Sunrise call

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,
Prayer meal,
Here I give to you.
Your long life,
Your old age,
Your waters,
Your seeds,
Your riches,
Your power,
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.

About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
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6 Responses to Sunrise call

  1. Beautiful music, beautiful photography, beautiful prayer. I felt transported.

  2. Sweet! I love simple flute melodies! πŸ™‚ (Jethro Tull flute rock too!…)

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