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Yuwipi

Vision and Experience in Oglala Ritual

William K. Powers

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 04/2014
Pages: 113
Subject: Social Science
eBook ISBN: 9780803287938

DESCRIPTION

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William K. Powers was adopted in boyhood by a Sioux chief and has spent thirty-five summers on the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, reservation. In an essay, he traces the origins of Yuwipi to Crazy Horse's spiritual mentor, the medicine man Horn Chips. Powers is the author of Oglala Religion (1977), also published by the University of Nebraska Press.

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