Murie, James R.. Ceremonies of the Pawnee

Table of Contents

Publication Information

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Editor’s Introduction

Background Of The Manuscript

An Overview Of Pawnee Society

Social Organization

Pawnee Ceremonialism

Sacred Bundle Ceremonies

Doctors’ Ceremonies

Comments On Murie’s Observations


Manuscript Conventions

Key To The Transcriptions

Song Conventions

Biography Of James R. Murie

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Part I: The Skiri


The Skiri Bundle Scheme

Functions And Characteristics Of Skiri Bundles

Relationships Among The Bundles

Relationships Of Priests And Keepers Of Bundles

Care Of Bundles

The Mother Corn Concept

The Powers In The Heavens

Doctors’ And Warriors’ Powers

Ceremonial Cycle Of The Skiri Federation

Spring Ceremonies

The Thunder Or Renewal Ceremony

The Songs

Creation Of The World Songs

Smoke Offering Song

Song To Wonderful Being

Song For The People

The Evening Star Bundle

Order Of The Thunder Ritual

Songs By The Priests

Offerings To The Gods

The Ritual Incensing

Corn And Meat Offerings

Renewal Rituals For Other Bundles

Young Eagle Society Bundle

Rituals For War Bundles

Wonderful Leggings Of Pahukatawa

Meteorite Bundles

Renewing Society Regalia

The Kawaharu Ritual

Shelling The Sacred Ear Of Corn

Transfer Of The Bundle Leadership

Distribution Of The Seed

The Corn Planting Ceremony

Work In The Fields

Young Corn Plant Ritual

Summer Ceremonies

The Chiefs’ Council

All Bundles Opened To View The Country

Great Washing Ceremony

The Summer Hunt

Consecration Of First Animals Killed

Other Ceremonial Observances

Return To The Villages

The Harvest

Autumn And Winter Ceremonies

Changing Mother Corn

The Four Pole Ceremony

Society And Village Ceremonies

Renewing The Wrappings For The Evening Star Bundle

Merging Of Bundle Powers

Return To The Villages

Special Bundle Ceremonies Of The Skiri

Human Sacrifice To The Morning Star

The Vision And The Capture

Captivity And Sacrifice

Songs Of The Sacrifice

The New Fire Ceremony

Procedures And Rituals Of The Warpath

The Ceremony

The New Fire

Name Changing Chant

March Around The Village

Concluding Procedures

The Calumet Ritual

Thanksgiving Ritual For All Bundles

Other Bundle Ceremonies

The Wolf Bundle

The Squash Vine Village Bundle

The Black Star Bundle

Individual Bundles

Sweathouse Ceremonies

The Sweatlodge Ritual

The First Sweatlodge

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Renewal Of Doctors’ Powers

The Summer Ceremony

The Thirty Day Ceremony

Arrangement Of The Lodge

Visiting The Sick

Miscellaneous Data

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Part Ii: The South Bands

Bundles Of The South Bands

The Chawi

Doctor Chief’s Bundle

Eagle Flying Under The Heavens’ Bundle

The Kitkahahki

The Pitahawirata

Doctors Among The South Bands

The White Beaver Ceremony Of The Chawi

The First Day

Making The Altar

The Tobacco Offering

Selection Of Men To Perform The Rituals

Washing The Animals And The Drums

Blowing Breath Into The Drums

Putting Life Into The Animals

The Corn Offering

The Meat Offering

Speech Of The Leading Doctor

Texts Of Offering Rituals

Tobacco Offering

Smoke Offering

Corn Offering

Meat Offering

People’s Smoke Offering

Second Corn Offering

Second Meat Offering

The Second Day

Proceedings Of The Day

The Origin Myth

The Third Day

Daytime Ceremonies

The Sunrise Ceremony

Putting The Heads On The Drums

The Preliminary Feast

Painting And Dressing Of The Doctors

The Animals’ Smoke Offering

The All-night Song And Dance Ceremony

Beaver’s Songs

Raruhwa[unknown]ku’s Songs

Sun Chief’s Songs

Flying Eagle’s Songs

Fancy Eagle’s Songs

Young Bull’s Songs

Thief’s Songs

Buffalo Chief’s Songs

Walking Sun’s Songs

Good Buffalo’s Songs

Big Crow’s Songs

Cheyenne Chief’s Songs

Sun Eagle’s Songs

White Eagle’s Songs

White Thunder’s Songs

High Eagle’s Song

Little Sun’s Songs

Skidi Jake’s Songs

Good Eagle’s Songs

Dog Chief’s Songs

Leading Fox’s Songs

Seeing Eagle’s Songs

Mad Bear’s Songs

The Interval

White Horse’s Songs 54

War Chief’s Songs

Fancy Rider’s Songs

Coming With The Sun’s Songs

Little Yellow Calf’s Songs

White Elk’s Songs

Second Round Of The Doctors

Beaver’s Songs

Raruhwa[unknown]ku’s Songs

Sun Chief’s Songs

Fox Chief’s Songs

Flying Eagle’s Songs

Fancy Eagle’s Songs

Young Bull’s Songs


The Smoke Offering

The Corn Offering

Counting The Presents

Songs Of The Young Men

White Horse’s Songs

