The Starblanket family roundhouse is made of cob with a grass roof. It has three bedrooms and a den/playroom. In this floor plan, the main entrance comes through the laundry room. In a traditional home, the place of honor was opposite the entrance, in this case roughly the great room and the master bedroom. The kitchen occupies the central area where the hearth once resided. The back side of the kitchen facing the master bedroom has altar niches. The library runs along the wall beside the back door and wraps around to the door of the master bedroom. The dining table tucks against a bench along the outer wall. The living room has a built-in couch and a woodstove. The sitting room has a built-in couch, chairs, and bookcases. The den / playroom has a fireplace, a built-in couch, and several pieces of loose furniture. There is also a niche with a desk and chair behind the fireplace. Toys are kept in baskets or shelves inset into the walls. The laundry room has a sink and cabinets in addition to the washer and dryer. The kitchen includes a refrigerator, chest freezer, stove, and sink. The back side of the kitchen facing the master bedroom has altar niches. The master bedroom has a queen-size bed. The master bathroom is decorated with tile mosaics of sea creatures. It has a wooden shelf unit attached to the wall. The guest bedroom has a full-size bed with a desk and chair behind the headboard. A huge planter lines the wall above the window, above which hangs a ceiling fan with grow lights. The planter and nearby shelves hold a variety of succulents, other houseplants, and even a banana tree. The bunkroom holds one pair of twin-size bunks along with a windowseat. The guest bathroom is decorated with turquoise tiles and small planters full of water-loving flowers. This is the porch of the Starblanket family roundhouse.
Kenzie's attack was on July 15, 2014. This is four weeks after that, August 13.
Kenzie has open-sided tank tops in blue, jade green, and white. He's wearing the blue one over a blue ribbon skirt.
A traditional sweat lodge looks something like this. In writing about sweat lodge ceremonies, I account for the fact that they appear in many different cultures, and that each culture is a living growing thing. So the basic concepts are similar, but the details vary, and they account for more modern medical aspects. This one blends Chippewa and Cree traditions with two-spirit aspects. Note that Blair Her Road Goes Both Ways is very young to be leading a sweat lodge. In T-America, most tribes that use sweat lodges prefer to have men and women sweat separately, although a few put everyone together. If they recognize another gender(s) then they usually have their own sweat lodge(s), although some put transgender people in the lodge of their social gender (that is, as a brave-woman, Blair could sweat with men). At the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Blair leads the sweat lodge for two-spirits.
Cree: oenikika "breath of life" for sweat lodge
Sweat - Sstsiiyi Lodge
The purification ceremony is commonly referred to as the sweat lodge, but this is a misnomer, says William J. Walk Sacred, a Cree medicine man: "When you come out of a purification lodge, you don't feel the same as when you come out of a sauna. The ceremony is a rebirthing process. There's something that happens in a spiritual sense that is powerful and uplifting."
The Indian word for the purification ceremony is oenikika, which means the breath of life. It is a process of renewal through the integration of the spiritual and physical. Walk Sacred explains, "Just think of this as a marriage ceremony that takes place within yourself. The ceremonial leader is the medicine man. He is a representative of the spirits, who works within the invisible realm, in order for you to become aware of the healing process within yourself."
The lodge itself is made of branches, usually willow saplings, but varying according to what's available in the region. Blankets or tarps are used as coverings to hold in heat. The circular shape of the lodge is often described as being like a womb or a protective bubble.
In T-America, the terms "sweat lodge" and "sauna" have been ruled as generic terms that anyone may use; freedom of religion and freedom of expression mean that people may participate in such activities as they wish. All indigenous terms such as oenikika (Cree), madoodooswan (Ojibwe), inipi (Lakota), tq’ache (Navajo), and so forth are protected terms; so are tribal names for a medicine person such as chi-mI-dày-wi (Chippewa: "Grand Medicine person") and religion such as midewiwin (Chippewa). Only holy people appointed by their tribe may conduct ceremonies under those terms, and outsiders who falsely claim those credentials may be prosecuted, just as if they impersonated a Catholic priest giving Holy Communion or other clergy in their rites.
Most tribes and medicine people claim that their version is holy and safe, while cheap knockoffs are both offensive and dangerous. Individuals partaking in a sweat lodge are responsible for their own health, in particular, notifying the leader (if any) of relevant health conditions. Some New Age sweat lodges have no leader and participants share the safety responsibilities equally. However, most sweat lodges are led by an experienced person, who takes responsibility for the physical and spiritual safety of the other participants. Tribes have different requirements for training, which usually takes several years. A notable addition in recent years is that many tribes now expect the leader to have conventional first aid training and know how to use modern knowledge to make sure it is safe for people to sweat or handle health issues that come up during the activity. Leaders typically start out guiding sweats for healthy participants, and only later move to healing sweats for sick people after they have more experience.
The highest staff is chi-mI-dày-wi, "Big, big Grande." "Big, big -- big -- Grand Medicine person," is chi-mI-dày-way. He's the spiritual leader-of-all.
-- When Everybody Called Me Gabe-bines, "Forever-Flying-Bird"
Controversies in local-America include a mismanaged "sweat lodge" in 2009 by James Arthur Ray, in which three people died and 21 got sick. Lakota spiritual leader Arvol Looking Horse issued a statement condemning the incident and its instigator.
Blackfoot traditions also include a sweat lodge.
