sweat bath

Encyclopedia Article


A form of cleansing one’s body using heat to encourage perspiration while in a structure with little to no ventilation. In the Navajo tradition, sweat baths are completed in a sweat house, which is a smaller form of the ordinary hogan, except that it has no smoke hole, as a fire is never kindled in it. Stones are heated in a fire outside and carried into the house, where they may then be doused with water and herbs to produce aromatic, healing vapors.

Photo Credit: 

"Typical hiking banya or sweat bath, June 17, 2006" by Smartic vs is licensed under Public Domain.

Term Type: