Ceremonial of Hasjelti Dailjis and Mythical Sand Painting of the - Navajo Indians
by James Stevenson
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Ceremonial of Hasjelti Dailjis and Mythical Sand Painting of the Navajo Indians

by James Stevenson

Edition 1, (September 2006)




FIG. 115. Exterior lodge. FIG. 116. Interior lodge. FIG. 117. Gaming ring. FIG. 118. Sweat house. PLATE CXII. A, Rainbow over eastern sweat house; B, Rainbow over western sweat house PLATE CXIII. Blanket rug and medicine tubes PLATE CXIV. Blanket rug and medicine tubes PLATE CXV. Masks: 1, Naiyenesyong; 2, 3, Tobaidischinne; 4, 5, Hasjelti; 6, Hostjoghon; 7, Hostjobokon; 8, Hostjoboard PLATE CXVI. Blanket rug and medicine tubes PLATE CXVII. 1, Pine boughs on sand bed; 2, Apache basket containing yucca suds lined with corn pollen; 3, Basket of water surface covered with pine needles PLATE CXVIII. Blanket rug and medicine tubes and sticks PLATE CXIX. Blanket rug and medicine tube PLATE CXX. First sand painting PLATE CXXI. Second sand painting PLATE CXXII. Third sand painting PLATE CXXIII. Fourth sand painting


During my visit to the Southwest, in the summer of 1885, it was my good fortune to arrive at the Navajo Reservation a few days before the commencement of a Navajo healing ceremonial. Learning of the preparation for this, I decided to remain and observe the ceremony, which was to continue nine days and nights. The occasion drew to the place some 1,200 Navajos. The scene of the assemblage was an extensive plateau near the margin of Keam's Canyon, Arizona.

A variety of singular and interesting occurrences attended this great event—mythologic rites, gambling, horse and foot racing, general merriment, and curing the sick, the latter being the prime cause of the gathering. A man of distinction in the tribe was threatened with loss of vision from inflammation of the eyes, having looked upon certain masks with an irreligious heart. He was rich and had many wealthy relations, hence the elaborateness of the ceremony of healing. A celebrated theurgist was solicited to officiate, but much anxiety was felt when it was learned that his wife was pregnant. A superstition prevails among the Navajo that a man must not look upon a sand painting when his wife is in a state of gestation, as it would result in the loss of the life of the child. This medicine man, however, came, feeling that he possessed ample power within himself to avert such calamity by administering to the child immediately after its birth a mixture in water of all the sands used in the painting. As I have given but little time to the study of Navajo mythology, I can but briefly mention such events as I witnessed, and record the myths only so far as I was able to collect them hastily. I will first describe the ceremony of Yebitchai and give then the myths (some complete and others incomplete) explanatory of the gods and genii figuring in the Hasjelti Dailjis (dance of Hasjelti) and in the nine days' ceremonial, and then others independent of these. The ceremony is familiarly called among the tribe, "Yebitchai," the word meaning the giant's uncle. The name was originally given to the ceremonial to awe the children who, on the eighth day of the ceremony, are initiated into some of its mysteries and then for the first time are informed that the characters appearing in the ceremony are not real gods, but only their representatives. There is good reason for believing that their ideas in regard to the sand paintings were obtained from the Pueblo tribes, who in the past had elaborated sand paintings and whose work at present in connection with most of their medicine ceremonies is of no mean order. The Mission Indians of southern California also regard sand paintings as among the important features in their medicine practices. While the figures of the mythical beings represented by the Navajo are no doubt of their own conception, yet I discovered that all their medicine tubes and offerings were similar to those in use by the Zuni. Their presence among the Navajo can be readily explained by the well known fact that it was the custom among Indians of different tribes to barter and exchange medicine songs, ceremonies, and the paraphernalia accompanying them. The Zuni and Tusayan claim that the Navajo obtained the secrets of the Pueblo medicine by intruding upon their ceremonials or capturing a pueblo, and that they appropriated whatever suited their fancy.

FIG. 115. Exterior lodge.

My explanation of the ceremonial described is by authority of the priest doctor who managed the whole affair and who remained with me five days after the ceremonial for this special purpose. Much persuasion was required to induce him to stay, though he was most anxious that we should make no mistake. He said:

My wife may suffer and I should be near her; a father's eyes should be the first to look upon his child; it is like sunshine in the father's heart; the father also watches his little one to see the first signs of understanding, and observes the first steps of his child, that too is a bright light in the father's heart, but when the little one falls, it strikes the father's heart hard.

The features of this ceremonial which most surprise the white spectator are its great elaborateness, the number of its participants and its prolongation through many days for the purpose of restoring health to a single member of the tribe.


A rectangular parallelogram was marked off on the ground, and at each corner was firmly planted a forked post extending 10 feet above the surface, and on these were laid 4 horizontal beams, against which rested poles thickly set at an angle of about 20 deg., while other poles were placed horizontally across the beams forming a support for the covering. The poles around the sides were planted more in an oval than a circle and formed an interior space of about 35 by 30 feet in diameter. On the east side of the lodge was an entrance supported by stakes and closed with a buffalo robe, and the whole structure was then thickly covered first with boughs, then with sand, giving it the appearance of a small earth mound.

FIG. 116. Interior lodge.



The theurgist or song-priest arrived at noon on the 12th of October, 1885. Almost immediately after his arrival we boldly entered the medicine lodge, accompanied by our interpreter, Navajo John, and pleaded our cause. The stipulation of the medicine man was that we should make no mistakes and thereby offend the gods, and to avoid mistakes we must hear all of his songs and see all of his medicines, and he at once ordered some youths to prepare a place for our tent near the lodge. During the afternoon of the 12th those who were to take part in the ceremonial received orders and instructions from the song-priest. One man went to collect twigs with which to make twelve rings, each 6 inches in diameter. These rings represented gaming rings, which are not only used by the Navajo, but are thought highly of by the genii of the rocks. (See Fig. 117.) Another man gathered willows with which to make the emblem of the concentration of the four winds. The square was made by dressed willows crossed and left projecting at the corners each one inch beyond the next. The corners were tied together with white cotton cord, and each corner was ornamented with the under tail feather of the eagle. These articles were laid in a niche behind the theurgist, whose permanent seat was on the west side of the lodge facing east. The night ceremony commenced shortly after dark. All those who were to participate were immediate friends and relatives of the invalid excepting the theurgist or song-priest, he being the only one who received direct compensation for his professional services. The cost of such a ceremony is no inconsiderable item. Not only the exorbitant fee of the theurgist must be paid, but the entire assemblage must be fed during the nine days' ceremonial at the expense of the invalid, assisted by his near relatives.

FIG. 117. Gaming ring.

A bright fire burned in the lodge, and shortly after dark the invalid appeared and sat upon a blanket, which was placed in front of the song-priest. Previously, however, three men had prepared themselves to personate the gods—Hasjelti, Hostjoghon, and Hostjobokon—and one to personate the goddess, Hostjoboard. They left the lodge, carrying their masks in their hands, went a short distance away and put on their masks. Then Hasjelti and Hostjoghon returned to the lodge, and Hasjelti, amid hoots, "hu-hoo-hu-huh!" placed the square which he carried over the invalid's head, and Hostjoghon shook two eagle wands, one in each hand, on each side of the invalid's head and body, then over his head, meanwhile hooting in his peculiar way, "hu-u-u-u-uh!" He then followed Hasjelti out of the lodge. The men representing Hostjobokon and Hostjoboard came in alternately. Hostjobokon took one of the rings which had been made during the afternoon, and now lay upon the blanket to the right of the invalid, and placed it against the soles of the feet of the invalid, who was sitting with knees drawn up, and then against his knees, palms, breast, each scapula, and top of his head; then over his mouth. While touching the different parts of the body the ring was held with both hands, but when placed to the mouth of the invalid it was taken in the left hand. The ring was made of a reed, the ends of which were secured by a long string wrapped over the ring like a slipnoose. When the ring was placed over the mouth of the invalid the string was pulled and the ring dropped and rolled out of the lodge, the long tail of white cotton yarn, with eagle plume attached to the end, extending far behind. Hoslgoboard repeated this ceremony with a second ring, and so did Hostjobokon and Hostjoboard alternately, until the twelve rings were disposed of. Three of the rings were afterward taken to the east, three to the south, three to the west, and three to the north, and deposited at the base of pinon trees. The rings were placed over the invalid's mouth to give him strength, cause him to talk with one tongue, and to have a good mind and heart. The other portions of the body were touched with them for physical benefit. When the rings had all been rolled out of the lodge Hasjelti entered, followed by Hostjoghon. He passed the square (the concentrated winds) four times over the head of the invalid during his hoots. Hostjoghon then waved his turkey wands about the head and body of the invalid, and the first day's ceremony was at an end.



The construction of the first sweat house, or tachi, was begun at dawn. Four of these houses were built on four consecutive mornings, each one located about 400 feet distant from the great central medicine lodge, toward the four cardinal points, and all facing to the east. The first one built was east of the lodge. A description of the construction of this particular one will answer for all, but the ceremonies differ in detail.

