Walking in the Sacred Manner






Healers, Dreamers, Pipe-Carriers



All That Is, Set in Motion



Being Raised






The Shadow World



Dreams & the Spirit-World



The Calling



How Ritual Evolveth






Holy-Women Ancestresses


Capp. 1-2.



Healers, Dreamers, Pipe-Carriers


pp. 211-2, n. 1:1 tribes of the Kota (Sioux) ["seats" are of the Oceti Sakowin '7 Council Fires']




names of subdivisions




Mide> Wakanton ('Spirit Lake Dwellers');

Wakpe> Kute> ('Shooters among Leaves');

Sissitoin ('FishScale-Dwellers');

Whapeton ('Leaf-Dwellers')



the 2 Ihanktowan or Yankton ('End-Dwellers')




Oglala [on Pine Ridge reservation];

Sicangu [on Rosebud reserv.];

Minnecojou ('Water-Plants');

Hunkpapa ('Horn-Camp') [on Standing Rock reserv.];

Itazipco ('Sans Arc' / 'Without Bow') [Moreau river valley];

O-ohe> Nunpa ('Two-Kettle');


p. 213, n. 1:3 tribes which are Kota/Sioux language-speakers, but which are not members of the "Seven Council Fires"


its location


on the Fort Berthold reservation


along the Missouri river



on the Fort Peck reserv.

p. 25 use of their personal dreams by holy medicine-people

"Among Plains Indians, special people receive messages of "divine selection" through their dreams to a calling as a healer. ... Through their dreams and visions, certain men and women could predict changes in weather and even, with the proper prayers, change threatening weather. Movements of animals like the buffalo were predicted or even guided by proper communication between the humans and the spirits of the animals they relied upon for food. Special people who had dreams of these animals became sacred interpreters and petitioners to these animal grandfather {and grandmother} spirits."

pp. 26-7 Dreamers

p. 26

"Some women in their special capacity as "dreamers" are called upon, by the clarity and regularity of their dreams, to warn people of impending problems and to predict and possibly alter the outcome of events by understanding what their dreams are about. ...

Dreams of lightning might call upon the dreamer to put on a Heyoka (Clown Dance) in which the flesh of dogs is used to ... extend health to the sick and elderly. ...

Other dreamers may be called upon to start a society, or act out in public ritual, their ihan bla> (dreams), such as the performances of Elk Dreamers or Heyoka (Thunder Dreamers), or perhaps to lead a ceremony

p. 27

such as a Sun Dance. Only a few women are selected by their spirit dreams to be medicine women or holy women.

Dreaming of certain spirits may call women to a variety of specific vocations or talents. ... young women were invited by older women to join craft socities related to the spirits they dreamed about, such as the quillwork societies, or lodge sewing societies."

p. 28 Curers

"The calling to doctor, and the ceremonies associated with healing, form a distinct and exceptional vocation. ...

These are the Lowanpi ceremony, or "Sing";

the Yuwipi, or "they tie them up" ceremony; and

a ... generalized Wapiye> ceremony used by many of the holy women who are also herbalists. ...

A woman who uses the Lowanpi ceremony would not likely use the Yuwipi ceremony, or vice versa, for certain spirit helpers dictate the type of ceremony to be held. Some women may have a variety of spirit helpers, and the patient's problem or illness may prescribe the details of the ceremony and the specific spirits to be called upon.

A fourth method of doctoring involves no ritual at all, and the women who practice it are ... Pejuta Win, or herb women doctors ... . The plants used as remedies may need special songs learned in dreams to unleash their healing power".

pp. 29-30 spirit-calling woman

p. 29

"A Wapinye> Win (ghost- or spirit-calling woman) holy woman ... is someone ... who, through the use of spirit helpers, or direct flight into the spiritual realm, receives important information about the problem at hand and how it might be remedied."

