work had been finished. They prepared their pack-saddles and litters, and mended moccasins and other clothing. The young men spent part of the time in dancing in honor of the "watcgaxe ʇi unc̷ĕ ak," the men at whose lodges the dancing societies met.

132. The departure.—The day for their departure having arrived, the women loaded their horses and dogs, and took as great weights on their own backs as they could conveniently transport. Such lodges as were left unoccupied by aged or infirm people were secured by closing the entrances with large quantities of brushwood. Those men who were the owners of many horses were able to mount their families on horseback, but the most of the people were obliged to go afoot. Before starting the place for passing the night was determined and an Iñke-sabĕ man was sent through the village as crier saying, "Majaⁿ' gc̷uadi c̷aʇi te,ai,ac̷a+!"—They say, indeed, that you shall pitch the tents in that land which is out of sight! He described the location of the place as he made this proclamation, so that the aba-ma (hunters or scouts) might know where they were expected to rejoin the people. This precaution was taken each succeeding night, or else on the morrow before the departure of the hunters.




  
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133. The Huc̷uga or Tribal Circle.—(See 9–12). They generally selected some place near a stream, and they tried to find a level spot large enough to allow the formation of a single huc̷uga, but when so large a level could not be had, the Omahas pitched their lodges in two concentric circles, and the Ponkas in three circles of that arrangement. The exact order of the encampment of the gentes in these concentric circles has not been preserved. As soon as the tents were erected each woman put up her wmaⁿcha, of which there were two or three for each tent. They were used for drying the ʇanuʞa or fresh meat, and each was made by sticking into the ground two forked sticks that were about four feet high, about six or eight feet apart, and placing a, pole across them. The pieces of meat were hung across the transverse pole of each wamaⁿciha.

After the setting up of the tent of one of the keepers of the wac̷xabe or sacred bags, a stick was thrust in the ground outside the tent, and the wac̷ixabe was hung on it, provided there was no rain. But should a rain ensue after the bag was hung outside, or if it was raining at the time the tent was pitched, the stick was set up without delay within the tent, and the bag was hung on it.

134. The Wac̷an or directors of the hunt.—The chiefs always appointed four men to act as directors of the hunt. He who wished to be the principal director had to provide a pipe and a standard called the "wacbe." The former had a bowl of red pipe-stone, but was not one of the sacred pipes. The latter consisted of an oak or hickory stick about eight feet long, and reddened, to which was fastened a row of eagle feathers, some of which were white and others spotted. Their use will be explained hereafter. A "nikide" (see 151) was fastened to the top of the stick. The chiefs said to the directors, "It is good to do such and such things." The directors considered whether it would be right or not, and finally decided what course should be pursued. Then, if any accident occurred, or quarrels between men or women, dog fights, high winds, rain, etc., ensued, the director who had advised going in that direction was blamed, and his advice was disregarded from that time, so he had to resign, and let some one else take his place. During the last summer hunt of the Omahas the directors were Ictc̷abi, Nug, and Duba-manc̷in, of the Iñke-sabĕ gens, and a fourth man, whose name has been forgotten. Ictac̷abi succeeded his father as the principal director.12

135. When the people stopped and camped for only a single night,

12These directors were not necessarily Iñke-sabĕ men. The wacabe and pipe were always abandoned when the people were about to return home. The order of ceremonies varied. Sometimes the sacred pole was anointed after the first herd of buffaloes had been surrounded. In that case the abandonment of the wacabe and pipe was postponed awhile. Sometimes they were abandoned before the pole was anointed; and sometimes they were retained till the end of the Hede-watci. They were abandoned during the day. The pipe was fastened across the middle of the wacabe, which was stuck into the ground on a hill.
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the act was called "uʇi;" but when they stopped at a place for two or more days, the act was known as "epaze." This latter happened when the horses were tired or the weather was bad. "Uʇ dba stăⁿ daⁿ'-ctĕaⁿ' ʞi pazai"—When they had camped but one night at each place for four or five nights, they stopped to rest for two or more days.

136. Appointment of the scouts.—It was generally two or three weeks after the departure from the village that they reached the country where the buffalo abounded. Meanwhile, the people were frequently in need of food, so it was customary for some of the men to leave the camp each morning to seek game of any kind for the sustenance of the tribe till the buffalo herds were surrounded. This service, too, was sometimes called "abae," and, also, "wadaⁿ'be c̷," to go to see or scout; and the men were "ba-ma" or "wadaⁿ'be-ma." Before their departure they were summoned to the Wacabe tent by Tchĭc, the aged Iñkesabĕ, crier, who stood by that tent, and called for each man in a loud voice. The man himself was not named, but the name called was that of his small son. Thus, when Two Crows was summoned, Tcahĭc said, "Gaiⁿ-bajĭ hau+!" as the latter was then the young son of Two Crows, and the father knew that he was summoned. When the fathers had assembled at the Wacabe tent, each one was thus addressed by the principal director: "You shall go as a scout. No matter what thing you see, you shall report it just as it is. If you do not tell the truth may you be struck by lightning! May snakes bite you! May men slay you! May your feet hurt you! May your horse throw you!" When the sons are large enough they go themselves as scouts when called by name.

These scouts or hunters were expected to bring to the camp what game they killed, and to reconnoiter the surrounding country for buffalo and enemies. They used to traverse a vast extent of country, and to shoot at all animals except the buffalo. Whenever those who went the farthest came in sight of the buffalo, or discovered signs of their proximity, they dared not shoot at the animals, but they were bound to return at once to the tribe to report the fact. When they got in sight of the camp, or of the tribe in motion, they made signs with their blankets or robes. (See First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Sign Language, p. 532.)

