The ceremonial chamber is also of distinctive character in the three culture areas. In the Central region it is a large, circular, dome-shaped structure, partly underground and with a covering of earth. It serves also as place of assembly and at least at times as sudatory, whence its popular name of sweat-house. In the Northwest the sweat-house is quite small, almost entirely underground, and its roof consists of boards without a covering of earth. It is constantly used for sweating and is the regular sleeping place of all adult males. It is not used for public ceremonies except in the case of the dance initiating shamans. In the South the ceremonial structure is not a house, but either a mere enclosure of brush, as among the Mission tribes, or a simple shade of brush on upright posts, as among the Mohave. This type of ceremonial structure is also found in the southern part of the Central region among the Yokuts.
In the matter of dancing apparel the Northwest differs fundamentally from all the remainder of the state. Some of the most important of the regalia, such as long obsidian knives and albino deerskins, are not worn on the body or used ritually but merely carried for display, being primarily objects of great value. Large forehead-bands entirely covered with brilliant red woodpecker feathers more nearly resemble ordinary dancing apparel, but are also articles of value, the unmounted woodpecker feathers virtually constituting one form of currency. Other objects used in dancing are dresses, cloaks, and head-bands of skin and fur, head-dresses of network, and carefully ornamented plumes and bead feathers. All these, while worn on the body, and decorative, also possess considerable commercial value. The drum is not used, the whistle employed at times, and the rattle, which consists of deer hoofs, but sparingly.
In the Central region objects made of feathers greatly predominate over all others, and are mostly made to be worn actually
on the body. Head-dresses are particularly conspicuous and of many forms. In the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and the adjacent region cloaks of large feathers attached to a network are worn. In the Tulare basin these are replaced by skirts consisting of strings of eagle-down. With these down-skirts are worn large upright head-dresses of crow and magpie feathers. This combination of costume was used also by the Mission Indians in Southern California and by the Washo of Nevada, and at least the head-dress is found as far north as the Sacramento valley. Network caps filled with down, and forehead bands of down, are frequent in various parts. Perhaps the most typical single object of ceremonial apparel is a flat band, usually worn on the forehead, and consisting of the trimmed red quills of the yellow-hammer sewed side by side. This head-band occurs through the whole of Central California and is used also by the tribes cast of the Sierra Nevada, in the state of Nevada, and south of Tehachapi pass in Southern California. The large foot drum of the Central region has already been mentioned. Whistles are also used and there are two forms of rattle, one consisting of silk cocoons containing gravel, the other of a split stick. The cocoon rattle is usually associated with the shaman, the clap-stick with dancing.
In the South, especially among the Mission Indians, the dancing apparel, as is evident from the instances already mentioned, is of much the same type as in the Central area. On the Colorado river feather ornaments of the same general character are used, though they are of a simpler type and head-dresses predominate. The whistle is but little used in the South, the drum occasionally, baskets and other objects being chiefly employed for this purpose. The rattle is the all-important musical instrument in this region. It is made most frequently from a gourd or a turtle-shell.