By Lisa McQuerrey, eHow Contributor.
Lakota prayer ties aid in prayer and meditation. Lakota prayer ties are spiritual symbols created by wrapping tobacco into a cloth while praying and meditating. After prayer the Lakota prayer ties are then burned in a respectful and reverent ceremony with a belief that the prayers will be sent to the heavens and Wakan Tanka–the Great Spirit–in clouds of smoke. The Lakota believe there is a sacredness to the ritual of making prayer ties and often pray and give thanks throughout the tie-making process.
- Cotton fabric
- Cotton string
- Cut or tear cotton fabric into 2-inch squares.
- Place a small pinch of tobacco in the center of a single square of fabric.
- Gather the fabric together and secure the “pouch” you have created with a single piece of 2-foot-long string, tying the first pouch with the beginning of the string.
- Make your next fabric-wrapped tobacco pouch and attach it on the same string as the first, creating a continuous long strand of prayer ties.
- Repeat the process until you have created as many prayer ties as you wish.
Lakota prayer ties are traditionally made in cloth of “sacred colors.” Black represents the west, where the Lakota say thunder originates; red represents the north, where sacred red rock is found; white represents the south, and the Lakota spirit world;yellow represents east, and the rising sun; blue represents “Grandfather Sky”; and green represents “Grandmother Earth.”
Pictures made by Simon Scott