It Appears Elsewhere,* And Forms The Burden Of The
Sixteen Dramatic Songs Sung In The Secrecy Of The Underground Ceremonial
Kivas Of The Snake And Antelope Clans, In The Nine Days Of Preliminary
Ceremonial, Which Culminate In The Open-Air Public Dance.
* See Indians of the Pointed Desert Region.
Antelope Race and Corn Scramble. There are two other ceremonies connected
with the Snake Dance that may be witnessed by all who like. These are the
antelope race and the corn scramble. The former takes place on the morning
of the eighth day before sunrise. Though apparently a mere test of athletic
ability, it is in reality a religious ceremonial. For centuries, the Hopi
lived surrounded by warlike people who preyed upon them. Being few in
number, living in a desert land, and beset by murderous marauders,
fleetness of foot and great "staying" powers while running over the long
trails of the sandy deserts became an essential condition of national
preservation. Hence the priests made the cultivation of the bodily powers a
matter of religion. Every youth was compelled to exercise to the utmost.
The result is a fine athletic development. Each year many great races are
run, and two of the chief of these are at the Snake Dance, there being a
race on both the eighth and ninth mornings.
At the end of that fierce race across the hot sands and up the steep mesa,
the winner exultantly stands before the chief priests. The lightning bearer
then throws the zigzag symbols over him, and rain clouds are pictured at
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