On our fourth day at Pine Ridge reservation, students from both camps came to Kyle and were giving the unique opportunity to join the Lakota campers to collect sage. They taught us how the sage are collected and dried (by folding the bundles and tying the bundles of sage with red ribbons). We were taught the difference between male and female sage plants (only cut the male plants). Ethel later taught us about tobacco ties, and their purpose in the Lakota culture. The purpose of the tobacco ties were for making prayers, and in order to make a prayer you must have a clear mind and your wishes will be answered clear as well. It meant a great deal to us to have their trust to be able to do these unique experiences.
by Linh Luong