Burial Rituals of Native American Culture Essay

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Burial Rituals of Native American Culture

At some point in our lives, we all come to realize that death is a part of life. Cultural diversity provides a wide variety of lifestyles and traditions for each of the unique groups of people in our world. Within these different cultures, the rituals associated with death and burial can also be uniquely diverse. Many consider ritualistic traditions that differ from their own to be somewhat strange and often perceive them as unnatural. A prime example would be the burial rituals of the Native American people. Leslie Marmon Silko’s story entitled The Man to Send Rain Clouds describes a funeral service carried out by a Native American Pueblo family. Though many perceive the funeral
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Many tribes perform ceremonies which can include elaborate and colorful tribal dances. Modern rituals sometimes allow for outsiders to watch the ceremonies. During the burial process there are also practices that are more common to what many people consider to be normal. Bodies are dressed in nice clothing and some of their possessions are often placed next to them. The Native American people prepare food to be given to the families of the dead, members of the community visit to pay their respect to the deceased and at times a religious service is included. When these religious services are conducted, “they are held in churches on their native land” where “they have their native religious beliefs with their own gods” (www.umn.edu). Native American “religious specialists draw wisdom from inherited traditions. Priests bring rain through ceremony and prayer. They are thought to have a special level of communication with the spirits” (www.umn.edu). The Native American culture often frowns upon outside religious rituals such as last rites being included in the ceremonies. This is thought to be partly because of the controversy surrounding the invasion of Catholics