- Qualities of the Soul
- Power of Thought
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- The Great White Chief Part 1
- The Great White Chief Part 2
- The Great White Chief Part 3
- The Great White Chief Part 4
- The Great White Chief Part 5
- The Great White Chief Part 6
- Fiction or Not?
- Fun Facts
- Beatles and the Soul
- The Mystery of Healing
- Gathering Attempts
- Morya Federation
- Branches of the Tree of Life
- Precarious Future
- A Witness and Signs
- Joseph Smith Weighed in the Balance
- One God, Many Members
- Strange Doctrine
- Oil and Revelation
- Many Paths
- Setting the Record Straight
- Spiritual Manifestations
- To Get Rich – or Not
- Morya School Attitudes
- Spiritual Direction
- Timelines and Clarifications
- Group Fast
- Molecular Questions
- Sorting Out the Message
- Energy and the Molecule
- Temples & Molecules
- The Latest Challenge
- Invisible Interactions, Part 1
- Invisible Interactions, Part 2
- Invisible Interactions, Part 3
- More on Divine Possession
- Money Masters
- Golden Thoughts
- Majority Will vs Representative
- Voting in the Molecule
- Response on Daheshism
- Vegetarian Diet
- Principles – Fasting
- Examining Dr. Dahesh
- The Next Step
- Reflections on John
- All Time High
- True Past Lives
- Joseph Smith and Lincoln
- Flawed Logic
- Conspiracy Theories Debunked
- Conspiracy Chapter
- Conspiracy Discussion, Part 1
- Conspiracy Discussion, Part 2
- Conspiracy Discussion, Part 3
- Sarah’s Friend
- Abraham Rejuvenated
- Holy Spirit, Translation & More
- The Second Key
- Beginnings and Endings
- More Like Football
- Eternal Principles
- True Faith
- Evidence of Reincarnation
- Handling Difficulties
- Who’s Who
- 2010 Gathering Slideshow
- Why Are We Here?
- Many Books
- Prime Directive
- A New Approach
- Cayce and Wilcock
- Dark Brothers and Dark Matter
- Where Are the Masters?
- Seeing Eye to Eye
- King for a Life
- Finding the True Progressives
- Rebel Lightbringers
- Facing the Storm
- Dead Ends
Posted May 10, 2010
I’ve come across a rare book privately published in 1971 derived from an even rarer book published in 1960. It has no copyright notice so I believe it is in the public domain. This is one of those stories that makes you wonder how much is true and how much fiction. Thanks goes to Larry Woods for his final edit. Take a read and decide for yourselves.
I’ll post it in several sections. Here is part 1.
The Great White Chief and Indian Messiah
“THE CHOICE SEER”
By NORMAN C. PIERCE
“For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. ” (2Ne. 3:6) Behold, The Man Whose Name Is The BRANCH!
This account of the Great White Chief, Echa Tah Echa Nah, was first published in 1960, in Los Angeles by Mother Mary, who says that she received it from an Indian. It appears to be a first person account of two explorers or archaeologists, who are brothers and who do not identify themselves any further than as “Paul and I, ” except to say that they are of Indian blood, and that their parents lived in Chinle, Arizona, in Navajo country.
We are impressed by the great similarity of this story to the one given us by Natoni Nezbah, also a Navajo, which received wide circulation in 1945, both in manuscript and printed form. We did not publish that story. It just went on its own by being copied and re-copied, until finally someone published it.
The events mentioned in the following account appear to have taken place during a three year period in the mid-thirties, and we accept it at its face value as a true account of their adventures and experiences among these White Indians in their sacred city located somewhere near the Guatemala-Yucatan border. We have sought their permission to reprint this part of their account, and purposely omitted the parts concerning their explorations in Peru, and also their discussions of tribal laws, beliefs, marriage laws, and laws of punishment among various North American tribes, as our main interest is in the Chigaraguans and their Great White Chief, Echa Tah Echa Nah, The Mighty and Wise One, whose name is Joseph, the same as his father before him. (From other Indian sources.) IV V
We believe that the Chigaraguans are, indeed, of true Josephite-Nephite lineage, preserved in the protective custody of the Lord from Book of Mormon times to the present, and that they most certainly possess original copies of the ancient Nephite records, also other sacred records and relics which are described herein. Is not all this specifically promised in the following words found in 2 Nephi, 25:21-22 ?
