1. According to James R. Lewis in his 1992 study, there had been a recent shift in New Agers' focus from channeling and crystals to American Indian spirituality and shamanism, along with "inner child" work (James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton, eds., Perspectives on the New Age [Albany: State University of New York, 1992], 10).
2. According to Melody Baker's survey (A New Consciousness: The True Spirit of New Age [Duluth GA: New Thought, 1991], 196), a significant number of respondents listed "Native American teachings" as a New Age topic they would like to see more written about. Similarly, when asked to list what New Age products and services they were interested in, a significant number of respondents indicated that they would like to see an increase in products and services related to "Native American teachings."
3. These books include Earthway: A Native American Visionary's Path to Total Mind, Body, and Spirit Health (New York: Pocketbooks, 1999); Phoenix Rising: No-Eyes' Vision of the Changes to Come (Norfolk VA: Hampton Roads, 1993); and Dreamwalker: Path of Sacred Power (Norfolk VA: Hampton Roads, 1993) among others.
4. Shortly thereafter, Summer Rain encounters a group of restless spirits from the nineteenth century. These Indian women and children were on their way to meet the men of their tribe when they perished from small pox (spread by intentionally infected blankets given to them by the U.S. Cavalry). Summer Rain tells them to admit they are dead and say they want to get home. The men of their tribe then appear with outstretched arms and the tribe is reunited and returns to the spirit world (Mary Summer Rain, Phantoms Afoot: Helping the Spirits Among Us [Norfolk VA: Hampton Roads, 1993]).
5. Jamie Samms, The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers: Your Sacred Path to Discovering the Gifts, Talents, and Abilities of the Feminine through the Ancient Teachings of the Sisterhood (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993).
6. Iron Thunderhorse and Don Le Vie Jr., Return of the Thunderbeings: A New Paradigm of Ancient Shamanism (Santa Fe: Bear & Co., 1990).
7. Joseph Rael with Mary Elizabeth Marlow, Being and Vibration (Tulsa, OK: Council Oak Books, 1993).
8. Doug Boyd, Mad Bear: Spirit, Healing, and the Sacred in the Life of a Native American Medicine Man (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994) and Rolling Thunder (New York: Random House, 1974). Incidentally the Grateful Dead threw a benefit concert for Rolling Thunder.
9. Taisha Abelar, The Sorcerer's Crossing (New York: Penguin, 1993). Castaneda has written the preface to her book.
10. See the Bill Elwell Jr. videotape entitled "Native American Indian Sacred Purification Sweat Lodge Ceremony."
11. Michael Harner workshop advertised in Omega: Institute for Holistic Studies catalog for summer 1994. Harner was formerly a professor of anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
12. Workshop entitled "Healing the Light Body: The Art of Incan Shamanism" led by Lynne Stewart-White advertised in a brochure for Morning Star: Institute for Holistic Studies in Atlanta, Georgia, and scheduled for summer 1994.
13. In an advertisement flyer, for example, "Camp Four Winds" bills itself as "A contemporary experience in Native American harmony, a family resort and summer camp for children and families. We share the light given by Ea Wah Tah (Hiawatha) 5,800 years ago." An example of the incorporation of Native American rituals in wilderness training camps is found in the advertisement for "Earth-Heart" in Montana run by Malcolm H. Ringwalt. Ringwalt leads wilderness-training programs, combined with vision quests, and also conducts psychotherapy as part of these "spiritual retreats." Keepers of the Earth: Tours of the American Southwest--a tour company--lures consumers with the following advertisement: "Awaken connections with your past. Transform the future, join us to honor and explore the earth. Red Rocks, deep-winding canyons, Native American sacred sites, rituals, and ruins heighten your journey. Guided Meditations Optional."
