Native American Religion

Native American Religion

August 19, 2016

Superstitions of a ridiculous, and most extravagant nature, were found associated with these Indians, and even now, in almost every town, or hamlet, the child’s first education is a belief in their authenticity; and they grow up from infancy familiar with all their fabulous traditions. The effect tends to enervate their physical faculties, and weaken their mental, so that they naturally become a pusillanimous race of people, liable to be deceived, imposed upon, and of course easily influenced by the puplem, and old men, who are their sole instructors.

Native American Religion
August 19, 2016

The Instructions the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Gave to Their Children

One of the difficulties most perplexing to the Indians, was, the rearing and educating their children. They were unacquainted with the arts, excepting those most necessary for their maintenance, and ignorant of all useful knowledge to keep them from idleness; so that their only education consisted in the construction of the bow and arrow, with their peculiar uses, in procuring game and defending themselves from their enemies.

Although, ignorant as they were of the knowledge of the true God, the moral instruction given by parents to their children, was contained in the precepts of Chinigchinich, which were strongly impressed upon their minds, that they might become good, and avoid the fate of the evil.

Native American Religion
August 19, 2016

The temples erected by command of the God Chinigchinich, or the celebrated idolater Ouiamot, were invariably erected in the centre of their towns, and contiguous to the dwelling-place of the, captain, or chief; notwithstanding their houses were scattered about without any particular regard to order, still, they managed to have the location of his house as near the middle as possible.

Native American Religion
August 19, 2016

Chinigchinich is an ethnographic account of the culture and notably religious beliefs of the native Californians in the vicinity of the famous mission San Juan Capistrano. This is the mission where the swallows, legendarily, return every year. There is nothing, however, about the returning swallows in this book. Boscana was one of the few Spanish missionaries who, like Bishop Landa in the Yucatan, actually took an interest in the culture they were destroying.

Boscana was, typically, a bigot and a racist (he describes the Indians as being like monkeys). However, he lived among them for decades and obviously had an inquisitive mind and a talent for observation. While he condemns the practices and beliefs of the indigenous people, he describes them in great detail. Barring a time machine, this is the only first-hand account of mission-era Juaneños we will ever have.

The translator of this treatise, Alfred Robinson, was one of the first Yankees to settle in California.

Native American Religion
July 14, 2015

The general characteristics and origins of Native American religion shed light upon the more contemporary sects. But the development of the numerous individual traditions, passed down orally, remains unclear. The sheer number of groups and the diversity of the nuances of belief complicates matters further.

Native American Religion
March 2, 2015

The Indian Shaker Church is a Christian denomination founded in 1881 by Squaxin shaman John Slocum and his wife Mary Slocum in Washington. The Indian Shaker Church is a unique blend of American Indian, Catholic, and Protestant beliefs and practices. The Indian Shakers are unrelated to the Shakers of New England (United Society of Believers) and are not to be confused with the Native American Church.

Native American Religion
March 2, 2015

The Seven Drums Religion has many names. Called wáashat (Washat, meaning “dance”) or waasaní (Washani, “dancers” or “worship”) in the Sahaptin language of the Columbia Plateau, it is also known as the Sacred Dance Religion, the Longhouse Religion, or simply the Indian religion.

Native American Religion
November 14, 2014

The story of the Native American Church is one of cultural survival, social adaptation, and moral revitalization. On October 10, 1918, an intertribal coalition of Peyotists achieved legal definition for their religion through the incorporation of the Native American Church of Oklahoma.

Native American Religion

Pawnee Beliefs

4 Views
November 14, 2014

The Pawnee believe there are many powers in the world. At the creation of the world, lesser powers were made, because Tira’wa-tius, the Mighty Power, could not come near to man, or be seen or felt by him. These lesser powers dwell in the great circle of the sky.

Native American Religion
July 5, 2014

These Haudenosaunee spiritual concepts are intended as a general reference guide for students of Eastern Woodland mythology. The format will consist of a Name (and occasionally a translation in the Seneca or Seneca-Mingo dialects) with a description of the divinity.

Native American Religion
July 5, 2014

These Lakota spiritual concepts are intended as a general reference guide for students of Plains Indian mythology. The format will consist of a Name (and occasionally a translation) with a description of the divinity.

Native American Religion
December 6, 2013

The Omaha revere an ancient Sacred Pole, from before the time of their migration to the Missouri, made of cottonwood. It is called Umoⁿ’hoⁿ’ti (meaning “The Real Omaha”), and considered to be a person. It was kept in a Sacred Tent in the center of the village, which only men who were members of the Holy Society could enter.

Sacred Places
March 21, 2013

The Blackfeet Creator is Na’pi (Old Man). This is the word used to indicate any old man, though its meaning is usually loosely given as white. An analysis of the word Na’pi, however, shows it to be compounded of the word Ni’nah (man), and the particle a’pi, which expresses a color and which is never used by itself, but always in combination with some other word.

The Blackfeet word for white is Ksik-si-num’ while a’pi, though also conveying the idea of whiteness, actually describes the tint seen in the early morning light when it first appears in the east. The dawn is not a pure white, but has a faint cast of yellow. Na’pi, therefore, would seem to mean ‘dawn-light-color-man,’ or ‘man-yellowish-white.’ This is also the color of many old men’s hair.

Native American Religion
September 5, 2008

A 200-acre wooded site west of Tisch Mills guards its secrets well. Maybe that’s what its original inhabitants intended.But for historian Bruce Vandervest and several other investigators, the site, confirmed to be a sacred Native American burial ground, continues to draw them back in their determination to find out more: a Viking ship also may be part of the find.

