Author Topic: kunsikeya.org / Beverly Little Thunder & "Wimmin's Sun Dance"  (Read 76762 times)

Offline Cetan

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I was taught by my mother and grandmothers that the Sundance traditionally is a man's ceremony, the women support the men. In these times the women have had to take their place as warriors alongside the men so they are able to Sundance if there is a need however women do not pierce except with feathers. Women sscrifice themselves, their flesh and blood, when they go through childbirth.  I have never heard of a woman Sundance intercessor.

Offline earthw7

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Earth7
Quote
The Standing Rock Sioux does not support this type of activity.

I have heard of women being Sundancers , even to the point of being pierced . But then I've also heard the woman just being support to the men who danced , mainly by seeing to the practical running of the camp and seeing everyone had what they need .

Were these woman, who were talked about in the first article , disrespecting some important protocols in doing what they did ?

Do most Lakota believe there are parts of the Sundance that should be restricted to men ?

At what point is a woman participating in a Sundance crossing a line and being disrespectful ?

I don't know if this is something people feel comfortable to explain , but it is something I have wondered about .

I'm guessing proper respect for traditional protocols , would be what's most important. But I have heard so many different things I'm not sure what they are .


Hi Moma_porcupine,

I have heard of women being Sundancers , even to the point of being pierced . But then I've also heard the woman just being support to the men who danced , mainly by seeing to the practical running of the camp and seeing everyone had what they need .

The woman have always danced in the Sun Dance with the Yanktonais people as far back as I can read in the winter counts, The Lakota have had women dancing to support the men. The women already give life so that did not have to dance but they supported the men, some of the daughters would dance if a family member was sick. Today things are different women dance in all the Sun Dances that I know of.

Were these woman, who were talked about in the first article , disrespecting some important protocols in doing what they did ?

The dance is for the men and to all have a all women dance seen to little too weird, it goes aganist traditions. What would be the reason for these women to dance without the men? Indian women don't have the issues white women have or at they should not have.

Do most Lakota believe there are parts of the Sundance that should be restricted to men ?

I guess i have a little trouble with this question?? It is a man's dance!

At what point is a woman participating in a Sundance crossing a line and being disrespectful ?

It is not a woman participating in the dance that is the problem because we all have family to dance for, it is the fact that it is an all woman dance. We don't do these things and there is not a reason to them.

I don't know if this is something people feel comfortable to explain , but it is something I have wondered about .

I guess the problem we see is the lesbian sundance. we are taught that these people are a part of our nation and are treated with respect. They are not allowed in the sun dance circle, they can help in camp and help the people but can't dance.

I'm guessing proper respect for traditional protocols , would be what's most important. But I have heard so many different things I'm not sure what they are .

This is what I have been taught "that there is no one way but they is a way"
The problem with today is there are so many sun dance out there in the world with strange rules and strange ways.
It hurts to see this happen to a ceremony that we use to heal of people. We have a way for men and women and it should stay that way. Outsider like to change rules to fit them no matter what happens to the our people.
In Spirit

Offline Moma_porcupine

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Thanks for your very complete answers . 

The only thing I have ever heard directly from Elders about the Sundance , is them not feeling happy when people from their Nation participated , because it was not their traditions .

From the first article
Quote
The lesbian Sun Dance was born in St. John, Ariz., with 13 Native Americans and 87 other women participating. It was later moved to women’s land in Vermont.

It feels strange to me when I see Sundances happening in the territories of Nations that never did this . Somehow something vital seems missing .
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 12:08:10 pm by Moma_porcupine »

Offline earthw7

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We have to answer to the people in these area where this is not their tradition.
It is really bad that this kind of thing happens.
In Spirit

Offline Defend the Sacred

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I guess the problem we see is the lesbian sundance. we are taught that these people are a part of our nation and are treated with respect. They are not allowed in the sun dance circle, they can help in camp and help the people but can't dance.

Thanks for your post, earthw.  I'm a bit confused, though.  Could you please clarify what you mean by "these people" who can help but not dance?  Do only men dance at your Sundances?  Or do you mean that among your people lesbians in particular should not dance, even when women dance? 

 

Offline earthw7

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Quote
I guess the problem we see is the lesbian sundance. we are taught that these people are a part of our nation and are treated with respect. They are not allowed in the sun dance circle, they can help in camp and help the people but can't dance.

Thanks for your post, earthw.  I'm a bit confused, though.  Could you please clarify what you mean by "these people" who can help but not dance?  Do only men dance at your Sundances?  Or do you mean that among your people lesbians in particular should not dance, even when women dance? 


Two spirit people cannot dance, women can dance and men can dance. Two spirits can help in the camp. That has been the way among my people as far back as we have recorded on winter counts. I don't know that we have a separation between lesbian and gay as least not that i know of. They are Winkte because they are two spirit there is no difference. We honor winkte but they do not dance. In the Sun Dance only a few people dance and the reason they dance is if someone is sick or in need. A person just don't dance for the sake of dancing. Where we have ceremony you have to tell the reason you are dancing otherwise you will be turned away. It is not a show.
New age stuff don't belong in our ways. The women should be dancing to support the men because it is a man's dance. Woman don't have to dance we are already sacred.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 07:37:41 pm by Defend the Sacred »
In Spirit

Offline earthw7

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I have ask people to forgive me if i said anything offensive
because i only know my people ways
and I stand by my people's ways.
I have many friends who are two spirit
they are good people but also know our
traditions.
I don't want our traditions changed.
Every person has a place in my culture
we should not try and changed that culture
because outsider don't understand.

In Spirit

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Likewise, earthw, I hope I have not said anything offensive or upsetting. :-)

I am not suggesting that traditions be changed, or that outsiders be let in.  I am only trying to make sure I understand what you're saying, because this is somewhat different from what I have heard from some other folks.  That is not a problem, I just want to make sure I understand.

