Page:Journal of American Folklore vol. 12.djvu/91
Hopi Basket Dances. 83
inclined forward, but the feet were not raised from the ground. After the basket bearers had sung their songs for a brief interval, the basket throwers approached the circle, led by the Lakone taka, who retired at that point.
The basket throwers were two in number, and at each presenta- tion during the day were personated by different women. Each woman wore two white ceremonial blankets, one wrapped about the shoulder, the other on the loins. The latter was tied about the hips with a knotted girdle. These women wore anklets, but no mocca- sins, ear pendants, and a profusion of necklaces, and their faces, arms, legs, feet, and hands were painted yellow, with black lines on their cheeks.
Each woman wore on her head a band, to one side of which was attached a curved split gourd representing a horn, and to the oppo- site radiating slats of wood symbolic of a flower. Three vertical semicircular extensions, symbols of rain-clouds, decorated with seed grasses and feathers, are also attached to this band, and there is a bunch of feathers in the hair. Each Lakone mana carried in her hands corncobs in which eagle feathers were inserted, and on her back a bundle, done up in a piece of calico, containing the objects she later threw to the spectators. These two women entered the plaza after the basket bearers had begun their songs and posturing, and were led by the Lakone man. His arms, legs, and body were painted yellow, and he wore a white ceremonial kilt with knotted sash. He was profusely decked out with necklaces and other orna- ments, and carried in one hand a flat basket containing yellow pollen, with which he drew symbols of rain-clouds on the ground. Upon these symbols the women threw their corncobs with attached feathers, and the man picked up these objects and laid them in a row upon the meal figures which he had made, after which, as the women advanced, he handed these objects to them. This was repeated several times until the Lakone manas entered the circle of basket holders. The priest then left them, and they untied their bundles and took positions at opposite points of the space inclosed by the basket bearers. Each one then held a basket high in the air and crossed to the other side, exchanging positions with the woman opposite. This was repeated a few times, and finally the basket throwers hurled their baskets high in the air, so that they fell in the crowd of young men, who struggled for possession. This was repeated several times, and then the women filed off to their kivas. The struggle of the men for the baskets continued long after the women had withdrawn.