Canadian Native Religion Essay Research Paper Native

Canadian Native Religion Essay, Research Paper

Native faith is one of a alone and cryptic nature. This may be due to the fact that its Native faith is really different from the Christian and other dominant faiths in society today. The native people see sacredness in all that surrounds them and for it to be labeled as a belief is an unbelievable understatement. It is more than a belief ; it is a lifestyle. This essay will analyze the several different facets of this life style such as narratives, objects, people and ceremonials. Each of these facets contributes in it ain manner to the Native religious universe. Many different folks believe that they were created from some sort of Godhead. These narratives can be highly different with each folk, the Ojibway, North Pacific and the Kansa are illustrations of folks with different Godheads. The Ojibway people believe that the Great Spirit created a male and a female Crane in the upper and lower universe. This Godhead lowered them to earth where they were to do a place for themselves. The undertaking was to happen an appropriate topographic point and when they did they would alter to adult male and adult females. The Cranes tried many topographic points and none of them suited them. Finally, the Cranes came to an mercantile establishment of Lake Superior which suited them rather all right. These Cranes became the first parents of the Crane Clan of the Ojibway people. ( Coffer, pg. 86,1978 ) A 2nd illustration of a folk & # 8217 ; s position of the creative activity is the Haida of the North Pacific. The Haida believed that there was a clip before the universe changed. During that clip all animate beings spoke the same linguistic communication and had the same signifier, they merely differed in what is known as & # 8220 ; kernel & # 8221 ; . At some point in clip the Earth changed and the animate beings separated. This was known as the outgrowth of adult male. Each carnal species became distinguishable but non separated from the natural universe. This unity and integrity is the primary basic fact of all American Indian doctrine. Finally, the Kansa is the 3rd folk that will be used as an illustration of originative beliefs. The Kansa people believe that the Great Spirit created adult male and adult female. They besides believed that this creative activity was prior to the creative activity of the Earth. They were placed on a little island where they were to remain. Quarreling occurred as kids were born and coevals after coevals came approximately. Finally the island became overpopulated and some people were put out to sea. The people prayed for a larger country and the Great Spirit answered their supplications. The Great Spirit sent down beavers, muskrats, and polo-necks to enlarge the island. Finally trees grew and the foliages were used to do alien birds. Deer, American bison and other animate beings were created every bit good. In clip the full circle of the universe was created and filled with life and beauty. ( Coffer, pg.87, 1978 ) In the Native beliefs much of the objects in their civilization focal point around the form of the circle. The circle is a really important form because it illustrates many things. For one illustration, it displays integrity and togetherness. This togetherness is really apparent in about every facet of Native civilization. As good, there are some objects, which are non in the circle formation. Important objects such as the Medicine wheel, the Dream Catcher, the Teaching Wand, Sweet grass and the perspiration Lodge are illustrations that do non purely follow the circle. To get down, the Medicine Wheel represents a really sacred facet in Native spiritualty. The Native people use it because of their strong belief in its powers. This object is wrapped in cervid and moose fell and the unit of ammunition circle represents the circle of life. Traditionally, eagle plumes are attached to the sides of the frame. It should be noted that eagle plumes were in high demand because of their sacredness ; hence, other plumes may be used every bit good. The Medicine Wheel contains all facets of life. The four colourss of life and the four seasons are displayed in the signifier of young girl beads. The four colourss are ruddy, white, black and xanthous. The four seasons are found within the coloured beads. The Dream Catcher is besides a really important constituent in the Native civilization. This object was made out of ruddy willow and formed in the circle form, which illustrates togetherness. The Dream Catcher was traditionally used by the forest Indians and hung in the Lodges towards the E. The intent of the Dream Catcher was to catch all dreams, both good and bad. The bad dreams would be caught in the webbing that was located in between the frame, and held at that place. Finally, the dreams would be burned off when the first forenoon visible radiation occurred. The good dreams on the other manus, would happen their manner to the centre of the Dream Catcher where a hole was located and filter into the bird of Jove plumes where they would remain to be dreamed about at another clip. ( Waugh, Prithipaul, pg. 45,1977 ) A 3rd sacred object, which was used during a assortment of ceremonials, was the Teaching Wand. This object illustrated control and a sense of power. Traditionally, the Teaching Wand was used during ceremonials that involved instructions from the seniors. This specific wand was constructed out of wood and was shaped like a star. All of the bearings ; North, South, East and West were included with the top of the star stand foring the sky. The Teaching Wand in different ways was used to state narratives of the old ways and base on balls on the tribes history. ( Waugh, Prithipaul, pg.167, 1977 ) A 4th object is sweet grass. This particular signifier of grass was used on a regular footing during ceremonials and assorted Acts of the Apostless of purification. Its primary usage was to sublimate the individual utilizing it. This particular grass had an olfactory property, which was really powerful in the religious sense. The olfactory property gave off a esthesis of cleanliness and integrity, which was considered necessary in Native ceremonials. The Sweet grass was considered a cardinal constituent in Native ceremonials particularly during supplication because it allowed the interior ego to come out and position chances in a new frame of head. This peculiar grass provided a peace of head for the single utilizing it. ( Hirshfelder, Molin, pg.31,1992 ) Finally, the last sacred object, which is in fact a edifice, is the Sweat Lodge. This peculiar topographic point is considered really sacred because it excessively contributed to the peace of head and the act of purification. Prior to many ceremonials persons will travel into the perspiration Lodge for the purification. A perspiration bath is considered to be one of the chief ways by which ritual purification is achieved. As good, some ceremonials are conducted in the perspiration Lodge because the Natives insist on keeping their ceremonials in a natural surrounding. Perspiration Lodges are used for a figure of grounds: it is a spiritual rite to sublimate the organic structure, intervention to bring around sick wellness and a societal map. The Sweat Lodge is a canvassed covered model, which holds a big measure of heat. Initially, the heat is really uncomfortable, nevertheless, after some continuance one does non detect it because he or she is in another frame of head. ( Hirschfelder, Molin, pg.33, 1992 ) As antecedently noted, the Native people are really religious people and hence they participate in many ceremonials. Due to their traditional nature, many of the ceremonials are good planned and really specific. Ceremonies are conducted for a figure of grounds whether it is to delight look or honour a spirit. Many facets are involved in ceremonials such as dance, drumming, and singing. The vocalizing, nevertheless, is more like calls and groans because these express more than we do. ( Deloria, pg.16, 1994 ) They follow the well known stating & # 8220 ; Actions speak loude