137. Return of the scouts when the tents are pitched.—If the tents were pitched when the scouts came in sight, the latter went at once to the Wacabe tent, where the ʇe-saⁿ-ha is kept. As soon as each director heard or learnt of the coming of the scouts, he proceeded to the Wacabe tent. When all four had arrived the scouts made a report. They never told any news on such occasion till they reached the sacred tent; and when they reported, they did not say, "We saw buffalo." They had to say, if they discovered a herd, "ciʞic̷-degaⁿ, ʇ-i ebc̷gaⁿ"—I may have deceived myself, but I think that they were buffaloes. The words


  
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are pronounced very deliberately. "How many were there?" said the directors. The reply might be, "I think about forty."

They were afraid of telling a falsehood to the directors and the keeper of the sacred tent. Big Elk said that when they reported they used to give a good robe to the pole in the other sacred tent, but this is denied by La Flèche and Two Crows.

After hearing the report the directors sent the crier for the chiefs, who assembled at the Wacabe tent. He also proclaimed that all the young men should go thither; so they went, and stood outside. The Hañga man (the keeper of the sacred tent?) told the young men, "In such a direction there are so many buffaloes." Then the men left the women in the camp, mounted their horses, and hastened towards the herd.

138. Return of the scouts when the people are moving.—If the people were moving along when the scouts came in sight, the four directors proceeded in advance to meet the scouts, and the Iñke-sabĕ crier accompanied them. He marched behind the directors till they met the scouts, when he advanced to the front, and received the report from one of the scouts, who spoke in a whisper. Then the crier whispered the news to the principal director, who stood on his left, and he whispered it to the next director, and so on. After the crier told the first director, the former stepped backward several paces to the rear of the four directors, and lay down with his head pointing in the direction whence the scouts came. After all of the directors heard the news, they smoked once, and then sent the crier to proclaim the news. The scouts proceeded to their families after delivering their report to the directors. The crier proclaimed thus: "C̸zige te, ai ac̷a+!" That is, "They say indeed that you shall halt!" The tents were pitched immediately, as the people knew that a herd of buffaloes had been found. Then the men hastened toward the herd, each one being mounted.

139. Some of the men used to address their horses thus: "Ho, my child! do your best. I shall do my best." This was not said by all. Some gave medicine to their horses to make them swift. (See the ac̷iⁿ-wasabe dance, Chapter X.)

140. Council and appointment of policemen.—As soon as they could see the herd they stopped. Then the crier called certain young men by name, saying, "Let us consecrate some ʇa or sides of buffalo meat. You will take a ʇa for me." (See 151.) A council was held by the chiefs and directors, and having decided to surround the herd, policemen were appointed. These wanace were selected from the wahehaji or brave men. They had no work to do till they were near the herd. Then they had to watch the people to keep them from scaring off the herd by moving before the proper time. All who disobeyed them were severely punished. Cdac̷ce, an aged Omaha, who is now lame and palsied in one limb, was once strong and highly esteemed by his people; but he violated the rules of the hunt, and all the policemen flogged him


  
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so unmercifully that he never fully recovered from the effects of his punishment. The offense was committed when the people had been unsuccessful in finding a herd, and were almost starved. Suddenly some buffaloes were discovered. Though it was against the law for any small number of men to go against the herd, independently of the rest, two or three, including Cadac̷ice, disobeyed, and, rushing forward, scared off the herd, so that none were caught. On another hunt, when the men were behind a bank, seven of them wished to ascend the hill sooner than Two Crows directed. They started up against his wishes; but he rushed after them and lashed them right and left with his whip, compelling them to desist.

During the council the chiefs said, "Let us consecrate some buffalo tongues, and also two or four hearts." Then, calling on two of the young men, they said, "Young men, you will get the hearts and tongues for us, and place them together at the sacred tent."

141. Order of approaching and surrounding a herd.—The attacking party was always led by two men carrying the sacred objects belonging to the principal director; one man carried the pipe, and the other bore the wacabe standard. They marched abreast, and behind them came the two young men who had been chosen to collect the hearts and tongues. The latter wore no clothing but their breech-cloths, and they carried only their bows and knives. Behind them came the hunters, not going abreast or in any fixed order, but somewhat scattered. When the two leaders reached the proper distance from the herd they separated, one going to the right and the other to the left, each one proceeding in a course nearly the shape of a semi-circle, and followed by half of the men. They began to form their lines for surrounding the herd, and the leaders ran on till they had met in the rear of the herd, and then passed one another, going a short distance around on the opposite side. Then the attack began. The bearers of the pipe and standard were called "'Aⁿ'sagi-ma," the swift ones.

142. Collection of the hearts and tongues.—After they separated in front of the herd the two young men behind them did not follow them, but kept straight ahead towards the front of the herd, where they stopped. They were obliged to be constantly on the alert in order to avoid the onset of any buffalo that might rush towards them. As soon as they saw that an animal was down they rushed towards it and proceeded to cut out the heart and tongue. Then they passed to the next one that was slain, and so on. Each one cut out eight or ten tongues, but he was obliged to cut a hole in the throat before taking out the tongue. which was drawn through that hole. This was the last time that the tongues could touch any tool or metal, except when they were boiling in the kettles at the sacred tent. As fast as the men removed the hearts and tongues they cut holes in them, through which was thrust one end of a bow. When all were strung on the bows they were secured by tying pieces of green hide to the ends of each bow. The bow


  
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and its burden was placed on the back of the owner while the green hide or bow-string went across the chest. Then the young men ran quickly in advance of the hunters and gave the hearts and tongues to the keeper of the Wacabe tent.

