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  What is the Sun Dance Religion? Back to the List of Slideshows
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An introduction to the Sun Dance Religion

The Sun Dance is a sacred rite known throughout the Plains Indian tribes since before recorded history. It continues to be the focus of traditional spirituality for many Plains Indian tribes. Although the forms of the Sun Dance vary between the tribes, there are certain themes which are constant. The lodge in which the ceremony takes place is symbolic of the universe and man’s relationship to the Great Spirit. Through three or four days of fasting, suffering and prayer, the participants dance in a ritualized manner toward the Center Pole. This act represents man’s intention to establish a link with the Creator.

The proper performance of the Sun Dance ensures the perpetuation of the tribe and the renewal of the world for the coming year. This slideshow provides an overview of, and contains clips from, the only known authorized video of a Crow-Shoshone Sun Dance.
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