Peace Pipe




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by Ernest Thompson Seton

The Chief rises from the Council Rock and calls: "Ho, Cannungpa Yuha, 0-hay!" ( Oh, Pipe-bearer, bring the Pipe!). Singing of the "Zuni Sunrise Call," is heard far away.

Then enter the Herald, staff in hand. He faces the Chief, and sings the Sunrise Song again, but omitting every other line which is softly sung off-stage as an echo.

Enter in procession 6 or 8 maidens, slowly, silently to tom-tom 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, flat hands bent out, palms down. They are followed by a very small boy or girl, dressed in white, 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 3 (or 4) on the Chief's left, 3 (or 4) on his right, the Pipe-bearer near him on his right, the Medicine Man on his left.

The Maidens then sing the "Prayer of the Warriors before Smoking the Pipe," hands held low forward, palms up, then raised high, palms facing in, for the first line; hands 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: "To Maka Ina, Mother Earth, that she send us food. Hay-oon-kee-ya. Noon-way."

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

Chief: "To Weeyo-peeata, the Sunset Wind, that he come not in his strength upon us." (Blows smoke and holds the stem to the West.)

"To Wazi-yata, the Winter Wind, that he harm us not with his cold." (Pipe as before to the North.)

"To Weeyo-hinyan-pata, the Sunrise Wind, that he trouble us not with his rain." (Pipe as before to the East.)

"To Okaga, the Hot Wind, that he strike us not with his fierce heat." (Pipe as before to the South.) "Hay-oon-kee-oon-ee-ya-snee. Noon-way."

All: "Noon-way."

Then the Chief stands, holding the Pipe high level in two hands and proclaims aloud

"Wakan-tanka Wakan ne-kay-chin, chandee eeya pay-yawo. That is, Great Spirit, by this Pipe, the symbol of Peace, Council and 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 holds it high and marches off, followed by the others, singing the "Zuni Sunset Song,". The Herald leaves last of all.

The Birch Bark Roll






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Storm Cloud ] Lone Scout ] Shoshoni Dog ] Caribou Dance ] Animal Dance ] Hopi Corn ] Spring Dance ] Fall Dance ] Snake Dance ] Courtship Eagles ] [ Peace Pipe ] War Dance ] Refference ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.