143. The feast on the hearts and tongues.—In the evening, when all the policemen and other hunters had returned to the camp, the two keepers of the Hañga sacred tents boiled the hearts and tongues. As soon as they were done an Iñke-sabĕ man was sent as crier to invite the chiefs, who proceeded to the Wacabe tent. On some of these occasions all of the chiefs and Hañga men did not attend, so, when there were many tongues, and few chiefs were present, some of the brave young men were invited to assist in consuming the sacred food. None of the Wacabe Hañga could eat the sacred tongues, though any of the other Hañga who were present might do so. None of the meat was then cut with a knife. Each guest was obliged to eat his portion there, as he could not take it to his own lodge. He must put one corner of his robe (the wainhahage or lower part) on the ground, and having placed the piece of meat on that, he had to raise the improvised dish to his mouth and bite off, a mouthful at a time. Even when the blanket was a new one that would be soiled the wearer could not avoid using it thus. This ceremony was observed four times during the summer hunt. After the surrounding of the fourth herd there were no further prohibitions of the use of a knife or bowl during that season.

When the people divide and go in two parties during the summer hunting season, only those who have the sacred tents observe the ceremonies which have just been described. The others did not consecrate any hearts and tongues.

While the guests were eating certain sacred songs were sung. According to La Flèche and Two Crows, the singers were two of the Wacabe Hañga and the C̸atada man who acted as quʞa; but Frank La Flèche says that the singers were the Hañga guests who ate the tongues.

The Iñke-sabĕ crier sat by the door, looking wistfully towards the food, and hoping almost against hope for some to be left for him.

These songs were very many, and lasted till daylight, according to An'ba-hbe, the tribal historian. From him the writer gained an incomplete description of them. First were the corn songs: 1. "I clear the land." 2. "I put in corn." 3. "The corn comes up." 4. "Ukt'ĕ t'aⁿ, It has blades." 5. Qc̷ c̷aⁿbe, The ears appear." 6. "Wahba najha t'aⁿ, The ears have hair, i. e., silk." 7. gic̷e aⁿ'c̷ispaⁿ, At length we try the ears, squeezing them with the fingers, to see if they are ripe." 8. "gic̷e jt'aⁿ ʞĭ, At length it is ripe." 9. "gic̷e wahba aⁿ'c̷ija, At length we pull off the ears from the stalks." 10. "gic̷e wahba aⁿ'c̷iga, At length we husk the ears." 11. "gic̷e wahba aⁿ'c̷icpi, At length we shell the corn." 12. "gic̷e wahba aⁿ'c̷ate, At length we eat the corn."

Then followed the buffalo songs in similar order, of which were


  
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the following: "Sgc̷e wadaⁿ'be, The tracks are seen." " wadaⁿ'be agc̷, They have come back from seeing the buffalo." "ah ʇd'ĕ ac̷ai', They have gone to the hill that is near by." * * * "e win a hă, I have wounded a buffalo." "Hqpaqpa maⁿc̷iⁿ', He walks coughing repeatedly." This last refers to a habit of wounded buffaloes, they cough repeatedly as the blood pours forth.

La Flèche and Two Crows say that they never attended these feasts, so they cannot give the words of the songs. Frank La Flèche says, "None besides the Hañgas and chiefs can give you correctly all of the songs of the corn and buffalo, as it is looked upon as sacrilege to sing these songs. The young people are strictly forbidden to sing them. None of the young Omahas have taken any pains to learn them, although we have often been to listen to the singing of them while the Hañgas and the chiefs were performing the ceremonies of the pole. You may, but I very much doubt it, get it all from one of the Hañgas or chiefs by liberally compensating him for his patience (of which I fear he wouldn't have enough) in going through with it, as it takes three or four nights without stopping, lasting from sundown till sunrise; and even then they find, sometimes, that they have omitted some.13 I myself would like to know it all, but I have never once heard it sung by any of the young men with whom I am accustomed to go, although they frequently have had the presumption to sing all other religious songs, such as the Iⁿ'-kugc̷i ac̷iⁿ', Waccka ac̷iⁿ', Was ac̷iⁿ', etc., for amusement."

144. Skill in archery.—So great is the skill of the Indians in archery, that they frequently sent their arrows completely through the bodies of the animals at which they shot, the arrow-heads appearing in such cases on the opposite side. Dougherty heard that in some instances the arrows were sent with such force that they not only passed entirely through the bodies of the buffaloes, but even went flying through the air or fell to the ground beyond the animals.

145. Sets of arrows.—As each man had his own set of arrows distinguished from those of other men by peculiar marks, he had no difficulty in recovering them after the slaughter of the herd, and by means of them he could tell which animals were killed by him. Hence quarrels respecting the right of property in game seldom occurred, and the carcass was awarded to the more fortunate person whose arrow pierced the most vital part.

146. Frank La Flèche killed his first buffalo when he was but seventeen years of age. On such occasions the slayer cut open the body and ate the liver with the gall over it.

