What A Sweat Lodge Is:
A small dome shaped lodge constructed of bent willows and covered with skins, or blankets, or alternatively, of dirt-covered stacked wood, that encloses heat for a sweat bath. The Native American rights associated with the sweat bath are themselves refered to by the term "Sweat" or "Sweat Lodge." The Sweat Lodge is used as a place of teaching, planning, praying, singing, and communing with others. The sweat is often done in preparation for other rites and as a means of returning to the non-ritual world after the performance of great ceremonies.
In recent years, the Sweat Lodge has come to be widely used as a prayer ritual separate from other rites. It has achieved the status of prinicple rite among many groups of Native Americans. It is sometimes a way in which Native Americans offer to share their spirituality with non-Native Americans. The Lakota term for Sweat Lodge is Inipi.
Dictionary of Native American Mythology
Sam D. Gill & Irene F. Sullivan
Steps Involved In The Sweat Lodge Ceremony:
First, we collect the "Stone People". (Stone People is the common term used for the lava rocks that are heated and used in the Sweat Lodge ceremony.) We find them in Fillmore, Utah.
Second, we build a fire around the stone people and heat them up until they are red hot. A fire tender keeps wood on the fire and brings the stone people in the lodge one by one with a pitch fork.
Third, the one who pours the water smudges the people to cleanse them as they enter the lodge. Smudging consists of a bucket of hot coals with cedar and sage in it. Smoke is feathered over the people as they turn clock-wise then enter the lodge.
Next, the door comes down to create darkness. At this point, Roger splashes water on the stones with a sage bundle. Four rounds are conducted with singing and praying. We have added a fifth round for closure and silent gratitude. As Roger is a Lakota Sacred Pipe Carrier, the pipe ceremony is conducted between the third and fourth rounds.
Finally, after closing we share refreshments and reflections of the day.
Our purpose is to respect and preserve Tradition of our Native Elders. To gain a full understanding of what a Sweat Lodge is, it must be experienced!
November 2001 sweatlodge will be held on the 18th. December 2001 sweatlodges will be held on the 2nd, 16th and the 30th.
Sweat Lodge Schedule 2002
Jan. 13th, 20th
Jul. 7th, 21st
Feb. 3rd, 17th
Aug. 4th, 18th
Mar. 3rd, 17th
Sep. 1st, 15th
Apr. 7th, 21st
Oct. 6th, 20th
May 5th, 19th
Nov. 3rd, 17th
Jun. 2nd, 16th
Dec. 1st, 15th, 29th
For more information and details for participation, please contact Roger Clark by telephone.