Native American Wedding Traditions- Tribal Way

Most of the Native Americans desire to take the matrimonial vows in their Native American Wedding traditions. This would keep their rich heritage and culture alive. Wedding is also an opportunity to respect their tribe, community and land. The weddings are full of symbolism. Each tribe has its own wedding customs, but some basic traditions remain same throughout the community.

Native American Wedding Traditions


The seven steps of commitment

The couple has to take seven step around the sacred fire clockwise. The groom takes the first step, stops and recites the first vow of matrimony. The bride does the same for the second step. This way both of them complete the seven steps of union. At the same time, they both exchange small gifts to show their love for each other. The gifts can be feathers, ears of corn, stones etc. Feathers are symbols of loyalty, stones for strength and ears of corn stand for fertility. In this way, they take vows of loyalty, strength and growth. The guests present form a circle around the couple and the fire.


The circle of togetherness

Many believe that this custom has been taken from the contemporary wedding, it has become a part of the Native American wedding tradition. The exchanging of rings symbolizes the never-ending love between the bride and the groom.


Wrap the troubles with blanket

The blanket ceremony is an integral part of the Indian wedding custom. The bride and the groom are wrapped in blue blankets. These blue blankets stand for hardships and sorrows of the previous lives. After the union is over the blankets are removed and the newly weds are wrapped in a single white blanket. They are together in the blanket for the rest of the ceremony.


United by fire

A circle of fire is made with stones and seven kinds of wood. One big fire circle is in the center and two smaller ones are on the north and south of it. All the three are unlit. The two small fire circles are the individual lives of the groom and the bride. The small circles are lit and prayers are offered. The couple push their circles into the bigger fire circle to ignite it.

Thus, like any other wedding, the Native American wedding traditions are full of gaiety and celebrations.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *