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16               INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES
the promise of abundant food, the workers joyfully turn toward the home fireside.
The words given for the first song are a brief para­phrase of the many stanzas of the original Ritual Song, which so touches the necessary acts of the planter as to lift them above a merely prosaic level.
Properties. — As this dance represents work, no scarfs or mantles are used. The garments should be plain and the arms free for the necessary dramatic motions in portraying the various acts connected with clearing, preparing and planting the ground. In ancient times the hoe used for this work was made from the shoulder blade of the elk, or a stick three or four feet long shaped at one end like a wedge. Similarly shaped sticks of wood should be used in this dance, one for each dancer. Pouches are required made of brown cloth, with broad bands or straps long enough to pass over the shoulder and chest and to let the pouches hang at the back. Both pouches and straps should be ornamented with geometric designs painted in red, yellow, blue or green; two or three of these colors should be combined in each design. The corn carried within the pouches can be represented by rounded chips, little stones or, when possible, by the corn kernels themselves.
The boys must wear head-bands, carry bows and have quivers hung at their backs. They must scatter around the border of the "field," move watchfully about, peer into the distance and act as if on the alert to detect or to meet any prowling enemy.
Directions. — A space should be set apart to represent the "field" where the dramatic action takes place. This
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III