Dancing Together: The Lakota Sun Dance and Ethical Intercultural Exchange

Ronan Hallowell

Abstract


Reflecting upon my twenty years of participation in several Lakota Sun Dance ceremony communities, this article explores ethical questions that arise from non-Native people practicing traditional Native American ceremonies, especially the Lakota Sun Dance. Through personal stories of lessons learned attending twenty Lakota Sun Dances, being taught for many years to sing ceremonial songs by a fluent Lakota singer/elder, and a historical overview of the Sun Dance, I discuss paths toward mutually enhancing intercultural communication based on respect, shared sacrifice, generosity, integrity, and the cultivation of long-term thinking for the well-being of people and the planet, now, and for generations to come.


Keywords


Native American Sun Dance; Lakota Traditions; Intercultural Communication; Ceremony; Ethics

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