Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Medicine Bag is a traditional North American Indian container for various items of supernatural power. While anyone may have one, usually it would be the medicine man, or shaman, of a tribe who would carry one. As something that holds supernatural items, the medicine bag must also have some power of its own.
Medicine items attributed with various supernatural abilities for the bag would often be procured in a tribal custom known as a vision quest. This ceremony includes personal sacrifice: fasting and prayer over several days in a location isolated from the rest of the community, often involving hallucinogens. The purpose was to make contact with natural spiritual forces that help or guide people to reach their potential. The spirits, or totems would aid the individual to gather magical items, increase knowledge and aid personal growth.
Typical powers ascribed to medicine bags and their items include increasing hunting abilities, aiding fighting skills, healing allies, hindering enemies and altering the weather.
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