Essay on Native American Customs

Submitted By kjohnson2832
Words: 499
Pages: 2

Ceremonies and rituals have always been an essential part in Native American culture. Their beliefs and rituals have heavily influenced their way of acquiring materials, from hunting to agriculture. (Native American History and Information) They often look to their rituals to give them power to overcome difficulties in life such as milestones like puberty, marriage, and death. Some rituals that were practiced include; the Rain Dance, the Eagle Dance, and the Ghost Dance. The Rain Dance includes an intricate dance that the Native Americans would preform in hopes of bringing rain. They would wear headdresses and clothing that had special significance, like turquoise. (Rain Dance) The Eagle Dance is a ritual more common in tribes like the Cherokee, Iroquois and Choctaw. The purpose of the dance is to create friendships, ensure a successful hunt or battle, cure sickness, or make peace between two rival tribes. (Native American Rituals and Ceremonies) The Ghost Dance is a historical dance of 1890 that is a religious movement incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems. It is a circle dance that would reunite the living spirits with the dead and bring peace, prosperity and unity to native people. It was first preformed in accordance with Jack Wilson’s teachings among the Nevada Paiute in 1889. (Native American Rituals and Ceremonies). In addition to the rituals there are also ceremonies that were important to the Native Americans such as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony. The Sweat Lodge is a ceremony to re-purify yourself and find your way back to the traditional ways of living. This became a bigger and bigger thing once alcohol was introduced.

Native American rituals and ceremonies are really interesting to me and have always been. It is intriguing to learn about all of the different rituals they have and then look and compare them to other religions such as Christianity. When you compare their culture and rituals to others,…