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Black Bear, Turkey, Rattlesnake, and all the animals living upon the earth who are in charge of the various fruits came together in one place. They celebrated the medicine dance for the benefit of three sick men.

Having made the fence about the dancing grounds, they spread a buffalo hide over a basket in the back of the tipi where a hole had been dug. They took the moccasins of the three sick men and tied them together. With these they beat upon the basket which had been turned over the hole in the back of the tent and covered with a buffalo hide. The singer uses a rattle made from buffalo tail and the tails of rattlesnakes. While a strong man is beating on the basket with the moccasins, the singer shakes the rattles and sings. This is done for four nights.

A long time ago a ceremony of this sort was held this side (west) of Taos where the mountains stand near each other. The fence was built of brush through which no one is allowed to look from the outside. Someone beat with the moccasins and the others danced. When this part of the ceremony was over a noise was made by rubbing the leg bone of a mountain sheep along a notched stick. The tc'actcini and ts'anat'î 1 came in twice where

p. 264

they were rubbing sticks. They danced until morning. The masked men put corn, cherries and the seed of the amole into a hole in the ground. They also put the tail of a rabbit in a clay pot. When they came in the fourth time the amole and cherries were ripe and the corn was already hard. Where they had thrown the rabbit's tail in the pot a live rabbit jumped out. One of them cut an arrow across and they shot another with it without killing him.

The men who looked through the fence that had been built turned into pine trees. Those standing on the other side who had looked through the fence also became pine trees. For that reason one must not look from the outside through the corral fence in which the medicineman is singing. Of the mountains that stand there the first one is named Nîsdjat'ôhî, and then Isaihî Lîbîgahî "horse's house", L'ôkenkelehi. 1


263:1 There are four tc'actcini who have their bodies including their legs, arms and faces, painted with horizontal black stripes on a background of white clay. Their hair is worn projecting from the sides of their heads like horns. The ts'anat'î, usually twelve in number, have their bodies and faces covered with white clay. They wear bands of yucca leaves about their necks, waists, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. They have two eagle feathers in their hair. Neither of them wear masks as do the Navajo.

264:1 Forty-eight mountains are mentioned in song. Most of them are named in the text, p. 177.

Next: 76. Magic at a Medicine Ceremony