Native American Culture (BD Shadow)

Native American Culture written with pictures from 'Red Rock'

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Sacred and Symbolic
Black Elk's Vision
The content on this page is taken from the book Black Elk Speaks, by John G. Neihardt. The book is a recreation in English of the oral history that Black Elk, a medicine man of the Oglala Sioux Indians, recounted in 1931.
(NOTE: the webpage uses the word 'shaman'. This is an error, neither Black Elk nor John Neihardt used that word in the book! Native Nations medicine people are not 'shamans' and are not called 'shamans'.)

NEW Black Elk’s World
offers the full text of the twenty-first century edition of "Black Elk Speaks" (as told through John G. Neihardt by Nicholas Black Elk). Links within the text allow the reader to access biographies, historic and contemporary photographs, and maps of geographical features, towns, and battle sites. The glossary allows readers to view a current transcription and translation of each Lakota word within the text. Available in HTML or PDF version.

Earth Prayers for The Great Spirit
Sacred Seven Prayers, a prayer by Black Elk, and several others. (NOTE: the original Indigenous Peoples' Literature Site is now at

Four Sacred Medicines
Anishinabe people live life in a very sacred manner. This essay is on the The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians website,

Honoring the Animal Spirits
Excellent pages about the "possible symbolism of each of nature's creations", with artwork by students from Dulles High School of Missouri City, TX, or photos. Many also have tribal legends or stories.

Miracle, the Sacred White Buffalo
New website sponsored by the Heider Family who hope to "bring understanding and answer many of the questions people have about Miracle."

Native American Commandments
Here is a quote from the prayer that follows the Commandments: "Great Spirit, give us hearts to understand;" (NOTE: the original Indigenous Peoples' Literature Site is now at

Power, The Force Of Life
This philosophical/spiritual essay, giving the People of Pine Arbor view, may not be easy to read or understand, as the first sentence says, but is worth the effort.

The Prayer of Thanksgiving
"This prayer comes from the Native people of the Iroquois Confederacy. . . . This prayer is the backbone of the Iroquois culture."

Sacred Instructions
Given by the Creator to Native people at the time of Creation, by Spiritual Elder William Commanda and Frank Decontie. Also on this page: Prayer before the U.S. Senate - 1975 by Frank Fools Crow, Old Lord of the Holy Men, Ceremonial Chief and Medicine Man of the Lakota Nation. (NOTE: the original Indigenous Peoples' Literature Site is now at

Shamanism, New and Old
An excellent and special article on this subject, which explains in great detail the meaning/origin of "shaman" and why it is a serious error to use this term in relation to American Indian medicine people, healers, spiritual leaders. Written by Jack Forbes, professor emeritus and former chair of Native American Studies at the University of California at Davis, where he has served since 1969. He is of Powhatan-Renápe, Delaware-Lenápe and other background. In 1960-61 he developed proposals for Native American Studies programs and for an indigenous university. In l971 the D-Q University came into being as a result of that proposal.

Sioux Heritage
The Reference & Resource Page recommends a book on Spiritual information, "Fools Crow" by Thomas E. Mails: "The life of Frank FoolsCrow, Teton Sioux, a dearly loved spiritual advisor & civic leader."

Smudging--A Native American Tradition
This page, by Elaine Lunham, is a good explanation of smudging with sacred herbs such as tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar, in the tradition of the Anishinabe people.

The Sweat Lodge
This article is a Gift. The author says its a "compilation of notes gathered during years of listening to Elders; also included are excerpts from a few good books and hard earned personal lessons gained from our many experiences."

The Totem Animals
This Totem Animal information is provided by Spirit Bear, an American Indian in what is now called Southern New England. This area includes the Narragansett, Wampanoag and Massachusetts Nations.

Traditional Wedding Ceremony
The Cherokee wedding ceremony is a very beautiful and sacred event.

A description of this Lakota Sacred Tradition, on Web site.

The White Buffalo
A beautiful page giving the story of White Buffalo Woman in great detail, and continuing on to the story of Miracle and Medicine Wheel, our present day White Buffalo.

Medicine Wheels, Symbolism

Bighorn Medicine Wheel Map
Bighorn National Forest Information from Rocky Mountain Region USDA Forest Service.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Flag
A very moving description of the sacred symbols of the Flag of the Cheyenne River Sioux of north central South Dakota.

Flags of the Native Peoples of the U.S.
Features a page for each of 79 of our Native Nation's Flags.
Scroll down to #6. "Flags and their stories - a sampler" - each link goes to a picture of their Flag with an explanation of the symbols on it. This site also has other information re: flags.

Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation
Explains meaning of the Great Seal seen here.

