Should the day open up with a threatening sky, one of the Midē´
priests accompanying the candidate sings the following song (Pl. X,
B) to dispel the clouds. Each of the lines is repeated an indefinite
number of times, and after being repeated once or twice is sung also
by the others as an accompaniment.
It will be observed that the words as spoken vary to some extent
when chanted or sung.
Plate X.b. Mnemonic Song.
I swing the spirit like a child.
The Midē´ Spirit, showing magic lines radiating from his
body. The Midē´ claims to be able to receive special favor.
Ki´nana´wein, Ki´nana´wein, Ki´nana´wein,
Ki´nana´wein, Ki´nana´wein, Ki´nana´wein, Man´ido´weēg´;
The sky is what I am telling you about.
The sky and the earth united by a pathway of possible rain.
We have lost the sky [it becomes dark].
[Clouds obscure the sky, and the arm of the Midē´ is
reaching up into it for its favor of clear weather.]
Ko´sawe ne hē
I am helping you.
[The Otter-skin Midē´ sack is held up to influence the Otter
Spirit to aid them.]
hō´. U-a-ni-ma we u-a-ni-ma
I have made an error [in sending].
The Otter-skin Midē´ sack has failed to produce the desired
|The Midē´ women who have gathered without
the lodge now begin to dance as the song is renewed.
I am using my heart.
Refers to sincerity of motives in practice of Midē´
What are you saying to me, and I am “in my senses”?
The spirit wolf.
One of the malevolent spirits who is opposed to having the
ceremony is assisting the evil man´idos in causing the sky
to be overcast.
nē´, wen´-tshi-o-ne-se hē´.
I do not know where I am going.
The Midē´ is in doubt whether to proceed or not in the
performance of initiation.
I depend on the clear sky.
[To have the ceremony go on. Arm reaching toward the sky for
I give you the other village, spirit that you are.
[That rain should fall anywhere but upon the assemblage and
The thunder is heavy.
The Thunder Bird, who causes the rain.
We are talking to one another.
The Midē´ communes with Ki´tshi Man´ido; he is shown near
the sky; his horns denoting superior wisdom and power, while
the lines from the mouth signify speech.
In case the appearance of the sky becomes sufficiently favorable
the initiation begins, but if it should continue to be more
unfavorable or to rain, then the song termed the “Rain Song” is
resorted to and sung within the inclosure of the Midē´wigân, to
which they all march in solemn procession. Those Midē´ priests who
have with them their Midē´ drums use them as an accompaniment to the
singing and to propitiate the good will of Ki´tshi Man´ido. Each
line of the entire song appears as an independent song, the
intervals of rest varying in time according to the feelings of the
The words of the song are known to most of the Midē´ priests; but,
as there is no method of retaining a set form of musicial notation,
the result is entirely individual and may vary with each singer, if
sung independently and out of hearing of others; so that, under
ordinary circumstances, the priest who leads off sings through one
stanza of the song, after which the others will readily catch the
notes and accompany him. It will be observed, also, that the words
as spoken vary to some extent when chanted or sung.
If this song does not appear to bring about a favorable change the
priests return to their respective wig´iwams and the crowd of
visitors disperses to return upon the first clear day.
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The Midē Wiwin or Grand Medicine Society, 1891
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