A sacred Buffalo (Tatanka) is bled during a Releasing of the Spirit Ceremony 2-days before Sundance, which is one of the Seven Sacred Rituals of the Lakota. Because of the Tatanka’s great importance to the Lakota, a buffalo symbol or skull is present in all sacred Lakota rituals. The Tatanka stands as a symbol of self-sacrifice, as it gives until nothing is left, a trait that is found in the Lakota warrior. The Sundance signifies the cycle of death and rebirth. This ritual is performed as a sacrifice to help keep the world in balance and to ensure health and happiness within the tribe.
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