Although we are primarily a sewing /crafting group , we would also like to share some of the Lakota culture and traditions from time to time. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon on the Rez for a person to experience the death of a family member, close friend or neighbor frequently if not weekly. Life span for many is shorter there than the rest of the nation due to lack of good medical care, an inherent susceptibility to diabetes which leads to heart and kidney disease, a high suicide rate, especially in the youth, SIDS, cancer, liver disease from alcoholism and just living in poverty with all it’s harsh realities can bring premature death.
Sadly one of the families we work with on the Rez lost a loved one this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time as they deal with their loss. The family had been helping 2 other families through their grief each having lost a family member the week before.
Although there isn’t a standard or typical Lakota funeral for a loved one, many follow some of the same customs .
Star quilts are held sacred in the Lakota culture and are presented to someone at their birth, graduation, birthday, coming of age ceremony or other special event and lastly upon their death. Having been the recipient of a star quilt given to me by my Rez family, I have to admit I felt honored. Our friend will exchange star quilts with others and they will be used as part of the mourning ceremony. Learn how star quilts are made and their origin and significance.
After reading these articles maybe you will be inspired to make one. One of the grandmothers I visited with at the sewing circle on the Rez was still making a star quilt top every day at the age of 86. She had many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren whom she honored regularly.