A sacred bundle or a medicine bundle is a wrapped collection of sacred items, held by a designated carrier, used in Indigenous American ceremonial cultures.
According to Patricia Deveraux, a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Alberta, "These are holy bundles given to us by the Creator to hold our people together... They're the same as the relics from the Catholic Church. They are a demonstration of the holy spirit. They can heal people."
According to Black Elk of the Oglala Lakota, the first woman chosen to care for the sacred bundle was Red Day Woman, and all women subsequently chosen to care for the sacred bundle are regarded as holy people.
To open or use a bundle without the proper ritual and ceremony portends disaster.
In Mesoamerica, the 'bundle' - as an idea, image and word - is seen as both the container, such as the wrapping of the bundle, and the contents, which could be any number of special objects possessing spiritual significance. Called tlaquimilolli among Nahuatl speaking peoples, the bundles were receptacles of divine force and served as symbols of group identity.
Historically, sacred bundles were also prominent among the Aztecs and the Quiché Mayas (see Popol Vuh). The pre-Aztec Borgia Codex uniquely visualizes the mystic powers emanating from such a bundle.
- Johnsrude, L. (2002) "Natives celebrate return of sacred bundle; Spirits back home", Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 12/1/08.
- Black Elk and Brown, J.E. (1989) The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Oglala Sioux. University of Oklahoma Press, 1989 p 18.
- David Freidel and F. Kent Reilly III (2010), The Flesh of God: Cosmology, Food, and the Origins of Political Power in Ancient Southeastern Mesoamerica. in Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Mesoamerica edited by John E. Staller and Michael D. Carrasco. pp. 635–680. Springer. ISBN 1441904719
- Olivier, Guilhem, and Susan Romanosky. "Bundles." In Davíd Carrasco (ed). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures, vol 1. New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.