“Wherefore, for this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me (Nephi) that these things which I write shall he kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph (my brother), that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand. Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand. . . . and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which shall be written. ”
Is it not logical that the name of Joseph, the brother of Nephi, should be passed along from father to son until this very day to give this people their identity as the descendents of Lehi’s son Joseph, as well as Joseph of Egypt, as premised by Father Lehi in the 3rd Chapter of 2nd Nephi? “For his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father. ”
Is it too much to believe that this Great White Chief received the Keys of the Kingdom in 1932, as set forth in my book, THE 3 1/2 YEARS? There are seven sections or chapters in that book about this Great Prophet, whose name is The BRANCH, that deserve your reviewing. When he comes should we not readily and whole heartedly accept him as rightly having authority over us, as promised in 3 Nephi, 16:12? Does it not clearly state that we “Believing Gentiles” shall not have power or authority over them? So it follows that they must have power or authority over us.
And let us not be disturbed over the apparent advanced age of this Great Prophet. If he is not already translated, he very soon will be, for it is his promise in The Testament of Levi that: (See also D&C, 8(4:33)
“After that the Lord bath sent vengeance upon them in the Priesthood, then God will raise up a new Priest unto whom all the Lord’s word shall be opened, and he shall execute true judgment upon the earth. . . As a king shall he . shed forth the Light of Knowledge. . . and he shall be magnified over all the world. . . The Heavens shall be opened, and out of the Temple of Glory shall sanctification (or translation) come with the Father’s voice. He shall give abundantly to his children in truth for ever more, and none shall succeed him to the end of the world. ”
And what of the Indian Messiah? We know that the Prophet Joseph Smith twice prophesied that the Messiah would come about 1890. (See. D&C, 130:14-17, and also History of the Church, Vol. 2:182. ) Should not this then be a divine admonition to us to accept the Walker Lake event at its full face value? Where else do you find such a complete fulfillment?
One thing for sure, we will know the facts about all this and much more when the Indian’s DAY OF PURIFICATION comes; which they say is now at hand!
(Please note that the footnotes in the pages of THE GREAT WHITE CHIEF, are ours. We have also shortened some of the chapter titles and provided a few of the subtitles; otherwise the material comes as it was written by the Indian author. -NCP. ) It is our sincere hope The Great White Chief is here when you read this?
A FEW PARTING THOUGHTS
The Great White Chief
(The two archaeologists have just completed an account of their explorations of ancient cities in Peru, known as Machu Picchu, Cuzco and Chan Chan. And now they resume their story as they come into Central America.)
After passing through the Panama Canal, we soon were in the extreme southern part of Guatemala where we remained for a few days before crossing over into the extreme northern part of Nicaragua, where we heard of a lost city over in the Mesquite Indian country.
Soon we were on our way in search of these orphan-like lost cities. Consulting our relief maps, we failed to find the above mentioned cities, so we decided they were too small to chart, and decided to go in search of them.
After twelve days of hiking through swampy jungle country, we got our first glimpse of one of the smaller cities. We found twenty buildings almost completely covered by jungle growth at this one site. We remained at this place five days, and we knew that this had once been inhabited by the Toltecs.
Very little information could be gathered here so we decided to make ‘a large circle in a tour of the other cities, before retracing our steps hack to civilization. At no place did we find more than twelve buildings, and gained next to no data, so we finally abandoned the hope of finding anything worthwhile. We headed straight for the larger modern city known as Quetzal Uenango, and after eleven days of rough traveling, we arrived at our destination and went at once in search of a bathtub, hair cut with all the trimmings, and soma clean clothes. X
We heard of several larger cities in the northern part of Guatemala and some in Honduras. There were stories of one particular temple located in the central part of Honduras that sounded quite interesting. The explorer who had been very near this temple, informed us that he had come to within five miles of this site, and that this temple was truly in taboo country. Native members of his safari refused to go any closer than they were.
