Sun Dance

The Sun Dance is a ceremony of purification and renewal widely practiced among Native American Plains tribes. Although the various rites often described by the term differ from one another in many significant ways, they all include a rigorous marathon of dancing oriented around a center pole in a lodge especially constructed for the three or four days of the Sun Dance. Also common to the dance ceremonies are acts of self-mortification and fasting, often accompanied by powerful visionary experiences. Such rites are said to help replenish the creation, renew the spiritual vitality of the participating group, and benefit humankind as a whole.