147. Carving and division of a buffalo.—When plenty of buffalo had

13 The Osages have an account of the origin of corn, etc., in one of their sacred songs preserved in their secret society. They do not allow their young men to learn these songs. The writer has an abstract of this account obtained from one of the Osage chiefs. It takes four days or nights to tell or chant the tradition of any Osage gens.
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been killed, the slayer of one took but one man to aid him in cutting it up, and each man took half of the body as his share. All agree in saying that the hide was kept by the slayer, and some say that the choice pieces were also his. Sometimes the slayer gave pieces of the meat to those of his kindred who had no horses. All recognize the right of the slayer to give the pieces as he saw best. He was generally assisted in the cutting up by four or five men, and the body was divided into six portions, as follows: The ʇe-mañ'ge or chest, one share; the ʇe-naⁿ'qa or hump, one share; the ʇe-ju' or front portions of the body, two shares, with each of which was put a foreleg; the ʇe-jga or thighs, the hinder portions of the body, two shares; with one was put the ʇe-nxa or paunch, with the other, the ʇe-cbe or entrails. The men who assisted were not necessarily of the same gens or tribe. Sometimes the slayer took only the hide for his part and gave all the rest away. According to Frank La Flèche, "the first man who reached a slain buffalo had for his share, if the animal was fat, one of the ʇe-ju and the ʇe-nixa; but if it was lean, he took one of the ʇe-jega and the ʇe-nixa. The second man that reached there received the other ʇe-ju, and the third had the ʇe-mañge. The fourth one's share consisted of the ʇaⁿ'he or ʇe-cibe and the other ʇe-jega. But if the slayer of the animal wished any of these parts he could keep them. The ʇe-d or liver was good for nothing."

Should only one buffalo be killed by a large party, say, thirty or more, the slayer always cut up the body in many pieces of equal size and divided among all the hunters. Sometimes two or three men came and helped the slayer to carve the body. Then he gave each a share. If a chief who had not been invited to sit down came and assisted in the carving, he too would get a share; but he had no right to demand a part, much less the whole body, for himself, as some writers assert. When a chief approached a carcass the slayer, if he chose, could tell him to sit down. Then the slayer, after cutting up the body, might give a piece to the chief, saying, "Take that and carry it on your back." Then the chief would thank the donor. If the chief could not tell in public of the kindness of his benefactor, the slayer would not give him a piece of the meat. When a man killed a buffalo, elk, deer, beaver, or otter, he might carry it to a chief, and say, "Wi'dahaⁿ, I give it to you."

148. The women never aided in the carving. Sometimes, when a man had no boy to take care of his extra horse, he let his wife ride it, and allowed her to take out the entrails, etc., after he had slit the belly. But if the slayer offered any objection the woman could not do that. As a rule the men took out "gaqec̷a tĕ," or all the intestines, including the paunch, ʇe-cibe, etc., and put them aside for the women to uncoil and straighten.

149. Kinds of buffaloes eaten.—During the winter hunt young buffalo bulls were eaten, as they were fat, but the full-grown bulls were never eaten, as their flesh was too hard. So in summer the young bulls were not eaten for the same reason. Buffalo cows were always in


  
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good condition for eating, and so were the "ʇe-miⁿquga" or hermaphrodite buffaloes. The latter had very long horns.

While the Ponkas and Dakotas, when pressed by hunger, might eat the kidneys raw, the Omahas always boiled them before eating.

150. Disposition of the various parts of the buffalo.—With the exceptions of the feet and head, all the edible parts of the animal were carried to the camp and preserved. The brains (wc̷iqc̷i) were taken from the skull for the purpose of dressing (c̷iqc̷) the skin or converting it into leather. These skins, which were obtained during this season, were called "ʇa'ha," and were used in the construction of the skin lodges, as well as for their individual clothing during the warm weather. When but few animals were killed even the feet were taken to the camp, and when they were boiled till they came apart they were eaten.

According to Dougherty "three women sufficed for carrying all the pieces of a buffalo, except the skin, to the camp if it was at any moderate distance, and it was their duty to prepare the meat, etc., for keeping." But Frank La Flèche says that the women seldom went out to bring in the packs of meat. Men and boys usually carried them. A woman who had any male kindred used to ask some of the younger ones to take her husband's horses and go for the meat.

All the meat could be cut into thin slices, placed on low scaffolds, and dried in the sun or over a slow fire. Some, who did not know how to cut good slices, used to cut the ʇe-mañge into strips about two inches wide, called "wsnege." But those who knew how would cut them in three, long slices (wga) for drying. "The bones of the thighs, to which a small quantity of meat was left adhering, were placed before the fire till the meat was sufficiently roasted, when they were broken. The meat and the marrow were considered a most delicious repast. These, with the tongue and hump, were considered the best parts of the animals. The meat, in its dried state, was closely compressed into quadrangular packages, each of the proper size to attach conveniently to one side of the pack-saddle of a horse. The dried intestines were inter-woven together into the form of mats and tied up in packages of similar form and size." Then the women put these supplies in caches, and the tribe continued onward in the pursuit of other herds. (For a fuller account of the uses of the different parts of the buffalo meat see Chapter VIII, 164.)

