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bration by the messenger. Eventually, much of this formality was dropped, as performances of magic are exposed to the ridicule of the younger. generation, so that invitations to the various lodges of medicine men are extended merely as a matter of courtesy. The various performances, however, are responsible for such designations of the mountain chant as the fire dance, growing hashkan, or hashkan dance, etc., just as the night chant is sometimes designated as the yei-bichai dance from the leading personator.
“Ordinarily a ceremony is performed over a single patient. It is permissible, however, to conduct a ceremony for two patients of the same sex, so that, for instance, a ceremony may not be held over man and wife simultaneously. A singer may conduct a ceremony over his own wife, but not for his own benefit, for which he must call on the services of another singer. In the event of two patients there are two meal or pollen sprinklers at the public exhibition in place of the customary single one. Other changes take place in the various songs, and especially in the distribution of the prayersticks.
“The night chant is performed over persons as well as over the masks themselves. An instance of this kind has been mentioned in the dedication of a new set of masks. Another instance is the purification of a set of masks defiled by the death of its owner, or that of the patient for whom the chant is conducted. In this event the masks may not be used again unless the night
chant, specifically its vigil, has been performed over them.
“It is customary that guests attending the close of a ceremony partake of a repast at the hogan where it takes place. At public exhibitions, where the multitude of visiting guests is unusually large, this has been abolished, and is now limited to the meals which the patient must provide for the singer and his assistants. At the smaller ceremonies of one and five nights duration meals are served to the guests about midnight. Accordingly, the meals served there are sometimes referred to as the close of ceremony.
THE CHOICE OR SELECTION OF
CHANTS TO BE PERFORMED. “The decision as to the particular chant to be selected is left with the individual. Owing to the great variety of causes for disease and continued misfortune, the choice is often a difficult one.
If relief is not obtained the rites and ceremonies of another chant should be enlisted to secure it. In this manner a fortune is often spent. Public opinion has it that a person bitten by a snake, struck by lightning, thrown from or kicked by a horse, is pursued by some unseen power. The bite of an ant, or mad coyote, continued prostitution, or venereal excess, loss of sheep, failure of crops, sickness or death in the family or relationship, all portend some malign influence. This is also the case with dreams bearing on misfortune. A pregnant woman especially must exercise the greatest care lest she observe anything in the shape of violence. The influence of bad dreams must be removed during the time of her pregnancy, both by herself and her husband. If this has been neglected the duty devolves upon the child, even at an advanced age.
“In such manner each case is carefully diagnosed and discussed by the family and their relatives who, in addition, often consult astrologers and divinators for the purpose of selecting the appropriate chant.
THE EXPENSES. “Expenses vary according to the nature of the chant and aggregate for public exhibitions as high as two hundred dollars and more. For the minor chants the price consists of a horse, cow, some sheep, calico, etc., according to the means of the patient. The legends inculcate that the shaman render his services without compensation in case of need. A nominal price is sometimes asked in such instances, though frequently assistance is refused
is refused entirely. Friends and relatives of the patient are, as a rule, asked to assist in defraying expenses.
The Navahos have many ceremonies which they practice with as great earnestness and devotion as did their fathers before them. Some are long, elaborate and intricate, being often of nine days' duration when applied to the healing of the sick. Many years of patient work are required to learn even one of their great rites perfectly, there being, so it is said, sometimes two hundred songs to be memorized. No priest attempts to learn more than one of the great rites, although he may know some of the minor ceremonies. In many of their ceremonies the Navahos masquerade in the costumes of their favorite gods, and, while posing as gods, gesticulate and utter strange sounds, though they never speak. For the time being the priest thus masquerading, is to all intents and purposes, the god he represents. He hears prayers and accepts sacrifices, not as a man, but as the impersonator of divinity, much the same as do the priests of our Christian churches when they receive offerings, or hear confessions, or dispense blessings.
The ceremony of the Mountain Chant is thus described:
“The ceremony of the Mountain Chant is perhaps one of the most elaborate rites celebrated by the Navahos. It is founded on a myth, the burden of which is the story of the wanderings of a family of six Navahos, the father, mother, two sons and two daughters. These people wandered for many days in the vicinity of the Carrizo mountains, then journeyed far to the north, crossing the San Juan river. The legend relates that the two sons provided meat for the family by hunting rabbits, wood rats, and other small animals, and the two daughters gathered edible seeds and roots on the way. It was a long time before the young men learned to follow the trail of the deer, and on one occasion, after returning to camp without the coveted deer, the old man became provoked at the stupidity of his sons and said to them, “You kill nothing because you know nothing. If you had knowledge you would be successful. I pity you.' He then directed them to build a sweat house, giving them instructions as to the details of its construction. After undergoing the purifying ordeal of the sweat bath, he began slowly and carefully to teach them all the arts of woodcraft; how to surprise the vigilant deer, and carefully, step by step, they were initiated into the mysteries of the chase. After many days of careful drilling, these sons made great preparations for going on a big hunt in the distant mountains. They returned after many days, each with a deer he had slain, together with much dried meat and many skins.
“It finally developed that the old man was a great prophet, and the myth goes on to relate how the two sons disobeyed their father's instructions and the punishment that was visited upon them by the gods in consequence thereof. Afterwards the prophet was captured by the Utes, always at enmity with the Navahos, bound hand and foot, and sentenced by the Ute council to be whipped to death. An angel visited the old man in the night and loosed his thongs, and the prophet took his flight, and after undergoing many hair-breadth escapes, finally reached the home of the gods who taught him how to make offerings to the deities. They also taught him the mysteries of the dry sand-paintings, and how to perform the great healing rites of the Mountain Chant.
“When the prophet at last returned to his people, a great feast and dance were given in his honor. There was much rejoicing and making merry. He was washed from head to foot and dried with the sacred corn meal. He was then asked to relate his experiences in the strange