R than words.” The Natives are really emotional and express much of their feelings through ceremonial. There are several types of ceremonials such as the Sun Dance, The Shaking Tent, The Scratching ceremonial and the pipe ceremonial to call a few.

Many ceremonials require an endurance of hurting, which makes the act more particular and meaningful due to the personal forfeit. The Sun Dance is considered one of those peculiar ceremonials. & # 8220 ; The Sun Dance is considered one of the best known and most dramatic spiritual ceremonials to Native North American. & # 8221 ; As good, it is considered one of the most hard to carry through because it involves striping oneself of liquid for the full continuance of the ceremonial. This ceremonial has besides been given the name & # 8220 ; The Thirsting Dance & # 8221 ; for this ground. The Sun Dance serves many maps. It is held to pray for birthrate and to protect the people from danger or unwellness. ( Hirschfelder, Molin, pg 52, 1992 ) In respects to the Shaking Tent, this ceremonial is performed because it is felt that the agitating collapsible shelter can foretell the hereafter. An senior or Shaman places himself inside the collapsible shelter for a period of clip. Finally, the collapsible shelter begins to agitate. During this clip it is said that a vision about the tribes hereafter appears to the priest-doctor. ( Hirschfelder, Molin, pg.53,1992 ) Another ceremonial that the Native people participate in is the Rubing Ceremony. This sacred rite is believed to be good to 1s wellness. The upper arm, lower arm and the dorsum of each four times. After the scrape has taken topographic point the adult females and kids rinse with H2O and are free to interrupt their announced fasts. ( Hirshfelder, Molin, pg.71, 1992 ) Finally, the last sacred ceremonial is called the Pipe ceremonial. This involves strategic placement of people that participate in the ceremonial. Once once more the ceremonial is conducted in a circle formation which allows all of the integrity of the persons to unify. Each person has a certain map as they do in every other ceremonial. The Pipe ceremonial involves a sum of seven stairss. The first is referred to as the & # 8220 ; Calling & # 8221 ; and this is when everyone who is take parting in the ceremonial is summoned together as a group. The 2nd measure is called & # 8220 ; The Gathering & # 8221 ; and this is when everyone places him or herself in the appropriate place. This is when the passing of the Sweet grass in a clockwise manner happens for the purification of all of the participants. & # 8220 ; Preparation & # 8221 ; , the 3rd measure, now occurs. In the readying phase many things occur. First, the alter is prepared by puting a tegument or cover at the western room access of the circle. Traditionally, there is a fire combustion in the western room access as good. While the participants place themselves they will frequently take their places or mocassins and other objects that may be foreign tot he spirits. Upon the cover, a fan of bird of Jove plumes is dispersed. These are used to accelerate the fire and scatter the fume from the firing Sweet grass to everyone. As good, an bird of Jove bone whistling and a rattling normally out of bone, are laid upon the cover. A four colored fabric, which are the four traditional colourss, is placed in forepart of the fire. Besides, a bowl of H2O, which symbolizes the female parent Earth & # 8217 ; s blood, is included. After all of this readying has occurred the 4th phase begins. This measure is referred to as & # 8220 ; The Teaching & # 8221 ; . In this measure a learning wand may be used, nevertheless, it is non necessary. The people are taught, that during this ceremonial the great forces of the Sun, the Moon, Thunder Beings and the Spirit universe will all be invoked. As good, during this measure a medical specialty wheel may help the instruction. The 5th measure so occurs and this is referred to as the & # 8220 ; Invocation & # 8221 ; . In this measure, the bird of Jove bone whistling is used to alarm the celestial