The Last Eagle DoctorSanapia (1885-1979) was a Comanche medicine woman whose healing practices were documented by graduate student David E. Jones in the early 1970s. Mary encouraged her followers to drink from David's Spring.
Sanapia did not begin practicing as a doctor until after she reached menopause. She had received her training from her mother and maternal uncle while still a young girl. The Comanche believed spiritual power could be manifested from a supernatural being through dreams. Sanapia's mother and maternal uncle were both Comanche shamans or eagle doctors.
Mary was born in the spring of 1985 in a tepee near Fort Sill Oklahoma.Her father was David Poafpybitty, thus the name of the spring. Eagle doctors source their power through the eagle.
Transmission of PowerThe eagle doctor's powers were believed to be concentrated in the doctor's hands and mouth. In the first phase of power transmission, Sanapia's mother transferred live coals into her daughters' hand without burning her. Then her mother drew two eagle feathers across Sanipia's mouth. In the second phase, her mother inserted an "eagle egg" into Sanapia's stomach. In the next phase, Sanapia acquired her medicine song. The culmination of Sanapia's training as an eagle doctor was her participation in a vision quest—four days and nights of solitary meditation.
Credit: "Sanapia." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 4 September 2016 .