The Sacred Pipe
The book that I read was The Sacred Pipe. It is an incredible account of the religious rights and culture of the Oglala Soiux. The God of the Soiux is Wakan Tanka and they believe that it is a three in one similar to what we would believe to be the God head. They believe that he is in all that is good and none that is evil. Not just things that are alive but also in feelings and emotions all and everything that is good is reffered to as Wakan. During the book you experience rituals and customs of the Soiux tribe that are definitely different than anything I have ever heard of.
The book was written fairly well with a different style to it except for a couple dead spots were the author had a hard time keeping my attention. It was creatively written and had a lot more foot notes than any book that I had ever read. One negative thing that I personally had a problem with about this book was throughout my school career I have heard so many stories and read so many books about native Americans and native American rituals that it was kind of getting a little old, but never the less I gave this book a chance and it turned out to be a good gamble. That was becuase this book was different in the sense that it got way more in-depth with the beliefs and different legends of the native Americans than all other books that I have read. That provided a new outlook and different feel which helped keep my attention.
What I also found interesting was the similarity of the religious beliefs that these particular native Americans had to Seventh day Adventism. Not so much that they belived in the same people or the same bible that we believe in but like I mentioned the God that they believed in, Wakan Tanka was a three in one being just like the Godhead, Wakan Tanka was a supreme being and had complete power over everything and was part of all that is good. Although, unlike Seventh day Adventist much of there religion and religious rituals consist of smoking marijuana, tobacco, tree bark and other forms of drugs out of a pipe that was referred to as the sacred pipe or as it is better known as the peace pipe. Not everybody in the tribe was permitted to smoke out of the pipe, only the chief or high religious leaders were aloud to smoke out of the pipe. Even then, they were only aloud to smoke out of it during religious practices and other rituals to celebrate holidays of there culture. Hands down the pipe was the single most important object in there religion and culture.
One thing that I did not realize about Native Americans about before this book is all the different types of substances they found a way to smoke. These people would smoke everything and anything that they could fit in a pipe. They had all kinds of different names that they obviously gave to these drugs while they were using them, such as Hokshichankiya which was there name for marijuana. Most drugs however that were used in there religious practices were bitter tasting and had no real affect on the brain. The author spent a lot of time making sure he described the effect and representation of each and every drug that they would use, making me believe that smoking was an extremely popular thing to do in this particular tribe.
A small problem with the book was it was tough to understand and tough to follow. It almost seemed like there was a lot of clutter and useless words that made the book tough to understand. Maybe if I was a more experienced reader I would have had an easier time reading this book. The book still kept my interest and I got it done quicker than other books that had been assigned in the past. Not only did I learn a lot about Native Americans but I learned how to read a new and different style of writing that I haven’t encountered yet. I would not recommend this book to a person that is just starting to read but to a faithful reader it would prove to be a interesting novel.