Many months ago, I was asked by a good friend, if I would consider building her a sweat lodge. She may have been impressed by my hand-built wooden boats sitting around the home, but I deferred the question to the peoples who inhabited the Northwest during it’s tribal bloom… They could steer her toward a correct lodge. I only new of the materials and had none of the cultural underpinning for such a task. Months went by and her persistence; as like Saint Exupery’s Little Prince caught me in the web. I didn’t think the project was above or below me but rather wasn’t “of me”; but this resistance gave way to the thought of assisting with an object that would be sacred and treated as such for the purpose of healing. I’m so glad I got caught in the web, and I want to build more.
Materials came from recent Western Red Cedar prunings I had made in the lowlands. Much time was spent preparing the site for a level surface built on mineral soil and topped with 1″ of resinous pine bark. Lashings were made with 3/8″ hemp while the hoops were bonded with Moku hitch lashings; and all was coated with many brushings of oil and varnish. The lodge is 10′ in diameter and up to 54″ tall at it’s peak.
Think about it, a sweat lodge outside your back door in the dreary winter months to recover your soul and heal your body.