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120               INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES
Presenting the Child to the Cosmos
Among the Omaha a ceremony was observed shortly after the birth of a child that on broad lines reflects a general belief among the Indians.
In the introductory chapter of this book the Indian's feeling of unquestioning unity with nature is mentioned. The following Omaha ceremony and ritual furnish di­rect testimony to the profundity of this feeling. Its expression greets him at his birth and is iterated at every important experience throughout his life.
When an Omaha child is born the parents send to the clan that has charge of the rite of introducing the child to the Cosmos. The priest thus summoned comes to the tent wherein the infant lies and takes his stand just outside the door, facing the East. He raises his right hand, palm outward, to the sky, and in a clear ringing voice intones the following ritual:
Ho! Ye Sun, Moon, Stars, all ye that move in the heavens, I bid you hear me! Into your midst has come a new life; Consent ye, I implore! Make its path smooth, that it may reach the brow of the first hill!
Ho! Ye Winds, Clouds, Rain, Mist, all ye that move in the air, I bid you hear me! Into your midst has come a new life; Consent ye, I implore! Make its path smooth, that it may reach the brow of the second hill!
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III