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Traditionally smudge was burned in a shell, abalone being the favorite amongst most Native Americans. The abalone is a beaufitul shell with little holes on the side that provides good ventilation. It will resist high temperatures without cracking.
The abalone, for some tribes, is symbolic of the Great Goddess of the Pacific Ocean. In the purification process of smudging, the four elements are represented: The match rep- resents the fire element, the herbes and ashes the earth, the smoke representing the air and the shell symbolises the water element.