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INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES
Dance I
Introductory Note.—This ceremonial dance touches upon the mystery of the giving of life that life may be maintained; an exchange that links together the different forms of life and enhances the joy of living.
Properties. — Thin green mantles; yellow plumes like the corn tassel; bone clips; as many of these articles as there are dancers.
Directions. — This dance belongs to both sexes and a number of each should take part, if that is possible. Should there be trees near the open space where the dance takes place, one-half of the dancers, closely wrapped in their green mantles, should be grouped at one side among the trees and the other half similarly placed at the other side. In the center of the space a single dancer stands facing the rear, wrapped about the head and body with the green mantle, leaving only the face exposed.
All being in readiness, the central figure turns slowly, lifts a draped arm and says slowly and impressively:
"Harken! The Corn speaks!"
The group of dancers on the right then sing softly the first line only of the Ritual Song in which the Corn speaks. The group of dancers on the left repeat the same line like an echo of the first group. Both groups of dancers now begin to move slowly and in rhythm with the following song toward the figure standing in the center of the space, singing, as they move, the Ritual Song from the beginning:
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III