Native American religion
Native American religions are the spiritual practices of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This article focuses on Native North Americans. Traditional Native American ceremonial ways can vary and are based on the differing histories and beliefs of individual tribes and bands. Early European explorers describe individual Native American tribes and small bands as each having their own religious practices. Theology may be monotheistic, henotheistic, shamanistic, pantheistic or any combination thereof, among others. Traditional beliefs are passed down in the forms of oral histories, stories and principles, rely on face to face teaching in one's family and community. From the 1600s, European Catholic and Protestant denominations sent missionaries to convert the tribes to Christianity; some of these conversions occurred through government and Christian church cooperative efforts that forcibly removed Native American children from their families into a Christian/state government-operated system of American Indian boarding schools where Native children were taught European Christian beliefs, the values of mainstream white culture, the English language.
This forcible conversion and suppression of Indigenous languages and cultures continued through the 1970s. As part of the US government's suppression of traditional Indigenous religions, most ceremonial ways were banned for over 80 years by a series of US Federal laws that banned traditional sweat lodge and sun dance ceremonies, among others; this government persecution and prosecution continued until 1978 with the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Some non-Native anthropologists estimate membership in traditional Native American religions in the 21st century to be about 9000 people. Since Native Americans practicing traditional ceremonies do not have public organizations or membership rolls, these "members" estimates are substantially lower than the actual numbers of people who participate in traditional ceremonies. Native American spiritual leaders note that these academic estimates underestimate the numbers of participants because a century of US Federal government persecution and prosecutions of traditional ceremonies caused believers to practice their religions in secrecy.
Many adherents of traditional spiritual ways attend Christian services, at least some of the time, which can affect statistics. Since the 80 years of those prior legal persecutions ended with AIRFA, some sacred sites in the United States are now protected areas under law; the Earth Lodge Religion was founded in northern California and southern Oregon tribes such as the Wintun. It spread to tribes such as the Achomawi and Siletz, to name a few, it was known as the "Warm House Dance" among the Pomo. It predicted occurrences similar to those predicted by the Ghost Dance, such as the return of ancestors or the world's end; the Earth Lodge Religion impacted the religious practice, the Dream Dance, belonging to the Klamath and the Modoc. "Ghost Dance" is a general term that encompasses different religious revitalization movements in the Western United States. In 1870, a Ghost Dance was founded by the Paiute prophet Wodziwob, in 1889–1890, a Ghost Dance Religion was founded by Wovoka, a Northern Paiute.
The Ghost Dance was meant to serve as a connection with traditional ways of life and to honor the dead while predicting their resurrection. In December 1888, thought to be the son of the medicine man Tavibo, fell sick with a fever during an eclipse of the sun, which occurred on January 1, 1889. Upon his recovery, he claimed that he had visited the spirit world and the Supreme Being and predicted that the world would soon end be restored to a pure aboriginal state in the presence of the Messiah. All Native Americans would inherit this world, including those who were dead, in order to live eternally without suffering. In order to reach this reality, Wovoka stated that all Native Americans should live and shun the ways of whites, he called for meditation, prayer and dancing as an alternative to mourning the dead, for they would soon resurrect. Wovoka's followers saw him as a form of the messiah and he became known as the "Red Man's Christ." Tavibo had participated in the Ghost Dance of 1870 and had a similar vision of the Great Spirit of Earth removing all white men, of an earthquake removing all human beings.
Tavibo's vision concluded that Native Americans would return to live in a restored environment and that only believers in his revelations would be resurrected. This religion spread to many tribes on reservations in the West, including the Shoshone, Arapaho and Sioux. In fact, some bands of Lakota and Dakota were so desperate for hope during wartime that they strengthened their militancy after making a pilgrimage to Nevada in 1889–1890, they provided their own understanding to the Ghost Dance which included the prediction that the white people would disappear. A Ghost Dance gathering at Wounded Knee in December 1890 was invaded by the Seventh Cavalry, who massacred unarmed Lakota and Dakota people; the earliest Ghost Dance influenced religions such as the Earth Lodge, Bole-Maru Religion, the Dream Dance. The Caddo Nation still practices the Ghost Dance today. Known as Tschida, the Indian Shaker Religion was influenced by the Waashat Religion and founded by John Slocum, a Squaxin Island member.
