Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dance Directions and Music to Perform the Sioux Indian Corn Dance


THE LIFE OF THE CORN DRAMA IN FIVE DANCES






INTRODUCTION.—These Dances in their purport and music are taken from the sacred rituals of the Omaha, the Osage and the Pawnee tribes. The richness and beauty of symbolism in the original language suffer a loss of native naïveté in their English interpretation.



The American food plant known by the general term "Corn" was developed ages ago from certain native grasses. The Euchlaena luxurians found in Guatemala is probably an ancestor of the maize. The word "maize" belongs to the language of a people living by the Caribbean Sea and never was a universal term for corn among the Indians of our country. The tribes to which maize was known gave it a name derived from their own languages. So very many centuries have passed since corn was a grass that there is no way now of finding out when in the remote past the natives of this continent began the task of developing from a grass a staple article of food like the corn. The process required years of careful observation, manipulation and culture. Not only did the Indians accomplish this task but they took the plant from its tropical surroundings and acclimated it throughout the region east of the Rocky Mountains up to the country of short summers in the North; Cartier, in 1534, found it growing where the city of Montreal now stands.

From this hasty glance at the long history of the maize we can discern the natural sequence of its close relation to the thought and to the life of the Indian, and to a degree understand the love and the reverence with which the corn was held and regarded as a gift from God. Every stage of its growth was ceremonially observed and mentioned in rituals and songs.
Among the Omaha tribe when the time came for planting, four kernels from a red ear of corn were given to each family by the keeper of this sacred rite. These four red kernels were mixed with the ordinary seed corn, that it might be vivified by them and made to yield an ample harvest. Red is the symbolic color of life. In this ceremony is preserved a trace of the far-away time when all the precious seed corn was in the care of priestly keepers. The ceremony of giving out the four red kernels served to turn the thoughts of the people from a dependence solely on their own labor in cultivating corn to the life-giving power of Wakon'da dwelling within the maize.

In the Omaha Ritual Song of twenty-six stanzas which preceded the distribution of the four red kernels, the Corn speaks. It tells of its roots reaching in the four directions (where dwell the messengers that bring life), of the growth of its jointed stalk, of the unfolding of its leaves, of the changing color of the silk and of the tassel, of the ripening of the fruit, of the bidding of the people to come, to pluck and to eat.
The music of this Ritual Song is simple. It is here given with a very brief paraphrase of the words of the Ritual Song.

DANCE I

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.—This ceremonial dance touches upon the mystery of the giving of life that life may be maintained; an exchange that links together the different forms of life and enhances the joy of living.
Properties.—Thin green mantles; yellow plumes like the corn tassel; bone clips; as many of these articles as there are dancers.
Directions.—This dance belongs to both sexes and a number of each should take part, if that is possible. Should there be trees near the open space where the dance takes place, one-half of the dancers, closely wrapped in their green mantles, should be grouped at one side among the trees and the other half similarly placed at the other side. In the center of the space a single dancer stands facing the rear, wrapped about the head and body with the green mantle, leaving only the face exposed.
All being in readiness, the central figure turns slowly, lifts a draped arm and says slowly and impressively:
"Harken! The Corn speaks!"
The group of dancers on the right then sing softly the first line only of the Ritual Song in which the Corn speaks. The group of dancers on the left repeat the same line like an echo of the first group. Both groups of dancers now begin to move slowly and in rhythm with the following song toward the figure standing in the center of the space, singing, as they move, the Ritual Song from the beginning:

Ritual Song No. 1



  Fourfold deep lie my roots within the land;
  Clad in green, bearing fruit, Lo! here I stand!
  Pluck and eat, life for life, behold, I give!
  Shout with joy, dance and sing with all that liveAt the words "Lo! here I stand!" the company of dancers should all be standing in a semi-circle. As the words in the third line, "Behold, I give!" are sung, the draped arms should be slightly extended forward as in a presentation. The fourth line requires some dramatic action, but it should be restrained rather than free. The arms, still draped with the green mantles, should be raised a little as the words "Shout with joy" are sung, and during the singing of the remainder of the line swayed from side to side in rhythm with the song, always with a reserve in the movements, because of the mystery mentioned in the words of the song, that life is maintained by the giving of life. A pause of about two beats should follow this Ritual Song.

