September 20, 2008

Eamus catuli

*exhale*

TAWI' KURUKS

Song of the Bear Society

Sung and told by Letakots-Lesa (Eagle Chief)

The men of the Bear Society [of the Pawnee] are called Bear Warriors. The Bear, the great Spirit-Bear, receives his power from the sun, and so it was through the sun that the Bear Warriors had been victorious. In this song they are returning from war just as the sun rises. The women go forth with song to meet the victors, who are coming all splendidly decked and painted....

The rays of the rising sun now touch the earth and speed swiftly over the ground until they shine upon the victors. The hidden meaning of the song is the victorious power of the sun.

In the first stanza, the "many coming" are the warriors: in the second, the sunbeams. This is a very old song, and is sung in ceremonies of the Bear Society just as the sun is about to rise.

     TAWI' KURUKS


      Rerawha-a
      Rerawha-a
Rerawha-a rera e
                         Yo!

    Para riku ratutah
Rerawha-a rera e
                         Yo!

Hi tzapat rakuwaka kuatutah

      Iriritah
      Rerawha-a
      Rerawha-a
Rerawha-a rera e
                         Yo!

    Para riku ratutah
Rerawha-a rera e
                         Yo!

Rasakura rukuksa rerawha-a

      Rerawha-a
      Rerawha-a
      Rerawha-a
Rerawha-a rera e
                         Yo!

Rasakura rura whia
Rerawha-a rera e
                         Yo!
SONG OF THE BEAR SOCIETY
         (Literal transition)

      Yonder coming,
      Yonder coming,
   Lo, the many yonder, he—
                                   Yo!

Mine, too, might have been a triumph
   Like the many yonder, he—
                                   Yo!

Cried the woman,
   Would that I were like to these
      The many coming,
      Yonder coming,
      Yonder coming,
   Lo, the many yonder, he—
                                   Yo!

Mine, too, might have been a triumph
   Like the many yonder, he—
                                   Yo!

Now the rising sun hath sent his rays
   to earth,
      A many coming,
      Yonder coming,
      Yonder coming,
   Lo, the many yonder, he—
                                   Yo!

Sunbeams o'er the ground are speeding,
   Lo, the many yonder, he—
                                   Yo!

—Natalie Curtis Burlin, The Indians' Book
(Harper and Brothers, 1907)

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The fact that I get to do a post like this two years running is a sure sign that phantasms with scythes will start riding out of the clouds on skeletal horses before too long, so if you haven't gotten around to, say, trying Häagen-Dazs Fleur de Sel Caramel ice cream, better sooner than later, if you know what I mean.

1941 program image lifted, again, from this awesome use of the Internet.

3 comments:

Lisa Hirsch said...

Current economic conditions are enough that I am looking for the skeletons on horses.

kathryn said...

how pitch perfect! i was just wanting something caramel+fleur de sel the other day! thanks for the tip - and gooooo cubbies!!

believe.

Matthew Lowe said...

Matthew Lowe Blog

Very nice song! Thanks for the note sheets!