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Under ordinary circumstances it requires at least one year before
a Midē´ of the third grade is
considered eligible for promotion, and it is seldom that a candidate
can procure the necessary presents within that period, so that
frequently a number of years elapse before any intimation by a
candidate is made to the chief priest that the necessary
requirements can be complied with. The chief reason of this delay is
attributed to the fact that the fee to the officiating priests alone
must equal in value and quantity four times the amount paid at the
first initiation, and as the success in gathering the robes, skins,
blankets, etc., depends upon the candidate’s own exertions it will
readily appear why so few ever attain the distinction sought. Should
one be so fortunate, however, as to possess the required articles,
he has only to make known the fact to the chief and assistant Midē´
priests, when a meeting is held at the wig´iwam of one of the
members and the merits of the candidate discussed. For this purpose
tobacco is furnished by the candidate. The more valuable and more
numerous the presents the more rapidly will his application be
disposed of, and the more certainly will favorable consideration on
it be had. It becomes necessary, as in former instances of
preparation, for the candidate to procure the service of a renowned
Midē´, in order to acquire new or specially celebrated remedies or
charms. The candidate may also give evidence of his own proficiency
in magic without revealing the secrets of his success or the course
pursued to attain it. The greater the mystery the higher he is held
in esteem even by his jealous confrères.
It is necessary that the candidate take a sweat-bath once each day, for four successive days, at some time during the autumn months of the year preceding the year in which the initiation is to occur. This form of preparation is deemed agreeable to Ki´tshi Man´idō, whose favor is constantly invoked that the candidate may be favored with the powers supposed to be conferred in the last degree. As spring approaches the candidate makes occasional presents of tobacco to the chief priest and his assistants, and when the period of the annual ceremony approaches, they send out runners to members to solicit their presence, and, if of the fourth degree, their assistance.
1 Hist. of the Ojebway Indians. London [1843?], p. 155.
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The Midē Wiwin or Grand Medicine Society, 1891
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