Wayne Tyndall
©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.



Wayne Tyndall
©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 self.

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.



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