Lakota Journeys Among the Stars Tipis, Death, Birth, and Leadership
Relationship Between Sky and            Land              • Seven Little Girls                (Pleiades)                 –...
Spring Journey to the     Black Hills           • Sacred Hoop             – Everything contained               inside     ...
Sacred Journey
Transformation of the Landscape• Sun, Buffalo and  Earth’s Fertility• Sun Dance enlivens  the Earth  – Body of the Buffalo
Sun Dance of the Lakota
Freedoms: of Religion and               Movement• Calculating the first  Spring Journey   – 1000-100 BC[E]   – Precession ...
Orientation of the Tipi            • Foundation of 3 poles               – Inner shape of a star            • Centered on ...
Religion as Orientation• Orientation is the triumph over chaos, and the  basis of all respect for the natural world• Mirro...
Horizon Astronomy         Sky and Land         Heliacal risings and           settings           Relationship of Sun      ...
Lakota Journey After Death• Milky Way is path of the Dead  – Example of Fallen Star• Mother material; Father spiritual  – ...
Celestial Hole in the Sky• Center of the Big  Dipper is a former  star   – Hole made by Fallen     Star’s mother   – Blue ...
The Point of a Funeral           • The spirit of the dead             person is guided by the             mourners        ...
The Land of the Dead• After ceremony spirit  travels along Milky Way• Leads to place in SW sky   – which is a place of hap...
The Hand Constellation, or, How the       Chief Lost his Arm• Chief’s selfishness upsets the balance of  cosmic order• Dis...
Lakota Mandala       • Two Tipis joined at         apex       • Whirling         – Energetic exchange           between Sk...
Lakota Midwifery• Coming back• Diet of pregnant woman  – Charlotte Black Elk; each week a fast and 4    meat groups    • U...
Lakota Midwife• Expert in medicines• Prayed to Blue Woman, or Birth Woman  – Spirits enter the body through the sky hole  ...
Nagi, or Soul• Chooses parents• Baby’s nagi faces inward to divine spirit• Needs to be persuaded to stay in body  – Eating...
Summation• Intimate connection between Sky and Earth• Why the Black Hills are sacred for Black  Elk• Religion as Orientati...
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10 17-12-rel142

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10 17-12-rel142

  1. 1. Lakota Journeys Among the Stars Tipis, Death, Birth, and Leadership
  2. 2. Relationship Between Sky and Land • Seven Little Girls (Pleiades) – Tied to Harney Peak • The Race Track – Tied to Black Hills – Site of a race between 4 and 2 legged • Bear’s Lodge – Tied to Devil’s Tower
  3. 3. Spring Journey to the Black Hills • Sacred Hoop – Everything contained inside • Between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice
  4. 4. Sacred Journey
  5. 5. Transformation of the Landscape• Sun, Buffalo and Earth’s Fertility• Sun Dance enlivens the Earth – Body of the Buffalo
  6. 6. Sun Dance of the Lakota
  7. 7. Freedoms: of Religion and Movement• Calculating the first Spring Journey – 1000-100 BC[E] – Precession – Correlating dawn at Spring Equinox with Celestial Pipe ceremony • Summer Solstice with Devil’s Tower Constellation
  8. 8. Orientation of the Tipi • Foundation of 3 poles – Inner shape of a star • Centered on star • 7 directional poles – E, W, N, S, above, below, center • 2 poles outside open to sky – Breath spirit in and out • Similar to Sun Dance
  9. 9. Religion as Orientation• Orientation is the triumph over chaos, and the basis of all respect for the natural world• Mirroring• ”When the Lakota build a tipi, they are building a world. When they dance the invisible tipi alive at the Sun Dance, they are renewing the world, and at the same time, they are rebuilding themselves. Whether star, tipi, world, Sun Dance or human being--the irreducible elements are the same for microcosm or macrocosm.”(18)
  10. 10. Horizon Astronomy Sky and Land Heliacal risings and settings Relationship of Sun to constellations Connected with specific places
  11. 11. Lakota Journey After Death• Milky Way is path of the Dead – Example of Fallen Star• Mother material; Father spiritual – Body returns to Mother Earth (Grandmother) – Spirit returns to Father Sky (Grandfather) – Both sacred realms
  12. 12. Celestial Hole in the Sky• Center of the Big Dipper is a former star – Hole made by Fallen Star’s mother – Blue Woman• 4 stars of dipper called “man carriers”
  13. 13. The Point of a Funeral • The spirit of the dead person is guided by the mourners • Along the three stars of the handle of the Big Dipper to the Sacred Hoop – Associated with a round dome-shaped structure or sweat lodge used in the Lakota ceremony of purification.
  14. 14. The Land of the Dead• After ceremony spirit travels along Milky Way• Leads to place in SW sky – which is a place of happy reunions with friends and family, ceremonial singing, food and water, and loss of obsessions and insults• Black Elk’s journey – “Happy Hunting Grounds”• Day of the Dead
  15. 15. The Hand Constellation, or, How the Chief Lost his Arm• Chief’s selfishness upsets the balance of cosmic order• Disappearance of Hand constellation in early spring is sign of the loss of Earth’s fertility – Followed by the Self-Sacrifice of Lakota at Sun Dance – Reappearance of the Hand confirms Self- Sacrifice
  16. 16. Lakota Mandala • Two Tipis joined at apex • Whirling – Energetic exchange between Sky and Earth • 3 Dimensional – Directions – Heart
  17. 17. Lakota Midwifery• Coming back• Diet of pregnant woman – Charlotte Black Elk; each week a fast and 4 meat groups • Underwater, underground, on earth, above earth• First Kick Ceremony
  18. 18. Lakota Midwife• Expert in medicines• Prayed to Blue Woman, or Birth Woman – Spirits enter the body through the sky hole – Reincarnation • Baby inspected for marks – Navel kept by midwife • Put in beaded pouch associated with Salamander (boy) or Turtle (girl) Constellations • “The cord between mother and child is broken at birth, but the cord between the spirit world and children, that connection must be established and then never broken.”
  19. 19. Nagi, or Soul• Chooses parents• Baby’s nagi faces inward to divine spirit• Needs to be persuaded to stay in body – Eating good, playing hard – Nagi becomes more attached to body – Sudden loss of Nagi results in death • Return to the Land of the Dead
  20. 20. Summation• Intimate connection between Sky and Earth• Why the Black Hills are sacred for Black Elk• Religion as Orientation (Indigenous) – Basis of respect for cosmos – Disorientation (Immigrant) is cause of disrespect

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