Sacred Places
October 26, 2007

Many days passed before the joy of that day settled deeply into my heart and I could move forward to thinking on the realities of the present situation of the buffalo on our People. 

The senseless slaughter of 60 million buffalo brought the herds to the point of extinction. 

There was no reverence held for the sacred, life-giving buffalo. These creatures were nothing more than money in pockets and an insane “sport” to people who shot them for no purpose other than target practice. There was no honor and no thanks given for the taken life and the buffalo were left to rot beneath the sun. 

Native American Religion
March 24, 2007

by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer******** I am a 60 year old activist who is spearheading an international movement to revert the derogatory name of Minnesota’s “Rum River” back to its sacred Dakota Indian name Wakan, sometimes spelled Wahkon, and translated as (Great) Spirit. And I am also spearheading a movement to change 11 other MN geographic […]

Sacred Places
March 24, 2007

By Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer

On a Mille Lacs Kathio State Park interpretive sign, Leonard E. Wabasha is quoted as saying: “My people are the Mdewakanton Oyate. Mdewakanton means the People of Spirit Lake. Today that lake is known as Mille Lacs. This landscape is sacred to the Mdewakanton Oyate because one Otokaheys Woyakapi (creation story) says we were
created here. It is especially pleasing for me to come here and walk these trails, because about 1718 the first Chief Wapahasa was born here, at the headwaters of the Spirit River. I am the eighth in this line of hereditary chiefs.” (reference 1.)

Sacred Places
June 5, 2006

AUTHOR: Mina Vedder

The old-growth forest in Arlecho Creek is special to the Lummi tribe. It is a place of spiritual worship and a place to interact with Mother Nature.

The clear morning sun filters through the branches of the forest and droplets of dew rest on the surrounding fauna. Birds chirp in unison — a wake-up call for the other wildlife in the forest. This area of Arlecho Creek, located near Mount Baker, is home to cedar, fir and hemlock trees that are centuries old and home to the endangered murrelet bird.

Sacred Places

The Sun Dance

4 Views
August 20, 2005

The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced differently by several North American Indian Nations, but many of the ceremonies have features in common, including dancing, singing and drumming, the experience of visions, fasting, and, in some cases, self-torture.

Native American Religion
February 10, 2005

Haudenosaunee thanks giving prayer….KEYWORDS: native american prayer thanksgiving prayer haudenosaunee prayer seneca prayer turtle clan prayer cornplanter tribe indian prayers prayer of thanks giving give thanks AUTHOR: Family members state that the following prayer, as translated into English, was confirmed as being accurate by a woman who, at the time, was the hereditary Grandmother of […]

Native American Prayers
October 27, 2004

Anishinabe prayer carrier.. KEYWORDS: anishinabe prayer carrier ojibwe ojibwa ojibway chippewa anishinabeg anishinaabe eagle power totem animals spiritural power of birds animals culture tradition religious beliefs The graceful bird of the skies, the eagle, is the prayer carrier and messenger of the Anishinabe people. As the eagle soars arose the skies, one knows he is […]

Native American Prayers
May 22, 2004

According to historical documents found in, “Minnesota Geographic Names”, a book written by Warren Upham, and published by the Minnesota Historical Society… in the late 1700s, white men gave the Rum River its current name by way of a “punning translation” that “perverted the ancient Sioux name Wakan”. In Minnesota, “the land of ten thousand […]

Sacred Places
November 13, 2002

KEYWORDS: Thanksgiving Prayer thanksgiving prayer Iroquois seneca Indian prayer for Thanksgiving Lord of the Sky in the beginning of all things be thankful sister corn clinging sisters beans sister squash three sacred sisters sacred fire Iroquois language Seneca language Gwa Gayant’ gogwus Ona’o the sacred food Nyo’sowane, our sister squash Oa’geta, our sister beans FWDP […]

Native American Prayers
June 25, 2002

AUTHOR: Suzan Shown Harjo, Columnist, Indian Country Today
Native American sacred places are where Native Peoples who practice their
traditional religions go to pray for the good day, the precious earth, the
blessing waters, the sweet air and peaceful life for all living beings the
world over.

Sacred Places
February 9, 2002

Keywords: eagle feather Eagle feathers EAGLE FEATHERS significance of the eagle feather eagle feather taboos eagle feather ceremony cerimonial uses eagle ceremonies eagle feather story eagle feather restrictions Source: Oral History as told by Ken Saunders All Native North American Peoples attach special significance to the eagle, and its feathers. The eagle flies higher and […]

Native American Religion
January 10, 2002

AUTHOR: Joe S Sando, Jemez Pueblo Six months of every year, the kachinas resided in the mountains to the west, where they could be seen as cloud banks gathering above the peaks. Then shortly after the winter solstice, they would return to the pueblo. Summoned in secret kiva ceremonies, the kachinas arrived through the sipapu […]

Kachina Gods

The kachinas

4 Views
January 10, 2002

AUTHOR: Michael Lomatuway’ma, Hopi

Among all Pueblo people, religion plays a vital role in daily life. At the heart of religious life, particularly among western groups like the Hopi and Zuni, were the infinitely helpful kachinas-also sometimes called katsinas.

Kachina Gods
September 29, 2001

Grandfather, Tunkasina, you are giving us life again. For many days we were lonesome for you. Earth was cold and the winds were strong. But now we hear songs. Your children are singing, and we are happy. They are singing, and we are lighthearted.

Native American Prayers