Indian Games, Dances & Native Songs - online book

Native American Ceremonials, Sports, and Songs with Sheet Music, Lyrics & Commentary

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INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES
the bunches held by his opponent, seeking for an indi­cation to show which one contains the marked reed. When he is ready to guess he extends both arms toward the bunch he has fixed upon, as if to grasp it. At this action the holder of the reeds must open his hand and let the reeds of that bundle fall on the mat. The guesser then searches among the spilled reeds for the one that is marked; if he finds it, he holds it up so that all can see that his guess has been correct and the reed discovered. The two singers who stand behind him give the victory shout, go to his pile of counters, take one and place it at his right hand, then the reeds of the other bunch are thrown by the holder on the mat, so that all the game-reeds are lying in the center, as at the beginning of the game.
The player who made the successful guess now picks up the game-reeds and behind his back shuffles and divides them. When he is ready to bring forward his two hands holding the reeds, the two singers standing behind him begin the Game Song, while he waves the bunches, acting what is now his role, that of the reeds being blown about by the winds. The other player now becomes the guesser and must act as though he were searching among the blown reeds for the one he desires.
The player who "holds the reeds" is thought to have the advantage; that is why lots are drawn at the begin­ning to decide who shall have that part in the game. The player holding the reeds aims to make the guessing as difficult as possible by deftness in hiding the banded reed, so as to keep his advantage.
Every time a guess is made the reeds of the bunch
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