Sun Dance  

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"I finally met Fakir at Annie Sprinkle's New York apartment in 1980. The next year Fakir and I worked together on a feature film by Mark and Dan Jury titled Dances Sacred and Profane, in which Fakir not only explains but demonstrates his philosophy and practices. The climax of the film shows Fakir doing the Native American Sun Dance ritual. He performed a preliminary ritual at Devils Tower in Wyoming--a sensational sacred site. Then Fakir found a remote wooded area, consecrated a cottonwood tree, and suspended himself with flesh-hooks while he left his body and communicated with the Great White Spirit. The footage was awesome, and when the film opened at San Francisco's Roxie Theater in 1985, there were lines around the block. Lots of people were interested in these rituals." - Charles Gatewood

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced by some Indigenous Peoples of North America and Canada, primarily those of the plains cultures. After contact with European colonists, and with the formation of Canada and United States, both countries created laws banning ceremonies and even outlawed Indigenous people from speaking their native languages. Those that continued to practice their culture were imprisoned or even killed for doing so. As a result and in order to preserve Indigenous culture for future generations most ceremonies went underground and were practiced in secret.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sun Dance" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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