151. Ceremonies of thanksgiving prior to the return home. Anointing the sacred pole.—It will be noticed that on the way to the hunt, and until the time for the greasing or anointing of the sacred pole, the Wacabe tent is the more important one. But after that a change occurred. The keeper of the other sacred tent, in which is the sacred pole, became the master of ceremonies, and the keeper of the Wacabe tent acted as his assistant. When the people had killed a great many buffaloes they were willing to return to their home. But before they could start they must take part in a religious ceremony, of which a partial description


  
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follows. The keeper of the pole sent a crier to summon the chiefs, who assembled and decided to perform the sacred rites. For this purpose a "ʇa" was boiled at the sacred tents. About a hundred young men were collected there. They who had not yet distinguished themselves in battle went stripped to the waist, and sat in a circle around the tents. Here and there were some of the braves who wore robes, and some had on good shirts. They departed when they had eaten the food. As they followed the line of the tents several women went after them. Two of these women were they who carried the sacred tents, and with them were three or five others. As the braves proceeded they snatched from each "ʇi-c̷igije" or "ʇ-uc̷ipu" (high or low tent) a tent-pole or else a forked stick (sagc̷e) such as were used for hanging the kettles. No one offered any resistance, as they knew the purpose for which the sticks were taken. These tent-poles and isagc̷e were handed to the women, who carried them to the keepers of the sacred tents. When they arrived there they used the sticks for making a long tent; and they placed the sacred pole directly in front of the tent, as in the figure. Then the crier (Tcahĭc) stood at the long tent and proclaimed as follows, by command of the keeper of the sacred pole, calling on each small child by name: "O grandchild, wherever you are standing, even though you bring but one thing, you will put it yonder on the ground for me at a short distance." Over two hundred children of parents that were prosperous were thus invited to make presents to the sacred tents. No children of poor people were expected to make any presents, but young men, boys, girls, and even infants, were expected to bring "ʇa" or their equivalents, if they could afford them. Then came the young men whom the crier had named when they first saw the buffaloes. (See 140.) Each one brought a "ʇe-ju" or side of a buffalo. Sometimes they brought back as many as thirty, forty, or fifty. Then came the fathers with their children who had been called by name, each person bringing four presents in the name of his child. These consisted, in modern times, of a "ʇa," a gun, a fine robe, and a kettle. Each piece of "ʇa" used at this ceremony was about a yard long and half a yard wide. When a gun could not be had, "nikide," which were very precious, being used for necklaces, were offered instead. Sometimes a horse was the fourth gift. The wahehaji took "ʇa," and also horses or goods, as their offerings. The keeper of the pole, who could not eat the "ʇa," then called on the keeper of the Wacabe tent to act for him; and the latter then proceeded to arrange the pieces of the "ʇa" before the pole. Selecting the two pieces that were the fattest, he placed them before the pole, as the "nudan'hañga" or lords. Then he arranged the others in a row with the two, parallel with the long tent. When but few buffaloes had been killed, there was only one row of the "ʇa" before the pole; but when there had been a very successful hunt, the pieces were spread in one and a half, two, or even two and a half rows, each full row being the length of the long tent. Then the keeper of the pole seat a man of his gens to


  
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the Iñke-sabĕ gens for the two sacred pipes. These were taken by the Hañga man to the long tent for future use. In the mean time, the principal pieces of the ʇa were cut by the keeper of the Wacabe tent in pieces as wide as one hand, and as long as from the elbow to the tips of the fingers (fully eighteen inches). These pieces of fat were mixed with red clay, and then the compound was rubbed over the sacred pole. Some say that throughout this ceremony sacred songs were sung: "Aⁿ'-ba ic̷ugc̷ĕqti waaⁿ' gc̷iⁿi," They sat singing throughout the day. (See 143 for what Frank La Flèche says on this point.) When the anointing was completed the remaining ʇa were collected, and divided among the Hañga people who could not eat the tongues. Sometimes the chiefs received one apiece; and the keeper of the pole asked for one, two, three, and sometimes four, which he gave to the kindred of his wife, as he could not eat that part of the buffalo.

Fig. 25.—Showing positions of the long tent, the pole, and rows of "ʇa" within the tribal circle.

Legend.—1, The tent; 2, The pole; 3, The rows of ʇa.

According to some, the keeper of one of the Hañga sacred tents prayed over the sacred object which was tied upon the pole, extending the palms of his hands towards it. Then every one had to be silent and keep at a certain distance from the long tent. Inside that tent were seated twelve men in a row. (The writer suspects that ten chiefs, one from each gens, and the two keepers of the Hailga sacred tents were the occupants of the long tent. See below.) When the presents were made to the sacred pole, young girls led horses and brought blankets to the two sacred men, and were allowed to touch the sacred pole. The wife of a former trader at the Omaha Agency, when very sick, was taken in a wagon to witness the praying before the sacred pole, in hope that it might cause her recovery.

152. The sham fight.—After the pole was anointed, the chiefs spoke of pretending to engage with enemies. So a member of the ʞaⁿze gens (in modern times Mitcqpe-jiñga or Majaⁿ'ha-c̷iⁿ held this office) was ordered by the keeper of the pole to summon the stout-hearted young men to engage in the combat. Mitcaqpe-jiñga used to go to each brave man and tell him quietly to come to take part in the fight. According to some he proclaimed thus: "Ye young men, decorate yourselves and come to play. Come and show yourselves." Then the young men assembled. Some put on head-dresses of eagles' feathers, others wore ornaments of crow feathers (and skins of coyotes) in their belts. Some


  
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decorated their horses. Some were armed with guns; others with bows and arrows. The former loaded their weapons with powder alone; the latter pulled their bow-strings, as if against foes, but did not shoot the arrows.

