Reflection on The Dakota Sun Dance Essay examples

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The Dakota Sun Dance
One thing that really caught my attention in Waterlily was the sun dance. It really opened my eyes to an actual tribal dance; I did not know what they all did at a tribal dance other than dance. The Sun Dance only occurs once every year for so many days. There are many events that are held during the Sun dance. The buffalo is a very sacred animal during the sun dance. I learned that the Sun Dance was the most important religious ceremony of many tribes in the 19th century and it occurred at the time of the Summer Solstice. It would last from four to eight days starting at sunset and then ending at sunset. I learned that everything they, do even when they start and end, has a reasoning behind it. The significance …show more content…

The oldest woman of the camp would lead of well-dressed maidens to the tree to strip off its branches. The next morning warriors would charge and shoot at the tree to “kill” it with gunshots and arrows. They would take it down and then place it at the spot where the Sun Dance Lodge would be set up. At the top of the tree there would be a buffalo head with the hide hung down from it; this would represent the center of the world that would connect Heaven to Earth.
Not only was the tree a sacred part of the Sun Dance and the hide that hung from the tree. But The Buffalo had a huge impact on the Sun Dance. The buffalo is the main symbol during the Sun Dance. It is said that the buffalo had begun the Sun Dance ritual. The Shoshone believe that the buffalo taught someone the correct way to dance and what the benefits were of dancing. You can see how much of an impact the buffalo has by everything that the Sioux do during the Sun Dance. For example the buffalo is used as an alter during the Sun Dance. They have special offerings presented to the skull. The Sioux specifically believe that the bones of the buffalo they have killed will rise again and create new lives. I found it very neat that the Sun Dance symbolizes a resolution between people and the buffalo, it helps them come to realize that the buffalo is sacred and without it there would be death, and the buffalo would not be able to keep them healthy and alive. The life of animals and people themselves

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