Sacred Nations Sundance welcomes public during Lakota ceremony

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ROACHDALE -- The Sacred Nations Cultural Center invites the community to its third annual Sacred Nations Sundance, led by Chief Michael Vargas.

The Sundance will occur July 9-16 near Roachdale.

Chief Michael Vargas to lead July 9-16 Sacred Nations Sundance near Roachdale.

Sundance is an eight-day event for the ceremony of the seven sacred rights of the Lakota tradition. It is designed to bring family and people together and is a time of celebration, thanksgiving, sacrifice and personal growth through prayer. The first three days are a time of purification as dancers prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for the five-day ceremony.

Here is a brief overview of the days that are open to the public:

* July 12: Tree Day -- The tree, once selected, is considered a fallen warrior and cannot touch the ground. The Tree Ceremony will begin late afternoon as the tree is erected in the Sacred Circle.

* July 13: Sundance Ceremony Begins -- The dancers are obligated to walk in a sacred manner, no speaking to or looking at others as they focus on prayer and commitment. Public supporters are allowed under the arbor to add prayers and agreement to the dancers in the Sacred Circle.

* July 14: Sundance Day -- Dancers will dance from sunup to sundown. Public supporters are welcome to watch from the arbor.

* July 15: Healing Day -- Dancers will dance from sunup to sundown. Public supporters may be ushered by dancers through the Sacred Circle to the tree to receive blessing or healing.

* July 16: Final Sundance Day -- A day of celebration and feast as the dancers experience a time of renewal and new beginning for their spiritual journey that will continue throughout the year.

For more information, please contact Chief Michael Vargas 812-327-0206 or Quentin Young, 630-297-6460 or Persons may contact them prior to the event or visit their facebook page for further details on customs, rules, and expectations during this sacred ceremony.

It is customary for women to wear long skirts and men to wear long pants. No drugs, alcohol, firearms, pets, photography, cell phones or recordings are allowed.

The Sacred Nations Cultural Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create a landmark cultural center to bring indigenous people worldwide together to share their ethnic and cultural heritage and spiritual traditions with all people. It works toward that mission with its largest annual event, the Sacred Nations Sundance, as well as other educational events.

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