Something moved in the dark. A face as tall as a man -- a big, round,evil face wandered at random. More faces and the realization: the dead walk the snow. Whistling and chanting, "We have stolen the sun and you will have to live in darkness".
But the women of the ribe, who were hiding in their igloos, then rushed outshrieking and beating their chests, proclaiming their right as the source of life. The dead spirits were frightened by the women and fled into the darkness. As the Eskimo band picked up their song, the women gathered in a circle, symbolizing nature's golden orb, and sang a hymn asking the dead to return the sun to the mothers of the snow.
The men, having removed their "dead spirit" masks, joined the women infestive songs and hand-clapping games until, at last, the first rays of sunlight of the Eskimo year began to appear over the horizon, signaling the end of six months of winter darkness. Gratefully, the dead had released their hold once more.
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"The Festival of Death" as written by Homer Flynn Hardy Winfred Fox
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
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