AIDS Affects U.$. All -- The photography and Words of Morgan Alexander

A Project of The International Humanities Center

The Photography of
Morgan Alexander
   

Click on the picture to go back to the thumbnails page,
or use the arrows to go to the next image.
   

PREV


BACK

RICHARD
Oak Medicine Tipi & Sweat Lodge
The Ojai Foundation, Ojai, California
November 1990

Copyright © Morgan Alexander 2004

The sweat lodge is a traditional Lakota (Sioux) Indian rite of purification and prayer. A ceremonial fire is made with lava rocks and heated for several hours. The rocks are then transferred into a willow-framed lodge which is covered with blankets so the heat cannot escape. People crawl into the lodge on hands and knees and pray in total darkness. The sweat from their bodies is an offering to the Great Spirit.

The sweat lodge is a powerful healing ceremony for people with AIDS. Richard has a rare blood platelet deformity. He had a complete blood exchange and showed no abnormal cells for 3 weeks. The procedure cost $10,000 (in 1990) so he and his family could only afford to do it once.

As of 2004, Richard is still alive & living in the Arizona desert.

PREV


BACK