CONSECRATION OF THE
BOYS TO THUNDER
©1999 Wayne Tyndall
All rights reserved.
Unlike the girls who had
finished their rites except only one, the boys had two more rites which they
must complete before they could take their full place within the great tribal
circle. After completing these two rites they could become full fledged warriors
that were ready to defend the people in time of war and be able to hunt and
find food for the people.
Soon after the boys completed the "Turning
of the Child" ceremonies, they underwent a supplemental rite of "Consecration
of the Boys to Thunder."
At a time when great turmoil was facing
the Umonhon Tribe, Honga Clan
leaders from within, the old ones realized that they had to take firm measures
to control the people to keep them together as a Nation. Over the past memory
of man, the Osages, Poncas, lowas, Kansas,
Quapaw and Oto had broken away and gone to establish their own
tribe but without any kind of system which would keep them intact and protected
from without. It seemed that other tribes not even speaking the same language
as the Umonhon were being disrupted and
moving away from their ancestral homelands to get away from the coming of
a new race of people with a different way of life. It was not only due to
a weak form of government that this separation was taking place but also
because of moving about over land and space that the tribes were without a
firm government and the people were leaving and taking a chance at survival.
In the Umonhon
reorganizational effort the old chiefs placed the Wezhinshte
(Elk) Clan as keepers of the Sacred War tent and the duties which went along
with that trust.
The ancient ceremony had to do with the
young boys having a lock of hair cut and given in proxy to the Thunder god
through the priest of the war clan who placed the lock of hair in a depository
as a connection of boy to the Thunder god who was his protector in war and
in life that evolved around the great tribal circle, the Hu'thuga.
The Konce (Sky) Clan was in charge of conducting
this ceremony through a designated priest. The Konce and
Wezhinshte Clans sat opposite from each other in forming
the Hu'thuga and shared common rites of the people under their charge.
The thunder as the god of war protected
the warrior from harm and gave him power to have self control and maintain
order among the people and was able to defend them from outside forces. The
Wezhinshte Clan was given the charge to bestow war
honors on the warriors and at the same time authorizing the warriors to go
to battle when war was about to take place. The Thunder god could take a
warrior's life when it saw fit.
At the end of the ceremony, a ball of grass
was thrown by the priest to the ground where it burst into flame emblematic
of the lightning which accompanies the thunder.
OF THE BOYS
TO THE SUPER NATURAL THUNDER
©1999 Wayne Tyndall
All rights reserved.
This rite called No
n'zhinzhon, (to stand sleeping) means that
a boy stands as if oblivious of the world and conscious of only the inner
The old priests said, "Let us make our
children cry to Waconda that Waconda
may give us strength."
All the families took their boys and put
soft clay on their faces and sent them forth to the high hilltops to pray
for four days and nights with neither food nor drink.
The grandfathers said to the boys, "You
shall go forth to cry to Waconda. When on the hills you
shall not ask for any particular thing. The answer may not come as you expect;
whatever is good, that Waconda may give."
This ceremonial took place in the early
spring soon after the first thunder was heard. The boys went forth to seek
their vision and song.
The boys cried to Waconda
Waconda! Here, needy, he stands, I am he.
Finally on the fourth morning the boy had
his vision and a song came to him, that would take him through the life on
earth. He would always remember his vision and his logo which would remind
him of his purpose on earth.
It was said that the moon (female) would
have a bow and arrows in the one hand and a burden strap in the other hand
and when the boy reached for the bow and arrows, she would cross her hands
and try to force the burden strap upon him; if he were strong he would resist
the burden strap and fight her for the bow and arrow. If he should fail,
he would forever forfeit his manhood.
Men as boys who shared the same vision
and object such as a wolf or eagle joined a common society.
The boys vision and song gave him a philosophy
which led him through the darkest hours of life and remained with him until
his dying day and connected him with the forceful power of the universe of
the seen and unseen, visible and invisible.