The Lakota word for humility is wah’wala. Humility to us is being humble to all and not changing our actions to different cultures. We can’t be humble if we come in with stereotypes we will be different and act like we are better. Also, we can’t let other people change our views (family, friends, etc.). We aren’t any better than these people, we just have different stories and different backgrounds.
On day 4, the guys woke up early to get ready for the inipi ceremony. An inipi is a symbol of spiritual cleansing. The inipi is designed to recreate your mother’s womb. Once you are seated in the inipi, the door shuts and it becomes pitch black. As the elders start the prayers, water is poured onto the hot stones. In between each round, the door opens and the sacred pipe is passed around for the Lakota adults. The rest of the group taking place in the ceremony places the pipe over their head, because we have not taken place in the adult ceremony. The girls went later on in the day.
We also got the pleasure of speaking to Rick, a Medicine Man in the afternoon. He talked to us about stereotypes and his personal experiences with racism in neighboring towns just outside of the reservation. Overall, today was full of new experiences and cultural immersion. We are excited for the rest of the trip and what it has to offer.