The Vision Quest Historical Marker


Harlem 59526,Havre Area,Blaine County

Map Location

Historical Markers/Interpretive Sign
General info

High points such as mountaintops and tabletop buttes are considered powerful and sacred areas by many Indian peoples. Snake Butte is one such location, often used as a place for the spiritual rite of vision questing. The individual vision quest is an intensely private ritual in which a man or woman seeks supernatural power or medicine. The Supreme Being grants this power through an intermediary spirit which can be a living or non-living entity such as an animal, a spider, a snake, or a rock. The devout quester may acquire powers of war, wealth, love, doctoring, or prophesy which must be used only to good ends; misuse brings very serious consequences, even death. First cleansing the body through a sweat lodge purification ceremony, the quester then withdraws to a secluded location for three to four days. Fasting and praying, the quester seeks contact with a spiritual being. The successful vision quest takes great concentration and courage. Not all quests are successful, but for those so chosen, acceptance of the power offered is a great responsibility, sometimes not without a price. It is said that those who acquire certain powers never live a long life.

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