The Vision Quest Historical Marker

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Harlem 59526,Havre Area

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Historical Markers/Interpretive Sign
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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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