Peace Pipe Ceremony




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Peace Pipe Ceremony
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By Julia M. Seton

In the early editions of the Birch Bark Roll of Woodcraft, Ernest Thompson Seton has given a Peace Pipe Ceremony, to which he refers his chapter on Peace Pipes.

Using this as the main feature, I enlarged the ceremony for the 1925 edition, essentially as follows:

The Chief rises from the Council Rock, and calls: "Ho, Channung-pa Yuha, O-hay!" (Oh, Pipe-bearer, bring the Pipe!)

Csong38.gif (17785 bytes)
Song No. 38 
Zuni Sunrise Call

Singing of the ZUNI SUNRISE CALL is heard in the distance [see also version with English translation].

Then, enter the Herald, staff in hand. He faces the Chief, at the opposite side of the Fire, and sings the SUNRISE CALL again, but omitting every other line which is softly sung off-stage as an echo.

Enter in procession six or eight Maidens, slowly, silently, to tom torn beaten in slow six part time by the leader or Medicine Man. They walk with eyes on the ground, arms straight down at their sides, relaxed. At the end of the procession is a very small boy or girl, bearing the Peace Pipe aloft horizontally, and held in two hands, palms up.

The Chief stands with folded arms as they file in and form a circle about the Fire three (or four) on the Chief's left, three (or four) on his right, the Pipe bearer near him on his right, the Medicine Man on his left, the Herald directly opposite him.

Csong39.gif (16544 bytes)
Song No. 39 
Prayer of Warriors Before Smoking the Pipe (Omaha)

The Maidens sing the PRAYER OF THE WARRIORS BEFORE SMOKING THE PIPE (Song No. 39), hands held low forward, palms up, then raised high, palms facing in, for the first line; hands slowly lowered, then crossed on breast for second line; hands forward in beseeching attitude for third line; raised high, then arms folded, for the fourth line. The head is thrown back until the end of the last line as the arms are folded, when the eyes are cast upon the ground.

The Chief takes the Pipe from the Bearer. The Maidens sit down, cross legged and cross armed, in the places where they stood, and the Chief proceeds.

Kneeling at the Fire, he lights the Pipe. As soon as it is going, he lifts it, grasped in both hands, with the stem toward the sky, saying:

"To Wakonda, the one Great Spirit; that his wisdom be with us. Hay-oon-kee-ya. Noon-way."

All answer, in a long intonation, and slightly raising the flat right hand: "Noon way." (Amen, or this is our prayer.)

Chief (pointing stem to earth) : "To Maka-Ina, Mother Earth, that she send us food. Hay-oon-kee-ya. Noon-way."

All (as before): "Noon-way."

Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to West): "To Weeyopeeata, the Sunset Wind, that he come not in his strength upon us."

Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to North): "To Wazi-yata, the Winter Wind, that he harm us not with his cold."

Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to East) : "To Weeyohinyan-pata, the Sunrise Wind, that lie trouble us not with his rain."

Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to South) "To Okaga, the Hot Wind, that he strike us not with his fierce heat. Hay-oon-kee-oon-ee-ya-snee. Noon-way."

All (as before): "Noon-way."

Then the Chief holds the Pipe high, level in two hands, and proclaims: "Wakan-tanka Wakan neekay-chin, chandee eeya pay-ya-wo." (That is, Great Spirit, by this Pipe, the symbol of Peace, Brotherhood, we ask thee to be with us, and take part in our Council.

All intone a long "Noon-way."

The Maidens stand, the Chief hands the Pipe to the Bearer, who carries it high and marches off, followed by the others, singing the DANCING SONG (Song No. 40). The Herald leaves last of all.

Csong40.gif (18872 bytes)
Song No. 40
Dancing Song (Teton Sioux)

Native Ceremonies






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Bringing in the Fire ] Child to the Universe ] Dance into Manhood ] Naming Ceremony ] New House Dedication ] [ Peace Pipe Ceremony ] Song of the Pleiades ] Sunrise Ceremony ] Thanks to Mother Earth ] Thunder Ceremony ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Native Skills ] Totem Poles ] Indian Sign Language ] Indian Ceremonies ] Indian Dance ] Indian Songs ] Birch Bark Dances ] Birch Bark Songs ] Birch Bark Plays ] Indian Games for Boys ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.