Sweat Lodge Ceremony

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The Sweat Lodge Ceremony also known as The Inipi is a traditional prairie ceremony that was first brought to the plains people to the Sioux Nation by the White Buffalo Calf Woman hundreds of years ago. The Ceremony is a intended to cleans and heal not only the body, but the mind and spirit. There are many unwritten rules that are followed that are handed down, however, it is clearly known what has to be done within it. There are many steps and may last up to six hours.
In the beginning of time there was no need for man to cleanse himself. This was the time when dogs could still speak our language. Then things started to change and man began to grow ill and needed help from the creator and so he sent a messenger to help with the suffering.
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It is called The Pipe Loading Ceremony. The sweat leader goes in first. He is the one who will pour the water and talk during the ceremony he is in charge for the whole thing. After the sweat leader goes in he is typically followed by women and lastly by the men. One person is usually asked to sprinkle the stones with cedar and one person will put another plant to burn also. There is also one other person known as the fire keeper. It is a male held role and he is there to make sure the ceremony is not interrupted and helps in any way possible. He also helps open the flap for each door. There are typically four doors or rounds. The first is for yourself. You ask for prayers and healing in your life or whatever else you may need in your life at the time. The second is for prayers to your family, your friends even your third cousin. You pray for their health, their problems for their family whatever it is that you feel that they could need in their life. Then the third door is for woman. In Native American there is a great respect for all people and all things in life and woman have their own door, for all the things they have to endure every day, you honor the women in your life and bring them up so they can keep going and being a good person in life. They have troubles that men will never know of we respect that in the Inipi. Lastly the fourth door is for Padamia (thankfulness) everything else we are thankful in the world and that we wish to pray over. Native American culture is built on the idea that all things should be respected and you should always be respectful. You should have respect for the animals, the plants, the rivers, the elements and spirit of your ancestors for they have walked the sacred red road and they have earned honors you have not. There is usually a song that goes with each door, nut that does not mean they have to be sang every
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