"When I began to get sickly in my later years, I was in my locked room just as the sun was rising when a wanagi,a man dressed in the finest buckskin, came right through the door and spoke to me in the old way. The wanagi spirit spoke in the way spirits do and told me, "Purify yourself, purify your mind, and go up to find your way on the hill. They're waiting for you up there, Kola."
It was on this hill my life changed forever and my eyes were opened to what life really is for the first time. I was a new man. I was restored and I learned to walk a sacred road.
There are always seventy-five spirits with me and some of them are always talking to me. Right here in this bad ear they speak to me. There is only on God, but there are many, many spirits on this earth. Open your eyes to your reality, for it is in front of you.
When I pray in my Lakota way I pray in my words-we all need the same thing. We all need good health and help. Don't play with it. Don't play with your life. We need to help each other, to understand each other, to love each other."
-Agna Iyanka, Elmer Norbert Running, March 27th, 1993
Karl Hamann was a former baker's assistant and circus roustabout. He graduated from Burlington College in 1990. He is originally a native of Hazelock, Vermont and now resides in Red Wing, Minnesota.