Ritual Traditions of the Human Woman
Dana Tiger

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The human medicine woman began her training in early childhood. Her responsibilities are both varied and grave. She must minister to the physical, mental and spiritual health of her people.

Her training begins with outlook. As a young girl, she was taught to see all of the life around her. Then her eyes were guided inward to the places deep within herself. She learned to know herself and she became aware that all the life forms around her must be considered and respected.

Her guide was an older woman, her mother or grandmother. As a young woman she had already learned to walk alone in the woods and identify the plants needed for a patient or ceremony because individual plants come to her by what she would describe as a gentle nod. Her sensitivity is such that the subtle beckoning can be seen by her alone. By now she is attuned to the seasons and knows the time of day or night when the medicine she gathers will be most effective.

She is a competent healer and treats the whole person. She is aware that physical ailments are often the outward manifestation of a sick spirit.

The medicine woman is respected by all people. There is a quietness among her people when she walks among them. Her pronouncements are next to law. To disregard her advise is to be not only foolish but an invitation to peril.

A medicine woman of such stature has achieved a position that makes her sought out by many who come to her as strangers. She is loved and the deep respect accorded to her is mixed with a touch of fear.

The great among the honored sisterhood will go further. To these few the last unfathomable great mystery will be made known. Alone they cross that impenetrable division between human and spirit. The human medicine woman has assumed the awesome responsibility of walking with spirits while retaining her humanity. She is called the human medicine woman because she walks with spirits and is still a human woman.

The human medicine woman can change into an animal often a wolf in order to move easier in the forest. She knows when a patient is soon to join the spirits. The human medicine woman walks through the great mysteries of life and death and she alone fears neither.


Dana Tiger


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   Title: The Ritual Tradions of the Human Women
Medium: Watercolor
Order No.: N-DT003

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