The traditional morning ceremony of the Zuni.
Before dawn breaks, the Sun-priest summons the people to the roofs and tops of the houses to greet the mother-of-life, the rising sun. The call for her to rise is played to the surrounding mesas, and receives a faithful response.
Having fulfilled his first duty, the priest makes a fervent appeal, in the form of a standard prayer, to the Sun-god, imploring aid and guidance for his people.
Now this day,
My sun father,
Now that you have come out standing to your sacred place,
That from which we draw the water of life,
Here I give to you.
Your long life,
Your old age,
Your strong spirit,
All these to me may you grant.
The ritual concludes by repeating the “Sunrise Call” to the distant mesas.
“Zuni Sunrise Call” first recorded in 1904: M.C. Stevenson, “The Zuni Indians: Their mythology, esoteric fraternities, and ceremonies”, published by the Smithsonian Institute.
The morning prayer appears, translated, in R.L. Bunzel’s “Zuni Ritual Poetry”, also published by the Smithsonian Institute, in 1930.