The Medicine Wheel
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians: "Our flag is based upon our Medicine Wheel, and is one of the symbols upon which we base our lives."

Medicine Wheel: Sun & Stars
"The night of the 1978 summer solstice, which was also the night of a full moon, I spent that night alone on Medicine Mountain, Wyoming, at the Bighorn Medicine Wheel." -Paula Giese

Moons of the Mohegan tribe
A description of the Traditional 13 Moons of a year by the Mohegan Nation.

Passamaquoddy Moons
Names of "Moons" of the Passamaquoddy Tribe Pleasant Point Reservation, Sipayik in Maine, USA and New Brunswick, Canada.

Powhatan Renape Nation
Although there is no written information, the symbol on the front of this Nation's Indian Heritage Museum looks like a "Medicine Wheel"; that is, a Sacred Circle with Sacred Directions represented.

Prairie Island Indian Community
The symbols of the Prairie Island Indian Community Logo represent what is most important to the Dakota and their way of life.

Sacred Mountains
A description of the Four Sacred Mountains of the Dine' (Navajo), with beautiful photographs, which cradle their homelands, and appear on their official Great Seal. See also DzilNa'oodilii, an elementary school lesson on The Four Sacred Mountains of the Diné; excellent - just right for me!

Seals & Logos
No explanation given. You will have to check the Nation's Website that the seal or logo links to. Shows many "seals and logos of Indigenous Nations in North America" and of some American Indian organizations. This site is partly in German. You can use this Web Page Translator.

Southeast Kituwah Nation
Colors and Cardinal Directions of the Tsalagi as believed by this band, who are not the "official" Cherokee. The colors used by the Cherokee we know personally are not the same.

Tribal Flag and Symbolism
An explanation of the Symbols used for the Flag/Seal of the Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado.

Up There with Dr. Eddy, Dawn Stars
A description of Dr. Eddy's study of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel's alignment with certain Stars. These pages are on the Paula Giese site. This author crossed over several years ago.

Petroglyphs and Rock Art

Chaco Canyon
Links to Chaco's Sacred Connections, cultural information, and photos, from National Park Service.

Chaco Canyon
A brief history of Chaco Canyon, with description of the Anasazi buildings and acheological points of interest. Photos by Ron Lussier and links to more information.

Petroglyph - 1054 Supernova
This intriguing Petroglyph is one of the Anasazi pictures in Chaco Canyon. Photo by Ron Lussier; page with description and explanation is part of the above site.

Rock Art Research Association
Upper Midwest Rock Art Research Association, petroglyph and pictograph research: "non-intrusive investigation of these sites provides lasting information that is crucial to the understanding of the people and cultures that have existed here over the millenia."

Sacred Pipe

Educational information and sources only. No one should attempt any kind of Pipe Ceremony unless they have been trained in person by a qualified Teacher. To do so is like trying to conduct a Catholic Mass, or a Jewish Bar Mitzvah without the proper training and/or leader.

To read and understand more about this Sacred Stone, the Quarries it comes from and Pipes, please see this page on the Little Feather Center Website.

Jeff Savage Sculptures
This Chippewa artist of the Fond du lac Reservation is reknown for his traditional Chippewa pipes and figurines.

Pipestone Indian Shrine Association
PISA offices are located within the visitor center of the Pipestone National Monument, on the site of the famed pipestone quarries of Minnesota. They are dedicated to preserving the vanishing Indian artform of pipemaking.

Pipestone, Minnesota:
Sacred Land or Tourist Trap? The local Economic Development council are planning on making a Native American Theme/Amusement Park in Pipestone. They have not contacted the Dakota Community who have resided in Pipestone since 1927.   Please copy and send this Email.

Other Information

Discovering the Sacred Land Film Project
"Our DVD (released in January 2003) includes seven additional scenes, an extended interview with Lakota scholar Vine Deloria, Jr., a new, eleven-minute short film on Zuni Salt Lake and Quechan Indian Pass, and interviews with the filmmakers". This Award winning documentary was nationally broadcast on the PBS series POV on August 14, 2001. Ten years in the making, In the Light of Reverence juxtaposes reflections of Hopi, Wintu and Lakota elders on the spiritual meaning of place with views of non-Indians who have other ideas about how best to use the land. The film captures the spiritual yearning and materialistic frenzy of our time.

The following U.S. Geological Survey Manual page may not belong on this page, but thought it might be of interest in connection with Sacred Lands.
500.6 - American Indian and Alaska Native Sacred Sites
1. Purpose. This chapter establishes the USGS policy, responsibilities, and procedures regarding accommodation of access and protection of American Indian and Alaska Native sacred sites in accordance with Executive Order No. 13007, Indian Sacred Sites (May 24, 1996).

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Native American Culture site created January 1, 2000.

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