Overtakes The Enemy’s Songs

Riding In’s Songs

White Elk’s Songs

Closing Rituals

The Meat Offering

Roaming Chief’s Speech

Raruhwa[unknown]ku’s Speech


The Bear Dance Of The Pitahawirata

The Fifth Day

Big Star’s Song


The Smoke Offering

The Corn Offering

The Night Of Watching

The Sixth Day

Selecting The Cedar Tree

Good Buffalo’s Songs

Cutting The Tree

Good Buffalo’s Songs

Bringing In The Tree

Good Buffalo’s Songs

Preliminaries To The Public Ceremony

The Public Ceremony

Big Star’s Songs

Little Sun’s Songs

Little War Chief’s Songs

Roaming Chief’s Songs

Horse Chief’s Songs

Coming Sun’s Songs 76

Riding In’s Songs

Eagle Chief’s Songs

White Elk’s Songs

Young Bull’s Songs

Big Star’s Narrative

The Seventh Day

Final Dance Of The Bear Society

Big Star’s Songs

Little Sun’s Songs

Good Buffalo’s Songs

Roaming Chief’s Songs

War Chief’s Songs

Returning The Cedar Tree To The Timber

Making The Bearclaw Necklace

Good Buffalo’s Songs

Little Sun’s Songs

War Chief’s Songs

Coming Sun’s Songs

The Buffalo Dance Of The Pitahawirata

The First Day

Offerings To The Skull

Purifying The Skull

Young Bull’s Songs

The Smoke Offering

The Incensing

Prayers And Addresses To The Skull

The Corn Offering

The Meat Offering

Concluding Speeches

Offertory Texts 96

Nighttime Instructions

The Second Day

The Third Day

The Public Feast

Rehearsal Of The Buffalo Dance

Young Bull’s Songs

White Horse’s Songs

Overtakes The Enemy’s Songs

Fancy Eagle’s Songs

The Night In The Lodge

The Fourth Day

Ceremonial Preparations

The Buffalo Dance

Young Bull’s Songs

White Horse’s Songs

Overtakes The Enemy’s Songs

Fancy Eagle’s Songs

Spotted Horse Chief’s Songs

White Elk’s Songs

Good Heart’s Songs

High Eagle’s Songs

Big Crow’s Songs

Holy Buffalo’s Songs

Yellow Calf’s Songs

White Wolf’s Songs

Fox Chief’s Songs

Roaming Chief’s Songs

Sun Chief’s Songs 102

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Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Ceremonies of the Pawnee

Published By: Original publisher Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press for the American Indian Studies Research Institute, Indiana University. 1989. xiv, 497 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by James R. Murie ; edited by Douglas R. Parks

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1998. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Pawnee (NQ18)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Music (533); Literary texts (539); Shamans and psychotherapists (756); Mythology (773); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Organized ceremonial (796);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document 'Ceremonies of the Pawnee' by James R. Murie (or Coming Sun -- his native American name), presents a significant contribution to the study of Pawnee ethnology in its highly detailed description of nineteenth to early twentieth century ceremonialism. The introductory portion of the text presents the general background of the manuscript, an overview of Pawnee society, and a biography of Murie. The remainder of the text is divided into two main parts. Part I deals in great detail with the rituals and ceremonies of the Skiri or northern band of Pawnee, while part II provides comparable information on the south bands -- the Chawi (Grand), Kitkahahki (Republican), and Pitahawirata (Tappage). Much of the ceremonial data, especially for the south bands, relate to medicine society rituals (see categories 756 and 796). Song texts which accompany the various ceremonies, are also to be found scattered throughout this work.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 15

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nq18-015

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Reprint. Originally published: Washington : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981. (Smithsonian contributions to anthropology ; no. 27) Includes bibliographical references (p. 471-474) and indexes

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document ca.1890-1920

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Indigene, Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle ; 1997

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1900-1920

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Platte, Loup, and Republican Rivers areas, Nebraska and Northern Kansas, United States

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Pawnee Indians


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