By Helen Addison Howard
The fashion of Indian poetry --
Alice Cunningham Fletcher --
Frances Densmore --
Mary Hunter Austin --
Natalie Curtis (Burlin) --
Alice Corbin Henderson --
Constance Lindsay Skinner --
Lew Sarett --
Eda Lou Walton.
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56 AMERICAN INDIAN POETRY They were seeking a place where they could come into a bodily existence. They ascended to the sun, but the sun was not fitted for their abode. They moved on to the moon and found that it also was not good for their home. Then they descended to the earth. They saw it was covered with water. They floated through the air to the north, the east, the south and the west, and found no dry land. They were sorely grieved. Suddenly from the midst of the water up rose a great rock [the primal rock].
Some authorities believe t h e tribe originated in t h e southwest, possibly even in Mexico; and P a w n e e mythology and traditions seem to lend weight to this theory. Certainly, their hauntingly beautiful creation myth involving t h e gods Morning Star and Evening Star and t h e ancient rites connected with t h e myth are curiously similar to t h e h u m a n sacrifices of the pre-Columbian Aztecs in t h e Valley of Mexico. T h e Skidi (Wolf) Pawnee rites culminated in a h u m a n sacrifice at t h e time of t h e summer solstice.
Pakara'ra, a loud call or chant, sending the voice to a great distance. Witz, from tawitz'sa, to reach or arrive. pari, traveling. These five words tell of a religious rite performed by the leader. The first two refer to his going to a solitary place to fast and pray, seeking help and favor from the powers above; the last three describe his voice, bearing his petition, traveling on and on, striving to reach the abode of Tira'wa [the Great Spirit]. hiril harken! a call for reverent attention. ti'ruta, special or assigned places, referring to the places where the lesser powers dwell, these having been assigned by Tira'wa atius, the father of all.