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What are representative Native American religious practices and aspects of cultural...

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dmcs1 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 18, 2013 at 8:39 PM via web

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What are representative Native American religious practices and aspects of cultural beliefs?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 21, 2013 at 3:13 PM (Answer #1)

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Native American religion is something many do not understand. Given it does not function in the same way most other religions do, some people have not even deemed the practices of Native Americans a religion.

Native Americans have medicine men (or shaman) to speak to the gods. These men have the ability to perform healings (with medicinal roots and plants), decide changes to traditions, and were considered the wisest of the tribe.

The Native Americans used animals to symbolize different spirits and ideas. Sometimes, they would use hallucinogenic drugs to go on spirit quests and journeys. These journeys and quests would educate or open the mind of the taker to new things. They also believed everything to be connected. They did not value the life of man over anything in nature, believing that all are inter-connected and worthy.

The "god" of Native Americans was sometimes known as "Master Spirit." This spirit was free from association with specific gender or specific form). Another major part of the Native American religions were the idea of the after-life. Like many religions, they believed in both good and bad spirits.

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