December 09, 2007

No honor among wannabes

Columnist:  Erosion of American Indian spiritual life takes a toll“The pipe, the sweat lodge, everything they’re doing now is trendy,” Anaya told a gathering of about 20 on the west side Monday night. “Native people are getting mad because they’re starting to make this way of life look cheap.”

Typically, Anaya said, a New Age spiritualist will know some of the sweat lodge details and perhaps a snippet of Lakota language. They’re all about trying to create a ceremony, not about treating it as a way of life.

“These people running these lodges, they see it a few times and they think they can do it,” he said.

These wannabes sometimes hand out certificates—“they start handing out (Indian) names like cigars,” Anaya said, derisively suggesting someone can become “Squeaking Squirrel Butt” overnight.

“They’re being charged for the name. There’s no honor, there’s no commitment,” he said.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Indian Wannabes.

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