Native American sweat lodge ceremonies are for cleansing and purification. Native Americans have used this ceremony representing the re-entry into the womb of mother earth for centuries. They build it out of saplings that bend over and are tied down. Traditionally buffalo skins were used to cover it. Stones heated over a fire were brought in and dried cedar and sage were used to help with the purification process.
The spiritual leader who watches and leads the proceedings is called the water pourer and leads the participants in prayer inside.