The flaps of the skins in front of the long tent were raised from the ground and kept up by means of the isagc̷e or forked sticks. Within the long tent were seated the chiefs (ten of them ?—see above) and the two keepers of the sacred tents. The chiefs had made four grass figures in the shape of men, which they set up in front of the long tent.

After the young men assembled they rode out of the circle and went back towards a hill. Then they used to send some one on foot to give the alarm. This man ran very swiftly, waving his blanket, and saying, "We are attacked!" All at once the horsemen appeared and came to the tribal circle, around which they rode once. When they reached the Wejiⁿcte and Ictasanda tents they dispersed, each one going wherever he pleased. Then the occupants of the long tent took the places of the horsemen, being thenceforth regarded as Dakotas. As soon as the horsemen dispersed the pursuers of the fee started out from all parts of the tribal circle, hastening towards the front of the long tent to attack the supposed Dakotas. These pursuers evidently included many of the horsemen. They shot first at the grass figures, taking close aim at them, and knocking them down each time that they fired. Having shot four times at them, they dismounted and pretended to be cutting up the bodies. This also was done four times. Next the pursuers passed between the grass figures and the place where the had been, in order to attack the occupants of the long tent. Four times did they fire at one another, and then the shooting ceased. Then followed the smoking of the two sacred pipes as tokens of peace. These were filled by a member of the Hañga gens and lighted by some one else. (See Sacred Pipes, 17.) They were carried first to the chiefs in the long tent, and then over to the young men representing the pursuers. Here and there were those who smoked them. The pipes were taken around four times. Then they were consigned by the keeper of the pole to one of the men of his sub-gens, who took them back to their own tent. When he departed he wrapped around them one of the offerings made by the brave men to the sacred pole. He returned the bundle to the keeper of the pipes without saying a word.

The writer has not been able to learn whether the ʇe-saⁿ-ha was ever exposed to public gaze during this ceremony or at any other tine. Frank La Flèche does not know.

After the anointing of the pole (and the conclusion of the sham fight) its keeper took it back to its tent. This was probably at or after the time that the sacred pipes were returned to the Iñke-sabĕ tent.

The tent skins used for the covering of the long tent consisted of those belonging to the two sacred tents of the Hañga, and of as many others as were required.




  
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153. The Hede-watci.—Sometimes the ceremonies ended with the sham fight, in which event the people started homeward, especially when they were in a great hurry. But when time allowed the sham fight was followed by a dance, called the Hde-watci'. When it occurred it was not under the control of the keepers of the two sacred tents, but of the Iñke-sabe keeper of the two sacred pipes.

On the evening of the day when the sham fight took place, the chiefs, generally assembled, and consulted together about having the dance. But the proposition came from the keeper of the pipes. Then the chiefs said, "It is good to dance." The dance was appointed for the following day. On the morrow five, six, or seven of the Iñke-sabĕ men, accompanied by one of their women, went in search of a suitable tree. According to La Flèche and Two Crows, when the tree was found, the woman felled it with her ax, and the men carried it on their shoulders back to the camp, marching in Indian file. Frank La Flèche says that the tree was cut during the evening previous to the dance; and early the next morning, all the young men of the tribe ran a race to see who could reach the tree first. (With this compare the tradition of the race for the sacred pole, 36, and the race for the tree, which is to be used for the sun-dance, as practiced among the Dakotas). He also says that when the sham fight ended early in the afternoon, the Hede-watci could follow the same day. (In that event, the tree had to be found and cut on the preceding day, and the race for it was held early in the morning before the anointing of the sacred pole.) In the race for the tree, the first young man who reached it and touched it, could carry the larger end on his shoulder; the next one who reached it walked behind the first as they bore the tree on their shoulders; and so on with the others, as many as were needed to carry the tree, the last one of whom had to touch the extreme end with the tips of his fingers. The rest of the young men walked in single file after those who bore the tree. Frank La Flèche never heard of the practice of any sacred rites previous to the felling of the tree. Nothing was prepared for the tree to fall on, nor did they cause the tree to fall in any particular direction, as was the case when the Dakotas procured the tree for the sun-dance.14

In the sun-dance, the man who dug the "ujʇi" in the middle of the tribal circle for the sun-pole had to be a brave man, and he was obliged to pay for the privilege. Frank La Flèche could not tell whether there were similar requirements in the case of him who dug the ujeʇi for the pole in the Hede-watci; nor could he tell whether the man was always chosen from the Iñke-sabĕ gens.

When the men who bore the tree reached the camp they planted it

14None of the questions answered by Frank La Flèche were asked by the writer while Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows were in Washington; it was not till he heard Miss Fletcher's article on the Dakota sun-dance that it occurred to him that similar customs might have been practiced by the Omahas in this Hede-watci.
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in the ujeʇi,15 or hole in the ground, which had been dug in the center of the tribal circle. After the planting of the tree, from which the topmost branches had not been cut, an old man of the gems was sent around the tribal circle as crier. According to Big Elk, he said, "You are to dance! You are to keep yourselves awake by using your feet!" This implied that the dance was held at night; but Frank La Flèche says that none of the regular dancing of the Hede-watci occurred at night, though there might be other dancing then, as a sort of preparation for the Hede-watci. In like manner, Miss Fletcher told of numerous songs and dances, not part of the sun-dance, which preceded that ceremony among the Dakotas.

