Traditional American Indian Ceremony

The Traditional American Indian Ceremony


A week or two before a couple is married, the future husband’s parents make a Wedding Vase. When the vase has been made, the husband, along with his parents and relatives, go to the bride’s house.

The bride brings out everything she will need to establish the couple’s new home together: clothing, utensils, mattress, moccasins, corn and any other homemaking essentials, including her white manta wedding dress.

Both the bride’s and groom’s parents give the young couple advice to help them have a happy and successful marriage.

At the ceremony Indian holy water is placed in the Wedding Vase and the vase is turned and given to the bride. She drinks from one side of the vase, turns it around again and gives it to the groom, who the drinks from the opposite side. This ceremony symbolically unites them as one.

The couple will treasure the vase throughout their married life. The Wedding Vase is treasured and always protected. It is never used for another purpose such as a water pitcher or flower vase and is never broken or destroyed. Should one of them outlive the other, the remaining spouse gives the vase to a couple known to be living a happily married life.

Recounted by Margaret Gutierrez, a famous potter from Santa Clara Pueblo. New Mexico