Shamans

The Shaman of a band could be either a man or a woman. When not participating in a band, tribe, or family related activity, the Shaman would practice songs, pray to personal spirits, and  prepare the equipment used in rituals. Supposedly a vision or dreams gave the shaman power and  songs. Normally the shaman was exceptionally intelligent, and would use psychological means to cure some ailments. The Shaman was always watched over because he or she had powers (visions and dreams) that could be used for good or bad.

The Shaman was called on to cure illness, dance/sing above the body and go into a trance to talk to  the spirits on behalf of the patient; usually done after midnight. If healed the shaman offers his advice for the sick to change its lifestyle.  The family feeds those who have attended this ceremony as a thank you.

The Native Americans of the Great Basin saw the Creator in all of nature. There were large  aspects of nature that they did not understand, thusly, they determined nature was dictated by a  divine power, sometimes good, sometimes evil and punishing. Among beliefs were those that  animals had special powers. The most common animals in these beliefs were the wolf and  coyote. The wolf was usually wise and helpful, while the coyote was mischievous and devious.

People believed that the Shaman's powers were given to them through dreams. The good dreams taught the Shaman healing powers, special songs, and located the tobacco and instruments to use  for curing ceremonies.

Sweathouses were used for ceremonies and to cure the sickness of individuals, bathers, and the Shaman. It was a dome shaped building with a frame made out of willow and the door was hide­  covered. Rocks were heated outside, then brought in and put around the patient or bather. Water  was poured so that steam would come up from the rocks. Very religious of the Supernatural  Spirits, prayers were given at these baths or during washings.