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Native Spirit and The Sun Dance Way

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Native Spirit & The Sun Dance Way are two unique, feature-length documentaries contained in a 2-Disc DVD with an additional 90 minutes of rich special features. Native Spirit & The Sun Dance Way are official selections for American Indian Film Festival and the Montreal First People's Festival Native Spirit: As the Plains Indians were hunted down and driven onto government reservations, their spiritual and cultural traditions were threatened with extinction. The American government sought to not only physically contain the Indians, but more importantly, to forcibly destroy their culture and spiritual traditions. The brutal attempt to destroy the Indians centuries old way of life took a terrible toll. Native Spirit movingly tells the history that many Americans would prefer to forget, and poignantly conveys a story many Americans have never heard: the story of the ultimate triumph of the Native Spirit. The Sun Dance Way This is the story of a remarkable preservation of an ancient sacred ceremony. The Sun Dance still remains at the center of today s Plains Indian tribes despite a government bent on its destruction. In this documentary, the ceremony is described in the words of Thomas Yellowtail, a revered Sun Dance Chief of the Crow Indian Tribe for over thirty years. Yellowtail's first person account is brought to life by the narration of internationally known Native Peoples actor, Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of the Fall ). Yellowtail's words provide a first hand account of the symbolism and meaning at the heart of the Sun Dance. Unique photographs and video footage of more than 15 Crow and Shoshone Sun Dances, from as far back as 1903, reveal the mystical beauty of this ancient sacred ceremony. The Sun Dance Way provides a message of inspiration to Native and non-Native people everywhere.

Review

In The Sun Dance Way unique photographs and video footage reveal the symbolism and mystical beauty of the ancient Sun Dance ceremony. Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of the Fall) brings to life the words of revered Sun Dance chief, Thomas Yellowtail. --American Indian Film Festival

"Native Spirit & The Sun Dance Way will be a valuable addition to the materials used in my World Religions class. It is a beautifully crafted documentary, which is both accurate in its content and respectful of the underlying meaning of Native American religious traditions." --James S. Cutsinger, Professor of Theology and Religious Thought at the University of South Carolina

"Native Spirit & The Sun Dance Way is an informative and moving documentary which treats its subject with the appropriate sensitivity and respect. It communicates a real sense of the grandeur, beauty and nobility of the spiritual heritage of the Plains Indians. Drawing heavily on the words of the late Sun Dance Chief, Thomas Yellowtail, it gives an authentic account not only of the Sun Dance rite but of the whole spiritual economy of which it is the central expression. Native Spirit brings this traditional wisdom to the attention of Indians and non-Indians alike, and will contribute to the preservation of modes of experience and understanding which are so urgently needed in the modern world." --Harry Oldmeadow, La Trobe University, Australia

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gordon Tootoosis, Tantoo Cardinal
  • Directors: Jennifer Casey
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: World Wisdom, Inc
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2007
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MQ4WZ6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,376 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Steffen on March 26, 2007
Format: DVD
This 2 disk DVD set "Native Spirit and The Sun Dance Way" is a must-see educational documentary for every North American, to learn about the Native Indian history, the unimaginable injustices committed against them, but also their amazingly beautiful culture and spiritual ways and ceremonies. The Sun Dance ceremony is very sacred and in respecting and keeping it that way, non-Natives usually do not have access to it. This documentary provides rare video footage and insights into the background of the ceremony, the preparations, the symbolism and the ceremony itself. It provides everything to everyone to learn about and respect the Native Culture.

A Native friend once said to me, no matter how much you read about Native Indians, you will not learn much "knowledge". And I suppose that is true, because knowledge comes from experience. Both documentaries "Native Spirit and The Sun Dance Way" give us the opportunity to be quiet and to listen to the Native Elders such as Thomas Yellowtail and Joe Medicine Crow, and hopefully to gain knowledge through what we experience by listening to them.

Both documentaries will leave you with a lot respect for what First Nations have endured, but also for what they have to give, and they will leave you deeply moved and humbled.

Native Spirit and The Sun Dance Way
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. The photographs are incredible and the writing is informative, not at all what you might have been taught. I have a new appreciation for the Sun Dance. Get the accompanying DVD as well and buy one for a friend!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I highly suggest this DVD set for any gift item you may need this year. If you appreciate Native American flute music, you need this DVD. The combination of the narative and film and music is incredible. Thank you to the directors and producers for a great product!
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By Roger PB on August 7, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you like to compare religion, like Sufism, Gnosis, Vedanta, Buddhism, etc... you will be surprise how a tradition that has no books written belongs to the same center.
A Masterpiece that deliver a bit of the American Indian wisdom from the old times to the new times. Thanks to the Tom Yellow Tail inspiration and the tremendous effort of the producers.
But if I had something to say, I'd like to know if they kill animals to use in their rituals. The DVD just show them praying before cut a tree for the Sun Dance, but nothing about how the buffalo's head and eagle bones whistles comes into the Sun Dance. So, the DVD show just positive aspects of the American Indians.
I miss the philosophical talks of the elders (the more esoteric aspects of them), normally present in the Black Elk books and the great chiefs talks.
This DVD is more historical but equally important.
The DVD delivered on time, good quality and nice price for this priceless product.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was surprised regarding the filming of the Sundance.2 Discs one history oriented. Did enjoy it lots of info good teaching tool. A gift..
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I do not think I personally learned anything new but I appreciated the sharing of wisdom and cultural knowledge. There are too few such resources that can inform those of other cultures or even that can be used with the children of First Nations People. The fact that some of the key contributors to this DVD are no longer on this side emphasizes the fact that treasure not appreciated and preserved will disappear. I doubt that this video would win production awards, but its content is to be appreciated.
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