Four upright poles, forked at the upper ends, were placed at the four cardinal points within an area designated as the base of the house, the forked ends resting against each other, a circular excavation some 6 feet in diameter and 1 foot in depth having first been made. Between the uprights smaller poles were laid; on the poles pinon boughs, sage and Bigelovia Douglasii (a kind of sage brush) were placed as a thatch; all being laid sufficiently compact to prevent the sand placed over the top from sifting through. The doorway, on the east side of the house, was about 2-1/2 feet high and 20 inches wide. Highly polished sticks (the same as those employed in blanket weaving) were used to render the sand covering of the structure smooth. The sweat houses to the east and west had the rainbow painted over them. Those to the north and south were devoid of such decoration, because the song priest seldom completes his medicine in one ceremonial; and he chose to omit the songs which would be required if the bow ornamented the north and south sweat houses. Under the direction of the priest of the sweat house, who received instruction from the song priest, three young men painted the rainbow, one the head and body, another the skirt and legs, while the third painted the bow. The head of this goddess was to the north, the bow extending over the structure. The colors used were made from ground pigments sprinkled on with the thumb and forefinger. Whenever a pinch of the dry paint was taken from the pieces of bark which served as paint cups, the artist breathed upon the hand before sprinkling the paint. This, however, had no religious significance, but was merely to clear the finger and thumb of any superfluous sand. The colors used in decoration were yellow, red, and white from sandstones, black from charcoal, and a grayish blue, formed of white sand and charcoal, with a very small quantity of yellow and red sands. (See Fig. 118.) The decorators were carefully watched by the song priest.

FIG. 118. Sweat house.

Upon the completion of the rainbow the song priest returned to the medicine lodge, but soon reappeared bearing a basket of twelve turkey wands, and these he planted around the base of the sweat house on a line of meal he had previously sprinkled. There was a fire some 20 feet from the house, in which stones were heated. These stones were placed in the sweat house on the south side, and upon them was thrown an armful of white sage and Bigelovia Douglasii. A few pine boughs were laid by the side of the stones for the invalid to sit upon. The entrance to the sweat house was then covered with a black and white striped blanket upon which were placed two large Coconino buckskins one upon the other, and upon them a double piece of white cotton. The buckskins represented daylight, or the twilight that comes just at the dawn of day. The invalid for whom this ceremony was held took off all his clothing except the breech cloth, and sat on the outside by the entrance of the sweat house amid the din of rattle and song, the theurgist being the only one who had a rattle. The invalid propelled himself into the house feet foremost, the covering of the sweat house having been raised for this purpose. After entering it, he rid himself of his breechcloth and the coverings were immediately dropped. The song continued 5 minutes, when all stopped for a moment and then recommenced.


During the song the theurgist mixed various herbs in a gourd over which he poured water. After chanting some twenty minutes he advanced to the entrance of the house, taking the medicine gourd with him, and, after pouring some of its contents on the heated stones, took his seat and joined in the chanting. After another twenty minutes Hasjelti and Hostjoghon appeared. A Navajo blanket had previously been placed on the ground at the south side of the entrance. Hasjelti lifted the coverings from the entrance, and the patient, having first donned his breech cloth, came out and sat on the blanket. Hasjelti rubbed the invalid with the horn of a mountain sheep held in the left hand, and in the right hand a piece of hide, about 10 inches long and 4 wide, from between the eyes of the sheep. The hide was held flatly against the palm of the hand, and in this way the god rubbed the breast of the invalid, while he rubbed his back with the horn, occasionally alternating his hands. Hostjoghon put the invalid through the same manipulation. The gods then gave him drink four times from the gourd containing medicine water composed of finely-chopped herbs and water, they having first taken a draught of the mixture. The soles of the feet, palms, breast, back, shoulders, and top of the head of the invalid were touched with medicine water, and the gods suddenly disappeared. The patient arose and bathed himself with the remainder of the medicine water and put on his clothing. The coverings of the entrance, which were gifts to the song priest from the invalid, were gathered together by the song priest and carried by an attendant to the medicine lodge. An attendant erased the rainbow by sweeping his hand from the feet to the head, drawing the sands with him, which were gathered into a blanket and carried to the north and deposited at the base of a pinon tree. The song priest placed the wands in a basket, and thus, preceded by the invalid, carried them in both hands to the medicine lodge singing a low chant. The sweat house was not carelessly torn down, but was taken down after a prescribed form. Four men commenced at the sides toward the cardinal points, and with both hands scraped the sand from the boughs. When this was all removed the boughs were carefully gathered and conveyed to a pinon tree some 50 feet distant and fastened horizontally in its branches about 2 feet above the ground. The heated stones from the interior of the sweat house were laid on the boughs; the upright logs which formed the frame work of the house were carried to a pinon tree, a few feet from the tree in which the boughs and heated stones were placed, and arranged crosswise in the tree, and on these logs corn meal was sprinkled and on the meal a medicine tube (cigarette) was deposited. The tube was about 2 inches long and one third of an inch in diameter, and it contained a ball composed of down from several varieties of small birds, sacred tobacco, and corn pollen. It was an offering to Hasjelti. Meal was sprinkled on the tube. The ground on which the house had stood was smoothed over, the ashes from the fire carefully swept away, and thus all traces of the ceremony were removed. The invalid upon entering the lodge took his seat on the west side facing east. The song priest continued his chant. He took from the meal bag some sacred meal and placed it to the soles of the feet of the invalid and on his palms, knees, breast, back, shoulders, and head. At the conclusion of this ceremony all indulged in a rest for an hour or more. The bark cups which contained the colored sands for decorating were placed in the medicine lodge north of the door.


The deer skins which hang over the entrance of the sweat houses (a different skin being used for each sweat house) must be from animals which have been killed by being smothered. The deer is run down and secured by ropes or otherwise. Corn pollen is then put into the mouth of the deer and the hands are held over the mouth and nostrils until life is extinct. The animal now being placed upon his back, a line is drawn with corn pollen, over the mouth, down the breast and belly to the tail. The line is then drawn from the right hoof to the right foreleg to the breast line. The same is done on the left fore leg and the two hind legs. The knife is then passed over this line and the deer is flayed. Skins procured in this way are worth, among the Navajo, $50 each. Masks are made of skins prepared in the same manner. If made of skins of deer that have been shot the wearer would die of fever.

Buckskin over the entrance to an eastern sweat house denotes dawn; over a southern, denotes red of morning; over a western, sunset; over a northern, night.


Before noon two sheepskins were spread one upon the other before the song-priest. Upon these was laid a blanket, and on the blanket pieces of cotton. These rugs extended north and south. The theurgist then produced a large medicine bag, from which a reed was selected. The reed was rubbed with a polishing stone, or, more accurately speaking, the polishing stone was rubbed with the reed, as the reed was held in the right hand and rubbed against the stone, which was held in the left. It was then rubbed with finely broken native tobacco, and afterwards was divided into four pieces, the length of each piece being equal to the width of the first three fingers. The reeds were cut with a stone knife some 3-1/2 inches long. An attendant then colored the tubes. The first reed was painted blue, the second black, the third blue, and the fourth black. Through all these, slender sticks of yucca had been run to serve as handles while painting the tubes and also to support the tubes while the paint was drying. The attendant who cut the reeds sat left of the song-priest, facing east; a stone containing the paints was placed to the north of the rug; and upon the end of the stone next to himself the reed-cutter deposited a bit of finely broken tobacco. In cutting the reeds occasionally a bit splintered off; these scraps were placed by the side of the tobacco on the northeast end of the rug.

The attendant who colored the reeds sat facing west; and as each reed was colored it was placed on the rug, the yucca end being laid on a slender stick which ran horizontally. The first reed painted was laid to the north. Three dots were put upon each blue reed to represent eyes and mouth; two lines encircled the black reeds. Four bits of soiled cotton cloth were deposited in line on the east of the rug. The three attendants under the direction of the song-priest took from the medicine bag, first two feathers from the Arctic blue bird (Sialia arctica), which he placed west of the bit of cloth that lay at the north end of the rug; he placed two more of the same feathers below the second piece of cloth; two under the third, and two below the fourth, their tips pointing east. Then upon each of these feathers he placed an under tail-feather of the eagle. The first one was laid on the two feathers at the north end of the rug; again an under tail-feather of the turkey was placed on each pile, beginning with that of the north. Then upon each of these was placed a hair from the beard of the turkey, and to each was added a thread of cotton yarn. During the arrangement of the feathers the tube decorator first selected four bits of black archaic beads, placing a piece on each bit of cloth; then four tiny pieces of white shell beads were laid on the cloths; next four pieces of abalone shell and four pieces of turquois.

In placing the beads he also began at the north end of the rug. An aged attendant, under the direction of the song-priest, plucked downy feathers from several humming-birds and mixed them together into four little balls one-fourth of an inch in diameter and placed them in line running north and south, and south of the line of plume piles. He sprinkled a bit of corn pollen upon each ball; he then placed what the Navajo term a night-owl feather under the balls with its tip pointing to the northeast. (See Pl. CXIII). The young man facing west then filled the colored reeds, beginning with the one on the north end. He put into the hollow reed, first, one of the feather balls, forcing it into the reed with the quill end of the night-owl feather. (A night-owl feather is always used for filling the reeds after the corn is ripe to insure a warm winter; in the spring a plume from the chaparral cock, Geococcyx californianus, is used instead to bring rain). Then a bit of native tobacco was put in. When the reed was thus far completed it was passed to the decorator, who had before him a tiny earthen bowl of water, a crystal, and a small pouch of corn pollen. Holding the crystal in the sunbeam which penetrated through the fire opening in the roof, he thus lighted the cigarettes which were to be offered to the gods. The forefinger was dipped into the bowl of water and then into the corn pollen, and the pollen that adhered to the finger was placed to the top of the tube. After the four tubes were finished they were placed on the pieces of cloth, not, however, until a bit of pollen had been sprinkled on the beads which lay on the cloth. The pollen end of the tube pointed to the east. The four bunches of feathers were then laid on the tubes. The song-priest rolled up each cloth and holding the four parcels with both hands he placed them horizontally across the soles of the feet, knees, palms, breast, back, shoulders, head, and across the mouth of the invalid, and the invalid drew a breath as the parcel touched his lips. He sat to the north of the rug facing east. The sick man then received the parcels from the song-priest and held them so that the ends projected from between the thumbs and forefingers, and repeated a prayer after the theurgist, who sat facing the invalid. The prayer ran thus:

People of the mountains and rocks, I hear you wish to be paid. I give to you food of corn pollen and humming-bird feathers, and I send to you precious stones and tobacco which you must smoke; it has been lighted by the sun's rays and for this I beg you to give me a good dance; be with me. Earth, I beg you to give me a good dance, and I offer to you food of humming-birds' plumes and precious stones, and tobacco to smoke lighted by the sun's rays, to pay for using you for the dance; make a good solid ground for me, that the gods who come to see the dance may be pleased at the ground their people dance upon; make my people healthy and strong of mind and body.

