—I have discussed the spinning and weaving of cotton into fabric, but with the Indian its ceremonial use does not stop there. It has a place in almost every ritual. The Zuñi name for unspun cotton is "down," and down, as I have said, is the sacred feather of life, the breath of the supernatural. It symbolizes clouds and snow and is often stuck on the horsehair beards in place of eagle down. The tops of certain masks are covered with raw cotton to indicate that those gods are associated with rainmaking. Handmade cotton cord is always used in prayer plumes and for the purpose of fastening together feathers used for ornaments on the
ceremonial costumes. It is placed across a road leading into the village to indicate that a ceremony is taking place. We often find the loosely twisted cord hanging from the crown of a wig in definite contrast to the black hair (pls. 3, 17).