Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis -   Plate 109 Invocation - Sioux border=
Title:
Plate 109 Invocation - Sioux
Date:
1907
Size:
Portfolio, 18 x 22 inches
Medium:
Vintage Photogravure
 
“Scattered throughout the Indian country are found spots that are virtually shrines. These are often boulders or other rocks which through some chance have been invested with mythic significance, and to them priest and war-leaders repair to invoke the aid of the supernatural powers. The half-buried boulder on which the suppliant stands is accredited with the power of revealing to the warrior the foreordained result of his projected raid. Its surface bears what the Indians call the imprint of human feet, and it is owing to this peculiarity that it became a shrine. About it the soil is almost completely worn away by the generations of suppliants who have journeyed hither for divine revelation” – Edward Curtis

A medicine-man is called wichasha-waka, “man of mystery”. His power is derived from spirits that appear in visions, which he may have in his own tipi as he sleeps at night, or out upon a hill whither he has gone for the express purpose of becoming a medicine man, or in the observance of the Vision Cry.

There were five principal religious rites; Sun Dance is the most important ceremony practiced by the Lakota (Sioux) and nearly all Plains Indians. It was a time of renewal for the tribe, people and earth. Vision Cry implores The Mystery for a vision. “Ghost Keeper," "Buffalo Chant" (puberty), and "Foster-parent Chant."
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