The name comes from the shaking and twitching motions used by the participants to brush off their sins. The religion combines Christianity with traditional Indian teachings; this religion i
Afro-American religion are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas in various nations of Latin America, the Caribbean, the southern United States. They derive from traditional African religions with some influence from other religious traditions, notably Christianity. Afro-American religions involve veneration of the dead, include a creator deity along with a pantheon of divine spirits such as the Orisha, Loa and Alusi, among others. In addition to the religious syncretism of these various African traditions, many incorporate elements of Folk Catholicism, Native American religion, Spiritism and European folklore. Espiritismo Hoodoo Kélé Puerto Rican Vudú or Sanse Rastafarianism, Jamaica Santo Daime Tambor de Mina Quimbois. Xangô de Recife Xangô do Nordeste Black theology Roots and Rooted
Saint Sebastian was an early Christian saint and martyr. According to traditional belief, he was killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians being tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows, though this did not kill him, he was, according to his legend and healed by Saint Irene of Rome, which became a popular subject in 17th-century painting. In all versions of the story, shortly after his recovery he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins, as a result was clubbed to death, he is venerated in the Orthodox Church. The details of Saint Sebastian's martyrdom were first spoken of by 4th-century bishop Ambrose of Milan, in his sermon on Psalm 118. Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was venerated there at that time. Saint Sebastian is a popular male saint today among athletes. In historical times he was regarded as a saint with a special ability to intercede to protect from plague, devotion to him increased when plague was active; the first surviving account giving details of Sebastian's life and death is the Passio Sancti Sebastiani, long thought to have been written by Ambrose of Milan in the 4th century, but now regarded as a 5th-century account by an unknown author.
This includes the "two martyrdoms", the care by Irene in between, other details that remained part of the story. According to Sebastian's 18th-century entry in Acta Sanctorum, still attributed to Ambrose by the 17th-century hagiographer Jean Bolland, the briefer account in the 14th-century Legenda Aurea, he was a man of Gallia Narbonensis, taught in Mediolanum. In 283, Sebastian entered the army in Rome under Emperor Carinus to assist the martyrs; because of his courage he became one of the captains of the Praetorian Guards under Diocletian and Maximian, who were unaware that he was a Christian. According to tradition and Marcellian were twin brothers from a distinguished family and were deacons. Both brothers married, they resided in Rome with their wives and children; the brothers were arrested. They were visited by their parents Tranquillinus and Martia in prison, who attempted to persuade them to renounce Christianity. Sebastian succeeded in converting Tranquillinus and Martia, as well as Saint Tiburtius, the son of Chromatius, the local prefect.
Another official and his wife Zoe were converted. It has been said; as soon as she had, her speech returned to her. Nicostratus brought the rest of the prisoners. Chromatius and Tiburtius converted. Marcus and Marcellian, after being concealed by a Christian named Castulus, were martyred, as were Nicostratus and Tiburtius. Sebastian had prudently concealed his faith. Diocletian reproached him for his supposed betrayal, he commanded him to be led to a field and there to be bound to a stake so that certain archers from Mauritania would shoot arrows at him. "And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin is full of pricks, thus left him there for dead." Miraculously, the arrows did not kill him. The widow of Castulus, Irene of Rome, went to retrieve his body to bury it, she discovered he was still alive, she nursed him back to health. Sebastian stood by a staircase where the emperor was to pass and harangued Diocletian for his cruelties against Christians; this freedom of speech, from a person whom he supposed to have been dead astonished the emperor.
A pious lady, called Lucina, admonished by the martyr in a vision removed the body, buried it in the catacombs at the entrance of the cemetery of Calixtus, where now stands the Basilica of St. Sebastian. Remains reputed to be those of Sebastian are housed in Rome in the Basilica Apostolorum, built by Pope Damasus I in 367 on the site of the provisional tomb of Saints Peter and Paul; the church, today called San Sebastiano fuori le mura, was rebuilt in the 1610s under the patronage of Scipione Borghese. St. Ado, Eginard and other contemporary authors relate that, in the reign of Louis Debonnair, Pope Eugenius II gave the body of St. Sebastian to Hilduin, Abbot of St. Denys, who brought it into France, it was deposited at Saint Medard Abbey, at Soissons, on 8 December, in 826. Sebastian's cranium was brought to the town of Ebersberg in 934. A Benedictine abbey was founded there and became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in southern Germany, it is said the silver-encased cranium was used as a cup in which to present wine to the faithful during the feast of Saint Sebastian.
Reliquary of Saint Sebastian in Ebersberg The belief that Saint Sebastian was a defense against the plague was a medieval addition to his reputation, which accounts for the enormous increase in his importance in the Late Middle Ages. The connection of the martyr shot with arrows with the plague is not an intuitive one, however. In Greco-Roman myth, the archer god, at times destroys his enemies by shooting plague-arrows from the heavens, but is the deliverer from pestilence. Similar metaphors for divine displeasure occur in the Hebrew Bible; the hopeful example of Sebastian being able to recover from his "first m
Louisiana Voodoo known as New Orleans Voodoo, describes a set of spiritual folkways developed from the traditions of the African diaspora. It is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions developed by the West and Central African populations of the U. S. state of Louisiana, though its practitioners are not of African-American descent. Voodoo is one of many incarnations of African-based spiritual folkways, rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun, its liturgical language is the language of the Louisiana Creole people. Voodoo became syncretized with the Catholic and Francophone culture of New Orleans as a result of the African cultural oppression in the region as part of the Atlantic slave trade. Louisiana Voodoo is confused with—but is not separable from—Haitian Vodou and Deep Southern Hoodoo, it differs from Haitian Vodou in its emphasis upon gris-gris, Voodoo queens, use of Hoodoo paraphernalia, Li Grand Zombi. It was through Louisiana Voodoo that such terms as gris-gris and "Voodoo dolls"' were introduced into the American lexicon.
