Ċanśaśa is the traditional tobacco used by the Lakota and Dakota people. Traditional tobacco has been used by tribes of the Great Plains for centuries as a medicine with cultural and spiritual importance.
Actually, ċanśaśa is not tobacco at all. Use of the phrase “traditional tobacco” may have come about because ċanśaśa is sometimes burned in a pipe, which looks similar to smoking commercial tobacco.
Ċanśaśa is natural, from the Earth
It is made from the inner bark of the sacred red willow. It may also contain a mixture of herbs, berries, kinnikinnik, bear root, rosehips, petals, grape leaves, or white ash.
Ċanśaśa connects us with the spirit world and those around us.
Gathering, preparing, and using ċanśaśa is a sacred tradition passed down for generations. It brings those you love together and helps form a bond.
Lakota and Dakota people pray with ċanśaśa to the Four Directions and Ťuŋkaśila (the Great Spirit). When it is smoked in a sacred pipe, it is not inhaled into the lungs. The person smoking prays while savoring smoke in the mouth. When exhaled, the prayers are carried up with the smoke.