The data that he had received from various natives, made it a fact that this temple contained carvings and statues of monkeys. He was so interested in seeing this one great building that he pressed the safari to accompany him into it, but they steadfastly refused to do so and threatened, unless he took them away from this taboo country, they would rebel, leaving him alone to get out the best way he could. He then tried to get the services of other natives, but it seemed that all were superstitious of this taboo country.
He then informed us that we would need a month’s supply of food to carry us through. Paul and I at once got a safari together and started out to outfit It with supplies, and in telling the safari where we were going, they all left us flat, no further questions asked, so that was that. Searching about in our minds, Guatemala City seemed to be a place of opportunity and excitement, so we started out for there.
After arriving at Guatemala City, we loafed around, sightseeing and spending our time in a leisurely fashion, but finding nothing of particular interest. So we left there to go to the Playa of the Quiche. Here we visited some of the extremely old ruins, and took a few day s trip back into the jungle before returning to Guatemala City. We had heard of interesting places in Mexico, and decided to visit Mitla and Monte Alban.
Our First Visit
During our preliminary work at Mitla, we had heard so many stories or tales of the White or Chigaraguan Indians. Some of the stories seemed reasonable, while others were doubtful. The director of our expedition requested me to take the necessary supplies and go back to make a survey, if possible, of these White Indians.
Paul had agreed to remain at Mitla and interpret for the group. We talked for a while with the two guides, and made ready to leave. At daybreak the following day, we -left on horseback for the east. By noon we had left the lowlands and were gradual climbing. Jungle growth did not bother us until the late afternoon of our first day, are made camp by the river, and had to build several smudge fires to ward off the mosquitoes and other flying insects.
After a fitful night of tossing, sweating and, bug and insect interference, we pulled up camp before daylight and trekked toward the southeast. By ten o’clock we had made good time and decided to rest, but we had stopped only about an hour, when out of a clear sky a tropical storm broke. It rained off and on until noon. The heat became almost unbearable, so WI! pushed on.
We were slowly climbing again and the jungle growth became bad. After cutting our way C rough dense jungle foliage, we were able to go on until near sundown. Then we made camp. The King River was about a mile above us, so the insects were not so bad, but the day had been a grueling one and we were ready ‘to sleep. 4
Soon after moonrise our horses became frightened and were on the verge of stampeding. I got up to quiet them and soon found out what caused the trouble A young panther on his first raid was causing the commotion.
After five days of traveling through very rugged and mountainous terrain, I first saw the wall that surrounds the domain of the White Chigaraguan Indians! After descending a long slope, and then riding over a level valley, we came to a very large gate. Some of the Chigaraguan men were at the entrance, looking very stoical and remaining silent.
After a preliminary talk by the two guides. I was introduced to the people at the gate. After talking to them in their native language, an Aztec dialect, for some time, I was informed that they had no hostile feelings for me, an outsider. After a short conversation with them I was introduced to their historian.
After a few sand writings and general talk in regard to myself and my people, I was permitted to come into the city. I was greatly impressed by their buildings and homes. All were in very light or white color, and were constructed of stone or wood. They were colored with a substance something like our whitewash. All of them were of one story structure, with two or three rooms approximately 12 x 14 feet, but there were also others that had six or eight rooms of the same size.
The most notable feature of the people was the clothes they wore. Instead of the customary shirt and trousers that most of the Indians of North America wear, the Chigaraguan clothing consisted of a robe made very similar to a bathrobe (with marks and symbols on it). The sleeves are very long and the robe ties in front with three tie strings. The length of 5
the robe is usually to the arch of the foot, or at least to the ankle. Also there is a cowl or hood. Everyone wears the same, men, women and children. All are made of homespun wool, very soft, and of a porous weave. They wear light, white boots of a soft, white leather. -Such is the dress of the Chigaraguans.
It was the smile and the serene greeting of the people that became so noticeable during the short time I was first among them. Shortly I was taken to their great leader, The Mighty and Wise One, Echa Tah Echa Nah.
