Photo: Lisa McCann. Title: Inside a Navajo sweat lodge

Inside a Navajo sweat lodge

PHOTO: Lisa McCann 

Located in Arizona, the interior of this Navajo sweat lodge is a sacred space for physical and spiritual renewal and purification. It is made of cedar branches and covered with red earth. During a sweat ceremony, the doorway is covered with heavy blankets, creating complete darkness inside. Heated rocks are placed in the middle of the dome floor to generate intense heat, and cans of water are poured over the hot rocks to create steam. During the sweat ceremony, participants may sing special songs, say prayers, recite stories of their clans, or talk about current concerns. Whatever is spoken inside the sweat lodge remains confidential.