When the procession began, the younger man and his two friends entered the preparation tipi, pulling down and tying the flap. When the procession bad gone the fourth time around the circle, the Conductor said, "My friends, we have gone around the world. Yata has closed the door on Wakinyan. Iktomi has gone to the home of Iya. Tatanka is in the lodge." This speech was a metaphor meaning that by the formal march in every direction immunity from lightning was secured; Iktomi, the imp of mischief and disturber of ceremonies, was driven away; and the Buffalo, the patron God of Ceremonies, prevailed in the camp. The Conductor then went to the preparation tipi and said, "The enemy is in this tipi. Who will help me take him?" The older man who was to be made Hunka said, "I will."
The Conductor asked him, "Are you Hunka?" He replied, "I am Hunka." Then the Conductor cried in a loud voice, "Hunka must die for each other." He then said, "We will capture the enemy." He rushed to the door of the tipi, cut the strings that tied the flap, and he and the older man went in hurriedly. In a few moments, they came out leading the younger man by the arms, the Conductor singing the song of a returning warrior. They led the younger man toward the ceremonial lodge, singing as they went. The people followed them, some joining in the song. When they came to the lodge the Conductor said, "We will kill the enemy but if
anyone will take him for Hunka we will not kill him." The older man said, "I will take him for my Hunka. Take him into the lodge." The older man conducted the younger into the lodge and sat him between the altar and the fireplace, facing the altar.
As many as the lodge would accommodate then entered it and seated themselves in the following order: the Assistant at the right of the catku and the Recorder at the left of it; men Hunkayapi on the right side of the lodge and women Hunkayapi on the left; the drummer beside the drum and the bearers of the rattles in front of him. At the right of the Assistant, and in front of the women, were first, the bearer of the ear of corn and next at his right the bearers of the wands. The people who could not have seats inside sat in a circle before the door of the lodge, the men together on the north side and the women on the south. While the people were arranging themselves, the Conductor stood beside the door and sang:--
"The meadow lark my cousin.
A voice is in the air."
He repeated this song four times. Like all the ceremonial songs of the shamans, this is figurative. It is explained as follows: To the Lakota, the meadow lark is the symbol of fidelity, just as among English-speaking people the dove is the symbol of peace. By claiming relationship to the lark the Shaman claimed power to influence for fidelity. By saying, "A voice is in the air," he implied that the influence for fidelity pervaded the camp. Such vague and indefinite expressions were common among the Lakota and though they are difficult of interpretation, they were comprehended by them.