While many tribal people wear modern clothing a majority of the time, and some mix old and new garments such as a ribbon shirt with jeans, they often wear traditional clothing or regalia for special occasions. Sweat lodges may be done nude or clothed, depending on tribe, gender, and other customs. When clothed, participants often favor traditional clothing. People of any sex/gender may wear a breechclout; women tend to wear theirs longer than men. Women typically wear a loose top over a breechclout, or just a dress. These are usually made from washable, soft, plain, natural cloth such as unbleached muslin or linen. Men commonly go topless.
People who have breasts but are not women often prefer Bareskins, a type of binder made with a cotton liner and nylon-spandex outer shell in various skin tones. Copper and oak are the colors that most often match tribal skin, but some individuals are lighter or darker. In L-America, the Bareskins come in five skin tones; in T-America they have ten. Wearing a binder increases the risk of overheating, but at least if the leader is doing that then they are unlikely to overheat anyone else, and they should have training to compensate. Two-spirits rarely feel comfortable sweating nude due to differences in body type and experiences of dysphoria. They are also the most likely to invite other people into their sweat lodge if someone doesn't feel comfortable with the parameters for another gender, because the two-spirit sweat lodges have to be more flexible to accommodate their own needs.
"The Chippewa wore breechcloths in the summer and in cold climates they wore fringed, decorated tunics, high moccasins and leggings and turbans of soft fur. The women wore wraparound skirts or buckskin dresses. Warm robes or cloaks were also worn to protect against the rain and the cold. Clothes were decorated and colored with red, blue, yellow and green dyes."
-- Chippewa Tribe
"Chippewa men wore breechclouts with long flaps in front and back. Sometimes a kiltlike garment fringed at the bottom was worn instead. Leggings were close-fitting and worn to above the knees and gartered below the knees or else thigh length and tied with thongs or straps to a belt. Buckskin ponchos were worn in cool weather. Chippewa men wore their hair loose, occasionally braided with scalplock at the back. Warriors liked to stiffen the scalplock so it stood up straight for several inches."
-- Tribes of the North-Eastern Woodlands
"Plains Cree men traditionally wore a breechclout of deerskin or buffalo hide. The breechclout consisted of two pieces of leather hung from a belt, one in front and one behind. Men also wore leggings of soft leather. The leggings allowed ventilation, protection and movement, especially when the men were riding horses. Men did not usually wear any kind of shirt, but relied on buffalo robes to cover their upper bodies. They used these buffalo robes during every season of the year. Men wore moccasins on their feet in summer and a kind of rawhide sun visor to shade their eyes; in winter, they wore warm buffalo-hide footwear with the hair on the inside, along with leather mitts.
Plains Cree women wore knee-length dresses that hung from two shoulder straps, along with leggings and decorated belts. Like the men, they wrapped themselves in buffalo robes. Their moccasins were made from one piece of leather sewn around the foot. During the winter they wore leather mittens. Plains Cree women originally created beautiful designs on their clothing out of porcupine quills. Later, they used beads acquired in trade from Europeans."
-- Plains Cree
The two-hide strap dress is a traditional Cree garment. This modern blouse has a similar design and works well in a sweat lodge.
Prayer ties use a variety of sacred plants and methods. Compare Ojibwe, Mi'kmaq, and intertribal references. In approximate order of priority: do what the spirits tell you, follow the instructions of a spiritual leader within their ceremony, keep the traditions of the tribe you are working with, or if working alone you may do whatever works best for you. Prayer ties often appear in the four sacred colors of red, yellow, white, and black. Some tribes use different colors, only one color, or match the color to the type of prayer. Watch a video of making prayer ties. This infographic illustrates the steps.
Sweetgrass is a sacred herb. Read about gathering and braiding sweetgrass.
T-America allows indigenous nations to set their own parameters for hunting and gathering on their own land. These are more flexible than U.S. regulations because they have to respond both to local conditions and to any requirements set by the spirits. For game that has seasonal requirements, tribal elders customarily open the season by requesting that type of game from younger hunters. I have included L-American seasons for reference.
2019 Antelope Season Dates
Start Date End Date Date Setting Process
900 series August 15 November 10
Archery September 7 October 11
General October 12 November 10
2018 General Fishing Season
Rivers & Streams Lakes & Reservoirs
Western District Open third Saturday in May through November 30, unless otherwise specified in Exceptions to Standard Regulations. Open all year
Central District Open all year, unless otherwise specified in Exceptions to Standard Regulations.
Eastern District Open all year
• Fishing is allowed at all hours during open fishing seasons unless otherwise specified in District Exceptions to Standard Regulations.
• Fishing regulations valid March 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019.
See a map of Montana fishing districts.
Tickling fish by hand is a historic method that is challenging but effective, and requires no equipment. Fly fishing uses lightweight, agile tackle to catch river fish. The best time for Montana fly fishing ranges from late April to mid-November but peaks at different times in different places.
See Blair's two-feather star quilt. Blair wears a Cree men's vest with a matching apron.
See Bobtail's jacket, chaps, boots, and gloves.
Native American hair oil is part of traditional practices. Blair's includes clary sage.
Ingredients: sunflower oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, natural vitamin E, essential oils of clary sage (organic), lemon peel (organic), patchouli, spearmint (organic), peppermint, (organic), violet leaf (absolute) and sandalwood. Each bottle contains clear quartz crystals to protect the vibrational signature of the oil.
-- Tranquil Vibration
Kenzie's scalp feathers come from a hawk and use a medicine wheel as the base. Read about how to make a modern feather hair clip and protocols for regalia.
Pronghorn recipes include Antelope Taquitos. There are also recipes for Trout on a Stick and Three Sisters Chili.