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INTRODUCTION
Nature was, in a sense, the manifestation of Wakon'da, consequently it was regarded as something more than the means by which physical life was sustained and be­came the religious and ethical instructor of man.
All food came from the earth; the wild fruits, the roots, the cultivated maize, these and the animals all derived their living power from Wakon'da and yielded their life to man that he might live and be strong. Therefore, the hunt was conducted with ceremonies in which the bounty of Wakon'da was formally recognized, and when food was eaten thanks were offered to this unseen power. The Indian lived in the open and watched with reverent attention the changing aspects of his environment. To him nothing was without significance, for all things were imbued with powers from Wakon'da and could convey lessons or admonitions to be heeded by the individual and by the people in their social life.
For example: the Indian noted the unfailing recur­rence of day and night and that upon the regularity with which one followed the other all creatures relied, while man depended upon this constancy to carry out any given purpose. From thoughts upon this natural phe­nomenon and its effects on the actions of men, ideas arose that led the Indian to the conception of truth, that some­thing, as between man and man, that can be depended on both in word and in deed. "Thus," the old men said, "Wakon'da taught us the necessity of truthfulness, if we would live peacefully together." Other natural aspects, as the storm, with its terrifying thunder and destructive lightning, and the passing of the clouds revealing the blue sky, when the birds renewed their song,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III