Healing Ceremonies

The number of Native American healing ceremonies vary among tribes.Some may prefer burning cedar for smudging basically applying sacred smoke for purification others may use White sage or mullein,pine sweet grass or other herb or plant.The Elder will use sacred objects that are not to be touched by others as they have been purified in (often arduous) ceremony. They may include, but not be limited to: Sacred Pipe (Chanunpa), rattles, medicine bowls, drums, shells, feathers, feather fan, crystals, stones, healing clay, cloth, wooden sticks or arrows, wooden staff, tobacco pouches or small medicine bags of other herbs, materials such as corn pollen or corn meal, or fetishes (representations of healing powers). These items are often in a medicine bundle, a cloth, skin or other wrapping that is itself sacred and not to be handled by anyone other than the medicine person. It should be noted that if a “medicine man” or woman objects to being searched by hospital personnel it is not because any “illegal” substance is being carried, but out of respect for the power and sacredness of the objects.If a facility or institution requires inspection of all packages for security reasons, the “medicine man” or woman should be informed beforehand. Some objects are considered of such sacredness and intimate connection to Creator and the healer’s personal vision (Walk in Life) that to be even viewed by an outsider will not only rob it of its curative powers but weaken the practitioner’s ability (personal medicine). Other objects may only be loaned to the medicine person by the tribe, family or medicine clan and can only be viewed by them.To attempt to search a medicine person without warning may result in the practitioner simply walking away, possibly never to return. To a traditional “medicine man” or woman unused to modern ways, searching a medicine bundle may be considered a dishonoring not only of the medicine person but of their family, clan, tribe, nation, their religious beliefs and an affront to Creator.If objects are allowed to be viewed, they should only be viewed, not touched.

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