- All Indians thought the spirits talked to them in dreams. All except
the Mojave indians believed that they must seek the dream, or induce it
through some ceremony or by fasting. The Mojave thought the dream
usually the Indian had his most powerful
dreams while he was fasting at that time when he changed from a boy to
a grown man. This dream influenced him through the rest of his life.
Ever after, if some incident, animal, or bird which had featured in this
dream, appeared in another, a special meaning was attached to it and whatever
advice it gave was followed.
Those who had the most powerful dreams
became medicine men, and thus leaders in all the mysterious rites and ceremonies.
When a man was a leader of a war party or a hunting party great attention
was paid to his dreams. Other Indians thought he had been given in
his dream the proper advice on how to proceed.
many times the Indian sought to bring on
dreams by fasting, drugs, mutilating himself, or sitting for long hours
in a sweat bath. He might even tie a thong of green hide around his
neck, and lose consciousness as it contracted, inducing a vision or a dream
in which he believed he would see just what was going to happen in the
The Sioux chief, Crazy Horse, a few days
before he was killed was walking on the prairie and saw the body of a dead
eagle. He went back to his lodge and sat down gloomily, saying he
had seen his own body on the prairie. A few nights later he dreamed
he was riding a white pony. He had always claimed he had a charmed
life and could not be killed by a bullet and the dream evidently reassured
A few days later he was captured and, in
trying to escape, was killed. But outside the circle of soldiers,
some friends were holding a white pony to help him in his escape - just
such a white pony as Crazy Horse had seen in his dream.
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