About Apache Tracker
Apache Tracker is a resource about survival, being a Physical and Spiritual warrior, and oneness with nature or "the spirit that moves in all things." I named this site in honor of the Apache. The Apache was the ultimate, survivor, warrior, guerrilla fighter, and lived in tune with his surroundings, on a spiritual and physical level. However you will find many other topics of interest on this site. Tracking is a mind set and awareness that goes beyond the physical to all levels, including the spiritual.
About the Author
About the Author
Roger Thunderhands Gilbert is an accomplished writer, musician, and artist. In his lifetime, he has done many things. These would include aviation, the martial arts, and a life long study of spiritual and tribal ritual. In the martial arts, his study has included three disciplines, Aikido, Kung Fu San Soo, and Tai Chi. He also worked with the Special Forces in a training capacity. In the field of aviation, he obtained his private, commercial, and instrument ratings as a pilot, with multi-engine, and flight instructor qualifications. He learned tracking as a boy and has worked with the sheriff’s search and rescue in that capacity. His spiritual knowledge includes in-depth study, and personal experience, with many shamanistic and esoteric practices. He is a practitioner of Kriya yoga, Kundalini yoga, Tantrika, and Chinese inner alchemy. In addition, he received his certificate in acupressure and uses several modalities for healing. He considers himself an authority on the Biblical teachings of Yeshua or Jesus, but considers himself spiritual, not religious. And last but not least, he has done an exhaustive study and been an activist of North American Native tribes and ritual. His own roots are of Métis descent, and his spirituality is universal.
The Sun Dance
The Sun Dance is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American tribes, primarily those of the Plains Nations. Each tribe has its own distinct practices and ceremonial protocols, but many of the ceremonies have features in common, including dancing, singing of traditional songs in the tribe's native languages, praying, drumming, the experience of visions, fasting, and in some cases piercing of skin on the chest, arms or back. Most notable for early Western observers was the piercing many young men endure as part of the ritual.
The object of being pierced is to sacrifice one's self to the Great Spirit, and to pray while connected to the Tree of Life, a direct connection to the Great Spirit. Breaking from the piercing is done in one moment, as the dancer runs backwards from the tree at a time specified by the leader of the dance. A common explanation, in context with the intent of the dancer, is that a flesh offering, or piercing, is given as part of prayer and offering for the benefit of one's family and community.
Though only some Nations' Sun Dances include the piercings, the Canadian Government outlawed some of the practices of the Sun Dance in 1880, and the United States government followed suit in 1904. However, the ceremony is now again fully legal (since Jimmy Carter's presidency in the United States) and is still practiced in the United States and Canada. Some dancers do not do pierce at all, such as the Shoshone in Wyoming. They may pierce if they desire to. A Sundancer must commit to dancing for four years.