14. Andy Smith, "For All Those Who Were Indian in a Former Life," Ms. Magazine, Nov.-Dec. 1991, 44(2).
15. Red Rose Collection Catalog, 1996.
16. The Pyramid Collection: A Catalog of Personal Growth and Exploration (Indian Summer, [sic] 1994).
17. Pemina Yellow Bird and Kathryn Milun, "Interrupted Journeys: The Cultural Politics of Indian Reburial," in Displacements: Cultural Identities in Question, ed. Angelika Bammer (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1994).
18. Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Traditional Elders Circle (Northern Cheyenne Nation, Two Moons' Camp, Rosebud Creek, Montana, 5 October 1980) [reprinted in Ward Churchill, Fantasies of the Master Race (Monroe ME: Common Courage Press, 1996), 223-225]. Traditional Circle of Indian Elders, Twelfth Annual Conference at Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia (quoted in Jon Magnuson, "Selling Native American Soul," The Christian Century, 22 November 1989, 1086).
19. Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Traditional Elders Circle, 223.
20. Native American activists distributed fliers at Hyemeyohsts Storm's lecture at a San Francisco worship service that boldly proclaimed, "Our sacred spiritual practices are not for sale, and if you try to steal them from us, you are guilty of spiritual genocide" (Christopher Shaw, "A Theft of Spirit?" New Age Journal, July/August 1995, 84-92). Colorado's AIM chapter undertook a confrontation with Sun Bear in the midst of a $500-per-head, weekend-long "spiritual retreat" being conducted in Granby, Colorado.
21. Southwest AIM Leadership Conference, AIM Resolution, 11 May 1984, Window Rock AZ, Diné Reservation (reprinted in Churchill, Fantasies of the Master Race, 228).
22. National Congress of American Indians, 1993, reprinted in Shaw, "A Theft of Spirit?" 86.
23. In Playing Indian, Phillip J. Deloria notes that the Indian-published paper Indian Country Today ran a series of articles in 1992 denouncing many New Age "medicine people" as frauds and inviting these plastic shamans' responses. Most failed to respond to the critiques or give them any validity. Deloria seems even more intrigued with the lack of effect of these articles on the New Age movement as a whole. He observes: "[T]he newspaper's detailed investigative reporting had no appreciable effect on New Age audiences. Indian presence was noted. Complaints, however, were ignored and suggestions rejected" (Phillip J. Deloria, Playing Indian [New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1998]).
24. It might be noted that the "freedom of religion" clause in the First Amendment protects individuals from government infringement of their right to hold their religious beliefs. It does not guarantee them a right of access to a particular group's spiritual traditions. Given that Native American reservations are recognized as "domestic dependent nations" by the U.S. government (and some have never conceded U.S. sovereignty at all), this "right of access" is even more unfounded from a legal standpoint.
25. Smith, "For All Those Who Were Indian in a Former Life," 44(2).
26. For example, in Lyng v Northwest Cemetery Protective Association, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment rights of members of three Indian tribes to religious freedom were not violated by the construction of a state forest road in close proximity to important sacred sites (Lyng v Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association, 485 US 439 ). In the majority opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor noted: "The Constitution does not, and courts cannot, offer to reconcile the various competing demands on government, many of them rooted in sincere religious belief, that inevitably arise in so diverse a society as ours" (Lyng v Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association, 485 US 452 ). The Lyng decision also concluded that the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 did not protect tribal sacred sites; they also determined that AIRFA was merely a statement of policy without any means of judicial enforcement.
27. Quoted in Churchill, Fantasies of the Master Race, 219.
28. Southwest AIM Leadership Conference, AIM Resolution, 11 May 1984, Window Rock AZ, Diné Reservation (reprinted in Churchill, Fantasies of the Master Race, 228).
29. Sun Bear, Wabun Wind, and Edward B. Weinstock, The Path to Power (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1987), 30.
30. Letter from a reader to editors of Wildfire (Sun Bear Tribe's magazine) 6, no. 4 (Fall/Winter 1996).
31. Sun Bear, Wabun, and Weinstock, The Path to Power, 260.
32. Grant McCracken, Culture and Consumption: New Approaches to the Symbolic Character of Consumer Goods and Activities (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), 106-7.