The Iñke-sabĕ men cut some sticks in the neighborhood of their tents and sent them around the camp, one being given to the chief of each gens. Then the latter said to his kinsmen, "They have come to give us the stick because they wish us to take part in the dance." Then all the people assembled for the dance. In modern times, those who thought much of themselves (chiefs and others) did not go to witness this dance, but staid at home, as did Joseph La Flèche. Nearly all the young men and boys wore nothing but their breechcloths, and their bodies were smeared over with white clay. Here and there were young men who wore gay clothing. The women and girls wore good dresses, and painted the partings of their hair and large round spots on their cheeks with red paint. Near the pole were the elder men of the Iñke-sabĕ gens, wearing robes with the hair outside; some of them acted as singers and others beat the drums and rattles; they never used more than one or two drums and four gourd rattles. It is not certain which Iñke-sabĕ men acted as singers, and which ones beat the drums and rattles. When Frank La Flèche witnessed this dance he says that the singers and other musicians sat on the west side of the pole and outside the circle of the dancers; but Joseph La Flèche, Two Crows, and Big Elk agreed in saying that their place was within the circle of the dancers and near the pole. This was probably the ancient rule, from which deviations have been made in recent times. The two sacred pipes occupied important places in this dance; each one was carried on the arm of a young man of the gens, but it was not filled.16 These two young men were the leaders of the dance, and from this circumstance originated the ancient proper name, aⁿc̷iⁿ-naⁿba, Two Running. According to Frank La Flèche, these two young men began the dance on the west side of the pole, standing between the pole and the singers. The songs of this dance

15 This word "ujeʇi" appears to be the Dakota "otceti," fire place, expressed in Omaha notation. As the household fire-place is in the center of the lodge, so the tribal fire-place was in the center of the tribal circle.
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16 Frank Fa Flèche said that the two pipes used in the Hede-watci were the weawan, from which the ducks' heads were removed, and instead of them were put on the red pipe bowls of the sacred pipes. (See 30.)
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were sacred, and so they are never sung except during this ceremony. Of the members of the tribe, those on foot danced around the pole, while those who wished to make presents were mounted and rode round and round the circle of the dancers. The men and boys danced in a peculiar course, going from west to south, thence east and north, but the women and girls followed the course of the sun, dancing from the east to the south, thence by the west to the north. The male dancers were nearer the pole, while the females danced in an outer circle. When a horseman wished to make a present he went to one of the bearers of the sacred pipes, and, having taken the pipe by the stem, he held it toward the man to whom he desired to give his horse. The man thus favored, took the end of the stem into his mouth without touching it with his hand and pretended to be smoking, while the other man held the pipe for him ("uic̷aⁿ"). The recipient of the gift then expressed his thanks by extending his hands, with the palms towards the donor, saying, "Hau, kageha!" Thanks, my friend! Each male dancer carried a stick of hard willow trimmed at the bottom, but having the branches left at the top (in imitation of the cottonwood pole). Each stick was about five feet high, and was used as a staff or support by the dancers. After all had danced four times around the circle, all the males threw their sticks toward the pole; the young men threw theirs forcibly in sport, and covered the heads of the singers and musicians, who tried to avoid the missiles; This ended the ceremony, when all the people went to their respective tents. Those who received the horses went through the camp, yelling the praises of the donors.

154. Division of the tribe into two hunting parties during the summer hunt.—Sometimes the tribe divided, each party taking in a different route in search of the buffalo. In such cases each party made its camping circle, but without pitching the tents according to the gentes; all consanguinities and affinities tried to get together. Those who belonged to the party that did not have the two sacred Hañga tents could not perform any of the ceremonies which have been described in 143 and 151. All that they could do was to prepare the hides and meat for future use. They had nothing to do with the anointing of the sacred pole, sham fight, and Hede-watci, which ceremonies could not be performed twice during the year.

155. When the two parties came together again, if any person in either party had been killed, some one would throw himself on the ground as soon as they got in sight, as a token to the others of what had occurred.

156. Two tribes hunting together.—Occasionally two tribes hunted together, as was often the case with the Omahas and Ponkas. Frank La Flèche says that when this was done some of the Ponkas joined the Omahas in the sham fight; but he does not know whether the Ponkas have similar ceremonies. They have no sacred pole, ʇe-saⁿ-ha, nor sacred


  
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tents, though they claim a share in the sacred pole of the Omahas, and they have sacred pipes.

157. Hunting party attacked by foes.—When a hunting party was suddenly attacked by an enemy the women used to dig pits with their knives or hoes, and stoop down in them in company with the children, to avoid the missiles of the combatants. If the tribe was encamped at the time, the pits were dug inside the tribal circle. Sometimes the children were placed in such pits and covered with skins, over which a quantity of loose earth was quickly thrown; and they remained concealed till it was safe for them to come forth. On one occasion, when the Dakotas had attacked the camp, an Omaha woman had not time to cover the children with a skin and earth, so she threw herself over them and pretended to be dead. The Dakotas on coming up thought that she was dead, so they contented themselves with scalping her, to which she submitted without a cry, and thus saved herself as well as the children.

When there was danger of such attacks the people continued their journey throughout the night. So the members of the different house-holds were constantly getting separated. Mothers were calling out in the darkness for their little ones, and the young men replied in sport, "Here am I, mother," imitating the voices of the children.

