While the Conductor was smoking, the Assistant arranged the meat on the scaffold, the lean meat at one end, the fat at the other. Then the Conductor addressed the skull and said, "Hunka of Tatanka, this meat was yours, but you gave it to me. If there is any part of it that you wish, tell us and we will give it to you." In this address it is assumed that the meat is the flesh and fat of a buffalo. The spirit in the skull is addressed as Hunka of Tatanka, the Buffalo God. The allusion is to the doctrine that the Buffalo God caused the spirits of the buffalo to give their meat to the Lakota; and that when a buffalo was killed for its meat, a portion should be left as an offering to propitiate the spirit.
The Conductor then sprinkled a powder on the meat and said, "My medicine is good. It will make this meat sacred." He then gave the
[paragraph continues] Assistant sweetgrass and he made incense by sprinkling it on the fire. Over this incense the Conductor prayed as follows:--"Great Spirit be with us this day; West Wind, keep the Winged God in your tipi this day; Sun, we ask that You keep Iktomi and Anog Ite from this camp this day." The doctrine is that the God, the West Wind, is the comrade of and has controlling influence over the Winged God, whose voice is thunder, and the glance of whose eye is lightning; that Iktomi is an imp of mischief who delights in making ceremonies of no effect and Anog Ite is a double, or two-faced woman who foments discord and licentiousness.
Then the Conductor addressed the people and said, "I am a Shaman. I know how to wave the horse-tails as did our grandfathers. I will do it that way now. The young people forget how to do this. Shamans will soon be cold and hungry. This young man wishes to be Hunka. I will make him Hunka as our grandfathers were made Hunkayapi. The Sun looks on us and the Wind is pleased. The Wolf has gone to the hills. The Earth and the Rock and the Buffalo are in this lodge. These Gods will help me make this young man Hunka."
It was taught that the wolf and coyote were the accomplices of Iktomi and Wazi, the wizard, and did their bidding. The allusive meaning of the latter part of the address is that the Chief of the Gods, the Sun is favorable; the principal God controlling the weather, the Wind; was propitiated; that the accomplices of the mischievous beings had fled from the camp; that the potencies of the Great God, the Earth, were in the altar, and that of the great God, the Rock in the stone on the altar, and that of the Taku Wakan, or Relative God, the Buffalo in the buffalo skull, were present in the lodge.