The prayer being offered, the parcels were given by the theurgist to an attendant, who deposited them in line three feet apart along the side of the dancing ground in front of the lodge. Their proper place is immediately on the ground that is to be danced upon, but to prevent them from being trampled on they are laid to one side. The black tubes are offerings to the gods and the blue to the goddesses of the mountains and to the earth.



The construction of the second sweat house began at sunrise and was completed at nine o'clock. Several large rocks were heated and placed in the sweat house and as before white sage and Bigelovia Douglasii were thrown in, the fumes of which were designed as medicine for the sick man. After the invalid entered the sweat house, buckskin blankets, etc., were drawn over the entrance. The song-priest, accompanied by two attendants, sat a little to the south. He sprinkled meal around the west base of the house and over the top from north to south and placed the wands around its base in the manner heretofore described (the twelve wands and medicine used were the special property of the theurgist). The song-priest holding the rattle joined the choir in a chant. To his right were two Navajo jugs filled with water and an Apache basket partly filled with corn meal. A bunch of buckskin bags, one of the small blue medicine tubes, a mountain sheep's horn, and a piece of undressed hide lay on the meal. Near by was a gourd half filled with water in which meal was sprinkled; near this was a small earthenware vase containing water and finely chopped herbs. At the conclusion of the chant the song-priest passed his rattle to one of the choir and stirred the mixture in the bowl with his forefinger, and after a few remarks to the invalid, who was still in the sweat house, he threw some of the mixture in upon the hot rocks. This was repeated four times, when the song-priest returned to his former position. The sweat-house priest took from his shoulders a Navajo blanket and spread it near the door a little to the right. A call from one of the attendants was a signal for Hasjelti and Hostjoghon to appear. The two men personating these gods were behind a tree south of the sweat house, their bodies, arms, and legs painted white. Foxskins were attached pendent to the backs of their girdles. As the gods approached the sweat house, the patient came out and sat upon the blanket, and Hasjelti took a mountain sheep's horn, in the right hand and the piece of hide in the other and rubbed the sick man, beginning with the limbs; as he rubbed down each limb, he threw his arms toward the eastern sky and cried "yo-yo!" He also rubbed the head and body, holding the hands on opposite sides of the body. After this rubbing, the sick man drank from the bowl of medicine-water, then arose and bathed himself with the same mixture, the filled gourds being handed to him four times by Hasjelti, each time accompanied with his peculiar hoot. Hostjoghon repeated the same ceremony over the invalid. There was a constant din of rattle and chanting, the gods disappeared, and immediately thereafter the theurgist gathered the twelve wands from the base of the sweat house. He removed the blue reed from the basket and laid it a little to the left of the priest of the sweat house, who in turn handed it to an attendant to be deposited with the wood of the sweat house in a neighboring tree. The invalid proceeded to the medicine lodge followed by the song-priest uttering a low chant. After entering the lodge the invalid took his seat on the west side; the song-priest, still standing, took from a small buckskin bag white powdered material which he rubbed on the soles of the feet, palms, knees, breast, shoulders, and head of the invalid; then taking a pinch of the same material he extended his hand first toward the east and then toward the heavens and the earth. After these attentions he took his accustomed seat in the lodge and joined in conversation with his attendants.


Two sheepskins, a blanket, and cotton cloth were spread one upon the other in front of the song-priest; and from the long reeds that had been first rubbed with a polishing stone, then with tobacco, were cut ten pieces an inch and a quarter long and two pieces 2 inches long. These were colored black and blue, one long piece and five small ones being black, the others blue. While these were being decorated the song-priest and choir sang "My fathers, see, we are getting ready! We do our work well, and you would better go into the house for we are to have rain! Now, mothers, send down rain upon us!" This song was constantly repeated.

The tubes when completed were laid in position to form a dual person. The long black tube representing the body was first placed in position. The long blue tube was then laid by its side and south of it. The pollen end of the tubes pointed to the east. The right black leg was the next placed in position, then the right blue leg, the left black leg and left blue leg. The right black arm, then the right blue arm, the left black arm and the left blue arm, then the black head and the blue head. (See PI. CXV.)

These tubes were filled with feathers, balls, and tobacco, and tipped with the corn pollen and lighted with the crystal, the black tubes being offerings to the gods, the blue to the goddesses. After they were completed they were placed in position by a second attendant; and while the tubes were being filled the song-priest and choir sang "See, fathers! We fill these with tobacco; it is good; smoke it!" A message was received from the fathers that they would smoke, and, puffing the smoke from their mouths, they would invoke the watering of the earth. They again sang "All you people who live in the rocks, all you who are born among the clouds, we wish you to help us; we give you these offerings that you may have food and a smoke! All women, you who live in the rocks, you who are born among the fog, I pray you come and help us; I want you to come and work over the sick; I offer to you food of humming-birds' plumes, and tobacco to smoke!" Two bunches of feathers which had been placed to the east side of the rug pointing east were deposited in two corn husks, each husk containing bits of turquoise, black archaic beads, and abalone shell; corn pollen was sprinkled on these. The song-priest then placed the dual body in the husks thus: First, the black body was laid upon the husks to the north, and upon this a pinch of pollen was sprinkled; the blue body was placed in the other husks and pollen sprinkled upon it; then the two right legs (black and blue) were put into the corn husks with the black body; the two left legs were added to the same; the right and left arms and the two heads were placed in the husk with the blue body and corn pollen sprinkled upon them. The husks were closed and held by the song-priest to the soles of the feet, palms, knees, breast, shoulders, back, and top of head of the invalid, who repeated a long prayer after the theurgist, and the parcels were given to an attendant, who carried them some distance from the lodge to the north and placed them in a secluded shady spot upon the ground. Two bits of tobacco were laid upon the ground and upon these the body was placed, the figure in a recumbent position with the arms over the head. The invalid for whom this ceremony was held spared no expense in having the theurgist make the most elaborate explanation to his near relatives of the secrets of the medicine tubes.



The theurgist occupied his usual seat, surrounded by his corps of attendants. The man personating Naiyenesgony had his body and limbs painted black. The legs below the knee, the scapula, the breasts, and the arm above the elbow were painted white. His loins were covered with a fine red silk scarf, held by a silver belt; his blue knit stockings were tied with red garters below each knee, and quantities of coral, turquois, and white shell beads ornamented the neck. The man representing Tobaidischinni had his body colored reddish brown, with this figure (the scalp knot) in white on the outside of each leg below the knee, on each arm below the shoulder, each scapula, and on each breast. This design represents the knot of hair cut from the heads of enemies, and the style is still in use by the Navajo. The man wore a red woolen scarf around the loins, caught on by a silver belt, and his neck was profusely ornamented with coral, turquois, and white beads.(1) Naiyenesgony and Tobaidischinni left the lodge, carrying with them their masks. (See Pl. cxv, 1, 2, 3.) Bunches of pine boughs, which during the forenoon had been made into wreaths by joining pieces together with yucca in this fashion were laid across each end of the rug.

After the two men personating the gods left the lodge the invalid entered and took his seat on the rug with his back to the theurgist. Two attendants dressed him with the wreaths, beginning with the right ankle; a piece was then tied around the calf, thigh, waist, around the chest, right wrist, elbow, upper arm, throat, forehead, then around the upper left arm, elbow, wrist, thigh, left knee, calf, and ankle. Thus the man was literally obscured with a mass of pine. He sat in an upright position with the legs extended and arms falling by his sides. A chant was sung by the song priest, and in a few minutes Naiyenesgony and Tobaidischinni appeared. Naiyenesgony drew his stone knife in front of the invalid over the forehead to the feet, then down the right side and down the back and down the left side. He then began to remove the pine. As each wreath was taken off the clusters were partly separated with the stone knife. Tobaidischinni assisted Naiyenesgony by holding the wreaths while they were being cut.

