October 6, 2020
Sun Dance Mountain
Native American Legend
Native American Sun symbols
image source: Pinterest
It’s been a while since I’ve written about any legends, and since it is October – the month of ghosts and lore, I figured I’d get back to it!
This Legend comes from the book, Voices of the Winds: Native American Legends by Margot Edmonds & Ella E. Clark
Plains Indian Sun Dance buffalo skull
But first, a little background…
“The Sun Dance was an important religious ceremony performed by many North American tribes. It was of most importance and most spectacular among the Plains Indians. “It reached its fullest development among the Teton band of Dakota Sioux, who regarded the sun as the greatest manifestation of the mysterious, all-prevading power waka taka…The ceremony was held usually during the summer solstice.””
waka = sacred
taka = sinew
can be loosely translated to Great Spirit, or God
Sun Dance Mountain stands near the northwest corner of the Black Hills of South Dakota, the forbidding cliffs look forbidding against the western sky. The Dakota-Sioux held their annual dance in honor of their sacred Sun God at the base of this strange mountain.
“If you will marry a brave that is pleasing to the Sun God,
you will bring good fortune to yourself and to all of our people.”
A wise old warrior told a beautiful maiden many, many years ago.
This beautiful maiden had many wooers, and knew many young men who had ponies and gold, all of which would like to marry her. The young brave that she favored had nothing to offer, except his love. She promised him that when she had the blessing of the sun, she would marry him.
The young brave started out, seeking the Sun in search of his blessing. After many months of searching and many difficulties, he found the Sun God and received his blessings. When he returned to his beloved, they were married.
After the wedding ceremony, the people danced at the foot of the mountain, many different dances were performed, including the Sun Dance. They danced all day under the scorching sun…some had no food or water, but still they danced.
They made these sacrifices in order to obtain favor of the Great Spirit Above. This dance, made in honor of the beautiful maiden and the young brave became a tradition and revered by the Indians for a long, long time.
*source: Kurath, Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, vol.2, 1088-1089; Price, Black Hills: Land of Legend, 42-43
Native American Symbols:
hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!
As you walk upon the Sacred Earth, treat each step as a prayer
~ Black Elk,