NATIVE AMERICAN WEDDING CEREMONY
There are many different Wedding Ceremonies that span all Tribal Nations. Some are very Traditional and some are more simple in nature. All Native American Wedding Ceremonies involve a Groom, Bride, a Medicine Man or Spiritual Leader and Creator for the simplest of customs. Most will involve the couples respective families and friends and always Elder Members of the Tribe.
When a couple wishes to join in marriage, they contact the Tribal Medicine Man or Spiritual Leader and offer the scared gift of Tobacco. Then in turn the Medicine Man will share to the couple what they need to do to get ready for the joining of two souls. He might also tell them that they must return for council or advice to make sure they know what it means to join souls. He may also give the warrior a task before the “Joining” which is always a secret.
When the day arrives the Medicine Man will start a Ceremonial Fire Ring.
First he picks the location and places 12 stones in a circle that will hold the Sacred Fire.
A Fire Ring will consist of many items. All Tribes are different in what will go into the Ceremonial Fire Ring. Traditional Fire Rings have 7 woods, 7 seeds, Tobacco, White Sage, Sweet grass, and Sacred Cedar and in addition 7 brought gifts. These 7 gifts will be asked by the Medicine Man long before the Ceremony upon certain ones of who shall attend. They are gifts from their land and their personal walk with Creator which are very specific requests. I attended a Ceremonial Fire Ring inTexasand saw one of the gifts to be a Full Tobacco Leaf and another was a selected flower from a certain garden as two examples.
In a Traditional Wedding Ceremony friends and family will put up a tepee and decorate it properly inside for the “Joining”
After the Ceremonial Fire Ring is started the Medicine Man will first share with the People attending as he sings a song to the Creator: And announce that a few were chosen to bring the 7 gifts and one by one each person asked and chosen to bring a gift will give the gift requested to the Medicine Man and he will then offer them to the 4 Winds which Creator used to create Man, and each in turn will be added to the Ceremonial Fire Ring.
((The 7th gift from one visitor is always “salt water” and is not added to the fire until all things have been done. For it is used to end the Ceremony of the Fire Ring.))
The Medicine Man will add his last item to the fire by pulling a Medicine Bag which he has prepared from his neck and has been wearing for 7 days and the contents are well kept secrets into the burning fire and the smoke shall rise!
Before the actual Traditional Wedding Ceremony takes place the Traditional Fire Ring Ceremony is completed.
This is where the Medicine Man places on the ground a deer skin and on the deer skin two sacred healing stones with a scared finger stone laid in-between the two healing stones and it was pointed north. This stone is handed down from generation to generation. At one Ceremonial Fire Ring I attended I saw the stones used to heal a person in a wheelchair. Another person was called to smudge white sage as blessings to the people who are there. There was a special gift given to one from a Medicine Woman. Also at one time there was one who was asked to play flute music softly in the background. The healing stones are there for any one to use and then place back on the deer skin. No one is ever rushed and time always allowed for the presence of the Spirits and those of the Fore-Fathers.
((This is the Tradition of the Fire Ring purpose: Healing!)) Healing was the and remains the foundation of the Smoke to Father.
Then the Wedding Ceremony begins right after the Medicine Man has placed the Sacred Medicine Bag he has been wearing for 7 days into the fire. At this point he turns to the Bride and Groom and go through the “Joining” for the Tribe. This is when the Medicine Man will unite them in the “Joining” which will include a small red feather and leather lacing with decorations and wrap it around their two fingers as one. In some tribes the Chief may with his hands join the couple’s two hands together and means the same “Joining”.
After this the Medicine Man may sing a song prayer to Creator.
And then he sprinkles Salt Water on the fire to end the Ceremony.
Now the two are one: And they retire to the Tepee or home. And all others have a great feed and sharing.
This is a very Traditional Wedding: Variations exist as not all Native Americans are fully Traditional but each type of Wedding Ceremony is fantastic and proper in our Culture.
Related and told by: Wah-O-Cha-Ni-Standing
At a Traditional Native Wedding the Warrior would be in his Finest Regalia and the bride in a Hand-Made Wedding Regalia.
Others attending in their Regalia if desiring the “Healing” of the Sacred Ceremonial Fire Ring. But, Regalia is not expected of guests attending: Nevertheless, they are invited to use the “Healing Stones” if they desire to use them as an Honored Guest of the Wedding Ceremony.
Native American Wedding dresses are beautiful hand crafted creations!