Omaha Heritage & Culturefest Center
Founded March 30, 2002

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Indian Nations of Nebraska

August Powwows

Several young dancers wear bright colorful ceremonial dress often times made from clothing worn by several generations of ancestors. Headdresses are made of porcupine quills. It is a way to honor ancestors, relatives, and friends.

Indian Dances

Typical dances include traditional, fancy, grass, and jingle dances.

"The master of ceremonies, Albert White Hat Sr. of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, explained to the audience that many of the dancers learn their steps at an early age. The beats of the drum will stay with them for the rest of their lives," he said. "it's the rhythm of life that we must carry on."
    -OWH, Midlands, p. 3B, Sept. 21, 2003

The Sweat Lodge

The plains Indians are familiar with the sweat lodge, an igloo shaped hut having dimensions: 5' tall and 11' wide. Popularized with the interests in native culture, the sweat lodge is considered a sacred place to ceremonially purify one's spirit. Stones are heated in a hardwood fire and then brought into the lodge, placed in a pit to provide warmth. Dried sage is used to rub one's body for cleansing in a two hour ceremony called "inipi". The ceremony includes songs, prayers of thanks, and suana from pouring water over hot stones. The "inipi" ceremony is a gift of the White Buffalo Calf Woman to the Indian people centuries ago.
     -OWH, Living Section, p. 1E, March 7, 2003

Indians revere all things in, fire, sun, water, air.

Sundance Ritual

The sundace ritual is held in the summer. Participants dance for four days without food or water around a cottonwood tree in the middle of an arbor. The ceremony requires dancers to sweat as preparation.

Lakota vocabulary

"mitakuye oyasin"
"all my relations"


Modified: February 25, 2008
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