An Ancient Bond with the Land
Ceremonial trading began with the building of a canopy under which leaders from both sides performed a pipe ceremony. The Nuptadi/Nueta leader made a pile of weapons and other goods under the canopy, and put his pipe on top. The Nakoda leader made a similar offering, and covered it with a bison skull. A ceremonial pipe dance started, and people began to add goods to their community pile. The Nuptadi/Nueta added corn, beans, dried squash and sunflower seeds. The Nakoda added pemmican, prairie turnips and dried berries. Other goods included bison robes, fancy leather clothing, decorative materials such as shell or bone beads, bird and animal claws, weapons, and tools or the materials for making them.
Appointed officials kept track of people's contributions. When the piles were judged to be of equal value, the two groups exchanged the contents. Each contributor received an amount proportional to what he or she had given.