me, Saturna Robbie

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Pow Wow

Later the next day ........ Margaret and Red belted out the Indian Love Call in perfect harmony and sure enough the Indian Ghost Dancers appeared. Tansy remarked that having a voice that could awaken the dead was hardly an asset! (Dusty and I chuckled.. ..very quietly!)

The ghost dancers asked us to join them in a ceremonial dance to bring luck to our journey...  they informed us however, that the dance must be performed after dark and that it would last until dawn of the next day! We would have to fast after midnight and take 'medicine' made of roots and plants to enhance us physically and mentally for the quest.

The Indians explained the dance to us and how it must be performed:
The dance is led by a warrior who sings his own songs. Every dance must have at least one woman with shakers, who falls into step immediately behind the song leader, to carry the rhythm. The rest of the dancers follow in a continuous spiral around the fire. The dancers circle the fire in counterclockwise direction with stomping and shuffling steps set to the rhythm created by the woman with her shakers.

As Margaret was the only woman available it fell to her to be the lead 'shaker'. The Indians gave her a beautiful white buckskin outfit ...very stunning! We all got feathered  headbands for our heads....(even Red got three white feathers to add to his own plumage) and little beaded moccasins for our feet. Tansy wanted a whole outfit just like Margaret... but it was no use she couldn't sway the Chief....

We practiced shuffling and stomping after Margaret all day ...she did a great job setting the rhythm with the rattles and making those buckskin fringes shimmy and shake.  

Finally, it was dark enough to light the bonfire. The Medicine Man started the ceremony with a traditional medicine song:

How shall I begin my songs..Hi..I..I  ..I
In the blue night that is settling? Hi..I...I ...I
In the great night my heart will go out, Hi...I ...I  ..I
Toward me the darkness comes rattling, Hi....I ...I ...I
In the great night my heart will go out. Hi...I....I ...I ...I

We all joined in with the Hi..I...I's. The dancing began. This is going to be a LONG night!