Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/190

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also blown high in the air, goes to the good spirit. The ashes they are very particular to throw to the fire, and this is ill luck to the bad spirit. The pipe (the Indian's idol and shrine) is to the Pawnee what the Bible is to the white man, and goes hand in hand with all the Principal dances."

The facts of this paragraph are gleaned from the interesting reports made by Miss Alice C. Fletcher upon her studies of various Indian tribes: At the Uncpapa festival of the white buffalo, a priest must be present to fill the pipe, a ceremony performed with a ritual of words, and it is believed that should the person saying it make a mistake, or omit a word, he would incur death from the sacrilege. Relating the details of this festival for publication, the narrators seated themselves toward the sunrise, lighted the pipe, bowed to the earth, and passed it, uttering a prayer. In the Elk mystery or festival of the Ogallala Sioux the pipe is introduced, together with little bunches of tobacco rolled in cloth. It figures also in the ghost-lodge ceremony of the same Indians. The pipe dance of the Omahas is an elaborate ceremony which can not here be adequately described. It is sometimes exchanged between different gentes of the same tribe, but generally between two tribes. The two "pipes" peculiar to this dance are not pipes at all, but only stems, the pipe-bowls being replaced by the heads of ducks. The stems are hollowed carefully, however, and smoking is sometimes simulated, in which cases the symbolism is as binding as when the fumes are present. The perforation of the stems is made quite large, to prevent clogging, which is regarded as a great calamity. Among the Pawnees, if a stoppage occurs in smoking a peace pipe, the bearer loses his life. Only a man who has proved himself valiant in battle, or wise in council, or who has given away horses, can make one of these pipes. The pipes are wrapped in the skin of a wild cat, and the bearing of this roll is a special office. This ceremony, which is accompanied by an elaborate ritual comprising a number of songs, handed down with their archaic words through many generations, was one of the means in ancient times by which possessions were accumulated and exchanged, and honors counted and received. It seems to symbolize fellowship or kinship. The same dance, with a few minor points of difference, is common to the Omaha, Ponca, Otoe, Pawnee, and Sioux tribes. In their journeys to and fro the dance parties are regarded as peacemakers by all who meet them, because of the presence of the pipes. Should a war party come in sight, the warriors would make a wide detour to avoid the group, even though it belonged to the tribe about to be attacked.

The investigations of the Rev. J. Owen Dorsey among the Omahas also reveal many survivals of ancient ceremonies which illustrate the sacred characteristics pertaining to the pipe. This