33. Mike Featherstone, Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (London: Sage, 1991).
34. Lauren Langman, "Neon Cages: Shopping for Subjectivity" in Lifestyle Shopping: The Subject of Consumption, ed. Rob Shields (London: Routledge, 1992).
35. Ibid., 68.
36. Ibid., 68.
37. Z. Bauman, "Survival as a Social Construct," Theory, Culture, and Society 9 (1992): 1-36.
38. Ibid., 25.
39. Jay Rosen, "Optimism and Dread: T.V. and the New Age" in Not Necessarily the New Age: Critical Essays, ed. Robert Basil (Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books, 1988), 275.
40. Jay Rosen, "Consumer Culture and the New Age," Skeptical Inquirer 13, no. 4 (1989): 401-4.
41. Rosen, "Optimism and Dread," 271.
42. Ibid., 288.
43. In God Is Red, Vine Deloria Jr. backs up his proposition that Americans attempt to find authenticity and some kind of historical roots in American Indians by citing a bizarre fragment of a William Carlos Williams poem: "The land! Doesn't it make you want to go out and lift dead Indians tenderly from their graves, to steal from them--as if it must be clinging even to their corpses--some authenticity" (Vine Deloria Jr., God Is Red [New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1977], xi).
44. Rayna Green, "The Tribe Called Wannabee: Playing Indian in America and Europe," Folklore 99, no. 1 (1988): 30-55.
45. Green discusses the "Taos cult of the thirties, with Mabel Dodge Luhan, her 'guru' Indian husband Tony, her covey of displaced, hedonistic New Yorkers, and obeisance to the cult goddess, Georgia O'Keefe" ("The Tribe Called Wannabee," 43). Green argues that the Southwest became more than a canvas or scene for the camera lens with this thirties cult; it became a style. Green also points out that countercultural hippies in the sixties often donned headbands, beads, fringed jackets, and purses adorned with feathers. Philip Deloria gives an insightful analysis of counterculture's fascination with "playing Indian" in chap. 6, "Counterculture Indians and the New Age," in Philip Deloria, Playing Indian (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 154-80.
46. Although I believe that New Age commercialization of Native American spirituality is on a much wider scale than the nineteenth-century spiritualist movement, I do not want to overlook the history of commercialization of the "Indian" image since the late 1800s. Daniel Francis traces the use of the Indian in advertising and products from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century (Daniel Francis, "Marketing the Imaginary Indian," chap. 8 in The Imaginary Indian [Vancouver BC: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1992]).
47. Green, "The Tribe Called Wannabee," 45.
48. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. R. Nice (London: Routledge & Kegan, 1984).
49. Jean Baudrillard, Simulations (New York: Semiotext(e), 1983).
50. As Vizenor phrases it, "The simulation of the indian is the absence of real natives--the contrivance of the other in the course of dominance. Truly, natives are the stories of an imagic presence, and indians are the actual absence--the simulations of the tragic primitive (Gerald Vizenor, Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance [Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999], vii).
51. As Vizenor analyzes the rise of plastic shamans: "'When the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning,' wrote Baudrillard in Simulacra and Simulations. There is a proliferation of myths of origin and signs of reality; of second hand truth, objectivity, and authenticity. Nostalgia, and the melancholia of dominance, are common sources of simulations in manifest manners; mother earth and the shamans of the other are summoned to surrender their peace and harmonies in spiritual movements" (Vizenor, Manifest Manners, 25).
52. This idea of New Age simulations of Indians is evident in Vizenor's analysis of the Rainbow Tribe. As he argues: "The simulations of his rainbow tribe [referring to Ed McGaa] are treacherous, in one sense, because nostalgia is the absence of the real, not the presence of imagination and the wild seasons of peace. The rainbow tribe is a diversion, it would seem, a simulation marooned in the romance of the noble savage and the unattainable salvation of absolute boredom and melancholy" (Vizenor, Manifest Manners, 25).
