Native American faiths and Australian Aboriginal religions, broadly speaking, share the following characteristics:
They are oral. They don't have written creeds or texts but rely on spoken communication of religious tenets. This can lead to a level of fluidity in foundational stories, such as creation accounts, which can change over time. Orality also lends a personal aspect to the faith: an individual learns the faith through people they know, not through thousands-of-years-old sacred texts.
They are connected to geographic location. These faiths are often tied to specific places: a certain rock, stream, mountain, or valley might have unique spiritual significance. A tribe or group cannot be displaced from their ancestral lands without a severe disruption of their faith. The concept that places are imbued with spiritual significance also leads to a great reverence for nature and a desire to live in harmony with its spiritual forces.
T here is usually little division between the sacred and...
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