As "Ho-o! Ho-o!" the opening of the next song, is given, every dancer should suddenly turn half-way round, give a movement of the head such as would cause the mantle to fall back and leave the head with the corn tassel exposed; the ends of the mantle should be gathered in the hands so that the mantle can wave with the dance as the following song is sung:

Song No. 2



      Ho-o! Ho-o!
    Dance we singing,
    Promise bringing
  Of the wealth of summer fair;
    Hearts beat lightly,
    Skies shine brightly,
  Youth and Hope are ev'rywhere.



Refrain: Ho-o! Ho-o! Ho! Ho! Ho!
As each "Ho-o!" of the refrain is sung, the dancers should whirl like merry sprites, twine and untwine their green mantles about their forms until the song begins again. Then they should all skip off with springing, rhythmic steps in open Indian file, letting their mantles float and wave about them as they wind in and out over the camp ground carrying "Youth and Hope ev'rywhere." Every time the refrain is reached, the dancers should stop and whirl, then as the song begins again move off in line, dancing as before. When they are ready to stop (that can only be done during the singing and whirling of the refrain), each dancer should whirl from the line and keep up that movement, singing "Ho!" until his or her tent is reached.

DANCE II

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.—The rituals and ceremonies from which this dramatic dance with its accompanying songs are taken have been handed down through numberless generations. They deal with the perpetuation of the vocations of the people and also with the duties of the warrior, who must so protect the people that these vocations can be pursued in peace and safety. The portion of the ritual that relates to the planting of the maize is here given. It is practical in character. The ground is to be cleared of the débris of winter's storms and the dead leaves and twigs gathered into heaps and consumed by fire. When the brown earth is uncovered on the sunny slope it is to be mellowed and made into little hills with flattened tops to receive the kernels of the corn. The first seven of these hills must be ceremonially planted. Into the first hill one kernel of corn is dropped, two kernels are put into the second hill, three in the third, and so on to the seventh, in which are placed seven kernels. The product of these seven little hills must be kept separate, for it is to constitute the "first fruit offering" made to Wakon'da, through the priest, in recognition of the gift of corn as food. After the seven hills are completed, then the rest of the field is similarly prepared and planted. When the kernels are put in the loosened ground they are covered and stamped with the foot, so that each little hill beards the mark, the footprint, of the planter. The Ritual Song depicts the task of planting to its completion and compares the rows of little brown hills to lines of buffalo following one another down the slope. With this vision, suggesting the promise of abundant food, the workers joyfully turn toward the home fireside.

The words given for the first song are a brief paraphrase of the many stanzas of the original Ritual Song, which so touches the necessary acts of the planter as to lift them above a merely prosaic level.
Properties.—As this dance represents work, no scarfs or mantles are used. The garments should be plain and the arms free for the necessary dramatic motions in portraying the various acts connected with clearing, preparing and planting the ground. In ancient times the hoe used for this work was made from the shoulder blade of the elk, or a stick three or four feet long shaped at one end like a wedge. Similarly shaped sticks of wood should be used in this dance, one for each dancer. Pouches are required made of brown cloth, with broad bands or straps long enough to pass over the shoulder and chest and to let the pouches hang at the back. Both pouches and straps should be ornamented with geometric designs painted in red, yellow, blue or green; two or three of these colors should be combined in each design. The corn carried within the pouches can be represented by rounded chips, little stones or, when possible, by the corn kernels themselves.
The boys must wear head-bands, carry bows and have quivers hung at their backs. They must scatter around the border of the "field," move watchfully about, peer into the distance and act as if on the alert to detect or to meet any prowling enemy.