[instance of a successful pneumonia-curing Lowanpi conducted by a Wapinye> Win] "After they blew all the lights out, the singers sang a spiritual song. Then she said, "First the Black-Tail Deer will come in. He's going to walk around the room to the left. ... You need air, so an Eagle is going to come in ... . You will feel the Eagle's wind ... . ... Next, the White Owl is going to come. He has lots of air, too." And those owls came in over me".

p. 30

[For that particular Lowanpi,] "Her Hocoka, or altar, contained a border of cloth tobacco ties. ... In the center was a sand painting, consisting of

a simple disk of sand, onto which was drawn a sacred design whose meaning was known only to her."

{In Taoist Phoinix Halls, drawing of symbols on a sand surface is commonly done in spirit-possession; and a Bodish Vajra-yana altar will commonly contain the deity's symbol drawn by displacing powder.}



All That Is, Set in Motion


pp. 36-8 La-kota cosmogony myth

p. 36

"Iyan, the rock, existed in a void ... . ... He pierced himself, and his blood, which was blue, flowed out until he was shriveled, hard ... . What came from him ... formed the blue sky dome ... Mahpiyato [blue sky]. ...

{In the Zend language, and in its religious text the Awesta, the word /asman/ 'rock' is the name of the visible daytime sky.}

p. 37

Sky, Mahpiyato, creates Anpetu Wi, the Sun of the day, and Hanhepi Wi, the Sun of the night, or Moon ... . They marry, and there is constant daylight. ...

Created next are the Pte> Oyate>, humans who live underground. ... They are called the Pte> Oyate> or Buffalo Nation ... . Their chief is Wazi [Old Man], and his wife is Wakanka [Old Woman]. They have a daughter, Ite> [face] ... . Ite> is admired by Tate>, the Wind, and eventually marries him. ... Mahpiyato, the Sky, ... banishes Ite> to the earth, making one side of her face forever ugly ... . She is pregnant by Tate> with their fifth child. Because of her mischief, Yumni, the whirlwind, is born playful and childlike. He will never grow up. ... Tate> ... is to await a messenger, who will be Whope>, daughter of Mahpiyato himself. ...

p. 38

Iktomi changes his form to that of a wolf and ... heads for the cave known to connect the surface world with the underworld. He will leave the buffalo robe and

meat near the entrance to entice the Ikce> people to the surface.

{[Manaia myth] "luring her by sprinkling coconut meat in the cave leading out from the underworld." (HM, p. 224)}

Tokahe> [First Man], chief of the Pte> Oyate>, or Buffalo Nation, asks the spider to lead them to the surface world, where he finds the wondrous gifts and brings them back underground and shows them to the people. Six men and six women ... follow him and his wife to the surface. ...

Soon the seasons changed, and the People ... searched for the cave entrance but could not find it. ... Wazi, now called "the Wizard," and his wife, Wakanka, now known as "the Witch" because of her ability to predict the future, will take pity on the humans, teaching them many things that they will need to know to live on this changing earth."

HM = Martha Beckwith : Hawaiian Mythology. Yale U Pr, 1940.

pp. 39-41 apparition of "Whope> (Falling Star), the daughter of Mahpiyato (also called Sky) ... as the Sacred Calf Pipe Woman"

p. 39

"Far out on the prairie, ... the young men saw ... a very beautiful young woman ... had very long white {indicative of the glowing white streak of the meteors' tail?}

{One of the Seirenes was named (according to Lukophron : Alexandra 712 sq -- "S") Leuk-osia 'White Substance'.}

hair, and ... naked ... . ... One of the young men said that this must be a Wakan Win [sacred or mysterious woman]

{"And they had hair as the hair of women" (Apok. Ioann. 9:8).}

to be out here all alone ... naked ... . ... The other young man thought, "I will have tawi>nton [sex] with this woman ... ."

The woman ... could read his thoughts.

{One of the Seirenes was named (according to Apollodoros and Souidas --"S") Peixi-noe 'Affecting the Mind'}

She said, "Come ahead and do with me whatever it is that is in your mind."

