Each year, usually during the fall months, a great feast was held in the Valley in which all of the neighboring
tribes took part. When the time for this feast approached a runner was sent out to the other tribes bearing an invitation to participate. This runner carried with him a bundle of small willow sticks corresponding in number to the suns that must set before the day of the feast. If his journey took more than a day one of these sticks was discarded. Elaborate preparations were made for the entertainment of the visitors, and for days before their arrival the squaws were kept busy gathering and preparing food. The braves also contributed their part to the preparations by indulging in a big hunt to supply meat for the occasion. A feature of these feasts was the presentation to the visiting tribes of gifts consisting of bead-work, blankets, baskets, and other articles. These gifts, or others of equal value, were always returned to the givers at the next annual feast, together with additional ones, which, in turn, must be returned the following year. In case of war between the tribes during the year intervening before the next feast these presents were kept as spoils. It was at these feasts that the braves of the other tribes wooed and often won the daughters of Ah-wah-nee. These feasts were also made the occasion of big dances and other ceremonies.