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At dawn of the next day the people were astir, preparing the morning meal, and for the ceremony of the day. As the sun appeared over the horizon, the Conductor faced it and chanted an invocation to Wi, invoking that God to speak for the people to Taku Wakan, the Gods of the weather. While he was doing so the people remained in a reverential attitude. Immediately after his invocation, women erected a large tipi to be used as the ceremonial lodge with its door toward the entrance of the camp circle, that is, toward the east. Near the south side of the area, with its door toward the south, they erected a smaller tipi to be used as the preparation tipi. On the previous day, the Conductor had appointed an akicita, or marshal, of the camp, and he now appeared, with three black stripes painted perpendicularly on his right cheek as the insignum of his office.

Soon after the Conductor returned to his tipi he began chanting and drumming in a low tone and continued so for some time. Then the people began to appear in gala attire, painted and decorated according to their fancies, and wearing such insignia as they were entitled to have: the Hunkayapi, with the red stripes on their foreheads; the buffalo women with their hair partings marked in red. When the Conductor came from his tipi his hands and body were painted red and his face was striped in red; red zigzag lines decorated his arms. These decorations were all symbolical, as explained in the section on the Sun dance (p. 82). His regalia as the Conductor consisted of a headdress or cap made of tanned skin, to which a small buffalo horn was attached at each side so as to stand out from the head as the horns do on a buffalo. The cap was further adorned with hawk quills and strips of white weaselskin. In his right hand he held the ceremonial pipe and in his left a hawkskin. The latter was his wasicun, or

p. 128

ceremonial pouch. As he came forth, he chanted a song, the substance of which was that he was wise and powerful and could communicate with the Gods. He ordered the Assistant and the Recorder to prepare the ceremonial lodge. This they did by smoothing and levelling the catku and preparing an altar between it and the fireplace. They placed a stone beside the altar and a buffalo skull on it. Then they erected the scaffold at the south side of the altar. The father of the younger man brought meat, both fat and lean, and hung it on the scaffold. A drum was placed inside at the left by the door of the lodge.

When this was done the Conductor inspected the lodge and then brought from his tipi the wands, rattles, and counting rod, and gave them to those chosen to take charge of them, the Assistant having the fire carrier and the Recorder the counting rod. The Conductor then began chanting and marching around the area inside the camp circle, a procession forming and following him in this order: first, those who were to participate in the ceremony, then the Hunkayapi, and finally, the people. The procession marched four times around, some of the people soberly, and others jovially talking and laughing.

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