(Painted May, 1842.) The Medicine Dance of the Sacs is performed once every year, for the purpose of initiating the mystery of the medicine-men into this sacred custom of their tribe. . . . The spirits of all who have died through the year . . . are relinquished to the Great Spirit; and notwithstanding months which may have elapsed since death, the great principle of life, the spirit which never dies, does not wing its flight to the land of the happy hunting-grounds until it is set free by the potent charm of the medicine-man. . . . The lodge consecrated to these mystic rites is made of rush-mats, stretched over poles in the form of an arch, and fifty five feet in length. . . . The dance is continued in a careful manner until the lodge is thoroughly examined. During this part of the ceremony, the squaws, gaily clad in embroidered dresses, are arranged around the interior of the lodge . . . . All the medicine-men . . . take their medicine bags, and with the bean in the palm of the hand proceed around the lodge, and exhibit it to the chiefs and warriors. . . . The bean is then put in the medicine-pouch and held in the manner before described, and the dance continued . . . [and] then follows the feast. The guests are invited by the representation of a short stick, marked with devices. Being a medicine man, I had the honor of participating in this part of the ceremony. [Pp. 37-40.]
Portraits of North American Indians, with Sketches of Scenery, etc., painted by J.M. Stanley. Deposited with the Smithsonian Institution. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. December, 1852.