When all the evergreen had been removed the personators of the gods exclaimed, "Now, my people, we have killed all enemies!" and immediately left the lodge. The song priest placed a small wreath of the pine on the sick man's head, and holding in his left hand a bunch of eagle plumes, and in his right hand a rattle, he sang the ten songs and prayers, assisted by the choir, that were given by Naiyenesgony and Tobaidischinni to the Navajo to bring health and good fortune. After the pine-bough wreaths had been separated the bits of yucca-strings were picked up by the attendant and handed to Naiyenesgony, who held them over the sick man's head, after which the bits were again divided with the knife. After the ten songs and prayers had been chanted the invalid left the rug and sat a little to the northeast, of it, with his knees drawn up. The song priest placed two live coals in front of the invalid and sprinkled chopped herbs on the coals, the fumes of which the invalid inhaled. The pines were carried off and placed in the shade of a pine tree, that the disease might not leave the pine and return to the invalid.(2)


The personators of Hasjelti and Hostjoghon adorned themselves for the ceremony. Hasjelti wore ordinary clothing and a red scarf, with a silver belt around the waist. Hostjoghon's body was painted white, and he wore a red woolen scarf around the loins, caught on with a silver belt. A rug, composed of a blanket and a piece of white cotton, was spread in front of the song priest, and the masks of Hasjelti and Hostjoghon placed thereon. (See Pl. CXV, 4,5,6.)

Upon the completion of the toilets of the personators of the gods they hurried from the lodge, bearing their masks with them, when an attendant made a cavity immediately in front of the rug 4 inches in diameter, and the song priest sprinkled a circle of meal around the cavity. The invalid entered the lodge and stood on the rug and removed all of his clothing except the breech cloth. He then took his seat facing east, with knees drawn up. A mask of the Hostjobokon, which had been laid upon the rug, was drawn over the invalid's head. Hasjelti and Hostjoghon appeared at this juncture bearing a pine bough some 5 feet in height. An attendant made gestures over the sick man, holding in his right hand a pinch of sacred meal, which was afterward placed in the cavity. Hasjelti waved the pine bough five times around the invalid and planted it in the cavity, where it was held in place by the gods. Then bending its top, the attendant attached it to the mask over the invalid's head by a buckskin string which was fastened to the mask. The song priest and choir all the while sang a weird chant. The gods raised the bough, gave their peculiar hoots, and disappeared from the lodge, carrying with them the pine bough with the mask attached to it. In a few minutes they came back with the mask. After the chant the song-priest placed meal on the soles of the invalid's feet, knees, palms, breast, back, shoulders, and head, and then put some in the cavity, after which the cavity was filled with earth. Two coals were laid in front of the invalid, and upon these the song priest placed finely broken herbs; an attendant sprinkled water on the herbs, and the invalid inhaled the fumes. The cotton cloth was removed from the blanket rug, and the invalid stepped upon the rug and put on his clothing. When the mask was removed from the invalid's head it drew all fever with it.



The theurgist carried a bowl of water and pine needles, and an attendant bore a gourd of water, a small vase of powdered herbs, and an Apache basket containing corn meal, buckskin bags, horn of the mountain sheep and a piece of hide cut from between the eyes of the animal. The theurgist and attendant took seats to the right of the entrance of the sweat house west of the medicine lodge. This sweat house was decorated with the rainbow. Over the entrance were, first, two striped blankets, one upon the other, a buckskin, and a piece of white cotton. Hot stones, etc., having been previously placed in the sweat house, the sick man entered. The song-priest and four attendants sang, accompanied by the rattle. At the conclusion of the chant Hasjelti and Hostjoghon appeared as on the previous days. Hasjelti lifted the coverings from the entrance and the invalid came out and sat upon a blanket south of the entrance and bathed both his hands in the bowl containing the pine needles and water; he then drank of it and bathed his feet and legs to the thighs, his arms and shoulders, body and face and head, and then emptied the remainder over his back. Hasjelti manipulated the right leg with the sheep's horn and hide, rubbing the upper part of the leg with the right hand, then the under part with the left; he then rubbed the sides of the leg in the same manner, each time giving a hoot; the arms, chest, head, and face were similarly manipulated. Hostjoghon repeated the hooting every time he changed the position of the hands. Hasjelti, taking the gourd containing the water and corn meal, gave four draughts of it to the invalid, hooting each time the bowl was put to the lips; Hostjoghon did the same. The song and rattle continued. Hasjelti, then put the powdered plants from the small vase to the soles of the feet, knees, palms, breast, back, shoulders, and top of the head of the invalid, hooting each time an application was made; this was repeated by Hostjoghon. The invalid took a sip from the bowl and rubbed the remainder over his body. The song-priest then removed the wands from the base of the sweat house and the coverings from the door; the pine boughs and hot stones were also removed and the invalid preceded the song-priest to the medicine lodge. All the wood of the sweat house was placed in a tree, excepting four small pieces, which were deposited, together with the pine boughs from the interior of the sweat house, in a semicircle formed by the rocks from the sweat house at the base of a pinon tree. A line of meal 2 inches in length running east and west was sprinkled on the apex of the semicircle, and upon this line the black tube was laid. A bit of meal was sprinkled on the tube and a quantity over the pine boughs of this small shrine. Before sprinkling the meal on the top of the medicine tube the attendant waved his hand in a circle from left to right, calling "hooshontko;" meaning: Widespread blessings that come not from spoken words, but come to all, that people may have the blessings of corn pollen, and that tongues may speak with the softness of corn pollen.


A rug was laid in front of the theurgist. Four medicine tubes were placed on the rug, the one to the north end being white; the second one black and red, a white line dividing the two colors; the third one, blue; the fourth, black. The white tube was an offering to Hasjelti; the red, to Zaadoltjaii; the blue, to Hostjoboard; the black, to Naaskiddi, the hunchback. The tubes were filled as before described. These tubes were begun and finished by the same person. (See Pl. CXVI.) When the tubes were finished they were put into corn husks and bits of cotton cloth; tiny pieces of turquois, white shell, abalone, and archaic black beads having first been placed on the husks and cloths. The four turkey plumes with barred tips that lay upon the rug were subsequently placed upon the tubes. These parcels were sprinkled by the song priest with corn pollen, and after closing them he placed them in the hands of the invalid, who sat at the northeast corner of the rug facing east. The song-priest sat before him and said a long prayer, which the invalid repeated. At the close of the prayer an aged attendant received the parcels from the theurgist and placed them to the soles of the feet, palms, etc., of the invalid. They were afterward placed to his mouth and he drew from them a long breath. The old man carried the parcels south over the brow of a hill and deposited them in secluded spots about 4 feet apart, repeating a brief prayer over each one; he then motioned toward the east, south, west, and north, and returned to the lodge. During his absence the choir sang; in the meantime the fire in the lodge was reduced to embers.


About noon a circular bed of sand, some four inches in height and four feet in diameter, was made. Five grains of corn and five pine boughs were laid thereon; four of the grains of corn and four of the boughs were placed to the cardinal points. The fifth and center branch of pine covered most of the circle, its tips pointing to the east. The fifth grain of corn was dropped in the center of the sand bed. (See Pl. CXVII, 1). Four of these pine boughs were cut from the east, south, north, and west sides of one tree. The fifth bough may be taken from any part of the tree. Of the five grains of corn one must be white, one yellow, and one blue, and the other two grains may be of either of these three colors. On this particular occasion there were two blue, two white, and one yellow. These grains were, after the ceremony, dried and ground by the theurgist and placed among his medicines. The boughs and sand absorbed the disease from the invalid, and at the close of the ceremony they were carried to the north and deposited in a shady spot that the sun might not touch and develop the latent disease that had been absorbed by them. The boughs and sand were never afterward to be touched. An Apache basket containing yucca root and water was placed in front of the circle. (See Pl. CXVII 2.) There was a second basket south of it which contained water and a quantity of pine needles sufficiently thick to form a dry surface, and on the top a number of valuable necklaces of coral, turquois, and silver. A square was formed on the edge of the basket with four turkey wands. (See Pl. CXVII 3.) The song-priest with rattle led the choir. The invalid sat to the northeast of the circle; a breechcloth was his only apparel. During the chanting an attendant made suds from the yucca. The basket remained in position; the man stooped over it facing north; his position allowed the sunbeams which came through the fire opening to fall upon the suds. When the basket was a mass of white froth the attendant washed the suds from his hands by pouring a gourd of water over them, after which the song-priest came forward and with corn pollen drew a cross over the suds, which stood firm like the beaten whites of eggs, the arms of the cross pointing to the cardinal points. A circle of the pollen was then made around the edge of the suds. The attendant who prepared the suds touched his right hand to the four points of the pollen lines and in the center and placed it upon the head of the patient who first made a circle embracing the sand and basket and then knelt upon the boughs in the center of the sand.(3) A handful of the suds was afterwards put upon his head. The basket was placed near him and he bathed his head thoroughly; the maker of the suds afterwards assisted him in bathing the entire body with the suds, and pieces of yucca were rubbed upon the body. The chant continued through the ceremony and closed just as the remainder of the suds was emptied by the attendant over the invalid's head. The song priest collected the four wands from the second basket and an attendant gathered the necklaces. A second attendant placed the basket before the invalid who was now sitting in the center of the circle and the first attendant assisted him in bathing the entire body with this mixture; the body was quite covered with the pine needles which had become very soft from soaking. The invalid then returned to his former position at the left of the song priest, and the pine needles and yucca, together with the sands, were carried out and deposited at the base of a pinon tree. The body of the invalid was dried by rubbing with meal.


