The center of the universe: A ceremony at Pipe Spring Sweat Lodge

James E McCarty, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The Sweat Lodge at Pipe Spring is a healing place for many people. The spiritual leader of the lodge is a Southern Paiute man who conducts open ceremonies so that all people may participate in the process of cleansing body and spirit. The ritual process brings together the positive effects of group interaction and fosters spiritual growth for individuals and the group. The Lakota style sweat lodge ceremony was introduced by an Assiniboine man and the ceremony has incorporated Paiute and Christian elements through cultural adaptations. Though the ceremony has been borrowed and has undergone some changes, its effectiveness as a place of spiritual and physical healing remains strong.