ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Build A Native American Sweat Lodge

Updated on June 18, 2013
My backyard!
My backyard! | Source

Native American Indian culture became popular and romanticize in the 1970s. Many non Native Indians today are seeking spiritual enlightenment by experiencing this culture through the use of the sacred pipe and the sweat lodge. Here are a few things to know about one of these practices, the sweat lodge or “Inipi”, Lakota word for the ceremony of the sweat. So you want to know how to build a Native American Sweat Lodge?

First and foremost, you will not learn how to build a sweat lodge on these pages. These lodges are to be built and facilitated by lodge keepers only. These people may include medicine men or women, sundancers, tribal leaders and other tribal members who have gone through the rite of passage and earned this leadership role. With great respect, no one outside of this distinct group should ever build or run an Inipi.

The facilitator of a sweat is responsible for all who attend. Their safety and health is of utmost importance, along with aiding the passages of prayers to the Creator. They do not own the lodge, the lodge belongs to the People. The facilitator is merely the keeper of the lodge and cares for it from the heart and with great love and respect. They are committed to any request for prayers and should never, never take money for the act of the ceremony. Money is a necessary evil in our society today, so donations are always welcomed, but the master of the Inipi can not ask for money or set a price. He is to run the lodge from his heart and not his wallet!

Once more, it is important to understand that not all Native American Indian use sweat lodges. Some tribes do other ceremonies for prayer, healing and seeking in spiritual realms. The Inipi Ceremony belongs to the Sue Tribes. They are the keepers, through the White Buffalo Calf Woman. They are to share and educate other tribes of this ceremony and to keep close to heart and in tact, protecting this rite from abuse and manipulations.

Various Tribes have adopted the Inipi practice and cultured it to their own traditional ways. You will found subtle difference from sweat lodge to sweat lodge, but the core is generally the same. Heated rocks, known as grandfathers or grandmothers, the sacred fire, the alter and the four doors or sessions of prayers.

If you are a Non Native Indian and are seeking this traditional way of prayer, know you can participate so long as you approach the correct people in the correct and respectful manner. Tobacco is often the gift to bring to a ceremonial lodge. This demonstrates respect and a willingness to give your energies in exchange for the ceremony. You may gift (not money, but a practical gift) the fire keeper and facilitator to show your appreciation.

Locating an Inipi Ceremony as a Non Indian is sometimes difficult. Become involved in Indian community affairs and learn of the practices and people involved. You must give of yourself in order to receive and bring a true heart. Eventually you will be invited to a sweat lodge, but remember, if they ask for money or charge, it is not the sweat lodge experience you will benefit from or guarantee your safety.

In comparison, the Inipi is like Church on Sunday. It is a place you go for release of anxiety and giving Creator your concerns and gratitude. It is a place you go for releasing and grieving over those who have crossed over. It is a spiritual sanctuary and should be respected in that manner. It is a ceremony belonging to the Native Indian People and the instructions of building and running a lodge are theirs alone and not to be abused by others who do not understand the tribal teachings.

So how do you as a Non Native American Indian build a Native American Indian sweat lodge? Simple. You don’t!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      I watched a documentary on build a sweat lodge and what it means. Very interesting and so is your hub. Voted up!

    • Eugene Hardy profile image

      Eugene Hardy 

      6 years ago from Southfield, Michigan

      @backporchstories

      Thank you for this Hub!

      I always wanted to build a sweat lodge, but being that I'm only like an 1/8 Cherokee and non-tribal, I'll have to go with some type of temple-like hybrid structure that sweats.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)