This ceremony commenced almost immediately after the close of the one preceding. The rug was spread over the ground in front of the song priest; four bunches of small sticks were brought in and laid in piles north, south, east, and west of the rug. Four attendants took seats, each before a pile of the wood, and scraped off the bark of their respective heaps; they then cut twelve pieces 2 inches in length, except that cut by the attendant who sat at the north, who made his about 1-1/4 inches long. Being asked why he cut his shorter than the rest, he replied, "All men are not the same size." The sticks were sharpened at one end and cut squarely off at the other. In order that all of the sticks should be of the same length they were measured by placing the three first fingers across the stick. The fifth man sat immediately to the right of the song priest, who took a hollow reed from the large medicine bag from which he cut four pieces, each piece the breadth of his three fingers. The reed, which was cut with a stone knife, was afterwards rubbed with native tobacco. Six sticks of each of the piles had their square ends beveled; these represented females. The attendant on the east side of the rug having completed his twelve sticks, painted them white with kaolin finely ground and mixed with water. The flat ends of the sticks were colored black; the beveled parts were painted blue; around the lower end of the blue was a bit of yellow which represented the jaw painted with corn pollen. Three black dots were painted upon the blue for the eyes and mouth; the ground color was laid on with the finger; the other decorations were made with yucca brushes. The man on the south side colored his sticks blue. The tops of six sticks were painted yellow, and six were black. The black ends were those having the beveled spots. These spots were blue with a chin of yellow; they also had the three black dots for eyes and mouth. The man to the west colored his sticks yellow with the flat ends black; the beveled spots of six of them were blue with a yellow chin and three black dots for eyes and mouth. The sticks to the north were colored black; six of them had the beveled parts colored blue with a yellow jaw, and three spots for eyes and mouth; the six sticks that were not beveled had their flat tops painted blue. All these sticks were laid on the rug with their flat ends outward. The attendants who prepared the reeds, each reed being colored for a cardinal point, filled them with balls of humming-bird feathers and tobacco and lighted them with a crystal, when they were touched with corn pollen. The reed for the east was white, the one for the south blue, that for the west yellow, and that for the north black. Each reed was placed at its appropriate point in line with the sticks. (See Pl. CXVIII.) The theurgist then advanced, carrying a basket half filled with corn meal. This he placed in the center of the rug; when kneeling on the edge of the rug and beginning with the white sticks, he placed first the white reed in the east side of the basket, and passing from this point around to the right he placed the six offerings to the gods, then the six to the goddesses. Next taking the blue tube at the south end he placed it to the left of the white line of sticks, leaving sufficient space for the sticks between it and the white tube; all the blue ones were placed in position corresponding to the white. The yellow followed next, and then the black. All were placed with their flat ends or heads pointed to the rim of the basket. The theurgist deposited the basket in the niche on a pile of turkey feather wands, the wands resting upon a large medicine bag. The sticks and scraps left after making the tubes were carried out and deposited without ceremony.


The rug which was spread in front of the song priest was composed of two blankets whose edges met, and upon this rug there were two lines of masks running north and south; the tops of the masks were to the east. There were sixteen masks; those representing the gods cover the head, and those representing goddesses cover the face only. They were decorated with ribbons, plumes, etc. During the forenoon prayers were said over them and meal sprinkled upon them.


Just after dark those who were to take part in the ceremony prepared to personate one of the Hostjobokon and two of the Hostjoboard (goddesses)—Hostjoghon and Hasjelti. Hostjobokon's body and limbs were painted, and he wore a mountain lion's skin doubled lengthwise and fastened around the loins at the back, and a silver belt encircled his waist. Hasjelti wore knee breeches and a shirt of black velvet, ornamented with silver buttons. His face and hands were covered with white kaolin. Hostjoghon's body was painted white, and he wore a red silk scarf around the loins, caught on with a silver belt. The two men personating the goddesses had their limbs painted white; one wore a black sash around his loins, held by a silver belt. The other had a red woolen scarf and silver belt; gray foxskins hung from the back of the belts. The masks were fastened to their heads before leaving the lodge by means of a string and a lock of their hair, and they were then thrown back from the head. After a little indulgence in their hoots they all left the lodge. The invalid entered the lodge and, stepping upon a piece of white cotton which had been laid diagonally across the rug to the northeast and southwest, took off his clothing. The lodge had now become very crowded. The fire, which had burned brightly during the day, was mere coals. The attendant at the left of the song priest opened the choir with the rattle. The invalid sat upon the cotton cloth. Hasjelti, entering with his favorite hoot amidst rattle and song, placed the square (representing the concentrated winds) four times over the head of the invalid and ran out of the lodge. He entered again and received from the theurgist one of the twelve white sticks which during the forenoon had been placed in the basket. The white stick farthest from the white reed was handed him. This Hasjelti placed to the soles of the feet, knees, palms, etc., of the invalid, amid hoots and antics, after which he dashed out and hurled the stick to the east. One of the Hostjoboard entered and received the next white stick, and after the same ceremony ran out and cast it to the east. Hostjobokon returned and the theurgist handed him the next white stick, when he repeated the ceremony, hurried from the lodge, and threw the stick to the east. Hostjoboard again entered, received a stick, repeated the ceremony, and ran out and threw it to the east; and thus Hostjobokon and Hostjoboard alternated until all the white sticks were disposed of, when Hasjelti reappeared and received from the song priest the white reed (cigarette) and carried it from the lodge. When he returned the theurgist handed him one of the blue sticks, with which he repeated the ceremony and, leaving the lodge, threw it to the south, when Hostjoghon and Hostjoboard alternately disposed of the blue sticks in the same order in which the white sticks had been distributed. The yellow and black sticks were disposed of in a similar manner, Hasjelti officiating with the first stick of each color and the reeds. The yellow sticks were thrown to the west; the black to the north. This was all done amidst the wildest hoots and song of the choir, accompanied by the rattle.

Hasjelti again appeared and placed the square four times over the invalid's head with wild hoots. The four cigarettes to be smoked by the gods were afterwards taken by four of the personators of the gods and deposited in a secluded spot under a tree and sprinkled with corn pollen; after their return Hasjelti again placed the square over the invalid's head. The song priest placed two live coals in front of the invalid, and upon the coals he put a pinch of tobacco, the smoke of which the invalid inhaled. The attendant poured water over the coals, when they were thrown out at the fire opening of the lodge. The personators of the gods returned to the lodge bearing their masks in their hands. The invalid put on his clothing and took his seat upon the rug, but in a short time he returned to his former seat on the northwest side of the lodge. The sweat-house priest appeared with a large buffalo robe which he spread before the song priest, the head pointing north, and upon this various kinds of calico were laid, carefully folded the length of the robe. There were many yards of this. Upon the calico was spread a fine large buckskin, and on this white muslin; these were all gifts from the invalid to the song priest. The masks were then laid upon the cotton (see Pl. CXV, 7, 8); the mask of Hasjelti was on the east side to the north end, that of Hostjoghon at the south end, and between these the six masks of the Hostjobokon were placed. Immediately under these were the six Hostjoboard, and beneath the latter were the masks of Naiyenesgony and Tobaidischinni at the north end. Three other masks of the Etsethle followed in line running south. After all the masks had been properly arranged the song priest sprinkled them with pollen. Beginning with Hasjelti he sprinkled every mask of the upper line thus: Over the top of the head down the center of the face, then forming a kind of half-circle he passed over the right cheek, then passing his hand backward to the left he sprinkled the same line up the left cheek. The second and third rows had simply a line of the pollen run across the masks, beginning at the north end. The theurgist repeated a prayer during the sprinkling of the pollen, then handed the bag of pollen to the priest of the sweat house, who repeated the sprinkling of the masks, when everyone in the lodge, each having his individual bag of pollen, hastened forward and sprinkled the masks, at the same time offering prayers. The theurgist and priest of the sweat house again sprinkled pollen on the masks as heretofore described.

Baskets and bowls in unlimited quantity, filled with food, were placed in a circle around the fire which now burned brightly. The guests formed into groups and drew the food toward them, but did not touch it for a time. The invalid, song-priest, and his attendants, indulged in a smoke which was social and not religious, the white man's tobacco being preferred on such occasions. A girl and a boy, about 12 years of age, came into the lodge. The boy was the son of the invalid, the girl his sister's child. The boy knelt at the northeast end of the rug and the girl at the southeast end. They were richly dressed in Navajo blankets, coral necklaces, etc., and they remained perfectly quiet. The theurgist and his attendants talked together in an undertone, and if the inmates of the lodge spoke at all their voices were scarcely audible. After a time the choir opened, led by the song-priest with his rattle. During the singing the rattle was passed from one to the other. The invalid did not join in the song. The choir continued an hour without cessation, and then rested 2 minutes, and again began and continued for another hour.(4) At the conclusion of the singing the song-priest handed to the girl a wand of turkey plumes taken from a basket of feathers which had stood, since the placing of the masks, on the west side of him. Another wand was passed to the boy; and the children received some instructions from the song-priest, who spoke in an undertone, after which, an attendant filled with water from a wicker water jug a basket that had stood throughout the ceremony at the east of the rug.