53. As Vizenor phrases it: "The postindian warriors and posers are not the new shaman healers of the unreal. Simulations and the absence of the real are curative by chance . . . postindian warriors are wounded by the real" (Vizenor, Manifest Manners, 23).
54. This idea of Euro-American definitions of "authentic" representations of Native American cultures is suggested by Vizenor's definition of "manifest manners," the term he chooses as the title of his book. Vizenor defines manifest manners as "the course of dominance, the racialist notions and misnomers sustained in archives and lexicons as 'authentic' representations of indian cultures" (Vizenor, Manifest Manners, x).
55. As Deloria phrases his quandary: "What concerns me even more, however, are the ways in which a contradictory notion of Indianness, so central to American quests for identities, changed shape yet again in the context of these postmodern crises of meaning. On the one hand, the refigurings of Indianness produced by the counterculture and the New Age reflect a historical moment unique from those we have already examined. On the other hand, the diverse practices we often subsume under the word postmodern may simply echo the familiar toying with meaning and identity we have seen in a long tradition of Indian play. Or maybe both notions are true" (Deloria, Playing Indian, 157).
56. As Deloria elucidates: "And yet, placed in the context of a postmodernism that emphasized relativism and openness, it was easy to read cosmopolitan multiculturalism as a license for anyone to choose an ethnic identity--Indian, for example--regardless of family, history, or tribal recognition. When non-Indian New Age followers appropriated and altered a cosmopolitan understanding of Indianness, they laid bare a slow rebalancing away from the collective concerns with social justice that had emerged in the 1960s and toward the renewed focus on individual freedom that has characterized America since the 1980s" (Philip Deloria, Playing Indian, 173). Later, Deloria astutely observes: "Indeed, the New Age's greatest intellectual temptation lies in the wistful fallacy that one can engage in social struggle by working on oneself" (Deloria, Playing Indian, 177).
57. Deloria, Playing Indian, 174.
58. Ibid., 175.
59. As Deloria notes, "In the New Age, authenticity had few material or social forms. Rather it resided--like all good, unknowable essentials--in a person's interpretive heart and soul" (Deloria, Playing Indian, 176). In particular, (and fitting with the title of this section ("The Noble Savage in New Age Garb"), Deloria seems particularly bothered by the clothes chosen by New Agers in playing Indian. As he notes, "It was perhaps indicative of the nature of the movement (New Age) that its followers tended to play Indian in ways that were very low-grade. A bandana, an assumed name, a personal fetish--any one would suffice. . . . The concrete nature of clothing has always insured that, even in the midst of creative play, a thread of social connection bound real Indians to those who mimed them" (Deloria, Playing Indian, 175).
60. As Deloria phrases it, "When the New Age turned to disjointed signifiers--a headband rife with associations, a stylized pipe influenced (one would almost swear) by J. R. R. Tolkien, a set of tropes from one's personal library--adherents allowed some of the true creative power of Indianness to slip away" (Deloria, Playing Indian, 176).
61. Deloria, Playing Indian, 176. Deloria believes that Native American activists who oppose New Agers "playing Indian" wield power. These activists combat the New Age (and postmodern) discourse that tries to subsume everything in a language of open cultural meanings by offering a pluralist discourse that highlights power, struggle, and inequality. As Deloria poignantly states:
t was . . . important that they (the oppositional warriors) speak--and speak critically, for in doing so, they offered one of the only indicators of authentic difference functioning in the world of texts, interpretations, and unchained meanings. Whereas Sun Bear and Medicine Woman Lynn Andrews inhabited a cultural world easily shared by Indians and non-Indians, oppositional native people focused on social and political worlds, where the differences between the reservation, the urban ghetto, and the Beverly Hills Hotel . . . stood in stark relief. When they tried to force non-Indians to translate from the cosmopolitan language of open cultural meanings to the pluralist languages of power, struggle, and inequality, they rethreaded the material connections that made Indianness so real (Deloria, Playing Indian, 177).