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p. 101



1 Opening address by a chief

2 A Thanksgiving speech

3 Ne?'äskä'nie?, the women's dance

4 Ne?'ga?da:'ciot, the jubilee dance

5 Ne?'gusshêdon'dada', the jug shaking dance

6 Ne?'äskän'i:e?, the women's dance

7 Ne?'yiêndonêsshontâ?, the old women's song

8 Ne?'äskä'ni:e?, the women's dance

9 Ne?'gaianon'gayonka

10 Ne?'osto:'wägo'wa, the great feather dance

11 Closing address

12 Distribution of the feast

The object of the Cornplanting ceremony is to secure divine favor and help in the spring planting. Everyone is invoked to till the ground and earn the bread they eat. The ceremony lasts about four or five hours.


A council is called to set the time for this festival which has no exact day but varies according to the weather. However, it takes place soon after the sap commences to run. Its object is to thank all trees for their services to man and invoke their protection and good will for the coming year.

Outline program

I The address to the maple tree. A fire is built at the foot of a large maple tree. The people gather around and a special officer advances with a basket of tobacco which he sprinkles on the fire as he recites the address to the maple:

Ne? nênga:' gägwa:'ani saiwisa'ane gäni'sê swên'iio'
Seane ganigä'o ne?'niganigai?isek
One?' dîq' oyän'kwa (owe) soi'yê?
Negihedahadondi gaiyetionoshäs henizaiwissahon?
Onen?' dîq' kejedai` soñgwa:ni, etc.

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The prayer at the maple festival

Wa?'da Tadinion'nio?o`

Maple Thanksgiving

Êanwaiyîgwa`showine`' ode:ha'donni. Ne?'wainnondoi'shoñk
Oh partake of this tobacco the forests. This we petition

nega'dogä nayût'däon näêtgonê'igais näwâ?'dâ
may you continue -the production of sweet water Oh maple

Hawe'on Nawênniio` êngäondadegaon êngani'gaikse:k
The will of the Creator that a certain tree water flows from

Ne?'nêngä? êngä'oñk hadieo`'shä deodonon ne?' he:hadidûk'ke:nondie:s hadiksa:'shon'o? gahadêgonnshon
This it may not accidents occur the running about the children in the woods.

Ne?' nengä?' wânîshäde` i:s' êsswai'ya?dagwäni'yothet nêngä?' wânîshäde`.
Now this day you it belongs to you to enjoy this day.

Djasayawa'godûk Hawên'iio` cia?'dade: gäoya`ge:'tciojo`'.
We give thanks oh God to you the dweller of the heavens.

Agwai'wayiis ne?'gaiyiwanda'kho.
We have done it what devolved upon us.

Osût'ga:t?ho djogwûtgwe:nio`.
You have seen what we have done.

So, it is.

The address to the maple, the chief of trees and the prayer to the Creator

A Seneca ceremony

The priest stands at the roots of a maple. A fire is burning and the priest casts tobacco in the fire and as its smoke arises he says:

To the tree:

O partake of this incense,
You the forests!
We implore you
To continue as before,
The flowing waters of the maple.

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To the Creator and the tree:

It is the will of the Creator
That a certain tree
Should flow such water.
Now may no accidents occur
To children roaming in the forests.
Now this day is yours
May you enjoy it,--this day.

To the Creator:

We give thanks, oh God, to you,
You who dwell in heaven.
We have done our duty
You have seen us do it.
So it is done."

Next: Special Annual Ceremonies