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Native American Wedding Traditions

From Apache to Cheyenne and Hopi to Sioux, Native American wedding customs are beautiful and vary according to tribe. One custom in particular requires the bride and groom to wash their hands to cleanse away evil and previous lovers. This is one of many significant Native American wedding rituals. A common theme among American Indian tribes involves Mother Earth and the Great Spirit. This is beautifully demonstrated throughout a Native American wedding. Ceremonies can be held in chapels, historical landmarks, Indian monuments, or reservations. Pow Wow drums provide lively music for the wedding reception festivities.

Blanket Ceremony

The Blanket Ceremony is one of the oldest and most endearing wedding traditions among some Native American tribes. This ritual entails using two blue blankets to represent the coupleís past lives. The couple are wrapped in blue blankets and led to a sacred circle of fire. The officiant or spiritual leader blesses the union and the couple shed the blue blankets and enveloped by relatives in a single white blanket which represents their new life. Under the white blanket, itís customary that the couples embrace and kiss. The white blanket is usually kept and displayed in the coupleís home.

Wedding Attire

The Native American bride may wear a white dress or a beautiful long leather dress with beading and traditional colors woven into the fabric. The traditional colors of Native Americans include White for east, Blue for south, Yellow for west, and Black for north. These four colors represent the four points of the earth. Native American brides may also wear moccasins and a wreath made of maize which symbolizes fertility.

Wedding Reception

The wedding feast consists of ceremonial foods such as white and yellow corn prepared in a delicious corn mush. The white represents the groom and the yellow represents the bride. The two types of corn are mixed to represent the new union.

Wedding Vase

The Cherokee and the Pueblo Indians use a special double-sided pottery wedding vase to sip a sweet corn liquid during the ceremony. Together, the couple moves in directions from north to south and east to west, to offer their blessings to all the earth. Wedding vases come in a wide assortment of colors and materials. See our selection of Native American Wedding Vases.

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