The sundance originated among the Plains Indians. Its complex ritual is centered in the prayerful sacrifice of the dancers not only for their personal well-being, but also for that of the entire community. Father John Giuliani is a priest and artist who created this print image.
Prepared by fasting and prayer, sundancers have bear claws, attached by ropes to a central pole, inserted into their breast muscles. They swing in circles around the pole until their flesh tears away from the claws, thus proving victorious. The similarity of the sundancer to the crucified Christ is as prophetic vision is to its realization: sacrifice for the healing of the entire people.
Traditional iconography gives witness to the human face of the Sacred. This icon, imaged in the features of America's indigenous peoples, reveals anew that sacred power. It celebrates the soul of the Native American as the original spiritual presence on this continent, and as a prophetic sign, it celebrates the vision of Native and Christian peoples of this land.
Measurements: Width 11 | Height 22 (inches).
All Measurements are approximate.
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