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THE FOUR DIRECTIONS


In their worship the Dakota Indians (Sioux) are very attentive to the Four Directions. Whenpraying with the Sacred Pipe, both in private and public ceremony, they face each directionsuccessively, beginning with the West.

In worship the color of the West is Black. Evil is Black. Danger is Black.Black is the condition of Man as he stands before Wakantanka (Wakan - Mystery - - - Tanka - Great).

The color of North is Red. Red is conflict. Red is tension. Red is decision, as Man determineswhether to revert to Black or go on to White.

The color of East is White. White is victory. White is purity. White is life. The rising Suneliminates Redness and brings clear sky.

The color of South is Yellow. Yellow is Peace. Yellow is fruitfulness. Yellow is warmth. Whatever danger or tension or conflict there might have been, it is now all past; now the Campcan rest.

Unfortunately, every man knows that at another time, in his prayer, he will have to begin againand will have to face the Black.

cf. Charles Alexander Eastman's THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN
John Epes Brown's THE SACRED PIPE, the Seven Rites of the Sioux

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