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INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES                85
if excelsior is not available, dry leaves or some other dry material might be substituted, within which, or under which, the disks could be hidden. All the articles used in this game except the mats should be made in camp.
Directions. — An uneven number of players is required for this game. The mat is laid east and west; at a little distance back to the northwest the small mat is placed and on it are put the twenty tally-sticks. In a line with the small mats to the northeast is laid the board around which the four singers and drummers sit. The bundle of excelsior, or whatever material is used in its place, together with the nine disks, is put at the western end of the mat; before these is the place for the player who is to hide the disks. On the northern and southern side of the mat sit the players who are to guess where the "chief" is hidden, three or four on a side. The messenger stands at the eastern end of the mat facing the player who is to hide the disks. Lots should be drawn to determine who of the six or eight players are to sit on the northern side and who on the southern side. The player who is to do the hiding of the disks can be either selected or drawn by lot. Who­ever takes this part in the game should be capable of considerable dramatic action. Among the Indians the person who does the hiding of the disks personifies one who practices magic; he makes passes over the disks and the cedar fiber under which the disks are hidden, makes signs and movements, and does what he can to throw a spell of confusion over those who are to guess where the "chief" is hidden.
When the players about the mat, the singers about the
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III