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Unformatted text preview: It is apparent that the circle shape is sacred as well. Like many American Indian tribes, the Sioux did not use the wheel for practical purposes until they began to adopt the technology of the whites. For example, the "pony drag" that Black Elk frequently refers to, a kind of horse-drawn sled used to move people and equipment, was used instead of a wagon or cart with wheels. For Black Elk, the number four denotes a circle, not a square, as the four directions denote the earth. The sacred hoop of his nation that he refers to is the integrated and united community of his people, imagined as within a circle. The base of the tepee is circular, and an encampment of tepees was usually arranged in a circle. Black Elk's vision of the horses in the four different directions has visual similarities to a mandala, a circular design with geometric components originally used in Hinduism and Buddhism to...
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- Fall '08