I received this statue as a Christmas present.The American Indian had a way of life many could still learn from. I love the way they knew nature and became one with the world.
The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced differently by several North American Indian Nations, but many of the ceremonies have features in common, including dancing, singing and drumming, the experience of visions, fasting, and, in some cases, self-torture. The Native American tribes who practiced sun dance were:
The Arapaho, Arikara, Asbinboine, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros, Ventre, Hidutsa, Sioux, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibway, Sarasi, Omaha, Ponca, Ute, Shoshone, Kiowa, and Blackfoot tribes. Their rituals varied from tribe to tribe.
The buffalo skull is used during the Sun Dance and offerings are presented to the skull. The Cheyenne stuffed the eye and nose sockets with grass, representing bountiful vegetation for the buffalo, which in turn meant healthy buffalo for the people.
Other tribes believed the grass represents bringing the buffalo back to life for grass is what gives the animal life. The Dakota believe that the bones of bison they have killed will rise again with new flesh. The soul was seen to reside in the bones of people and animals, to reduce a living being to a skeleton is equivalent to re- entering the womb of this primordial life - a mystical rebirth.
During the dance the buffalo was important to them in visions. He may knock down a dancer, or the dancer may challenge the buffalo by charging at it. Staying passed out too long meant one was too afraid to face the buffalo lack of courage and unworthy of the buffalo giving him what was asked . Sometimes one can reach a certain and notice he is seeing through the buffalo's eyes, that he has become one with the buffalo.
The Sun Dance sometimes resolved a conflict between people that view the buffalo as wise and powerful, even closer to the creator than humans, and having to kill and eat them to survive. Making the buffalo sacred, symbolically giving new life to it, and treating it with respect and reverence acts a s a sort of reconciliation.
The Plains Indians saw that the buffalo not only provided them with physical well-being, but kept their souls alive, too.
They also believed that the buffaloes gave themselves to them for food, so the natural course to them would be to offer a part of themselves in return out of gratitude. Thus the sacrifice of the dancers through fasting, thirst, and self-inflicted pain reflects the desire to return something of themselves to nature.
Self-inflicted torture has also come to symbolize rebirth. The torture represents death, then the person is symbolically resurrected. The sun dancer is reborn, mentally and spiritually as well as physically,along with the renewal of the buffalo and the entire universe.
American Indians also kept healthy by the teas they drank like for instance, to keep cool they drank a tea made out of wild cherry bark,rosehips,orange peel hisbiscus flowers spearmint leaves and lemon grass
To sleep they made tea out of peppermint chamomile,catnip, valerian root,passion flower, strawberry leaves and scullcap
For Medicine tea made out of Spearmint, gota kola, wood betony,rosemary,eucalyptus,and ginseng leaves.
And for romance, a special brew of White Oak bark,muira puama ginger root,Damiana, rosemary,angelica root,marjoram,celery seed, missouri snake root and ginseng root. I guess they had a special blend and knew how much to put of what in it.
Now we can go out and plant gardens with these gifts from nature and have fun brewing our own teas. :)