Yellow Bird: Inside and outside the Sundance circle

"In my 13th year of Sundance at the Sitting Bull camp in South Dakota, on the night we call the Blue Day, the moon was so full and bright it was like day. One of our Sundance leaders said, “We got moonburned.”

I had a new view of Sundance this year. I prayed two days out and two days in, which means I Sundanced on the outside for two days, then fasted and danced for the next two days on the inside circle.

It was a chance to see the prayer circle, which is on the outside. When you are on the inside, you see little of what's happening.On the last two days, my friend “Busy” told me she concluded her eighth and last year. She is a strong woman, and in spite of her age and health problems, she sat with us when we broke our fast. I've talked with her through the years, and she amazes me with her spiritual strength.

The leaders of the Sundance astound me. In spite of the heat - and I'm sure that at their age, they must also have some health problems - they never wavered. In years past when I was on the inside, I saw them only when they moved into my peripheral vision. This year, as I stood on the outside, I watched and was amazed.

I also found that the people who support on the outside are important. So important, I believe, that the strength of those in the circle is provided by those on the outside."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Ever old, always new: The Sundance (The Grand Forks Herald 8/15)

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