In what ways did the religious beliefs of Indian peoples reflect their environment adaptations?

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saintfester eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Native Americans have a deep respect for their natural environment. Since they depended on their surroundings for everything they needed to survive, they developed a spiritual connection to the land they lived on that is hard for modern people to truely understand. The tribes of the Great Plains, who depended on the Buffalo for everything they needed, considered the animal a sacred gift and the physical manifestation of their god Wakan Tanka. When a buffalo ws killed during the hunt, they used every piece of the animal, and then performed a ritutal in which they thanked the animal for giving its life for the tribe.

Eastern Woodlands tribes had a similar tradition involving deer, which was a food only certain members of the tribe could eat.

Southwestern natives considered corn a holy food since it was a staple of their diet. When one tribe declared war on another, they would fling corn at each other as a warning, or spread it upon the earth to show where their territory began. Corn was ritutalitically drawn into cliffs in petroglyps to show its significance, and sometimes people were even buried with it.

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