Mother earth spirituality in the heart of Derby  
Sacred Inipi

INIPI - commonly known as a sweat lodge

  • An inipi is a primitive construction of willow or hazel sticks bent to form a rough bender. In the middle is a stone pit. The procedure is as follows:
  • inipi is covered with blankets and tarpaulins
  • the leader asks all to pray to the four directions to cleanse and clear and also to bring in the energies of the four directions
  • the lodge is smudged and a ring of sacred cornmeal is laid around the lodge which signifies that the whole inipi and the firepit to the east is a sacred space, and that no-one except the firekeeper can cross the sacred boundary.
  • the ladies select stones according to the number suggested by the leader and ask Great Spirit for a prayer for each one. They then lay them carefully onto the plinth within the firepit.
  • The group goes very quiet and prayerful as the sacred spark that starts the fire is placed.
  • The fire will take about 1½ hours to get the stones to red heat, and during this time, the group will drum, and prepare prayer ties and generally "get ready"
  • People file into the inipi giving thanks to Grandfather Sky and the firekeeper, and then enter the inipi - "the womb of the earth" on their bellies, saying "I enter you, Grandmother Earth with love and respect.
  • The first of the stones are brought in, placed in the stone pit, and the praying begins.
  • There are usually four rounds
    • A round of thanksgiving prayers
    • a round of healing prayers
    • a pipe round for any prayers
    • a prayer for yourself
  • Then we have a feast!



The prayers are said out loud in the dark and the heat, and are powerful!