What had been enacted in the clearing was not merely a dance but a rite of supreme importance. It wasn't a rehearsal or a training session for a hunt — it was, to their minds, a real hunt, perhaps even the "main" hunt.
Two men from the tribe, the fastest and the most agile, tied on horns and tails and represented antelopes, while the others hunted them. If a spear "felled" an antelope, then the hunt the next day augured to be successful. If the hunters failed, then the hunt was postponed, for it was doomed to failure.