The future of the American Injun

Started by aitm, March 04, 2013, 10:00:30 PM

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aitm

Quote from: "stromboli"[spoil:o1msw9a4]http://www.indians.org/articles/native-american-religion.html
QuoteNative American rehttp://www.indians.org/articles/nativ ... igion.html
QuoteNative American religion is hard to explain. This is because there were very many tribes the religious principles were passed down verbally. Many of these groups had their own beliefs though many of them were similar in the major aspects.

Native American religion tends to focus around nature. The landscape, animals, plants, and other environmental elements play a major role in the religion of Native Americans. Many of the legends passed down were an attempt to explain events that occurred in nature.
Native American religion includes a number of practices, ceremonies, and traditions. These ceremonies may be in honor of a number of events. The practice of taking certain hallucinogens was commonly used to gain greater insight or communicate with the gods. Ceremonies may include feasts, music, dances, and other performances.

Symbolism, especially with animals, is often a common part of Native American religion. Animals were used to represent certain ideas, characteristics, and spirits. Some Native American tribes used animals to tell the story of creation. Some creation stories, one by the Tlingit Indians, were centered on a raven.

In the past, Native American religion was not classified as a religion. Their beliefs were not understood and the complexity of their religion was not seen. This was partly the result of not having a written set of guidelines.

In the place of preachers and clergymen were shaman and medicine men. These men were sometimes said to communicate with the gods. They were wise and experienced and they enjoyed a higher level of status among their groups. They had important roles in decisions, ceremonies, and traditions.

Native American religion is something that is hard to define. To gain a full understanding you really need to grow up submersed in the beliefs, practices, and traditions of a tribe. It isn't the same as becoming a born-again Christian or converting to Judaism.
ligion is hard to explain. This is because there were very many tribes the religious principles were passed down verbally. Many of these groups had their own beliefs though many of them were similar in the major aspects.

Native American religion tends to focus around nature. The landscape, animals, plants, and other environmental elements play a major role in the religion of Native Americans. Many of the legends passed down were an attempt to explain events that occurred in nature.
Native American religion includes a number of practices, ceremonies, and traditions. These ceremonies may be in honor of a number of events. The practice of taking certain hallucinogens was commonly used to gain greater insight or communicate with the gods. Ceremonies may include feasts, music, dances, and other performances.

Symbolism, especially with animals, is often a common part of Native American religion. Animals were used to represent certain ideas, characteristics, and spirits. Some Native American tribes used animals to tell the story of creation. Some creation stories, one by the Tlingit Indians, were centered on a raven.

In the past, Native American religion was not classified as a religion. Their beliefs were not understood and the complexity of their religion was not seen. This was partly the result of not having a written set of guidelines.

In the place of preachers and clergymen were shaman and medicine men. These men were sometimes said to communicate with the gods. They were wise and experienced and they enjoyed a higher level of status among their groups. They had important roles in decisions, ceremonies, and traditions.

Native American religion is something that is hard to define. To gain a full understanding you really need to grow up submersed in the beliefs, practices, and traditions of a tribe. It isn't the same as becoming a born-again Christian or converting to Judaism.
[/spoil:o1msw9a4]

What I know of their religion is that it is more like spiritualism or Shamanism. They give reverence to the earth and believe that animals have spirits, such as the Navajo belief on "Coyote" (coy-o-tay for you city people) who is seen as the Trickster and was a spirit similar to Loki in Norse myth, there to bedevil them. I know that Coyotes were guilty of stealing food from them, which is where that may come from. I do not know of any formalized religion per se other than Aztec, Mayan and Incan sacrificial rites. The ceremonial dances are often depictions of fables, wherein dancers dress variously as eagles, foxes and so on to dance out a story of how some important event  happened. I can tell you they are very connected to nature in their beliefs.
 
By the way, if any of you have read the Don Juan "Yaqui way of knowledge" books by Carlos Castaneda, they are crap. He made the whole thing up.

Animism is one of the steps known in the evolution of religion, given another hundred years or so, maybe the natives would have developed their own full deity.

Granted my limited knowledge is from questionable readings such as "Black Elk Speaks" ,  the delightful "American Indian Myths and Legends" and ones I can't even remember anymore, but I am nonetheless unwilling to grant immunity from criticism. How many years do we allow an individual to use the excuse no matter their history when the paths to a better life are not across the world or state of "river" but right in front of one? At some point in time, despite all the crimes committed by others, a person or a people must take responsibility for the path they continue on, especially knowing it is a useless path.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

PopeyesPappy

Quote from: "mnmelt"Maybe we could test out the Peyote sect.????  :shock:

Don Juan Matus is watching you.

