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Cicero Newell - Indian Stories – How they cured their sick

Identifier

023816

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Indian Stories – Cicero Newell

A HUNDRED years ago the Indians hardly knew what sickness was. They were a tough and hardy race of people. If they wanted to know how to cure themselves of a disease of the blood they watched their horses in the spring to see what they ate. They observed that the horses went out upon the hillsides or next to the mountains and with their feet dug from the ground roots which they ate. They also ate gums that grew on the bark of certain trees. The men could see the effect of these on the horses and believed that the same roots and barks and gums would cure them also.

If an Indian caught a bad cold his friends went with him to the bank of a stream, where they put up a little tepees large enough for one person to crawl into. Then they built a big fire and put stones on the fire. When these were hot, the friends put them in the tepee with the sick man and poured water upon them. In this way they soon filled the tepee with steam. They continued to do this until the sick man was warm and perspired freely. Then they took him to the creek and threw him into the cool water. After that they chased him with a whip up and down the bank of the stream until he perspired freely again. After this treatment had been given him, they wrapped him in a buffalo skin and allowed him to rest. Such a cure would break up the worst cold.

Their methods of curing disease were not unlike those of our own people of a hundred years ago.

The source of the experience

Native American Indians

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans