Quiz 3 Study Notes - Q uiz Three Study Notes INDIGENOUS...

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Quiz Three Study Notes INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS • many different traditions worldwide – but many common characteristics indigenous : speciFc to a particular geographical area (community, nation) - closely related to that groups sense of identity and stays in that one area • other terms: ‘primitive’; aboriginal; tribal; Native; ±irst Nations; Indian (North America) • challenge to notion of religion: are indigenous traditions religions ? oral - some are written, traditional - some existed for millennia historical bias in studying indigenous traditions: ‘savages’ and/or ‘primitives’; or idea of noble savage many tradition-speciFc terms used generally: - totem : Ojibwe - spiritual kinship between a particular animal or species and a particular individual, family or clan and is now used in different cultures such as Zulu, Hopi and Maori - shaman : Siberian Tungus - primary ritual specialists, whose souls can leave their bodies and travel into other realms - has become a general term for visionaries in in many cultures using out of body experiences to communicate with spiritual beings on behalf of the community - taboo : Polynesian, from tapu , meaning sacred prohibition • often a Creator spirit (e.g., Gitche Manitou or “Great Spirit” in Algonquian tribes) that ; but also many other deities/gods/spirits rich, immanent, spiritual world peopled by a variety of spiritual beings – animism (Tylor) - believes that natural phenomena, including plants and inanimate objects have souls wide variety of rituals to connect with spiritual world (e.g., Plains Indian Sun Dance) - last from four to eight days - continuity between life and death - a regeneration - no true end to life, but a cycle of symbolic and true deaths and rebirths - all of nature is intertwined and dependent on one another • communication with spirit world – importance of visions, possessions, trances -role of shaman as intermediary - can also be source of fear – witchcraft - witches are people whose souls have traveled outside their bodies to attack and consume other people’s souls or objects that are valuable 1
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• importance of myths – particularly creation myths - e.g., Earth Diver myths (example: Cree story “The Beginning of the Cree World”, Wisakedjak, the creator, musrat, beaver, otter) importance of animals - traditions reFect observations of animals - gods and humans share skills of animals - voluntarily gave up life so hunters could live - people were to treat animals with respect and the “ keepers of the game ” governs relationships between hunter and hunted - when rules were violated they would take the animals away so there is no food other important characteristics: oral culture & storytelling (passed verbally through generations within a community and are seen as authoritative sources of knowledge); lack of speci±c doctrine; sacred geography; Trickster ±gure (not evil, but loved chaos and disorder, encourages impulsive behavior - serve as messengers for other gods and make changes in their
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Quiz 3 Study Notes - Q uiz Three Study Notes INDIGENOUS...

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