from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A period of spiritual seeking among certain Native American peoples, often undertaken as a puberty rite, that typically involves isolation, fasting, and the inducement of a trance state for the purpose of attaining guidance or knowledge from supernatural forces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rite of passage in some Native American cultures, representing a turning-point in life before puberty and consisting of a journey alone in the wilderness, sometimes accompanied by fasting, leading to a vision from a spirit.


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  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


    Date: 1922

    : a solitary vigil by an adolescent Native American boy to seek spiritual power and learn through a vision the identity of his usually animal or bird guardian spirit

    February 23, 2008