I understand that the Sundance is a very serious ceremony, not a performance or a recreational activity.  I understand it is rooted in the community and traditional ways.  I understand things can vary a lot from Nation to Nation, and attitudes can certainly vary between different individuals and families.  I really only have a bit of direct information about some Sundances at Pine Ridge, and am ignorant about how the ceremonies are done elsewhere.

The reason I asked if lesbians are viewed differently than straight women among your people is that my friend who lived at Pine Ridge never really saw any distinction being made between lesbians and other women.  Some of the First Nations folks I know are lesbians, and they've never expected to be treated or categorized any differently from other women.  I don't know if they've always been "out" in all situations, though, because some of them view sexuality as a private thing, and it only comes up if they are settled in a family situation with a same-gender partner.

frederica

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I think part of the problem is the whole picture has changed. I'm not sure this has the same meaning as it once did. Two Spirits is a term coined in the late 80's by Indians who were lesiban, gay or maybe not.  Nations had their own names for this. These were and are respected people. Some had important postions within the Nation. But as little as I know about the Sun Dance, I know they were not allowed to dance, and still are not. They had a job to do within the camp. As I see it people just do what they want to do, when they want, no matter the consequences.

Offline earthw7

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I can't talk for Pine Ridge and what they do. At times I don't understand why there
are so many dances in Pine Ridge.
I do know that the women and their partners here that live here are good people.
In fact at the dance we have it is a woman and her partner that helps with most
of the cooking. They are hard workers.

I don't know if they've always been "out" in all situations, though, because some of them view sexuality as a private thing, and it only comes up if they are settled in a family situation with a same-gender partner.

Sexuality is a private thing. People who have respect for our ways help where they can.
They know that people are praying for you where you are in the dance circle or not.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 05:35:53 pm by earthw7 »
In Spirit

apukjij

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in maritime canada, homophobia is many times worse in Wapana'ki communities than in the urban setting. there are reasons for this.
 in fact i was told because i was Two-Spirited that i could not become a Pipe-Carrier,
even tho i had the dream,
even tho i prayed and studied for many years
 and Fasted the required amount of days
 even tho my Spirit screamed before contact the Mi'kmaw Two-Spirted were the original Medicine People,
so i put down my Pipe, the decision was simple and easy.

 Living with those decisions was excruciating,

but you see if when i raise the Pipe and present it to all of Creation, i must have the backing from the Traditional Elders of my Nation,

 your see because its not all about me,
its about being part of a community, a family, a nation,

and also its about honouring and respecting the decisons made when Elders get together and decide things!

Offline earthw7

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The bottom line with this group is many are not native
they are frauds.
In Spirit

Offline Kevin

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Why would anyone have to have the backing of anyone else in order to pray? That makes no sense.

"but you see if when i raise the Pipe and present it to all of Creation, i must have the backing from the Traditional Elders of my Nation,"

Offline ska

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Excuse me, Kevin, but I think you may have misconstrued what apukjij had to say:

"but you see if when i raise the Pipe and present it to all of Creation, i must have the backing from the Traditional Elders of my Nation,"

I respect what was said in the quote above.  This person did not suggest permission is needed to pray.  What is said is that backing of the nation and elders is needed to carry a pipe.  This seems very respectful, humble, and faithful.  If only non-natives could be as humble as Indians are about the pipe, there would probably be a lot less confusion (and far fewer pipes out there). 

Most of my Lakota in-laws and friends speak their language and practice their traditional spiritual ways.  They are so humble about the pipe and most do not have a personal pipe.  They are still able to pray and go to ceremony and give thanks for the ones who carry the pipe for the people.  I've never heard a Lakota who speaks his/her language refer to themselves as a "pipe carrier" or a "sun dancer" - these are seen as New Age terms.   

From the tiny bit of what I think I have learned from my husband and his elders, hardly anyone used to have a pipe of their own.  Far as I can tell, having your own pipe, that's a new age way, too. 

My husband, as a Lakota, has his own sense of where this desire to have a pipe comes from, so I'll share some of his words:

"This all started after the United States government started letting the people practice their way openly again.  By that time, many had lost their way or had it destroyed, had it beaten out of them, or were adopted out of their communities, but all were subjected to Christian ways that taught them condemn and reject their own natural ways.   The Non-natives who come into this way, maybe through a friend, they saw something and they had an illusion of it, which really misinterpreted the way of thought of the Lakota people.  This misunderstanding was then mistranslated and manipulated in so many ways that, today, many of the Lakota people themselves feel that they cannot practice their own way anymore.   The mass confusion out there is creating a lot of confusion for the Lakota, too.  In the past, only certain ones carried the pipe, because they had to help the people.  There never was such a thing as "medicine man" or "shaman", these are just new age mistranslations.  What these misguided ones don't realize is that a common man could be gifted with a certain knowledge or wisdom that he could bring from the other side into this world of realities."

best, ska

Offline Kevin

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" respect what was said in the quote above.  This person did not suggest permission is needed to pray.  What is said is that backing of the nation and elders is needed to carry a pipe.  This seems very respectful, humble, and faithful.  If only non-natives could be as humble as Indians are about the pipe, there would probably be a lot less confusion (and far fewer pipes out there).  "

I'm still confused. I take it "to carry a pipe" means to go forth and serve as a spiritual leader and conduct ceremony with a pipe. I do recall seeing a few pipes in a few homes but that was many years ago.

I think the vast majority of non-Indians are indifferent to Indian cultures and spirituality. A small percentage are respectul and a small percentage are downright hostile.

As far as a lesbian sundance, I never heard of such a thing until it popped up here. I never could understand how sexual preference factored into spiritual development regardless of culture.