Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs: Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports

By Alice C. Fletcher | Go to book overview

THE LIFE OF THE CORN

A DRAMA IN FIVE DANCES

INTRODUCTION.--These Dances in their purport and music are taken from the sacred rituals of the Omaha, the Osage and the Pawnee tribes. The richness and beauty of symbolism in the original language suffer a loss of native naïveté in their English interpretation.

The American food plant known by the general term "Corn" was developed ages ago from certain native grasses. The Euchlaena luxurians found in Guatemala is probably an ancestor of the maize. The word "maize" belongs to the language of a people living by the Caribbean Sea and never was a universal term for corn among the Indians of our country. The tribes to which maize was known gave it a name derived from their own languages. So very many centuries have passed since corn was a grass that there is no way now of finding out when in the remote past the natives of this continent began the task of developing from a grass a staple article of food like the corn. The process required years of careful observation, manipulation and culture. Not only did the Indians accomplish this task but they took the plant from its tropical surroundings and acclimated it throughout the region east of the Rocky Mountains up to the country of short summers in the North; Cartier, in 1534, found it growing where the city of Montreal now stands.

-9-

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Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs: Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Preface xxi
  • Contents xxiii
  • Part I - Dances *
  • Indian Games and Dances With Native Songs 1
  • Dance V 9
  • Calling the Flowers 40
  • Part II - Games *
  • Indian Games 63
  • Hazard Games 67
  • Ball Games 98
  • Part III- Indian Names 115
  • Bestowing a New Name 126
  • Taking an Indian Name in Camp 132
  • Indian Names for Boys - All Vowels Have the Continental Sound 135
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