I've read that in the sun-dance, a religious ceremony carried by the Lakotan Indians, the hands and feet are painted red; and the shoulders are painted blue. The latter is to signify the spirit of the sky.
Q. What does the symbolism of red signify here?
One such ceremony was carried out by Chief Sitting Bull before the Battle of Little Big-Horn where afterwards he was given a famous vision.
The author also noted that this particular sun-dance was performed in order for Sitting Bull to take on the troubles of his tribe on to himself. This has interesting parallels to Catholic theology where Christ is said to have taken on the sins of the world on himself.
Q. Has there been any serious work investigating this parallel in Lakotan philosophy/theology?.
Notably, there was a series of Vatican edicts arising from the modern European discovery of the Americas on judging the humanity of the Native Americans.
Q. Has there been a serious work that looks at the Vatican edicts in the light of the above parallel?
I think the latter question is important in light of the recent opening of the Vatican archives on Pope Pius (who was pope during the second world war) to historians...