Sheridan, Clare - A religious revival, a mighty mysticism, a fervour of belief and remembrance
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Clare Sheridan – Redskin Interlude
The Sun Dance festival was now at its height. The Indians were dressed in their gala clothes. War bonnets came forth and beaded buckskin suits, coloured blankets, Hudson Bay coats-in fact, one was transported back to the colourful past, and the change in their clothes was accompanied by a change in their whole beings.
The drab, resigned remnants of a once great people suddenly assumed their old place in the sun. They held their heads high, were proud warriors, lords of the land, conscious of their dignity and their grandeur, for they were grand, in their feathered head-dresses. Their eyes blazed forth their mystic savagery as they danced and sang. Turtle, half-naked, with his legs and thighs painted in strange stripes, and his face covered with brick-red ochre, stamped his moccasined feet, bent and contorted his body like an animal that is about to spring.
His nostrils quivered, his fists clenched menacingly. He brandished the baton that should have carried a scalp, jerked his great head, and turned in circles as he danced round the fire, his face lit up by the glowing flame. The heat was almost asphyxiating, one's heart beat a double measure through lack of air, but also with the madness of it, the beauty, the colour, the music and the voices, the rhythm of the drums, the cadence of the dance which stirred the savage that is in us all.
But there was something else: a religious revival, a mighty mysticism, a fervour of belief and remembrance.