Directions.—A space should be set apart to represent the "field" where the dramatic action takes place. This dance requires considerable dramatic pantomime. The words in the two lines of each stanza of the song serve as a prelude to the action which follows. Sometimes the action may be confined to the refrain, but generally there must be acting throughout the singing both of the words and the refrain. Much in this dance must be left to the imagination and skill of the group of dancers, who should rehearse together and decide how best to make a clear, strong picture. The native music here given belongs to the act of preparing the ground and planting the kernels of corn. Attention is called to the second, fourth, sixth and eighth measures of the song. The three-quarter notes and the eighth and rest should be accented by movements of the hoe, the foot or both. The rhythm of the first measure is a little different from that of the third, fifth and seventh, caused by the third note being a quarter note, denoting a definite act or pause; the remaining four notes of the first measure are flowing, as well as all the notes of the third, fifth and seventh measures. By observing these little points in the music the drama will be given variety and made more picturesque and effective.
At the beginning of the song the dancers should be at a little distance from the space set apart to represent the "field," so that they will be able at the proper time to go toward it. As the first line of the first stanza is sung the dancers should stand in a loose group, adjust their hoes and pouches to be ready to go to the "field"; during the singing of the second line they should break into a file and move off. All these movements of body, hands and feet must be in strict time and rhythm with the music.

Song No. 1

Here we stand ready now to go on our way
  To the field, buried under leaves dead and gray.


Refrain:  Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!
              Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!








By the end of the first line of the refrain the dancers will have reached the "field" and have begun to dispose themselves over the space. Seven must stand in the first row, where they are to make the seven ceremonial hills. These seven dancers should lead the motions of all the others, so that the movements may present even lines, as in the bowing of violins in an orchestra. The refrain should be repeated as many times as is necessary while the dancers are taking position, clearing the field, etc. The number of repeats must be determined upon at the rehearsals of the dancers. Sufficient time should be taken to bring out the picture and to give it in perfect rhythm with the music. When the refrain closes, the dead leaves and twigs are supposed to be gathered into heaps ready to be burned.


2
See the fire send its "word of flame" mounting high,
Now the smoke rolls about the earth, shuts out sky.
Refrain:  Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!
              Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!
The action for this stanza should indicate the heat of the fire; shielding the face, pushing back stray leaves or twigs to the burning heap; the rolling smoke follows the dancers, who here and there try to escape it. This scene will require study to bring out the picture rhythmically. It should form a contrast to the preceding and the following scene, in both of which the movements are more or less uniform. In this scene groups should emphasize certain conditions: the fire, the smoke, the work of keeping the heaps together, so that the picture will be one of action diverse to a degree and yet every movement dominated by the rhythm of the song; the picture will thus be made a unit.


3
  Mellow earth, make the little, hills smooth on top,
  On the earth softly the kernels we drop.


Refrain:  Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!
              Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!



In the action of this stanza the seven dancers in the front row make seven ceremonial hills, mellowing the earth with the wooden hoes and gathering it into little hills made smooth on top. The pouches are swung to the front, the corn taken out with one hand while the other holds the hoe at rest, and the kernels are dropped on the softened earth. The dancers should be careful to remember that in the ceremonial row of seven hills but one kernel is to be dropped in the first hill, two in the second, and so on up to seven in the seventh hill. All the dancers scattered over the "field" must follow the movements of the seven in charge of the seven ceremonial hills.

  Cover all gently, leave the print of our feet
  On the earth mellowed fine, so brown, so sweet.


Refrain:  Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!
              Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!



In the action for this stanza the hoe and the feet of the dancers have a special part. The movements of the dancers should represent the covering of the dropped seed with the mellowed earth and the making of the footprint on the top of the little hill within which the seed is now hidden. In the native Ritual Song the term "footprint" is used symbolically; it represents a person—in this instance the one who had done the work—also the work itself that has been accomplished. The dancers should be careful to remember the rhythm of the second, fourth, sixth and eighth measures, as these can be used to emphasize "footprints" and also the completion of the task. During a repeat of the refrain the dancers should drop their hoes and gather in groups as if to look at the field; this action will bring them into the position required for the fifth stanza.


5
  How like lines of buffalo upon the slope,
  Lie our little brown hills, so full now of hope.


Refrain:  Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!
              Ah hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey they ha!



The motions of the hands and the movements of the body should indicate that in looking over the field one is struck by the striped appearance made by the rows of little hills, recalling the resemblance to the buffalo descending the slope. The final "ha!" of the refrain should indicate pleasure. A brief silence should follow, during which the dancers pick up their hoes, adjust their pouches, fall into line and sing the following song:

Song No. 2



  Light our hearts and gay
  As we homeward take our way,
  While the winds about us play,
      Singing as we go.
    Hy-ya hy-ya hy-ya ho!
    Hy-ya hy-ya hy-ya ho!
        Hy-ya ho!
          Ho!
        Hy-ya ho!


This song should be repeated many times as all the dancers, with rhythmic, springing steps, wind about the camp ground before they finally disperse.

DANCE III

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.—This dance is from the Corn Ritual Song and is a dramatization of a visit to the planted field after the lapse of a few weeks. Life has been stirring in the kernels of corn that had been hidden within the little hills, and the kernels now call to those who had planted them to come and see what was taking place.
Properties.—The same as those used in the preceding dance. Both the boys and the girls should wear the same costume as in Dance II.
Directions.—The scene should be the same as in Dance II. The "field" to be visited should be in the same place as the space set apart for the "field" where the little hills were made and planted.
A part of the boys should act as guards of the "field" as before. A few should scatter among the girls and join in looking at the sprouting corn as it breaks through the soil, and these should join in singing the song.
At the opening of the dance the dancers should be discovered standing in groups as though they had accidentally met as neighbors of the same village. They should stand at the same place whence they had started to go to the "field" in the preceding dance. The groups should be talking in dumb show. Suddenly each group should act as if its attention had been arrested by a sound, and while in this attitude of arrested attention all should begin to sing the following song:

Song

      A call I hear!
    Hark! soft the tones and weak.
      Again the call!
    Come! our feet that call must seek.


Refrain:  Hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Again the call!
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Ah hey they.


This dramatic dance will require to be rehearsed and the details planned by the dancers, so that a clear picture may be brought out and also the native poetic thought embodied in the Ritual Song from which it is taken. A few hints can be given, but much of the action must depend upon the imagination and dramatic feeling of the dancers.
As the first line, "A call I hear!" is sung some one should raise the hand toward the ear, another raise it as a warning to keep quiet. The line "Hark! soft the tones and weak" is an address to one another in the groups. Then comes another sudden arrest, "Again the call!" These three lines should be sung without any change of position either by the groups or by the individuals. Action should be confined to the hands and the head. When singing the fourth line all should begin to stir, to adjust their pouches, tighten their hold on the wooden hoes and, as if moved by a common impulse, should prepare to go and seek the source of the call. In their going the groups should not fall into one line but each group move by itself. During the refrain the dancers should act as if in doubt which way to go. At the line "Again the call!" all should stop as if arrested, and then move off again when the refrain is taken up. All the groups should keep the rhythm of the music. There should be a good deal of by-play and the action should indicate bewilderment, both as to the meaning of the call and the locality whence it comes. It should appear as though some of the groups are baffled in their attempt to locate the call.


2
      A call I hear!
    Hark! it is near at hand,
      The call! The call!
    Floats to us where we now stand.


Refrain:  Hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Again the call!
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Ah hey they.



The action of this stanza shows the dancers being led by the call to the "field," where the call seems to become clearer and at last is there located. The dancers should scatter in groups, while different individuals should look about searchingly but without breaking the groups. These should move here and there seeking for the "footprints" that had been left on the smooth tops of the little hills, and so lead to the action required for the next stanza. Whenever in the song the line "The call! The call!" occurs, there should be an apparent arrest of movement among the dancers as if to listen.


3
        Again the call!
      Forth to the light of day
        They come! They come!
      Come pushing upward their way.


Refrain:  Hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              They call! They come!
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Ah hey they.