At their most sacred Temple, the people gather for religious purposes only. It is here that the most sacred rites are administered, marriages, baptisms, blessings, and the last rites for the dead. Every thirteenth and twenty-sixth day are set aside for the gathering of the people to this most sacred Temple.
Always present at these meetings are his counselor, Yin Nah She, Aban Kar, his second counselor, his twelve council members, and the tribal historian. A complete record is kept of all proceedings for future reference.
A small room adjoining the sacred Temple is set aside for the library where both sacred and historical records are kept. They date back prior to 480 B. C. and have been written on parchment and skins, and some are on metal plates. There are records in many ancient languages. Many are written in hieroglyphics pictographs, and petroglyphs.
There is no disease, vice, crime or tension among these people. Theirs is a true Utopia, I was given a beautiful blessing in one of the temples, and saw many of their sacred records. 6
As the two guides and I made ready to depart, we were invited into the temple, blessed and given gifts from each of the sixteen council members. An invitation was extended for us to return anytime. Reluctantly, we took leave of the Chigaraguan people, and after five day’s travel, we returned to Mitla.
The Mitla Legend
MITLA, without a doubt, proved one of the most interesting cities of any we had the pleasure of working in during our entire three year expedition. We found the most beautiful stone work and mosaic of fine inlay patterns. The precision with which the city was laid out was remarkable. We found many interesting artifacts and secured a great deal of data by our daily contacts with the Indian people living nearby.
I had the pleasure of learning a very interesting legend of Natla during one of the ceremonies held by the Indian people. This was told us by one of the wise old men of the tribe. He started by saying:
“Many, many suns ago before the mountains had grown, a great city thrived where the ruins now stand. The people were happy and gay. There was harmony and peace, and abundance and industry. They reached a high degree of development and enjoyed an advanced civilization and culture because of their education and seeking after the higher truths.
“There were great teachers among them, white-robed ones who had come from afar, they knew not where. The wisdom and perfection gained from their teaching was far beyond the knowledge the inhabitants could have gleaned from their own efforts. Then pride and lust for power took hold of the people. The greed for wealth and the desire for domination over their brothers began to creep into their lives, 8
“They hearkened less and less to the teachings and truths of the noble, white-robed ones, who had brought them up to such a peak of perfection and civilization. The people were drunk with independence, wealth and power. Crime began to enter their lives, Then immorality and dissolute living turned them away forever from the high morals and righteous teachings of their white-robed mentors. They were warned to repent and cease their wickedness, but they had become hardened and turned deaf ears to all pleadings.
“Destruction descended upon them. One morning they who had arrived, awoke to behold a flat, barren earth before them. The beautiful city was gone. The white-robed beings had departed. Nothing but desolation stretched before them. Only the foundations of the beautiful buildings remained; and to this day it remains thus. One can see only the subterranean city of empty foundations, which is all that remains of the once beautiful city of culture and learning and high attainment. ”
Chi Chi Suma
After visiting several sights in the Quiche country, Paul and I Were guests of Chi Chi Suma, who was the leader of all the Quiche Indian people throughout Guatemala. The Quiche have a very peculiar law, A person from the outside world is not welcome among them until Chi Chi Suma accepts them and makes known to the people that the outsider is welcome among them. Anyone who breaks this law and accepts an outsider without the approval from the chief, has a mental curse put upon him. There have been many cases of this curse known. Infect, Chi Chi Suma put a curse upon his own daughter for breaking this secret law, and she dwindled away and died not long after.
The Quiche’s mode of living is somewhat similar to the Chigaraguans, but not to the same extent, owing to the fact that the Chigaraguans are in such an isolated place, having no contact with the outside world. Whereas the Quiches live near many of the thriving cities of Guatemala, and are in daily contact with the outside.
Living among the Quiches, for a short period, Paul and I were accepted and later on adopted by Chi Chi Suma, and accepted by all the people. We were taught many things pertaining to their laws, rituals and traditions, and were soon permitted to take an active part in all their daily activities.
