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Sweat Lodge

James Kendi is a filmmaker and photographer living in New York. He studied Fine Art Photography at BARD COLLEGE (1995-1999) and is currently employed in the Photography department at the Cooper Union School of Art. He finished his first short film, Crocker, last winter..

Kendi will be building a Sweat Lodge, which is a ceremonial or ritual sauna in many cultures. Guests are encouraged to help construct the structure, usually a domed or oblong hut similar to a wickiup, a permanent structure made of wood or stone, or even a simple hole dug into the ground and covered with planks or tree trunks. Water is poured on heated stones to create steam, which aids in producing sweat, leading to detox and purification. In ceremonial usage, these ritual actions are accompanied by traditional prayers and songs.