August 10, 2011.
from O-Kee-Pa, a Religious Ceremony and Other Customs of the Mandan
Yale Univ Press, 1967 (1976 ed), a reprint of Caltin's book first published in 1867
I am posting this in honor of Fakir Musafar's birthday. In my early teens, I saw a reproduction of a Catlin painting similar to this (he did many paintings of this ceremony) at the Milwaukee Public Museum's Indian exhibit. The painting changed the direction of my life. I saw something. I knew something. I felt something. I just didn't know what any of that meant.
The memory of that image remained in my head for 15 years until the mid/late 1970s after moving to San Francisco, where I picked up a copy of PFIQ (Piercing Fans International Quarterly) and saw images of Fakir doing his own version of the O-Kee-Pa Ceremony. I was stunned and speechless. In that moment, my life again changed. In some odd, weird, strange way, all of a sudden, I discovered that I was no longer alone. I was no longer the only one. Happy Birthday, Fakir!