before maturity, for these very reasons. There is not a hint of this wisdom in any of the so-called teachings passed around in the "circles" forming around plastic medicine people.


My contention has been that these individuals and the organizations they head at times represent themselves as purveyors of authentic Native American teachings-which they definitely are not-and sometimes as creators and innovators of important rituals gathered from various traditions (not uniquely Native American) Sedonia and Bird Brother have also advanced at times that in ancient European traditions there were sweatlodges and medicine circles, and that they are therefore only reviving old traditions from their own Caucasian origins. 


so, then, why do they use American Indian language and paraphernalia at all? The contention that sweatlodges and vision quests existed long ago among Celtic or Nordic people is not verifiable. There is no continuity of tradition in this regard in Europe. And if there is If in their mind, they must adhere to the European mode of conducting these ceremonies and follow these Caucasian ways. Spirituality is embedded in language and collective memory. The fact is that no Westerner, European or Caucasian carries in his or her psyche the collective memory of American Indians of this continent. To pretend to that memory is a blatant falsehood which cannot be maintained. Both common sense and scholarly expertise recognize such falsehood.

zurück zu Seite 33        weiter zu Seite 35

weiter zum INHALT