A Sun dance doll was fasten and given to a crow pledger (dancer) by a priestly mentor, He was then to stare at it until it gave him a vision of a scalped enemy. The design (pattern) for the dolls were obtained in an interesting fashion. When a warrior was grieving over the murder of his wife or child he received a vision of a Sun dance doll and his next wife. (That is if his wife was killed.) The following year the first doll was made at a ceremony for men only. The first doll was made from the center piece of a white-tailed deer's skin, and was stuffed with sweet grass, white pine needles, and hair from the temples and chin of a mountain sheep. The doll, with a kilt from a male black-tailed deer's skin, a necklace made from skunk skin, a buffalo rattle, a hairlock attachment, and a whistle -which was made out of a bone of an eagles wing- were put into a medicine bundle. This bundle was boat-shaped and was painted on the outside to represent mountains, earth, sky and the rainbow. This was then used in several Sun dances since it had since became famous for it's power.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.