white buffalo

Being around the Sundance

Protocols to respect the ceremony

The Sundance is a sacred ceremony from the White Buffalo Calf Pipe tradition of the Lakota people. Our Founding Dance Chief in Aotearoa/New Zealand was the late Chief Whitecloud (Patrick Hendrickson). Sundance is a ceremony where people come together to heal and bring renewal to the people and the land. It is a prayer for life. As it is a sacred ceremony belonging to the Indigenous people of North America and Canada therefore active respect needs to given to things around the “Dance”.

What do I bring as a “supporter” of the Sundance:

 An open heart
 A willingness to help
 An attitude of respect for the Dance and the land and the guardians of the land where the dance is held
 Food and the equipment needed to look after yourself (tents, cooking materials, toilet paper etc)
 Tobacco (an offering of acknowledgement and respect to the Dance Chief)
 Koha (money is gratefully accepted to assist our intercessor towards travel to  and from USA)

What I need to know and respect around the arbour (dance area) :

If you pay attention then those who know about the ceremony will give guidance.

 No recording equipment at the arbour (e.g. camera, video, tape)
 Women having their period (moon time) are asked to stay away from the arbour and sweat lodge areas
 No alcohol or drugs
 Do not take food or drink to the arbour
 Modest dressing (men – long pants and shirt / women – long skirt and shoulders covered). Leave shoes outside arbour area.
 Adults must take responsibility for children around the arbour and sweat lodge areas
 DO NOT enter the arbour “gates” (into the area where the dancers dance) There is a special way this can be done – FIND OUT FIRST.
 Give the dancers “space” during rest times

If you are unsure about something wait for an appropriate time then ASK

The Sundance is a powerful and transforming ceremony. Please honour the guidelines, ancestors, elders and participants by respecting these few rules.


SunDance Aotearoa