Mary Pember: A sweat lodge rises in exurban Ohio
"I have just completed my own personal-use sweat lodge in my suburban back yard. I can already hear the clucks of amusement and envision the rolled eyes of my Indian relatives and friends.

Since my neighborhood doesn't allow open fires, I bought a “patio fireplace” from Lowe's for heating the sweat lodge stones. It came complete with a tasteful cover for when the fireplace is not in use. In keeping with the spirit of tastefulness, I put a final layer of cotton canvas (taupe) over the traditional mish-mash of blankets covering the lodge frame. The result is sort of “reservation meets Martha Stewart.”

Why, you may wonder, (I know I certainly have) have I waited so long to put up a lodge? Although the sweat lodge is not in our tradition, we Ojibwe also use the lodge for prayer and therapeutic health reasons. Until now, my sweat lodge experiences have all been on Indian land, far from here -- land, I might add, that is liberally decorated with working and non-working Indian cars. For me, the lodge experience is a leap of faith, a trust and giving over of my connection to this earth my home."

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: Exurban Sweatlodge (The Daily Yonder 5/15)

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