In a beautiful valley nestled among several mountains in upstate New York, Bill Elwell, teacher of American Indian tradition, conducts one of the most sacred of Indian ceremonies.
Large rocks, heated glowing red in a huge fire, are brought by pitchfork into a small, blanket covered hut. Beautiful chanting, drumming and rattling emanate from this small forest dwelling sitting at the edge of a meandering river.
In the sweat lodge, Native Americansw (and others) pray, sing and conduct healing. Sweet smelling herbs are sprinkled on the glowing rocks which are then doused with water, as the resultant live steam bathes the participants.
Certainly the sweating purifies the body while the intense heat, darkness and drumming is said to purify the spirit.
We will see this ceremony, from preparing the hut, fire and sacred Indian alter, to the chanting and drumming to the freezing swim in the icy river. 90 minutes.