The song was now resumed, and dipping the wand he held in the basket of water the boy sprinkled the masks, beginning at the north end and east row. The girl repeated the same. The east row of masks was sprinkled twice. When the children sprinkled the middle and west rows, the ceremony was always begun at the north end of each line of masks; again dipping their wands in the water, the boy beginning at the north side and the girl at the south, they sprinkled the inmates of the lodge. The children were very awkward, and were rendered more so by the many scoldings given them for their mistakes. The sprinkling of the people was continued until the water was exhausted. The lodge was also sprinkled at the cardinal points. The song never ceased throughout this ceremony. The girl and boy, taking the position first assigned them, an attendant, with a reed filled with sacred tobacco, puffed the smoke over the masks, smoking each mask separately on the east row; the middle and west rows he hurriedly passed over. While this was being done an attendant took a pinch from all the different foods and placed what he gathered into a basket in the niche behind the song-priest.(5) After the masks had been smoked, the attendant puffed the smoke over all the people, beginning on the north side of the lodge. During the smoking the song ceased, but was resumed when the attendant took his seat. At the close of the song sacred meal was mixed with water in a Zuni pottery bowl. This meal is made of green corn baked in the earth and then ground. During the preparation of this medicine mixture the song-priest sang: "This food is mixed for the people of the rocks! We feed you with this food, O people of the rocks!" The theurgist then dipped his forefinger into the mixture, and running his hand rapidly over the masks from north to south, he touched each mouth; each line was passed over four times. The invalid dipped his three first fingers into the basket, and placing them in his mouth, sucked in his breath with a loud noise. This was repeated four times by the invalid and then by each of the attendants, when all the inmates of the lodge were expected to partake of the mixture. This was done with a prayer for rain, good crops, health, and riches. All hands now participated in the feast.

FOODS BROUGHT INTO THE LODGE. Da'ttuneilgaij Pats made of wheat flour and fried. Tab'aestch'lonni Corn meal pats wrapped in corn husks and boiled. Tanae'shkiji Thick mush boiled and stirred with sticks. Naenesk'aedi Tortillas. Ta'bijai Four small balls of corn meal wrapped in corn husks and boiled. Insi'dok'ui Corn bread with salt, made from the new corn, wrapped in corn husks and baked in ashes. Tkaeditin White corn meal mush. Klesa'hn Corn meal dough in rectangular cakes baked in ashes, hot earth, or sand. Tseste'lttsoi Cakes some fourth of an inch thick made from sweet corn mixed with goat's milk and baked on a hot rock. Tseste' Bread made of corn first toasted and then finely ground and made into a thin batter which is baked upon a highly polished lava slab. The crisp gauzy sheets are folded or rolled. Tki'neshpipizi Small balls of corn meal mush. To'tkonji Corn meal cakes one-fourth of an inch in thickness of old corn, baked in a pan; they are seasoned with salt. Alkaandt A bread made from sweet corn which is first parched then ground on a metate and then chewed by women and girls and placed in a mass in a flat basket; this must be either of yellow or white corn, the blue corn is never used for this purpose. A mush is made of either white or yellow corn meal and the former preparation which has become yeast is stirred into the mush. A hole is then dug in the ground (near the fire) and lined with shucks into which the mush is poured, it is then covered with shucks after which earth is thrown over it and a large fire built which burns all night. In the early morning the cinders and coals are removed when the bread is found to be baked. Tkleheljoe Yeast is prepared for this bread in the same manner as that for the Alkaandt except that the corn is baked instead of parched. The yeast is then mixed with meal into a stiff dough and baked in corn husks, four pats are placed in each package. Ta'naetnil (beverage) Is the same preparation as the yeast used in the Alkaandt except in this case a drink is made of it by pouring boiling water over it. Diz'etso Peaches (fresh or dried) stewed. There were also several large bowls of stewed mutton.

Little groups of threes and fives were formed over the floor of the lodge; others less fortunate were closely packed together around the outer edge of the lodge and could procure their food only through the generosity of their neighbors. The girl and boy left the lodge after having partaken of the sacred meal mixture. After refreshment the song-priest lifted each mask with his left hand beginning with Hasjelti, and first extending his right hand, which held a fine large crystal, toward the heavens, he touched the under part of each mask with the crystal; four times he passed over the masks. The choir sang but no rattle was used. The crystal was afterward placed on the rug opposite the basket of feathers. The food vessels were removed and the song continued for a time when the song-priest repeated a long low prayer, after which the song was resumed, and thus the night was consumed in prayer and song over the masks.



A basket of yucca suds was prepared by an attendant, who cleansed his hands of the suds by pouring a gourd of clear water over them; he then put a handful of the suds upon the head of a man who stood before him, nude with the exception of a breech cloth, after which the man washed his head from a water jug which was held over the head of the bather by the attendant. The bather covered his body with the suds, and the contents of the jug was emptied on the floor of the lodge by the attendant. The man dressed himself in the ordinary cotton clothing with rare beads around his neck, and a leather pouch held by a band of mountain sheep skin over his shoulders; he knelt before a bowl of white kaolin which he spread over his face; he then took his seat between two attendants, the one to the right of him holding a pinch of native tobacco and the one on the left holding corn meal in the palms of the right hands.

At early dawn the buffalo robe at the entrance of the lodge was slightly dropped from the doorway to admit the rays of approaching day. The masks which had been sung and prayed over all night were laid away in the niche behind the song-priest. The little girl who performed the previous night returned to the lodge, but I could not see that she was there for any purpose save to eat some of the remaining food, which had been gathered into two large parcels and left by the old woman who removed the vessels after the feast. A red blanket was laid and upon it a piece of white cotton. A reed five inches in length and twice the diameter of the others heretofore used was prepared. The reed was colored black in the usual manner and filled with a feather ball and tobacco. It was lighted with the crystal and touched with the pollen. Upon the completion of the tube the invalid took his seat on the west side of the rug, the attendant who prepared the tube sitting on the west side; he took from one pouch four white shell beads and from another a turquoise bead; he looped a cord of white cotton yarn some three feet long around the pollen end of the tube and fastened to the loop two wing feathers of the Arctic blue bird, one from the right wing and one from the left, and a tail feather from the same bird and three feathers from a bird of yellow plumage, the right and left wing and tail feather. The five beads were strung on the string, the turquoise being the first put on; these were slipped up the cord and two under tail-feathers and a hair from the beard of the turkey were fastened to the end of the string with a loop similar to that which attached it to the tube. (See PL CXIX.). This was the great (cigarette) offering to Hasjelti and must be placed in a canyon near a spring, for all birds gather at the waters. This was offered that the song-priest might have his prayers passed straight over the line of song. This offering secures the presence of this most valued god and so fills the mind of the song-priest with song and prayer that it comes forth without hesitation and without thought, so that he may never have to think for his words. A small quantity of each variety of sand used in decorating was placed on a husk with a little tobacco, and on these a pinch of corn pollen; the tube was then laid on the husk and the string and feathers carefully placed. Two additional feathers, the under tail of the eagle and turkey, were laid on the husk. A blue feather was dipped in water, then in pollen, and rubbed twice over these feathers; an attendant folded the parcel and the song-priest received it and touched it to the soles of the feet, knees, palms, breast, and back and mouth of the invalid; he then put a pinch of the pollen into the invalid's mouth, and a pinch on the top of the head; he placed the folded husk in the invalid's hand, and stood in front of him and whispered a long prayer which the invalid repeated after him. The manner of holding the husk has been previously described. The man with painted face received the husk from the theurgist, who returned to his seat and at once opened the chant with the rattle. At the close of the chant the holder of the husk touched the soles of the feet, palms, etc., of the invalid with it and left the lodge. This precious parcel was taken three miles distant and deposited in a canyon near a spring where there is a luxuriant growth of reeds. Prayers were offered by the depositor for health, rain, food, and good fortune to all. Only the theurgist and his attendants and a few of the near relatives of the invalid were present at this ceremony.


The sweat-house priest preceded the invalid and song-priest, the latter carrying his medicine basket, wands, etc. The hot stones and pine boughs were put into the sweat house; meal was sprinkled around the west base and the wands deposited, as before described, by the song-priest. Three white and black striped blankets were placed over the entrance, one upon the other, and upon these were a buckskin and several folds of white muslin. An attendant brought a large medicine bowl half filled with pine needles; water was poured upon these; a small earthen bowl and a gourd containing water were placed before the song-priest, who put into the bowl chopped sage, over which he sprinkled dried foods reduced to powder; a small quantity of meal was also sprinkled into the gourd and bowl. The song then began. A small pine bough was laid to the right of the entrance of the sweat house. The opening of the song was a call upon the gods to impart to the medicine power to complete the cure of the invalid and to make all people well, and to have a wet and good ground all over the earth. This song is specially addressed to Toneennili, the water sprinkler.

Hasjelti and Hostjoghon arrived just as the sick man emerged from the sweat house. The invalid bathed himself from the bowl of pine needles and water. Taking the sheep's horn in the left hand and a piece of hide in the right, Hasjelti pressed the invalid's body as before described. The god was requested by the priest of the sweat house to pay special attention to the rubbing of the head of the invalid. The small gourd was handed to Hasjelti, who gave four drafts of its contents to the invalid. Hasjelti touched the soles of the feet, palms, etc., of the invalid with medicine water from the bowl. The gods then suddenly disappeared. On this occasion Hostjoghon took no part in administering the medicine. The invalid, after putting on his clothing, proceeded to the lodge, followed by the song-priest. The sweat house was razed as usual, and the pine boughs and stones were placed to the north of the house in a small pinon tree; the logs of the house were deposited on the ground a few feet from the tree. A line of meal the length of the medicine tube was sprinkled on the logs and the tube laid thereon. Meal was sprinkled over the tube and logs.


The first sand painting occurred on October 16; it was begun in the early forenoon and completed at sundown. Common yellowish sand was brought in blankets. This formed the ground color for the painting. It was laid to form a square 3 inches in depth and 4 feet in diameter. Upon this three figures were painted after the manner described of the painting of the rainbow over the sweat house. Nine turkey wands were placed on the south, west, and north sides of the square, and a line of meal with four foot-marks extended from near the entrance of the lodge to the painting. (See Pl. CXX.)

