Native American, Hindu,Buddhist
Sacred Ground Video
Kiva: Originated from the subterranean pithouse where
it was believed that Native Americans ascended from inside the
earth. The Kiva was moved to a central location as a place to
commune with the spirits and remind them of their origin inside
Volcanic Peaks of Pacific Northwest: Native Americans believed
that these mountains not only housed the spirits but were the
spirits. These Great Spirit Mountains could be reached and were
the eternal symbol of communication with the divine.
Valley of the Sun: Four Corners are home to the Pima, Maricopa
and Yuma tribes. It was believed that the earth induced dreaming.
Girls in puberty were guided to a sacred cave, symbolic of the
womb of Mother Earth, and had visions that would lead and guide
Bad Spirit Tower: This unusual and unnatural shape in Wyoming
induced a legend that would help the Kiowa blend with their new
environment on the plains. The legend says that eight children
were at play, 7 sisters and a brother. The brother turns into
a bear and chases the sisters to a great tree stump. The sisters
climb up and the tree stump grows taller. The brother bear scratched
the bark but could not reach the sisters who eventually were born
safely into the sky as the big dipper.
Earthen Mounds: Where the Mississippi and Missouri converge.
Cahokia 900-1300 C.E.- The Earthen mound were sacred man-made
mountains where the Indians could honor and communicate with the
gods. The sun God was the principal object of veneration and was
guided across the sky by his brother, the Chief, each morning
Pipe Stone - Southwestern Minnesota - The red clay quarry
made of catlinite sandstone is believed to be the blood of all
the Native American ancestors and is one of the most sacred spots
in North America. Every bowl of every peace pipe is made from
the red stone that is in this quarry. It is believed that the
blood of the ancestors remains in the earth to nourish the living.
Finger Lakes of Central New York: Mohawk, Sennaca, Kiuga,
Onondaga, and Oneida lived in the area. Lake Onandaga marks the
spot where the five tribes established the longest peaceful agreement
. On the spot where they buried their warring instruments a great
White Pine Tree grew. It has five needles representing the five
tribes. The Longhouse was constructed of elm bark and governed
all the tribes under one roof., the The sacred water fall, close
by, speaks to the Indian with the voice of the spirits.
Rock Writing: Nuva Ajunt, Nevada- Hopi Indians were a tribe
on the move. They believed that the Creator owned the land and
offered to share it with them. He told them to write their history
on the rocks because one day another people would conquer them.
Over time these people would be gone and the only thing left would
be the writing on the rocks to establish the creator as the real
Canyon De Chelley: Navaho Indians, Arizona - This
canyon is believed to be the center of the universe. The wind
, the light, and the shadows that move through the landscape are
the spirits of the ancestors. They inherited this land from the
anasazi (ancient ones). The Spirit of Spider Grand Mother stands
at the head of the canyon. She wove the web that allowed the "chosen
ones" to raise up out of the earth. Wisdom resides with the
Nojajas Butte: Cheyenne Indians of South Dakota-
This is the mountain where the people are taught. Sweet Medicine
received the sacred arrows here that gave the Cheyenne their powers.
Each year a ritual is shared by a grandfather, the father and
son who travel across the prairie carrying the sacred Buffalo
Robe and Buffalo skull. At the Butte they perform rituals and
try and become one with the wind, sky and rocks by fasting until
the vision comes. They are seeking a symbolic vision to teach,
lead and guide them.
Myth: White Buffalo Calf WomanSioux Legend
The origin of the pipe was as sacred as that of the sacramental
leaf that smoldered in the bowl. Sioux legend recounts how White
Buffalo Calf Woman brought the pipe to the tribes. Many lifetimes
ago, according to the tale, two young hunters looked out from
the hilltop where they stood seeking game and saw approaching
a beautiful woman in a white buffalo-skin dress. Not only was
her apparel a sign of the supernatural, but as the woman neared,
the hunters could see that she walked with the slow, stately gait
of the spirits and carried a holy bundle on her back. Despite
strong taboos protecting spirits from worldly lust, the older
man was overcome by desire. As he reached out to touch the woman,
a large cloud suddenly covered both of them. When it lifted, the
man with impure intentions had become a pile
Following this demonstration of her powers, the woman sent the
remaining hunter home with an order that the chief prepare a large
tipi for her. The man did as commanded, and at sunrise the next
day, the woman arrived, carrying her bundle in her hands. Unwrapping
it, she withdrew the stem of a pipe with her right hand, the bowl
with her left. (To this day, the Sioux carry their sacred pipes
in this manner.) White Buffalo Calf Woman then held the pipe before
the chief, saying: "Behold this and always love it. It is
very sacred and you must treat it as such. With this you will
send your voices to Wakan Tanka, your father and grandfather."
The woman explained that the pipe represented the earth, and all
plants and animals upon it. "When you pray with this pipe,"
she continued, "you pray for and with everything."
White Buffalo Calf Woman gave the Sioux seven rites central to
their religion, then showed them how to handle the pipe, pointing
at the sky and the earth and toward the four winds. Then she wrapped
the object in her bundle and gave it to the elderly chief. As
she departed across the prairie, she turned into a white buffalo
calf and disappeared over the horizon.
The White Buffalo Calf Woman
The White Buffalo Calf Woman gave the Sioux seven major rituals
integrated around the symbolism of the pipe.
1. Sweat Lodge (for purification)
2. The Vision Quest (boys puberty and others seeking visions)
3. Ghost-keeping lodge (a vigil for departed relatives)
4. Ritual to make strangers relatives ( a sort of "blood
5. Girl's puberty rite
6. A religious Ball Game
7. Sun Dance.
BUFFALO CALF BONE PIPE
· Stored by the tribal leaders (Arvol Looking Horse) in
South Dakota. Stored with stem and bowl apart. Bowl is held with
left hand, stem with right.
· It's stem is the lower leg of a buffalo calf. Embellished
with three eagle feathers, bird skins, and four small scalps.
· Bowls were made from soapstone, called catlinite which
is red. Soapstone is waterlogged underground and is easily worked
after mining. It then dries hard.
Legend has it that a huge flood once deluged ancient people living
on the prairie, crushing them into the earth. Their flesh and
bones turned into a pool of blood that, after time, hardened into
the sacred, crimson stone from which Indians carved their pipe
· Some Sioux say that the bundle that the pipe is wrapped
in will be opened only when the time is ripe for change, when
an atmosphere of brotherhood and peace returns to the world.
Before smoking the pipe you must point it to sky and earth and
then the four winds. The bowl is made of catlinite soapstone.The
stem is usually wood or reed, painted and carved, beaded and feathered.