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INDIAN STORY AND SONG
typifying the stirring of the heart of man when summoned to fight the enemies of his people.
At the close of the song and ceremony of blackening the Leader's face, I had seen the Leader take the pipe belonging to the society, fill it, and reverently lift the stem upward.
"When the Leader's face is painted," continued the old man, "he offers the pipe to Wa-ko#'-da (god). The words of the song then sung mean: Wa-kon'-da, we offer this pipe (the symbol of our unity as a society). Accept it (and us). All the members must join in singing this prayer, and afterward all must smoke the pipe."
"The He-dhu'-shka Society is very old," continued my friend. "It is said to have been in existence at the time when the Omahas and the Ponkas were together as one tribe. There is a song with a dance which must be given at every meeting, It is to keep alive the memory of a battle that took place while we were migrating westward, and where defeat would have meant our extermination as a tribe. I will tell you the story.*
"One morning the tribe, whose country had been invaded by the Ponkas, made an unexpected assault
* The translation given is by my collaborator, Mr. Francis La Flesche.