What is a Medicine Bag?
A ‘medicine bag’ was an important part of the equipment used by a Shaman. It was a special container for various items of supernatural power used by a Medicine Man to carry ‘medicine’, or symbols, of animal spirits used for treating sickness and disease. The Medicine Bag contains both symbolic and ritual items.
Traditionally a medicine bag or bundle contains something from the plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms and from the life of man. Medicine bags of Shamans were often made from pelts of panthers, raccoon, otter, beaver, reptiles, or birds and included items to aid in healing, in rituals, and altering the weather.
The inclusion of paint in a Medicine bag was an important addition to the bundle. Medicine Men often chose certain mystical markings for warriors and that powerful magic was passed on during the application of the War Paint helping the warrior to believe himself invincible.\
Traditionally, medicine bags are worn under one’s clothing.