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Dreams - 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 sought him.

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 future.

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 him.

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.
 

Related Information within this Site
[ Crazy Horse ][ Fasting ]
[ Indian Names ][ Man-Being ][ Medicine ][ Totem ]