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THE HE-DHU'-SHKA
the scene in vivid colours, — the blazing fire in the centre of the wide circle of muffled warriors, the solemn aspect of the Leader awaiting the prepara­tion of the elder wood, and his strange appearance after the painting of his face,— I pondered wonder-ingly as to what it all might signify. In my per­plexity I spoke from my hammock to one of the elder men in the group before me: —
u Grandfather, I wish you would explain to me the meaning of what I saw yesterday at the He-dhu'-shka Society. Tell me why the Leader put black on his face."
My friend was accustomed to my questionings, and all eyes were turned toward him as he replied:
"The Leader put the black cloud over his face, because the black cloud is worn by Thunder when it comes near to man. The song sung while this is being done tells that the Leader is making ready and impatiently awaits the commands of the ap­proaching god of war."...
This is the song which accompanied the prepara­tion and the putting on of the insignia of the thun­der god. The music is expressive of the tremulous movement of the leaves, of the flying of the birds, of the stir of all nature before the advancing storm,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III