Hasjelti stands to the north end in the illustration, holding the emblem of the concentrated winds. The square is ornamented at the corners with eagle plumes, tied on with cotton cord; an eagle plume is attached to the head of Hasjelti with cotton cord. The upper horizontal lines on the face denote clouds; the perpendicular lines denote rain; the lower horizontal and perpendicular lines denote the first vegetation used by man. Hasjelti's chin is covered with corn pollen, the head is surrounded with red sunlight, the red cross lines on the blue denote larynx; he wears ear rings of turquoise, fringed leggings of white buckskin, and beaded moccasins tied on with cotton cord. The figure to the south end is Hostjoghon; he too has the eagle plume on the head, which is encircled with red sunshine. His earrings are of turquoise; he has fox-skin ribbons attached to the wrists; these are highly ornamented at the loose ends with beaded pendants attached by cotton strings; he carries wild turkey and eagle feather wands, brightened with red, blue, and yellow sunbeams. The center figure is one of the Hostjobokon, and upon this figure the invalid for whom the ceremonial is held sits. The four footprints are made of meal. These the invalid steps upon as he advances and takes his seat, with knees drawn up, upon the central figure. After dark the invalid walked over the line of meal, being careful to step upon the footprints in order that his mental and moral qualities might be strengthened. The invalid removed his clothing immediately after entering the lodge; he had downy breast feathers of the eagle attached to the scalp lock with white cotton cord; he advanced to the painting and took his seat upon the central figure. An attendant followed him, and with his right hand swept the line of meal after the invalid, removing all traces of it. The entrance of the invalid into the lodge was a signal for the song-priest to open the chant with the rattle. Hasjelti and Hostjoghon bounded into the lodge hooting wildly. The former carried the square (the concentrated winds), which he placed over the sick man's head. Hostjoghon carried a turkey wand in each hand, and these he waved over the invalid's head and hooted; this was repeated four times, and each time the gods ran out of the lodge. Hasjelti wore a velvet dress, but Hostjoghon's body was nude, painted white. This wild, weird ceremony over, the sick man arose and the song-priest gathered the turkey wands from around the painting, while an attendant erased it by rubbing his hands over the sand to the center. The sands were gathered into a blanket and carried out of the lodge and deposited some distance away from the lodge, where the sun could not generate the germ of the disease. The sand is never touched by any one when once carried out, though before the paintings are erased the people clamor to touch them, and then rub their hands over their own bodies that they may be cured of any malady. The invalid, after putting on his clothes, returned to his family lodge. A group then gathered around the spot where the paintings had been and joined in a weird chant, which closed the fifth day's ceremony.


Preparations for a great sand painting began at daylight. Sand for the ground work was carried in in blankets; the fire which had burned through the previous ceremonies was first removed and all traces of it covered with sand. As the artists were to begin the painting with the center of the picture only a portion of the ground color was laid at first, in order to enable them to work with greater facility. While the ground color was being laid a man sat on one side of the lodge grinding with a metate and mixing the colors. A quantity of coals were taken from the exhausted fire from which to prepare black paint. A small quantity of red sand was mixed with the charcoal to give it body or weight. The colors used in this sand painting have all been referred to in the description of the rainbow over the sweat house. After the central portion of the ground work for the painting was smoothed off a Jerusalem cross was drawn in black. The eye usually was the only guide for drawing lines, though on two occasions a weaving stick was used. As a rule four artists were employed, one beginning at each point of the cross. Each arm of the cross was completed by the artist who began the work. For illustration of painting see PL CXXI.

The black cross-bars in the illustration denote pine logs; the white lines the froth of the water; the yellow, vegetable debris gathered by the logs; the blue and red lines, sunbeams. The blue spot in center of cross denotes water. There are four Hostjobokon with their wives the Hostjoboard; each couple sit upon one of the cross arms of the logs. These gods carry in their right hands a rattle, and in their left sprigs of pinon; the wives or goddesses carry pinon sprigs in both hands; the rattle brings male rains, and the pinon, carried by the women, female rains; these rains meet upon the earth, conceive and bring forth all vegetation. Their heads are ornamented with eagle plumes tied on with cotton cord. (Note: In all cases the round head denotes male and octangular head female.) The gods have also a bunch of night-owl feathers and eagle plumes on the left side of the head; both male and female wear turquois earrings and necklaces of the same. The larynx is represented by the parallel lines across the blue. A line of sunlight encircles the head of both males and females. The white spots on the side of the females' heads represent the ears. The arms of the goddesses are covered with corn pollen, and long ribbons of fox skins are attached to the wrists, as shown on painting number one. All wear beaded moccasins tied on with cotton cord. Their chins are covered with corn pollen and red sunlight surrounds the body. The skirts only have an additional line of blue sunlight. Hasjelti is to the east of the painting. He carries a squirrel skin filled with tobacco. His shirt is white cotton and very elastic. The leggings are of white deer skin fringed, and the moccasins are similar to the others. His head is ornamented with an eagle's tail, and to the tip of each plume there is a fluffy feather from the breast of the eagle. A bunch of night-owl feathers is on either side of the eagle tail where it is attached to the head. The horizontal and perpendicular lines on the face were referred to in the description of the first sand painting. The projection on the right of the throat is a fox skin. Hostjoghon's headdress is similar to that of Hasjelti's. Two strips of beaver skin tipped with six quills of the porcupine are attached to the right of the throat. The four colored stars on the body are ornaments of beads. The shirt of this god is invisible; the dark is the dark of the body. Hostjoghon carries a staff colored black from a charred plant. The Navajo paint their bodies with the same plant. The top of the staff is ornamented with a turkey's tail tied to the staff with white cotton cord; eagle and turkey plumes are alternately attached to the staff with a cord.

The Naaskiddi are to the north and south of the painting; they carry staffs of lightning ornamented with eagle plumes and sunbeams. Their bodies are nude except the loin skirt; their leggings and moccasins are the same as the others. The hunch upon the back is a black cloud, and the three groups of white lines denote corn and other seeds of vegetation. Five eagle plumes are attached to the cloud backs (eagles live with the clouds); the body is surrounded with sunlight; the lines of red and blue which border the bunch upon the back denote sunbeams penetrating storm clouds. The black circle zigzagged with white around the head is a cloud basket filled with corn and seeds of grass. On either side of the head are five feathers of the red shafted flicker (Colaptes cafer); a fox skin is attached to the right side of the throat; the mountain sheep horns are tipped with the under tail feathers of the eagle, tied on with cotton cord. The horns are filled with clouds. The rainbow goddess, upon which these gods often travel, completes the picture.

Upon completion of the painting the song-priest, who stood to the east of it holding in his hand a bag of sacred meal, stepped carefully between the figures, sprinkling pollen upon the feet and heart of each. He then sprinkled a thread of pollen up each cheek and down the middle of the face of the figures, afterwards extending his right hand toward the east. The face of the encircling rainbow goddess was also sprinkled. The song-priest placed the sacred wands around the rainbow, commencing on the west side of the painting, and repeated a prayer, pointing his finger to the head of each figure. He also placed a small gourd of medicine water in the hands of the rainbow goddess and laid a small cedar twig on the gourd. The invalid upon entering the lodge was handed an Apache basket containing sacred meal, which he sprinkled over the painting and placed the basket near the feet of the rainbow goddesses; the song-priest and choir sang to the accompaniment of the rattle. A short time after the entrance of the invalid Hasjelti appeared, and taking the evergreen from the gourd dipped it into the medicine water and sprinkled the feet, heart, and heads of the sand figures, after which the invalid sat in the center of the cross. Hasjelti gave him a sip of the sacred water from the gourd and returned the gourd to its place; then he touched the feet, heart, and head of each figure successively with his right hand, each time touching the corresponding parts of the body of the invalid. Every time Hasjelti touched the invalid he gave a weird hoot. After he had been touched with sands from all the paintings the theurgist, selecting a few live coals from a small fire which had been kept burning near the door, threw them in front of the invalid, who still retained his seat in the center of the painting. The theurgist placed herbs, which he took from a buckskin bag, on the coals from which a very pleasant aroma arose. An attendant sprinkled water on the coals and a moment after threw them out of the fire opening. The song-priest gathered the wands from around the edge of the painting and four attendants began to erase it by scraping the sands from the cardinal points to the center. Again the people hurried to take sand from the hearts, heads, and limbs of the figures to rub upon themselves. The sands were gathered into a blanket and deposited at the base of a pinon tree about one hundred yards north of the lodge. A chant closed the ceremony.


The first business of the day was the preparation of an elaborate sand picture, and though the artists worked industriously from dawn, it was not completed until after 3 o'clock. The paint grinder was kept busy to supply the artists. It was observed that in drawing some of the lines the artists used a string of stretched yarn instead of the weaving stick. When five of the figures had been completed, six young men came into the lodge, removed their clothes, and whitened their bodies and limbs with kaolin; they then left the lodge to solicit food from the people, who were now quite thickly gathered over the mesa to witness the closing ceremonies. The mesa top for a mile around was crowded with Indians, horses, sheep, and hogans (lodges); groups of 3 to 20 Indians could be seen here and there gambling, while foot and horse racing were features of special interest. Indeed, the people generally were enjoying themselves at the expense of the invalid. The rainbow goddess, Nattsilit, surrounding the painting, was about 25 feet in length. Upon the completion of the painting the song-priest sprinkled the figures with pollen as before described and planted the feather wands around the pictures.

