Thoughts on Run to the Rez by #motorcyclingyogiG
For the second year, I attended the 15th Annual Run to the Rez, a motorcycle ride and rally sponsored by the San Carlos Apache. Its intention is to honor veterans and provide a glimpse of Apache culture to those of us not part of its nation. They have a great deal of pride for the warrior way since their land is the homeland of Geronimo.
One of the events I participated in both years is the Apache sweat ceremony for men. I recommend it for a bunch of reasons, but one is that when we get out of our comfort zone we may learn something new. I was honored to participate in an Apache sweat lodge ceremony with the Apache tribe on the San Carlos Apache Nation. The San Carlos reservation was where Geronimo lived and hid out .
New experiences – as in the sweat lodge – are not something that one goes out to get, something one achieves or competes for; rather, a new cultural experience is something to receive. That means one attends them with humility and respect.
The prayers and songs of the sweat were in Apache. One of the singers that led our sweat ceremony has been learning the Apache “Holy Ground” songs for years. We sat on the ground in the small space, crouched toward the middle while another man drizzled water over the burning rocks. All of these elements have a special name and significance in an indigenous nation sweat lodge: songs, the names of rocks, the sweat ceremony, the directions, and the construction of the lodge to name a few.… read more...