Yellow Bird: Preparing for the ritual of the Sundance
"My preparation for the ritual of the Sundance this year has been like my first ceremony. "I'll participate fully," I find myself thinking one day; "I'll participate on the outside," I think the next day.

It's my physical self that doubts I can complete the four days this year.

One of my colleagues sometimes tells me that I am not clear enough about some of the American Indian terms and ceremonies such as the Sundance. So, here is a little about Sundance.

Sundances are held throughout Indian country, and they are as different as each individual tribe yet there are commonalties. We gather to pray and sacrifice for the people as our tribal nations did for thousands of years.

Sundancers are a group of Indian people praying in unison while sacred songs are sung. We fast for four days. The ritual takes six days. I went to my first Sundance with little instruction, few friends and a vision. I must have stopped my car 10 times during that long eight-hour trip to South Dakota. I would sit for a while thinking, "What I am I doing here?" Or "I can't do this.""

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Summer sun shines on a ritual for the ages (The Grand Forks Herald 7/25)
pwpwd

More Dorreen Yellow Bird:
Yellow Bird: Re-examining tribal governments (7/23)
Yellow Bird: Chippewa man leaves strong legacy (7/18)
Yellow Bird: Seeing history through modern eyes (7/16)
Yellow Bird: Following the Lewis and Clark trail (7/11)
Yellow Bird: Be careful shopping in the wild (7/9)
Yellow Bird: Indians were foreigners in own land (7/5)
Yellow Bird: Yellowstone River needs protection (7/2)
Yellow Bird: Change comes but we can't forget past (6/25)
Yellow Bird: Festival days and prairie nights (6/20)
Yellow Bird: The case of the $54 million pants (6/18)
Yellow Bird: Monarch butterfly a special creature (6/13)
Yellow Bird: Graduates inspire with their lives (6/6)
Yellow Bird: Meth walks our reservations (6/4)
Yellow Bird: Commercials influence our lives (5/30)
Yellow Bird: Remember heroes on Memorial Day (5/28)
Yellow Bird: Blogger lacks facts about Indian life (5/22)
Yellow Bird: Indian culture changes in subtle ways (5/16)
Yellow Bird: Wolf knew it was ready to cross over (5/14)
Yellow Bird: Woman sees world with understanding (5/9)
Yellow Bird: Indian women and spiritual leadership (5/7)
Yellow Bird: Tighten gun control laws in North Dakota (5/3)
Yellow Bird: Easy ways at becoming more green (4/30)
Yellow Bird: School shootings just don't 'happen' (4/18)
Yellow Bird: The Red River Valley Flood of 1997 (4/9)
Yellow Bird: Women of color share their views (4/5)
Yellow Bird: UND powwow needs your support (4/2)
Yellow Bird: UTTC begs for funding year after year (3/26)
Yellow Bird: Even more about colon cancer screening (3/21)
Yellow Bird: Remembering my aunt/mother, Pearl (3/19)
Yellow Bird: Colon cancer screening essential (3/14)
Yellow Bird: Return land to North Dakota tribe (3/12)
Yellow Bird: Native Media Center at UND prospers (3/7)
Yellow Bird: Woody Keeble a true American hero (3/5)
Yellow Bird: Cell phone addiction affects driving (2/28)
Yellow Bird: UND has many reasons to be proud (2/26)
Yellow Bird: Signs of spring already in the air (2/21)
Yellow Bird: US automakers ignore innovation (2/19)
Yellow Bird: Tribes should snuff out smoking too (2/14)
Yellow Bird: On being Black or Indian 'enough' (2/9)
Yellow Bird: Braving the cold North Dakota winter (2/5)
Yellow Bird: Chokecherry for North Dakota state fruit (1/31)
Yellow Bird: Name-calling and bullying in schools (1/24)
Yellow Bird: Climate change impossible to ignore (1/17)
Yellow Bird: Tribes can help Indian doctors program (1/15)
Yellow Bird: Tribes have much to offer North Dakota (1/11)
Yellow Bird: Catching a ride on the Dakota wind (1/2)