"Day" is the symbol of life; the kernels are coming "into the light of day" in the original Ritual Song, meaning they are entering into life. They call as they come, struggling and pushing their way through the breaking earth. This life movement should be indicated by the motions of the dancers as they pass in groups with rhythmic steps from one little hill to another. Directions as to how these motions should be made would hardly be helpful; the dancers can best plan this pantomime.


4
        Again the call!
      Two feeble leaves are seen,
        They call! They call!
      Soon shall we stand clad with green!


Refrain:  Hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              They call! They call!
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Ah hey they.
The original Ritual Song tells that the feeble leaves, the first shoots, cannot stand or support themselves; they are helpless as infants. But they have come to the "light of day," "have entered into life," and they will grow, become strong and stand, stretching ever higher into the light. The native stanzas portray the progressive movements of the corn from feeble helplessness into the power of life. The action of the dancers should convey this meaning by appropriate pantomime.


5
      They call! They call!
  Up springs our jointed stem,
      They call! They call!
  Golden fruit shall grow on them.


Refrain:  Hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              They call! They call!
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey they,
              Ah hey they.



In this stanza the promise of fruit is given. The dancers should show excitement not only at the wonderful spectacle they observe but because of the promise given.
They should still keep in groups as they move about and exult in the results that have come from the little hills where they left their "footprints."
In the original Ritual Song there are more than a score of stanzas in which the various occurrences of the growth of the corn are mentioned, mingled with symbolic imagery. "Footprints" represent both labor and ownership. Those who planted the kernels look for these marks and rejoice over what they find. They had begun their planting "like a game," a venture; whether it would be successful or not no one could tell. But success had come. The action for the last stanza should indicate an abandonment to delight; hoes should be dropped as the groups mingle and act out pleasure not only at what is seen but what is promised.
A pause should follow, then the hoes should be picked up and the dancers gather by twos and threes in a line to return home; as they start they break into the same song which they sang on the return from making and planting the little hills:








The dancers should keep up the song and rhythmic dance until their individual tents are reached.

DANCE IV

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.—This dance, taken from the Corn Ritual, represents a visit to the field later in the season when the harvest time is near at hand. The keynote of this visit is in a line of one of the many stanzas of the original Ritual Song, "I go in readiness of mind." The mind is assured, prepared to find in the place where the "footprints" had been made, where the little kernels had broken the covering of earth to reach "the light of day," that these have now grown tall and strong under the summer sun and are "standing in the fulness of day." This assurance is justified, for the corn is found ready to pluck, and some of its ears are joyously carried to the people at home.
Properties.—The same costumes as those worn by the boys and girls in Dance II and III. The green scarfs used in Dance I will be needed in the latter part of this dance; these can be folded and carried in the pouches and pockets.
Directions.—The scene should be laid in the same place as the two preceding dances and the dancers should gather at the same spot whence they started to the "field" in Dance II and III.
The dancers, both boys and girls, should be discovered standing in an open group talking together in dumb show, evidently discussing the probabilities as to the ripening of the corn. They may have been saying: "Already the boys are shouting, The cattail is in bloom!" This was a sign that the time had come for the corn to be ripe. Some one whose mind was "in readiness" makes the suggestion (in pantomime) to go to the "field"; to this all agree, and the group breaks into lines as the boy and girl dancers sing the following song:

Song



1
  In readiness of mind to the field we go,
  Where we footprints made, there stately jointed stalks grow.
  Loud rustle the long leaves, bright the tassels wave o'er each row.


Refrain:  Ah hey hey hey they,
              Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey hey they,
              Ah hey hey they,
                Ah hey they.








The steps of the dancers must be in rhythm with the song and all movements should indicate a feeling of assurance. When the "field" is reached certain motions of the feet should suggest a memory of the "footprints." The "field" is now covered by rows of tall cornstalks; therefore, when the "field" is reached the dancers should move in parallel lines, as if they were passing between these rows. Some lines should cross at right angles, giving the effect of walking between high barriers, along pathways that intersect each other at right angles. When the dancers pass along these alleys, so to speak, movements should be made to indicate brushing against or pushing out of the way the "long rustling leaves" of the corn, and to point to the "waving tassels" far above their heads. This pantomime, with its rhythmic movements suggesting long lines of cornstalks, the brushing aside with the hands of the long leaves of the stalks, should make an effective picture.