{In the courtship behaviour of scorpions, "the female had made the advances and the male responded" ("MCS", p. 39). "Female initiation of courtship has been reported in other scorpion species" ("MCS", p. 43).}

Immediately the man ... went forward, and the woman lay down with him. As soon as they lay down

p. 40

a mist descended from the sky and covered them both. ... The sounds of locusts came from that cloud, and when it lifted,

{"the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke" (Apok. Ioann. 9:2); "And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth" (Apok. Ioann. 9:3); "and the sound of their wings was as the sound ... of many" (Apok. Ioann. 9:9).}

the young woman was standing there unharmed, and all that was left of the ... man was his skeleton. ...

{"the Seirenes will bewitch him. They sit in a meadow; men's corpses lie heaped up all round them, mouldering upon the bones as the skin decays." (Odusseia 12:39 sq -- ibid.)} {"their torment was as the torment of a scorpion" (Apok. Ioann. 9:5) : "After mating, in species whereby the male is smaller than the female, predation by the female is not uncommon." ("SB:M"). "female scorpions often kill the males after mating is over by injecting them with a series of lethal stings. In many cases the female will then devour the male. Even before matings begin, females sometimes view their male as prey." ("SM")}

She sang a song as she approached :

... my voice is loud. ...

{The Seirenes sang a song. One of the Seirenes was named (according to Apollodoros Bibliotheke E7.18 -- "S") Agla-ope 'Splendid Voice'.}

p. 41

One of the men ... wanted the Pipe; ... an ear was cut off. The White Buffalo Calf Maiden picked up the ear and attached it to the pipe stem. ...

{"I myself, with my sharp sword, cut a great round of wax into little pieces ..., and with it I sealed all my comrades' ears in turn." (Odusseia 12:200 sq -- "S")}

As she walked away she ... turned into a ... buffalo".

{As for the Seiren Ligeia, "an ox-horned ... shall lave her tomb" (Lukophron : Alexandra 712 sq -- ibid).}

"S" = http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Seirenes.html

"MCS" = Polis, G . A . and R . D . Farley, 1979 : Behavior and ecology of mating in the cannibalistic scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis Stahnke (Scorpionida : Vaejovidae). J. ARACHNOL. 7:33-46. http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v7_n1/%20JoA_v7_p33.pdf

"SB:M" = http://members.tripod.com/~c_kianwee/scorpion.htm#Mating

"SM" = http://factsanddetails.com/world.php?itemid=1591&catid=52&subcatid=333#50

pp. 42-4 marriage of the Sacred Maiden goddess

p. 42

"she is a reincarnation of Whope> (the falling star) ... . {cf. Paha-lele ('improvised flying') rock (HM, p. 174) of goddess Hi>i-aka}

{"I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 9:1).}

... she was sent by Mahpiyata, the Sky, to ... Tate>, the Wind, and his five sons."

p. 43

[quoted from LM, p. 70 :] "Yumni said, "Sister, ... you like music; when Okaga plays and sings you look very happy. ..."

p. 44

"... I wish we could always hear that music," said Whope>."

{"by reason of the voices of the trumpet ... , which are yet to sound!" (Apok. Ioann. 8:13) "And the fifth angel sounded" (Apok. Ioann. 9:1).}

LM = James F. Walker (ed.by Elaine Jahner) : Lakota Myth. U of NE Pr, 1983.

pp. 37-8, 45, 48, 53 goddess quilling a mythic buffalo-robe

p. 37

"Ite> ... will be known as Anukite>, Double-Faced Woman".

p. 38

"Anukite> kills a buffalo, prepares the meat, and decorates the tanned hide with the quills of the porcupine."

p. 45

"Anukite>, who made the first quilled robe, ... can influence women to be promiscuous as well as artistic."

p. 48

["legends about the end of the world -- one female-based" :] "There is a very old woman who sits

on the edge of a tall bluff.

{cf. "the rock wall of Kahana." (HM, p. 175)}

She is quilling a beautiful design on a buffalo robe. ... Beside her sits an ancient dog. ...