spheres that a great assemblage has begun. The six grampss are called upon utilizing vocal. This vocal signifies that the minute of the & # 8220 ; Pipe Prayer & # 8221 ; has come which is the six measure. In this period the people are invited to talk out in their ain words and concerns that they may hold brought to the assemblage. Once everyone has spoken everyone puts his or her focal point into offering of the baccy. A hot coal or the firing Sweet grass ignites the pipe and it is passed from oral cavity to talk. Once this part has been completed, the attender takes up the rattling or membranophone and begins to pray for everyone there while crushing the membranophone. At this clip a strong religious sense is felt and messages are given. A great love develops as Black Marias open up. Finally, the last measure occurs the & # 8220 ; Conclusion & # 8221 ; . An senior is invited to give thanks for the H2O and nutrient and everything is shared. ( Eastman pg. 31, 1993 ) In add-on to the existent ceremonials a really of import act is practiced. This act is normally known as smudging and is considered to be a really valuable portion of the ceremonial. Because it is so valuable to the Natives it should be dealt with individually from the ceremonials. Smearing normally occurs during all ceremonials because it excessively is an act of sublimating oneself. All Natives participate in smudging ; nevertheless, the points in which they smudge may differ. The points may run from Sweet grass, Tobacco, Cedar and Sage. Although the points are rather different, they are all considered sacred. This procedure gives the Natives a sense of good being and peace during the ceremonial. ( Eastman, pg.32, 1993 ) Along with the act of smudging, cardinal people are involved in the ceremonials. Important people such as seniors or Shaman play a cardinal function in any ceremonial. Shamans can be referred to as tribal specializers or medicine work forces. Shamans are persons both work forces and adult females who straight experience the presence of liquors either due to illness, a dream, a vision, or some congenital sensitiveness. These experiences give the priest-doctor the direct sacred cognition. As good, these particular people are capable to prosecute in phenomenal things such as ; announcing the hereafter, foretelling game motions and bring arounding unwellness. Due to this extrodinary power, people sometimes view Shamans as enchantresss who may utilize their power to destruct instead so mend. Despite the negative stereotype that they may hold, Shamans are cardinal people in the Native ceremonial. ( Hirschfelder, Molin, pg.86, 1992 ) When analyzing Native spiritualty it is apparent that it is a batch more complex so meets the oculus. It is non merely a clump of mumbo elephantine and smoking grass in a tee urine. There is a distinguishable and romantic quality to Native faith. From the Shaman you have a wise religious leader, a baronial who is responsible for his or her folk in a non political manner. The fact that there is so much history in there narratives of creative activity and sacred objects. Besides every faith has many different ceremonials for worship but unlike many western faiths there is no 1 in charge or sermon in the Native ceremonial. Every adult male or adult females is an equal spouse in the spiritual ceremonial. It is impossible to acquire the full consequence of a peoples spiritualty from researching books, but I now know that I will halt and see a POW Wow the following clip I drive by one on Manitolin Island. I will surely esteem baccy more now that I realize how sacred it is. I will seek to understand Native spiritualty more now.

Coffer W.E. Liquors of the Sacred Mountains, Litton Educ. Pub. Inc. , Toronto: 1978. Deloria V. God is Red-A Native of Religion, Fulcrum Publishing, Colorado: 1994 Eastman C. The Soul of An Indian, The Authoritative Wisdom Collection, Toronto: 1993 Hirschfelder The Encyclopedia of Native American Religions, Library of Congress, Molin A. New York: 1992

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