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INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES                 61
3 Now we all return them,
Bind them to the tree stem,
While we sing the glad word, Unity!
O Tree!
Strong our hearts in daylight, Strong our hearts in still night, Thus the He-de Wa-chi bids us be, O Tree!
This dance-song can be repeated as often as desired. When at last the leaders wish it to stop they must give the call, "Hi-o!" as they did for the pause in the Dance of Approach to the Tree.
When this signal is given, the members should toss their wands at the foot of the tree from the place where they had stopped dancing.
In the ancient Omaha ceremony the people had the vast expanse of the prairie at their disposal, yet each tribal group kept its appointed place, not only during the dance, wherein they made four approaches toward the sacred tree, but when all the groups formed into two great circles the tribal order of their relative positions was still preserved. The two circles were made up according to sex. The women and girls danced in one direction next to the pole; the men and boys formed the outer circle and danced in the opposite direction. This dance was the occasion of much hilarity and fun. Old and young danced with vigor, and great was the delight of the tribe as it spun around the emblematic tree, carry­ing branches. At the close of the dance all tossed the
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III