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Yuwipi: Vision and Experience in Oglala Ritual

by William K. Powers

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A profoundly spiritual book, Yuwipi describes a present-day Oglala Sioux healing ritual that is performed for a wide range of personal crises. The vivid narrative centers on the experience of a hypothetical father and son in need of spiritual and physical assistance. The author combines the Yuwipi ceremony with two ancient Sioux rituals often performed in conjunction with it, the vision quest and the sweat lodge. Wayne Runs Again, suffering from alcoholism and worried about his father's health, seeks out a shaman who, while bound in darkness, calls on supernatural beings to free him and to communicate. While the young man undergoes purification in a sweat lodge and waits on a hill for a vision, the community prays for him and his father. The ceremony serves not only to cure the sick but also to reaffirm the continuity of Oglala society.… (more)

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A profoundly spiritual book, Yuwipi describes a present-day Oglala Sioux healing ritual that is performed for a wide range of personal crises. The vivid narrative centers on the experience of a hypothetical father and son in need of spiritual and physical assistance. The author combines the Yuwipi ceremony with two ancient Sioux rituals often performed in conjunction with it, the vision quest and the sweat lodge. Wayne Runs Again, suffering from alcoholism and worried about his father's health, seeks out a shaman who, while bound in darkness, calls on supernatural beings to free him and to communicate. While the young man undergoes purification in a sweat lodge and waits on a hill for a vision, the community prays for him and his father. The ceremony serves not only to cure the sick but also to reaffirm the continuity of Oglala society.

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