North America Indian Story & Song - online book

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tribes or to two distinct kinship groups within the tribe. The party bringing the "calumets" was called "the father," while those receiving them were "the children." These terms refer to the tie about to be formed between the two unrelated par­ties by means of this sacred ceremony. This tie was esteemed more honourable and binding than the natural bond of father and son.
The ceremony generally took place in a circular dwelling known as an "earth lodge." The occa­sion drew together a large concourse of people,— men, women, and children; and the gay costumes, the glinting of ornaments, the picturesque groups, and the happy, smiling faces of old and young made a scene full of colour and motion. Many times I have witnessed this ceremony and joined in its beautiful chorals, led by the bearers, who swayed the "calumets" to the rhythm of the song, wafting over the heads of the people the blessing of peace.
The following choral was sung immediately after the "calumets " had been ceremonially taken from their resting-place, with movements that simulated the eagle rising from its nest. The bearers then faced the people, seated on the ground against the wall of the lodge, and with slow rhythmic steps
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