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Many Indian tribes believed it possible for one person to affect another through the power of the will. This belief gave rise to peculiar customs and to a class of songs called, in the Omaha tongue, We'-ton, composed and sung by women for the sole purpose of exerting this power for the benefit of absent warriors.
Unless the village was attacked, women did not take active part in war. When the men went forth on a long journey to meet the enemy, the women remained at home, attending to domestic duties. Their thoughts, however, were with the absent ones; and, under the incentive of the belief in will power, they would gather in groups at the lodge of the Leader of the war party, and in the hearing of his family would sing a We'-ton song, which should carry strength to the far-away warriors and help them to win the battle.
The words of these songs do not reveal the pur­pose for which they were sung, it being one of the peculiarities of the Indian never to expatiate upon that which to him is apparent. The gathering of the women at the lodge of the Leader of the war
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III