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The ritual of the Bear Society consists of twenty songs and a dance. During the intermissions in the dance, that is, between songs, the participants eat berries from a pan on the dance-bench, or, in winter, eat honey, taking portions of the comb and eating it as they walk about the bench. The ceremony is opened by making a tobacco offering to the spirits of the bears, during which the chief Bear-man makes an invocation. The high officer of the society, however, is a woman. The symbol of membership is a black streak drawn diagonally across the right cheek. The object of the society is to cure the diseases of its members and candidates by chanting and dancing. The ceremony is believed to be a remedy for fevers and rheumatism, as well as to bring good fortune. In a healing ceremony the chief woman blows on the head of the patient. After a ceremony the members carry home with them pails of bear pudding, a sweetened corn pudding mixed with sunflower oil. The Bears use the water drum and horn rattles. All Seneca dances are counterclockwise.

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