2
  Strongly the ears shoot out, fill'd with golden grain,
  Up into the full light, life flowing in each vein,
  Sacred the corn now stands ready to give its strength full fain.


Refrain:  Ah hey hey hey they,
              Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey hey they,
              Ah hey hey they,
                Ah hey they.



The length of the original Ritual Song, together with the picturesque quality of the native language, permits the bringing out in full detail of this scene of the cornfield: the ears standing at angles from the stalk, and the husks full of kernels replete with life-giving power. Because of this power the corn has now "become sacred," filled with life from Wakon'da, thereby related to that great power and through it linked to the life of mankind. The idea of this unity throughout all nature, including man, is fundamental to Indian thought and belief. It is expressed in all his religious ceremonies and also in his vocations, both serious and playful. In the present instance it appeals to him through the planting, the growth, the maturing and the use of the corn, giving its life to man.
To convey the picture of the cornfield, and to suggest the thoughts that imbue the scene as expressed in the native rituals, will require some study, but the effort will be well worth while. These thoughts were vital upon this continent centuries before the land became our home. The maize in all its richness and beauty has become ours to enjoy, and while we accept this gift let us not fail to catch and to hold the lingering vibrations of its native teaching that aimed to lift the thoughts of the worker in the cornfield to the Great Giver of Life and Beauty.
In planning the pantomime for this stanza the dancers should not forget the rhythm of the song and to keep the lines as though they were walking between rows of tall cornstalks.


3
  Where'er we look wide fields wait harvest to meet;
  Ripe are the ears we pluck, juicy the corn we eat;
  Filling our arms, we go homeward, happy hearts there we meet.


Refrain:  Ah hey hey hey they,
              Ah hey hey they,
            Ah hey hey hey they,
              Ah hey hey they,
                Ah hey they.



The action requisite for the interpretation of this stanza by pantomime is comparatively easy, as looking over the field ready for harvest, and plucking a few ears of the corn. Care should be taken not to appear to touch the row where the seven hills were made, for the product of these are to be used as the "first-fruit offering." During the singing of the first line of the third stanza a few of the dancers should slip behind some of the others and there take out their scarfs from the pouches or pockets, make each scarf into a loose bundle and carry it upon the folded arms as though it was filled with ears of corn. In this way, a few at a time, the dancers can secure their scarfs, and arrange them to look like bundles of corn to be taken homeward.
All the lines that have been moving as between rows of corn should now come together and form a long line and with dancing, rhythmic steps, and arms filled with corn, return to the starting place, and from there wind about the camp ground singing the refrain, which can be repeated ad lib. until they finally disperse and go to their tents.

