The sweat lodge is simple. While in the lodge we sweat, pray, sing, celebrate, purify and learn together.
A lodge is constructed and a fire is built to heat the “grandfathers” (the volcanic rocks used in the lodge to create steam). When the grandfathers are heated we purify by smudging (using a sacred herb like sage) then enter the lodge. In this tradition clothes are worn into the lodge (eg; a pair of shorts for men and a sarong for women). The person pouring the lodge (regulating the temperature by pouring water on to the grandfathers) begins then we all have an opportunity to pray. There are four rounds (where the door is opened to bring new grandfathers in) and people, if they need to, can go outside the lodge to cool down. A person can leave the lodge, permanently or temporarily, by saying “all my relations”. The flap would be opened and the person can leave. Respect for uniqueness has a place within the oneness of “all my relations”.

“All my relations” is a phrase used in the lodge as a way of remembering that everything is connected. White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the Lakota about 2200 years ago. Since then, the sweat lodge has been used for purification. The Lakota name for the sweat lodge is Inipi. We look forward to sharing the lodge with you.

SunDance Aotearoa