He then directed that the older man who was to be the Hunka of the younger sit beside the younger. He did so and the Assistant and Recorder held a robe so that it hid the older and younger man from view. The Conductor took two small globular packages wrapped in deerskin, colored red, and with them in hand went under the cover. While there, he murmured something. The interpreter said that the packages were talismans and that the Conductor was giving one to each of the Hunka and telling the secrets of their potency.
When the Conductor went under the cover the drummer sounded the
drum and began singing in which the people joined. When this song was sung they sang another. When they ceased singing, the Assistant and Recorder removed the covering and the Conductor went and sat at the catku. When the two Hunka were exposed they were bound together with thongs, arm to arm, side to side, and leg to leg, and each had a stripe of red paint across his right cheek from forehead to chin, the older man having an additional red stripe parallel to the other, to indicate that the Hunka ceremony had been performed for him on a previous occasion.
The Conductor then said to the younger man, "You are bound to your Hunka, and he is as yourself. When you put the red stripe on your face remember this. What you have is his. What he has he will give you if you wish it. You must help him in time of need. If one harms him You should take revenge, for it is as if you had been harmed. If you have horses, or captive women, or robes, or meat, they are his as they are yours. His children will be as your children and your children will be as his. If he is killed in war you should not be satisfied until you have provided a companion for his spirit. If he takes the sweatbath or seeks a vision, you should aid him and help to pay the Shaman. If he is sick, you should make presents to the Shamans and to the medicinemen. The Hunkayapi are your people. If you are a true Hunka, they will not let you be in want. You should heed the words of your Hunka Ate. You should be as his son."
The Conductor arose and standing, said, "My friends, this young man is now Hunka."
This concluded the ceremony. The people first went from the lodge, then the two newly-made Hunka, bound together as they were, went to the preparation tipi and there clothed themselves in the ordinary manner. The Conductor remained alone in the lodge and through the door he was observed to wrap the implements used during the ceremony into a bundle; then he turned the buffalo skull with the horns down and pressed them into the ground; then carefully set the stone into the ground so that the painted portion was uppermost; then he destroyed the altar, extinguished the fire, and came from the lodge.
Soon the women took down the lodge, but left the skull and stone as the Conductor had placed them. These things were done because the people believed that when a tipi had been used as a ceremonial lodge, it should be used for no other purpose until after it has been taken down and set up again.
After the ceremony, there was a "give-away" of presents, with much enthusiasm, so that probably the new Hunka and his friends were recompensed for all they had given in preparation for the occasion. This was followed by a feast that continued far into the night.
The author was present at another performance of the ceremony when a man adopted a boy about twelve years of age. At this time no one other than the man and the boy took part in the ceremony. It was performed in a tipi erected for that purpose, in which were the altar, the buffalo skull, and the implements for the ceremony, but no stone. All told, there were eleven persons present. The man's hands were painted red and he performed the ceremony in a much abridged manner, himself doing all the rites, except that he did not hide the boy under cover, nor give him a talisman, nor bind him with thongs. The presents given were few, and the feast, small. In this case the man became Hunka Ate and the boy Hunka.
Short-bull, a Brulé chief of prominence among the Oglala, at one time waved a horse-tail over the author and placed a stripe of red paint on the author's forehead, and, with no further ceremony, declared the author his Hunka, and ever afterwards addressed him as such.