Sun Dance  

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-'''''Circle of the Sun''''' is a 1960 short [[documentary film]] on [[Kainai Nation]], or Blood Tribe, of [[Southern Alberta]], which captured their [[Sun Dance]] ritual on film for the first time. Tribal leaders, who worried the traditional ceremony might be dying out, had permitted filming as a visual record.+"I finally met [[Fakir Musafar|Fakir]] at [[Annie Sprinkle]]'s New York apartment in 1980. The next year Fakir and I worked together on a feature film by Mark and Dan Jury titled ''[[Dances Sacred and Profane]]'', in which Fakir not only explains but demonstrates his philosophy and practices. The climax of the film shows Fakir doing the [[Sun Dance|Native American Sun Dance ritual]]. He performed a preliminary ritual at [[Devils Tower]] in [[Wyoming]]--a sensational [[shrine|sacred site]]. Then Fakir found a remote wooded area, consecrated a cottonwood tree, and suspended himself with flesh-hooks while he left his body and communicated with the [[Great Spirit|Great White Spirit]]. The footage was awesome, and when the film opened at [[Roxie Theater |San Francisco's Roxie Theater]] in 1985, there were lines around the block. Lots of people were interested in these rituals." - [[Charles Gatewood]]
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-The film was directed by [[Colin Low (filmmaker)|Colin Low]], who was from the area. Low's father had been a foreman of the Cochrane Church Ranch in the area, southern Alberta and had known many Blood Tribe people since childhood. Colin Low had first witnessed the Sun Dance in 1953, the year he shot ''[[Corral (film)|Corral]]''. Footage of the Sun Dance was shot in 1956 and 1957, with the film completed in 1959. The film also included modern aspects of Blood Tribe life by shooting on an oil well on the reserve.+The '''Sun Dance''' is a ceremony practiced by some [[Indigenous Peoples of North America]] and [[First Nations|Canada]], primarily those of the [[Plains Indians|plains cultures]]. After contact with European colonists, and with the formation of [[Canada]] and [[United States]], both countries created laws banning ceremonies and even outlawed Indigenous people from speaking their native languages. Those that continued to practice their culture were imprisoned or even killed for doing so. As a result and in order to preserve Indigenous culture for future generations most ceremonies went underground and were practiced in secret.
 +==See also==
 +* [[Great Race (Native American legend)]]
 +* [[Cultural appropriation]]
 +* [[Firekeeper]]
 +* [[Medicine Man]]
 +* [[Plastic shamans]]
 +* [[Sweat lodge]]
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"I finally met Fakir at Annie Sprinkle's New York apartment in 1980. The next year Fakir and I worked together on a feature film by Mark and Dan Jury titled Dances Sacred and Profane, in which Fakir not only explains but demonstrates his philosophy and practices. The climax of the film shows Fakir doing the Native American Sun Dance ritual. He performed a preliminary ritual at Devils Tower in Wyoming--a sensational sacred site. Then Fakir found a remote wooded area, consecrated a cottonwood tree, and suspended himself with flesh-hooks while he left his body and communicated with the Great White Spirit. The footage was awesome, and when the film opened at San Francisco's Roxie Theater in 1985, there were lines around the block. Lots of people were interested in these rituals." - Charles Gatewood

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced by some Indigenous Peoples of North America and Canada, primarily those of the plains cultures. After contact with European colonists, and with the formation of Canada and United States, both countries created laws banning ceremonies and even outlawed Indigenous people from speaking their native languages. Those that continued to practice their culture were imprisoned or even killed for doing so. As a result and in order to preserve Indigenous culture for future generations most ceremonies went underground and were practiced in secret.

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