Not long after this adoption, we were taken to one of the more remote villages where we were informed by Chi Chi Sutra that the people were preparing for the Fire Dance, which was to take place during the near future. After making ourselves comfortable to remain there, we started to take part in their preparations also, upon an invitation extended to us by Chi Chi Suma. 10 11
We busies. . ourselves for several days under the watchful eyes and instructions of one of the elder sages who had taught many of the Quiches their part in this magnificent, ceremonial Fire Dance. Each one taking part in this sacred ritual, must make his entire costume as described by the old sage, and we were no exception.
Working very diligently weaving the short skirts and the breast harness (made similar to a lady’s brassier), also a long cape of the color chosen by the instructor, to be worn over the entire costume, our regalia was completed when the time came to use it. The feather headdresses are made of exquisite bird plumage of one color. The white pad-boots are made similar to those worn by the Chigaraguan people.
Paul and I trained faithfully to take part in this magnificent spectacle. We had both taken part in many dances and ceremonials, but none so elaborate or more sacred that the Fire Dance. It was necessary to remain with this group of dancers until the part in the ceremonial was perfected. We practiced from four to six hours each day to the music of the tom toms, reeds and an instrument similar to that of the xylophone. They simply beat sticks together in the rhythm of the music, at times making a cymbal-like crash.
When the dance was mastered to the satisfaction of our tutor, information came that it was expected of us, not only to take part in the ceremonial dance, but to accept also the honor and distinction of marching in the grand procession, walking side by side with Chi Chi Suma and his great council circle, each bearing his firestick.
Three days before the celebration of this gala event, all dancers taking part were summoned before Chi Chi Suma, who gave a lengthy talk in regard to the significance of the Fire Dance, and he praised all who had practiced so faithfully. The second day prior to the dance was spent in giving thanks and praise to Itla, the Fire God. The last day prior to the dance, last minute inspections were made to be sure all things might be in readiness by dawn of the following day.
All during the night people from nearby villages and many from distant villages, made pilgrimages to the site to witness the ceremonial, which had not been portrayed for fifty-two years.
Next morning at daybreak, came the hour of prayer. Then all the dancers, dressed in the ceremonial costumes, met at the Playa of the Quiches. Chi Chi Suma and all of his councilmen were dressed in all of their ceremonial splendor to head the great procession.
The one who lights the firestick is the one who was born on the day of the last Fire Dance, fifty-two years ago. On this occasion there were three who were born on that day, two ladies and one man. Chi Chi Suma bade all three place their torches in the great firepot and light their torches. Then, to the beating of the tom toms and the music of the reed-blowers, this grand ceremonial parade started its trek to the great amphitheatre-like recess hidden away in the nearby mountains. The procession was led by the three torch bearers, followed by Chi Chi Suma, Paul and me. Immediately in the rear were his great council, followed by all the dancers, making one of the most colorful processions ever to be witnessed.
As the procession slowly wound its way toward the great amphitheatre, all the people reviewing this parade chanted in the rhythm of the reed-blowers and tom toms. Upon the arrival of this procession at the amphitheatre, Chi Chi Suma, with his council, and Paul and I were seated in respective places of dignity. 13 12
The three torch bearers entered into the arena followed by all the dancers who were to take part. Half the reed-blowers and drummers were seated on each side of the arena, while the remaining half of the musicians took their places among the spectators to relieve the others at a designated time during the dance.
Soon the great amphitheatre was filled with spectators. At a signal by Chi Chi Suma, the stick crackers gave a crash with their sticks and a hush fell over this tremendous crowd. Chi Chi Suma arose and addressed the people and gave a short prayer. Then upon a gesture from him the Fire Dance started.
The three torch bearers touched their torches to a large fire bowl filled with a pitch-like substance and a great flame shot upward. Surrounding this bowl were thirteen young ladies, each having two sticks in her hand. They thrust these into the flames and withdrew the burning sticks. Then, turning from the bowl, they faced a great circle of male dancers. The length of these sticks was about eighteen inches.
With a quick, underhand motion, each girl in her turn, threw the lighted firestick to the male dancer opposite her, who caught it as it made the second complete turn in the air. Then the action went to the dancer next to the first. After all the firesticks had been lighted, and each dancer held his stick aloft in his right hand to the music of the reeds and tom lams and sticks, they marched twice around the arena each dancer taking his respective position.