158. Return of the tribe from the summer hunt.—The people started homeward immediately after the sham fight and the Hede-watci. But there were always four runners who were sent about five or six days in advance of the main body. These runners were always volunteers. They traveled all the time, each one carrying his own food. Not one waited for the others. They never pitched a tent, but simply lay down and slept. Whenever one waked, even though it was still night, he started again, without disturbing the others if they were asleep. They always brought pieces of meat to those who had remained at home. Their approach was the signal for the cry, "Ikimaⁿ'c̷iⁿ agc̷i, hŭn+!"—The messengers have come back, halloo! In the course of a few days all of the people reached home; but there were no religious ceremonies that ensued. They always brought tongues to those who had staid at home.

159. Abae, or hunting the larger animals.—No religious ceremonies were observed when a man went from home for a few days in order to procure game. The principal animals hunted by the Omahas and Ponkas were the elk, deer, black bear, grizzly bear, and rabbit.

When a deer was killed it was generally divided into four parts. Two parts were called the "ʇe-c̷ʇiⁿ" or ribs, with which were given the fore legs and the "ʇe-naⁿ'qa" or hump. Two parts were the "ʇe-jga" or thighs, i. e., the hind quarters. When the party consisted of five men the ʇe-naⁿqa was made the share of the fifth; and when there were more persons present the fore legs were cut off as shares. When an elk was killed it was generally divided into five parts. The "ʇe-ju" or fore quarters were two parts, with which went the fore legs. The


  
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ʇe-jega or hind quarters made two more parts, with one of which went the paunch, and with the other the entrails. The ʇe-naⁿqa was the fifth part; and when the elk was large a sixth share was formed by cutting off the "ʇe-mañge" or chest.

Frank La Flèche does not know how the black bears used to be divided, as there have been none found on the Omaha reservation for the past fourteen years.

160. If one shoots a wild turkey or goose (miⁿxa), another person standing near may run up and take the bird if he can get there first, without saying anything. The slayer cannot say, "Give it to me." He thinks that he can get the next one which he kills. The same rule applies to a raccoon. But when one catches a beaver in a trap he does not give it away.

161. Trapping.—Since the coming of the white men the Omahas have been making small houses or traps of sticks about a yard long, for catching the miʞasi (prairie wolves), big wolves, gray foxes, and even the wild cat.


FISHING CUSTOMS.


162. Before the advent of the white man the Omahas used to fish in two ways. Sometimes they made wooden darts by sharpening long sticks at one end. and with these they speared the fish. When the fish appeared on the surface of the water they used to shoot them with a certain kind of arrows, which they also used for killing deer and small game. They spoke of the arrows as "nsize gxe," because of the way in which they were prepared. No arrowheads were used. They cut the ends of the shafts to points; then about four inches of the end of each arrow next the point was held close to a fire, and it was turned round and round till it was hardened by the heat.

Since the coming of the whites, the Omahas have learned to make fishing-lines of twisted horse-hair, and these last a long time. They do not use sinkers and floats, and they never resort to poison for securing the fish. Both Ponkas and Omahas have been accustomed to fish as follows in the Missouri River: A man would fasten some bait to a hook at the end of a line, which he threw out into the stream, after securing the other end to a stake next the shore; but he took care to conceal the place by not allowing the top of the stick to appear above the surface of the water. Early the next morning he would go to examine his line, and if he went soon enough he was apt to find he had caught a fish. But others were on the watch, and very often they would go along the bank of the river and feel under the water for the hidden sticks, from which they would remove the fish before the arrival of the owner of the lines.




  
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H-bigide, weirs or traps for catching fish.—La Flèche and Two Crows do not think that this was an ancient practice. Children now catch fish in this manner. They take a number of young willows of the species called "c̷xe-sagi," or hard willow, and having bent them down, they interlace them beneath the surface of the water. When the fish attempt to force their way through they are often caught in the interstices, which serve as meshes. But if the fish are large and swim on the surface they can leap over and escape.

The Omahas eat the following varieties of fishes: ʇzĕ, or Missouri catfish; hu--buʇa, "round-mouthed-fish," or buffalo-fish; hu-hiⁿ'pa, or sturgeon; h-da-snde, "long-nosed fish," or gar; and the hu-gc̷je, or "spotted fish." The last abounds in lakes, and is generally from 2 1/2 to 3 feet long. It has a long nose.


CULTIVATION OF THE GROUND.


163. This is regulated by the Hañga gens, as corn and the buffalo meat are both of great importance, and they are celebrated in the sacred songs of the Hañga when the feast is made after the offering of the buffalo hearts and tongues. ( 143.)

Corn is regarded as a "mother" and the buffalo as a "grandfather." In the Osage tradition corn was bestowed on the people by four buffalo bulls. (See Calumet dance, 123, and several myths, in Part I, Contributions to N. A. Ethnology, Vol. VI.)

At harvest one of the keepers of the Hañga sacred tents (Frank La Flèche thinks it is the Wacabe or e-saⁿ-ha keeper) selects a number of ears of red corn, which he lays by for the next planting season. All the ears must be perfect ones. (See Calumet dance, 123.)

In the spring, when the grass comes up, there is a council or tribal assembly held, to which a feast is given by the head of the Hañga gens. After they decide that planting time has come, and at the command of the Hañga man, a crier is sent through the village. He wears a robe with the hair outside, and cries as he goes, "Wac̷a'e te, ai ac̷ u+!"—They do indeed say that you will dig the ground! Halloo! He carries the sacred corn, which has been shelled, and to each household he gives two or three grains, which are mixed with the ordinary seed-corn of that household. After this it is lawful for the people to plant their corn. Some of the Iñke-sabĕ people cannot eat red corn. This may have some connection with the consecration of the seed-corn.