In the illustration of this painting, Pl. CXXIII, Hasjelti will be recognized as the leader. He carries a fawn skin filled with sacred meal; the spots on the skin are seven and in the form of a great bear. The fawn skin indicates him as the chief of all game. It was Hasjelti who created game. The first six figures following Hasjelti are the Ethsethle. The next six figures are their wives. Toneennili, the water sprinkler (to, water, and yonily, to sprinkle), follows carrying a water jug, from which he sprinkles the earth. The Ethsethle wear leggings of corn pollen and the forearms of the gods are covered with pollen. Their wives have their arms and bodies covered with the same. The skirts of the Ethsethle are elaborately ornamented and their pouches at their sides are decorated with many beads, feathers, and fringes. The gods are walking upon black clouds and mist (the yellow denoting mist), the women upon blue clouds and mist.

During the ceremony an Apache basket containing meal was brought in and placed at the feet of the rainbow goddess. The invalid entered the lodge, which had become quite filled with privileged spectators, and receiving the basket of meal, sprinkled the figures from left to right; he then removed all his clothing except his breech cloth and stood east of the painting. Hostjoghon stepped to the head of the rainbow goddess and taking the small gourd of medicine water dipped the cedar twig into the water and sprinkled the figures, then touched the twig to the feet, heart, and head of each figure, commencing at the male figure to the north and passing south, then beginning with the female figures to the north and passing south. The invalid took his seat in the center of the painting with his knees drawn to his chin. Hostjoghon held the medicine gourd over each figure and passed it to the invalid, who took four sips, Hostjoghon hooting each time he passed the gourd to the invalid. After returning the gourd and twig to their former position he placed the palms of his hands to the feet and head of each figure and then placed his palms on the corresponding parts of the invalid's body, and pressed his head several times between his hands. After touching any part of the invalid, Hostjoghon threw his hands upward and gave one of his characteristic hoots. The song-priest placed coals in front of the invalid and herbs upon them, as he had done the day before, and then retired. The coals were afterwards thrown out of the fire opening and the crowd rushed to the painting to rub their bodies with the sand. The painting was obliterated in the usual manner and the sand carried out and deposited at the base of a pinon tree some 200 yards from the lodge.


The grinding of the paint began at daylight, and just at sunrise the artists commenced their work. When any mistake occurred, which was very seldom, it was obliterated by sifting the ground color over it. Each artist endeavored to finish his special design first, and there was considerable betting as to who would succeed. The rapidity with which these paints are handled is quite remarkable, particularly as most of the lines are drawn entirely by the eye. After the completion of the painting, each figure being three and a half feet long, corn pollen was sprinkled over the whole by the song priest. (See illustration, Pl. CXXIII.)

The corn stalk in the picture signifies the main subsistence of life; the square base and triangle are clouds, and the three white lines at the base of the corn stalk denote the roots of the corn. The figures of this picture are each 3-1/2 feet in length. These are the Zenichi (people of the white rock with a red streak through it) and their wives. Their homes are high in the canyon wall. The black parallelogram to the west of the painting designates a red streak in the rock in which are their homes. The delicate white lines indicate their houses, which are in the interior or depths of the rock, and can not be seen from the surface. This canyon wall is located north of the Ute Mountain. These people of the rocks move in the air like birds. The red portion of the bodies of the Zenichi denote red corn; the black portion black clouds. The red half of the face represents also the red corn; the blue of the bodies of the others denote vegetation in general, and the yellow, pollen of all vegetation. The zigzag lines of the bodies is lightning; the black lines around the head, zigzagged with white, are cloud baskets that hold red corn, which is stacked in pyramidal form and capped with three eagle plumes. There are five feathers of the red and black shafted flicker (Colapteo cafer) on either side of the head. A lightning bow is held in the left hand, the right holds a rattle ornamented with feathers. The females carry in their hands decorated baskets and sprigs of pinon, and they wear white leggings and beaded moccasins. The Zenichi never dance. These gods are also called Zaadoljaii, meaning rough mouth, or anything that protrudes roughly from the mouth. (The mouth and eyes of these gods protrude.) The rainbow goddess is represented at the north and south end of the painting. The corn stalk has two ears of corn, while the original stalk had 12 ears. Two of these ears the gods gave to the younger brother of the Tolchini when they commanded him to return to the Navajo and instruct them how to represent the gods in sand painting and in masks. The four corner figures will be recognized as the Naashiddi (hunchback, or mountain sheep).

During the ceremony Hasjelti, dressed in black velvet ornamented with silver, and Hostjoboard, with her nude body painted white and with silk scarf around the loins caught on with silver belt, left the lodge to gather the children upon the mesa for the purpose of initiating them; but the children had already been summoned by men who rode over the mesa on horseback, visiting every hogan to see that all the children were brought for initiation. A buffalo robe was spread at the end of the avenue which extended from the medicine lodge some three hundred yards. The head of the robe was to the east; at the end of the robe blankets were spread in a kind of semicircle. Most of the children were accompanied by their mothers. The boys were stripped of their clothing and sat upon the buffalo robe. The head of the line being to the north, they all faced east with their feet stretched out. Their arms hung by their sides and their heads were bent forward. The girls sat in line upon the blanket in company with their mothers and the mothers of the boys. It is entirely a matter of choice whether or not a mother accompanies her child or takes any part in the ceremony. The girls also sat like the boys, their heads bent forward. Their heads were bent down that they might not look upon the gods until they had been initiated. Up to this time they were supposed never to have had a close view of the masks or to have inspected anything pertaining to their religious ceremonies. The children ranged from five to ten years of age. At this particular ceremony nine boys and six girls were initiated. When the children were all in position, Hasjelti, carrying a fawn skin containing sacred meal, and Hostjoboard, carrying two needles of the Spanish bayonet, stood in front of the children. The boy at the head of the line was led out and stood facing the east. Hasjelti, with the sacred meal, formed a cross on his breast, at the same time giving his peculiar hoot. Hostjoboard struck him upon the breast, first with the needles held in her right hand and then with those held in the left. Hasjelti then turned the boy toward the right until he faced west and made a cross with meal upon his back, when Hostjoboard struck him twice on the back with the needles. He was again turned to face the east, when both arms were extended and brought together. Hasjelti made a cross over the arms and then over the knees. Each time the boy was crossed with the meal Hostjoboard struck the spot first with the needles in the right hand and then with those in the left, after which the boy returned to his seat. The cross denotes the scalp knot. Most of the boys advanced quite bravely to receive the chastisement. I noticed but one who seemed very nervous, and with great difficulty he kept back the tears. The boys' ceremony over, the gods approached the girls, beginning at the end of the line next to the boys. Hasjelti marked a line of meal on each side of the foot of the girl, when Hostjoboard, now holding two ears of yellow corn wrapped with pinon twigs, placed them to the soles of the girl's feet and Hasjelti drew a line of meal on each hand; after which Hostjoboard placed the ears of corn to the palms of the hands, she holding the corn in her palms and pressing it to the palms of the girl's hands. Hasjelti formed a cross on the breast with the meal and Hostjoboard pressed the two ears of corn to the breast; a cross was made on the back and the two ears of corn pressed to the back. Hasjelti, with his right hand, then drew a line on the girl's left shoulder, and with his left hand a line on the girl's right shoulder, the corn being pressed to the shoulders in the manner described. Two lines of meal were run over the forehead back to the top of the head, and the two ears of corn pressed to the top of head. The boys were nude but the girls were gayly dressed in blankets, jewelry, etc. At the close of this ceremony the representatives of the gods removed their masks and called upon the children to raise their heads. The amazement depicted upon the faces of the children when they discovered their own people and not gods afforded much amusement to the spectators. The masks were laid upon a blanket and the girls and boys were commanded to look upon them. Hostjoboard placed her mask upon the face of each boy and girl and woman in the line, beginning at the north end of the line, giving a hoot each time the mask was placed upon anyone. Great care was taken that the mask should be so arranged upon the face that the eyes might look directly through the eyeholes, for should any blunder occur the sight of at least one eye would be lost. It is scarcely on before it is removed. After the masks had been placed on all the faces it was laid beside Hasjelti's. The man personating Hasjelti sprinkled his mask and then Hostjoboard's with pollen, and the man personating Hostjoboard sprinkled Hasjelti's mask and then his own with pollen. The boy to the north end of the line was called out and from the pollen bag took a pinch of pollen and sprinkled first the mask of Hasjelti and then Hostioboard's. This was repeated by each boy, girl, and woman in the line. In approaching the masks they always pass back of the line around to the north side and then step in front of the masks. The mask is sprinkled in this wise: A line of pollen is run from the top of the head down to the mouth; passing around to the right the line is drawn upward over the left cheek; the hand continues to move outside of the mask to a point below the right cheek, then up the right cheek. The younger children's hands were guided by the representatives of the gods. It would be a great fatality to sprinkle a drop of meal over the eye holes; the individual committing such an error would become blind at least in one eye. Great care is also taken that the line is run up the cheek, for if it was run down not only would vegetation be stunted, but the lives of the people would become so, as all people and things should aim upward not downward. The line running down through the center of the face calls upon the gods above to send down rain upon the earth and health to all people. Two or three children started through ignorance to run the meal down one of the cheeks; they were instantly stopped by Hasjelti, but not until the people looking on had expressed great horror. All in the line having gone through this ceremony the crowd of spectators sprinkled the masks in the same manner. I was requested to sprinkle them, and at the same time was specially instructed to run the lines up the cheeks. This closed the ceremony of initiation. The boys were then permitted to go around at will and look at the masks and enter the lodge and view the sand painting. Hasjelti and Hostjoboard returned to the lodge, carrying their masks in their hands.

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