DANCE V

Introductory Note.—This dance represents the bringing of the "first-fruit offering" of the corn from the seven little hills that were ceremonially planted after the dead leaves of winter had been cleared away. The dancers who follow the seven leaders carrying the cornstalks represent the people in triumphal procession in honor of Corn as "Mother breathing forth life." Both words and music of the song for this procession are taken from a great religious ceremony of the Pawnee wherein Corn is spoken of as A-ti-ra, Mother, with the prefix H' signifying breath, the sign of life. "H'A-ti-ra" ("Mother breathing forth life") is repeated over and over and is the only word used in this song. The repetition is not an idle procedure but an awakening of echoes in the native mind, of all that Corn has meant to his ancestors and race during the centuries. The repeated words imply contemplation on the subject. This song when heard sung by a hundred or more could not fail to impress one with its majestic fervor. The beautiful, bountiful maize giving its life that others might enjoy life, on another plane, is here reverently and joyously proclaimed "Mother."
Properties.—Green and other bright colored scarfs or mantles, as many as there are dancers, boys and girls, also wreaths made of long leaves like those of the cornstalk; these can be manufactured from green paper. Tall yellow plumes, similar to the tassel of the corn, and fastened to the wreath in such manner that when the wreath is worn the plume will stand above the forehead. Seven cornstalks, or wands so wound with green as to appear like the stalk of the corn with its tassel.
Directions.—All the dancers should be wrapped in their mantles and have on their wreaths, the erect tassel plume standing directly over the middle of the forehead. Boys and girls must mingle in this dance. All dress as before, with the addition of the mantles. Implements, pouches and bows and arrows are not used. Of the seven who are to lead, four should be boys and three girls. When leading the procession and carrying the cornstalks, the first line of four should be a boy, two girls, a boy; the second line of three should be a boy, a girl, a boy. These seven must wear green robes or mantles and hold the cornstalks, with their hands draped by the mantle. The other dancers can wear green or other colored mantles or scarfs. The boys must sing the songs, for the volume of sound must be full in order to produce the true effect of this impressive ceremony. The seven dancers who have been selected to act as leaders should stand in a group by themselves in front of the other dancers, who are in loose groups at the rear. On the space which heretofore in these dances has represented the "field," the seven cornstalks or wands should be laid in a windrow on the ground. When ready to begin the dance the dancers should be discovered in the two groups as already described, talking quietly in dumb show.
The seven leaders, who are in the front group by themselves, appear to consult together; then, led by one of their number, sing the following song:

Song No. 1

Golden on ev'ry hand,
  Waving, the cornfields stand,
    Calling us thither;
    Calling us thither,
  First-fruits to cull and bring
  Our sacred offering
    To great Wakon'da,
      Giver of Corn.




During the singing the seven leaders stand together wrapped in their green mantles. All the other dancers are grouped at a little distance back, still talking as at first in dumb show. At the third line they stop talking, at the fourth line they give attention to the seven leaders, at the fifth line they join in the song. During the singing of this stanza there should be no change in the relative positions of the two groups, but during the singing all who sing should keep up a gentle rhythmic swaying of the body.


2
  Now to the field we hie,
  Where stands the corn so high,
    Calling us thither;
    Calling us thither,
  First-fruits to cull and bring
  Our sacred offering
    To great Wakon'da,
      Giver of Corn.
The seven leaders, at the beginning of the first line of the second stanza, slowly fall into line and with deliberate rhythmic steps move toward the "field," reaching it by the fifth line, and while singing that line they should pick up the cornstalks and hold them, with their hands draped with their green mantles, high to the front.
At the close of the first stanza the other group of dancers should resume a dumb show of speaking to one another until the third line of the second stanza, when they change their attitude and give attention; at the fourth line they join in the song, and at the fifth move toward the "field" where are the seven leaders. By the close of the second stanza all the dancers should be in one group at the "field."
All the dancers stand there at the "field" a moment in silence. Then the seven leaders sing the introduction to the following Processional Song:

Song No. 2



Introduction:  Follow Mother Corn,
                   Who breathes forth life!


Chorus: H'A-ti-ra, H'A-ti-ra, H'A-ti-ra, A-ti-ra,
            H'A-ti-ra, A-ti-ra, H'A-ti-ra, A-ti-ra,
                 A-ti-ra, H'A-ti-ra, A-ti-ra.




This song is retained as sung in the original Pawnee ceremony; the meaning has already been explained.
The introduction is sung by the seven leaders, who advance in two rows, four in the first, three in the second, and in this manner they lead the Processional Dance. At the chorus all the other dancers fall in behind the leaders, either in couples or singly, every one singing. All steps must be rhythmic and in time with the music. The seven leaders move steadily, also in time with the music, as they hold the cornstalks high, while the followers wave their scarfs or mantles and dance happily and lightly, but with dignity. The picture should be one of contrast as the procession takes its way among trees and through the sunny fields, the seven moving evenly, with the corn held high, and the joyous, fluttering group of dancers following.
The Life of the Corn culminates in a delight of color, movement and song.