Immediately the drums and the sticks ceased making any sound, and to the music of the reeds, started one of the most beautiful and precise juggling acts that one could ever hope to see. These many torches were exchanged between the dancers, each being tossed high into the air with perfect timing and precision, in many different patterns. All the while the reed- blowers were playing shrill, plaintive music. During this time, all the lady dancers gradually withdrew, leaving only the male dancers in the arena. This, we consider one of the greatest displays of juggling ever to be accomplished. At a certain pitch from the reed-blowers, the tom toms gradually broke in. The act of juggling decreased and soon each torch bearer was holding his lighted firestick aloft in his right hand.
The music abruptly stopped and the chanting of praise from the spectators was under way. Upon a signal from the drummers, all the male dancers slowly marched out of the arena, leaving only the great flaming fire bowl in the center. The first part of the dance was over.
Many of the spectators remained in their seats while others walked about to stretch their legs and to discuss current events. Paul and I excused ourselves from Chi Chi Suma and went among the people, chatting here and there, and winding up at the huge food center to help ourselves to the many delicacies spread before us. Here the people discussed the dance they had just witnessed or, on the other hand, if this was the first dance they had witnessed, excitement ran high in their eloquence of its enjoyment. All spectators were arrayed in the very finest raiment.
Paul and I returned to Chi Chi Suma and his councilmen, and described to him how highly we had enjoyed the event thus far. Chi Chi Suma signaled to the drummers, and they in turn started a slow muffled beat on the tom toms, calling the people to assemble again for the last part of the dance.
As the people gathered to their respective places, Chi Chi Suma called one of the ladies holding the sacred firestick, and bade her bring it to him. He and his chief adviser arose, turning to Paul and me, he placed the burning firestick in my hand and informed 15
me that I was to take his place as leader of the people, and Paul would be my chief counselor during this part of the dance, while Chi Chi Suma and his chief counselor went fo; a much needed rest.
Soon the tom toms stopped beating, Chi Chi Suma bade Paul and me stand up, and while I was still holding the lighted firestick, Chi Chi Suma removed my cape, while his chief counselor removed Paul’s cape. Then Chi Chi Suma placed his cape around my shoulders, and his counselor did likewise for Paul. Chi Chi Suma then removed my feathered headdress and placed his own special headdress upon my head. His counselor did the same for Paul.
Chi Chi Soma called to his people and said, “My son shall. be your leader, and his brother shall be his adviser until this part of the Fire Dance is over. I ask your approval. ” Immediately a cry of approval arose From the people, who rose to their feet, shouting, “Chek Ta! Chek Ta!” (approval).
Chi Chi Some very rapidly described to me what I should do, and he and his counselor quietly retired from the tribunal box. Immediately after Chi Chi Suma’s departure, I rose to my feet, which was the signal for the reed-blowers, tom toms and stick clackers to begin the music. I motioned to one of the three ladies who carried the firesticks, to come to me. ‘often she approached, I stooped from the tribunal box and touched my lighted firestick to the one she held, lighting it. She then turned and walked away. Another of the three came to the tribunal box and in the same manner her firestick was lighted. The third lady who approached me, had no firestick in her hand, so I leaned down from the tribunal box and placed my lighted firestick in her band.
On each side of the great, burning fire bowl stood two rows of lady dancers, twenty-five on one side and twenty four on the other side, with unlighted fire-sticks in their right hands. The one to whom I had given my firestick headed the line of twenty-four, she making the twenty-fifth dancer in that line. The other two ladies who carried the lighted firesticks, walked down the lines on opposite sides of the fire bowl and lighted the firesticks of each dancer.
The costumes of the women were made of a sieve-less, form-fitting blouse of about a Chinese-red color. The skirt, of the same material and color, reached just below the knees and was very full. Around the waist they wore a three-inch blue sash. A head-band to match was worn over their shoulder length hair. All wore white pack-boots, reaching to about three inches below the kneecap,
As soon as all the firesticks were lighted, and the fifty-two dancers started to chant, the music at once changed. The drummers and stick-clackers ceased and only the reed-blowers produced music for this part of the dance. As soon as the tom toms and sticks ceased to play, the ladies marched to the huge fire-bowl to the music of the reeds, first in single file, then each one touching her left hand to the right hand of the firestick bearer behind her. Breaking from this pattern, they formed pairs and marched around the firebowl. From this they broke into single file again, intertwining as they marched around the fire-bowl.