{cf. "old woman ... with a dog; ... braiding mats" (HM, pp. 174-5)} {"Brimo ... hearing his words from the abyss, came up ... and hounds of the underworld (kunes khthonioi) barked shrilly all around her." (Apollonios Rhodios : Argonautike 3.1194 -- "HG", sacred animals III)}

When she rests at night, the dog unravels all that she did the day before.

{cf. (in the Odusseia) the unraveling at night of the weaving done by Penelope during the day}

If that dog forgets to unravel those quills, or gets too old, the old woman will finish the robe. That will be the end of the world."

p. 53

"some Double Woman Dreamers are considered ... loose ..., always chasing someone else's husband ... . ...

{goddess Hi>i-aka ostentatiously in public, and in defiance of onlooking goddess Pele, publicly from Pele's husband Lohia>au "accepts Lohi>au's {adulterous} embraces." (HM, p. 176)}

"If you dream of twins ..., you will be a good quill worker. Anukite> has this power to influence artists. ..."

Women who had certain types of dreams often formed or belonged to longstanding dream societies, Okolakiciye>, just as the men did. Wipata Okolakiciye> was a society of women who believed themselves to be under the guidance of the Double Woman herself, Anukite>."

p. 56

"So powerful is Anukite> that a man who dreamed of the Double Woman might become a winkte>, or transvestite".

"HG" = http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/HekateGoddess.html

p. 50 mythic female spider

"it is they ["trap-door spiders"] that led us to this upper world."

"lightning lit up the cave. ... . ... a spider soon to deliver her offspring ... told the hunter ... of a hill ... made of arrowheads that her people had created. ... Then she told him how to use them."

pp. 51-2 supernatural doe-deer who can transform herself temporarily into a woman

p. 51

"Another legend ... is about the woman who changed herself into a deer to entice men into becoming lost."

p. 52

"She will smell very attractive and might even appear to him as a beautiful young women. She may make him follow her by using her deer perfume. He will follow her a long way, and when they stop to lie down together, she will change back into a deer and run off. This will make him confused, crazy, and he could wander until he freezes or starves to death."

p. 54 how a girl saw 3 praeternatural divine women (quoted from "MDW")

"one lady, she was really tall with ... a red dress on.

The other one was of middle size ... She wore a blue dress ... .

And the last one was short and really jolly, ... full of laughter. ...

That first tall one, had all beadwork,

and the middle one, all her quillwork,

and the third one ... is ... going to give a voice ... like a bird".

"MDW" = Ronald Theisz : "Multifaceted Double Woman". EUROPEAN REVIEW OF NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES, 2:2 (1988):9-15.

pp. 56-8 legend of gigantic snakes in the Oahe> river, repelled by a medicine-woman of the Saones

p. 56

"the Saones, northern Lakota people, ... like the Mandan and Arikara tribes ... lived along the Oahe> ["Missouri"] River. ...

p. 57

There was a village ... of these ... . ...

A long time ago ... the ... River ... was called Oahe>, or "makes tracks." These tracks were made by Untehi, giant snakes that came out of their holes only every hundred years. ... These snakes are ... two or three feet thick, and very long, perhaps one hundred feet. ...

In the distance he saw flashes of light. They were similar to the ones the people made with flat pieces of sheet mica to signal and communicate with each other. ...

{Morse-code heliography by means of heliograph-instrument}

Trees were snapping, and ... a giant snake ... moved, its giant tail ... uprooting trees ... as it went. ... A yellow light went out of the snake's eyes ... . ...

p. 58

There was a woman in that camp who was a powerful Wapiye>Win ... . ... Soon the giant snake was frightened off".


Mark St. Pierre & Tilda LongSoldier : Walking in the Sacred Manner : healers, dreamers, and pipe carriers -- medicine women of the Plains Indians. a Touchstone Bk (imprint of Simon & Schuster), NY, 1995.