Early in the morning of the fourth day the marshal of the camp should summon the people to assemble and bear the will of the Superior. When the people are assembled, the Superior should announce the names of the
women appointed to chop the Sacred Tree and the name of the woman who is to fell it. These women should be mothers noted for their industry and hospitality, preferably such as have had kindred slain in war. To be appointed to chop the Sacred Tree is a lasting honor and to fell it entitles the woman to wear a stripe of red paint across her forehead, for she thereby becomes, Ina, or Mama, to all the hunkaya of the people. The hunkaya are those who are held in such esteem that they are addressed as adopted relatives. The functions of these women are to chop the Sacred Tree until it is about to fall and then the one who is to fell it should strike the last blows that cut it down. When the announcement of the appointment of these women is made, the camp herald should loudly proclaim it so that all may hear.
Then the Superior should announce the names of female relatives of the Candidates who will be permitted in the Dance Lodge to sing and shout encouragement to the dancers and to give them such assistance or relief as will be permitted. These names the herald should loudly proclaim. When these appointments are made the maidens to be appointed as female attendants should be tested. The Superior should sit with the maidens desiring appointment in a circle around him and the people should assemble about this circle. Then the herald should loudly call the name of each maiden who when called should stand and declare that she has never had carnal intercourse with a man. Anyone may challenge her declaration. If she is challenged and remains silent, it is considered that she is not a maiden. But she may stand and repeat the declaration and bite a snakeskin, or the effigy of a snake. If her challenger is then silent, her declaration is considered true. If the challenge is repeated, the challenger must also bite the snake, but if he does not, it is considered that his challenge is a slander. If he does, then a decision should be held in abeyance until a snake decides by biting the one who gave false testimony, as a snake will surely do.
When the maidens have made their declarations, the Superior should appoint as female attendants of the dancers those whose declarations have not been challenged, or who have freed themselves from accusation by biting the snake. The names of those thus appointed should be loudly proclaimed by the camp marshal. Then the feast of the maidens should be given by the relatives and friends of the appointees. Only women should partake of this feast, but when it is over, the women's dance may be danced; each woman who dances chooses a man to dance beside her. This festivity Should cease when the setting Sun is a hand's breadth above the edge of the world. Then the Superior and the Mentors should go together to the top of a nearby hill and there the Superior should fill and light a pipe, and offer it to the Four Winds and pray Him to give blue days for the ceremony. Then, as the Sun
disappears from sight he should extend the mouthpiece of the pipe toward Him, and pray Him to look with favor on the ceremonial camp, so that the people may be happy and perform their part of the ceremony in an acceptable manner.
At dusk that day all should retire to their tipis and then-re should be no games or merry-making. That night no one other than the marshals should go abroad in the camp; but those whose faces are, painted black may go outside the camp and on the hills wail songs to the spirits of those they mourn.