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In the Plains area, one of the most profound rites is that of the smoking of the pipe. In this ritual smoking of the pipe, all who participate are joined in a communal ritual act, and when it is finished, everybody who has shared in the smoking of the pipe recites the phrase, in Lakota in this case, “mitakuye oyasin”– “we are all relatives.” We are all related, because in this rite we have all become one within a mystery that is greater than any of its parts. —Joseph Epes Brown