Native American Spirituality

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Date Submitted: 02/21/2011 09:04 AM

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Native American Spirituality


Every country all around the world has many different religious groups that have many different religious practices that are performed. One of the “religions” that I decided to learn more about is the traditions of the Native Americans that live around my region. I chose the Native Americans because I figured it would be interesting to learn what they do for religious practices. An interesting fact that I found out right off hand was that they do not follow what everyone calls a religion; they just have spiritual beliefs and gatherings. After interviewing a member of the Native American Spiritual culture, I have learned much more about the way the Native American’s believe.

During the interview, I first questioned Val, my Native American boss, what she would say if I had mentioned that Native Americans believe in God. She told me that there is no such thing. Native Americans do not believe in God, they just have spiritual influences. There is no higher power that they specifically believe in. She told me that they believe in the spirits of the dead and animals to get them through to the other side of life when the time comes. Also, there is no specific place of gathering like a church that they attend regularly. These two answers are definitely unlike any religion that I have come across.

I then went on to ask what types of traditions are sacred to them that represent their spirituality. She named a few things including; Feasts, Funerals, Pow Wow’s, and spreading tobacco. I asked her to explain a couple of the traditions that she had mentioned. She started by explaining the Feast tradition. When there is someone who falls ill or something joyous happens for someone, they throw a feast where everyone that attends brings a dish to pass. They believe that if they have a gathering to help support the person that whatever they are feasting for will help them through. The next tradition that she explained to me was about the...