the Young Men”
Notes by Mary Hamer
‘They were constituted by adherence to the basic rules of the cosmic system, with sunken hole as receptacle for the hot stones, seating protocols, spirit directions, tobacco thank offerings, prayer flags and special songs to the spirit helpers of the owner. The sweat progressed through four sessions of sweat, appropriately to the spirits of the four directions in the cosmic structure, each of which ended by opening the flaps of the lodge to allow for the spirits to leave and the devotees to cool.’Earle H. Waugh, Dissonant Worlds, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1996 pp 56-7.Smokes of Spring Among Native American peoples, the invitation to join in a general council early in the spring was originally associated with passing round the lighted war-pipe. Those accepted it who were willing to go to war in the summer campaigns; but ‘now there are smokes throughout spring, summer and autumn’, in which special praise is addressed to the earth for her continued blessings of sustenance and care. Ibid. 55. It seems probable that Kipling had the less war-like version in mind.
‘The Trues in the verses are - well, the Trues – the old original four or five head-deities of the Red Man’s mind –the old Beast Gods I think they were – Buffalo –Beaver – Elk/Coyote –or something of that nature. At any rate they are the Red Gods of the hunting grounds –earth spirits waking man up in the spring.’blacktail type of deer or buck.