This part of the dance is quite slow, but the pattern of the dance changes rapidly and it lasts for apparently thirty minutes. Just before time for the dance to end, the tom toms and sticks took up the rhythm, indicating that this part of the dance was ended; upon which the ladies marched in single file to the exits of the arena amid the wild applause of the spectators. IV , 16
A recess of several hours was in progress until late afternoon, when the third and final part of the dance was to begin. Everyone again partook of food and chatted with each other and played with the children. Chi Chi Suma and his counselor mingled with the people, and Paul and I enjoyed this close contact with the people on a day set aside for so sacred an occasion.
Chi Chi Suma pointed to a shadow on the rocks and reminded the people that it was time for everyone to assemble in the arena for the last part of the dance. Slowly the great arena began to fill. The reed-blowers started to make music. When the shadow reached a certain mark on the stone marker, Chi Chi Suma signaled for the final part of the dance to begin.
Turning to Paul and me he said, “My son, you and your brother will go to the arena and take your part in the ceremony that you have been taught. ” We adjusted our own headdresses and went down the runway and entered into the arena by the same way all the other dancers had entered. We looked about for our instructor, and soon found him conversing with some of the other dancers. He saw us and beckoned us to come to him. After a few final hasty words of instruction, he gave Paul and me an unlighted firestick each and told us to take our respective places among the dancers.
The stick-clackers, upon a signal from Chi Chi Suma, started the slow rhythmic beat, and a silence fell over the entire arena. When all was quiet, Chi Chi Suma and his council members all arose and Chi Chi Suma immediately began to pray. Upon conclusion of the prayer, he signaled for the reed-blowers and the drummers along with the stick-clackers to begin and the final part of the Fire Dance was under way.
Paul took a very brief part and immediately left the arena. Upon completion of my part I left the arena, too, and together Paul and I joined Chi Chi Suma and the council members, to witness the final part of the grand spectacle.
All the fifty-two men and fifty-two women appeared in this final part- Each dancer marched by the fire-bowl and lighted his firestick at the beginning of the dance. This is the most sacred part of the dance, and was very quietly and precisely carried out. There was no wild scampering or twirling of the firesticks here. The dancers marched and entwined in twos and fours to perfection.
Near the close of the dance, two members entered the arena while the dance was still in progress, and on the left side of the firebowl from the council members, set a huge drum upon a low pedestal. At the same time two members entered carrying a large pottery jar of water which they set on the right side of the firebowl. The clackers and drummers ceased their rhythmic beating, leaving only the plaintive music of the reeds to be heard.
There came a very brief pause and the two who had brought in the big drum started to beat out deep, intonating sounds which signaled the reed-blowers to cease their playing. The drummers beat upon the huge drum for about three minutes and immediately came to a pause. Chi Chi Suma arose at this brief pause and announced to the people that the sacred ceremonial dance had been danced in honor of Itla the Fire God, whom he knew was well pleased and would bestow his blessings upon the earth people. In a very humble and reverent voice he said that fifty-two years would pass before another dance would be held, and he knew he would not be there to see the third one. He gave his blessing to the people and a special blessing to Paul and me; and to the music of the reed-blowers and the tom tom beaters, all the people returned to their homes. 18
That night Paul and I sat and talked with Chi Chi Suma and he related many incidents that had happened in the long, dead past, as well as many things that had happened during his life. We stayed among the Quiches and made ready to go up into Mexico or Yucatan.
On our day of departure, we had a lengthy visit with Chi Chi Suma and his counselors. As we left the Quiche people, Chi Chi Suma rode a short distance with us, and gave Paul and me a very beautiful blessing. Then he turned slowly to return to the land of the Quiches, and Paul and I went on our way, always remembering Chi Chi Suma as a great man, both in intelligence and in spirituality.