Save a life. Adopt a Greyhound.


AllPurposeAtheist

Aitm..if you've ever been on a small reservation or even a big one you'll know opportunity is often only given to certain members of tribes and inside them are factions who do not agree on many things. Corruption is rampant, laws are not the same laws the rest of us live under. They have tribal laws and jurisdictions where certain groups are extremely oppressed while others live like kings because they control tribal laws, police and so on.. its an oppressive regime type situation that gets VERY little public attention and even less government intervention. Many live quite literally in the third world within the US and Candian borders..
All hail my new signature!

Admit it. You're secretly green with envy.

Thumpalumpacus

Quote from: "stromboli"Thousands of Canadian Indians were forcibly removed from their families and "re-educated" in Christian schools. Hundreds of them died trying to run away back to their families.

This happened in America as well.



http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/po ... allery.htm
<insert witty aphorism here>

aitm

Quote from: "AllPurposeAtheist"Aitm..if you've ever been on a small reservation or even a big one you'll know opportunity is often only given to certain members of tribes and inside them are factions who do not agree on many things. Corruption is rampant, laws are not the same laws the rest of us live under. They have tribal laws and jurisdictions where certain groups are extremely oppressed while others live like kings because they control tribal laws, police and so on.. its an oppressive regime type situation that gets VERY little public attention and even less government intervention. Many live quite literally in the third world within the US and Candian borders..

I understand folks. But are we stating facts or just giving excuses? History is full of dead cultures, vanquished cultures, dying cultures, even enslaved cultures. History is full of cultures that are active war zones where people still cling to existence despite the daily possibility of being shot as they exit their house/hut/tent/cave. Active war zones. Posses's chasing people in the night and chopping off limbs, hunt parties raping children and killing the adults. What does the Amerian Indian have in comparison to complain about? Apathy? Indifference? Bigotry? Oppression?

   At some time a people must be able to see what is to be seen. You wake to poverty and close the day in the same, same as the world over, except no one is actively trying to kill you. Passively maybe, but that remains a constant worldwide in almost every culture (there is always a culture within a culture where the "superior" has no issue if the "inferior" dies off) As a father, I would think, I would cherish my children enough to escape the mire, to fight to rise above, and I am sure many do that. But the culture is dying and it is dying because they refuse to adapt not because they cannot adapt.

It is fine, I suppose, in Paupau, to be content to live in the jungle as your anscestors did for a millenia, and I guess I have no qualms about the American Indian doing the same, but I see no reason to shed a tear when the path to obliteration is being steered by your own hand.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Jack89

Quote from: "AllPurposeAtheist"Aitm..if you've ever been on a small reservation or even a big one you'll know opportunity is often only given to certain members of tribes and inside them are factions who do not agree on many things. Corruption is rampant, laws are not the same laws the rest of us live under. They have tribal laws and jurisdictions where certain groups are extremely oppressed while others live like kings because they control tribal laws, police and so on.. its an oppressive regime type situation that gets VERY little public attention and even less government intervention. Many live quite literally in the third world within the US and Candian borders..

I'm sure some of the reservations are still pretty bad.  But you know what?  There's no law that says that can't leave, and many do just that.  The reasons Indians stay on the rez are the same reasons that other poor Americans stay in their messed up communities.  They stay because they can't afford to leave, or they'll miss their family and friends, or because they're afraid of leaving the community they know for one they don't.  It's no different.  As a poor white kid in a dying rural community I faced the same choice and joined the army.

American Indians have the same rights as any other American and even have an upper hand when it comes to things like applying for college, or a government job, or getting promoted in the military.  Certain tribes still get a boost from from the government in one way or another.  Oh, and let's not forget the monopoly on gambling.  

Some tribes are doing quite well with the profits from casinos and they're investing in their community.  Sure, there are some cases where outside investors take a big chunk of the profit, or the tribe is too big to see much of an individual profit, but there are some smaller tribes where most members don't have to work, and live quite well.

stromboli

I think ultimately they will disappear. Every generation that moves more of its people away from the central culture will contribute. To me it is kind of sad, because their culture is so rich and has an enormous history. But I agree with aitm, I think it is inevitable.