Voodoo was brought to French Louisiana during the colonial period by enslaved Africans from West Africa. From 1719 to 1731, the majority of African captives brought to, enslaved in, Louisiana were Fon people from what is now Benin. All of the groups contributed to the development of Louisiana Voodoo, their knowledge of herbs and the ritual creation of charms and amulets, intended to protect oneself or harm others, became key elements of Louisiana Voodoo. Many Fon were taken as slaves to the French colony of Saint-Domingue in the Caribbean Sea. Louisiana Voodoo has existed since the early 1700s; the enslaved community outnumbered white European colonists. The French colony was not a stable society when the enslaved Africans arrived, the newly arrived Africans dominated the slave community. According to a census of 1731–1732, the ratio of enslaved Africans to European settlers was more than two to one. A small number of colonists were planters and slaveholders, owners of sugar plantations with work that required large labor forces.
Because the Africans were held in large groups isolated from interaction with whites, their preservation of African indigenous practices and culture was enabled. In the Upper South and other parts of British Colonial America, slave families were divided. However, in southern Louisiana, families and languages were kept more intact than in the north; this allowed cultural traditions and religious practices of the slaves to continue there. Under the French code and the influence of Catholicism, officials nominally recognized family groups, prohibiting the sale of slave children away from their families if younger than age fourteen, they promoted the man-made legend of wake tuko of the enslaved population. The high mortality of the slave trade brought its survivors together with a sense of solidarity and initiation; the absence of fragmentation in the enslaved community, along with the kinship system produced by the bond created by the difficulties of slavery, resulted in a "coherent, well integrated and self-confident enslaved community."The practice of making and wearing charms and amulets for protection, healing, or the harm of others was a key aspect to early Louisiana Voodoo.
The Ouanga, a charm used to poison an enemy, contained the toxic roots of the figuier maudit tree, brought from Africa and preserved in Louisiana. The ground-up root was combined with other elements, such as bones, roots, holy water, holy candles, holy incense, holy bread, or crucifixes; the administrator of the ritual evoked protection from Jehovah and Jesus Christ. This openness of African belief allowed for the adoption of Catholic practices into Louisiana Voodoo. Another element brought from West Africa was the veneration of ancestors and the subsequent emphasis on respect for elders. For this reason, the rate of survival among elderly enslaved peoples was high, further "Africanizing Louisiana Creole culture." Following the beginning of the Haitian Revolution in 1791, the lives of Voodoo practitioners in the North American colonies became more difficult. Due to the revolution being started by slaves who were possessed by a deity during a Vodou ritual, the French colonists became aggressive in trying to suppress Voodoo rituals as a precaution against uprisings.
Unlike their Haitian counterparts, the slaves in Louisiania did not rebel in great number against their slavers. Instead, Voodoo followers used charms in their daily lives; the people used them for healing, guidance, to keep a connection with their loved ones. Some charms were used to hurt enemies, involved the deceptions of curses; the U. S. Embargo Act of 1808 ended all legal importation of African slaves to the United States. Voodoo queens were known to exercise great power in their communities, had the role of leading many of the ceremonial meetings and ritual dances; these drew crowds of thousands of people. They were considered practitioners who made a living through the selling and administering of amulets, or "gris-gris" charms, magical powders, as well as spells and charms that guaranteed to "cure ailments, grant desires, confound or destroy one's enemies", their power and influence were widespread and incontestable. It was recognized by journa
Candomblé Ketu is the largest and most influential branch of Candomblé, a religion practiced in Brazil and Uruguay. The word Candomblé means “ritual dancing or gather in honor of gods” and Ketu is the name of the Ketu region of Benin, its liturgical language, known as Iorubá or Nagô, is a dialect of Yoruba. Candomblé Ketu developed in the early 19th century and gained great importance to Brazilian heritage in the 20th century. Queto is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba mythology with Christianity and Indigenous American traditions. Queto developed in the Portuguese Empire. Yoruba slaves carried with them various religious customs, including a trance and divination system for communicating with their ancestors and spirits, animal sacrifice, sacred drumming and dance, its origins are entwined with the religious and beneficent brotherhoods organized by the Roman Catholic Church among ethnic Yoruba slaves. The religion grew popular among slaves because it was a way for Yoruba slaves to maintain their culture and express independence.
Numerous terreiros of the Ketu branch of Candomblé have received historic status and government protection from the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage. Ilê Axé Iyá Nassô Oká in Salvador was the first non-Roman Catholic and first Afro-Brazilian religious place of worship to receive protected heritage status in Brazil. Ilê Odó Ogé known as Terreiro Pilão de Prata, has protected heritage status from the state of Bahia; as the largest branch of the Candomblé religion, Ketu origins have a major influence on the religion as a whole. Although there are various branches of Candomblé, the foundational beliefs are the same, they differ based on names and rituals due to no written scripture. Each branch possesses a unique deity under the Supreme god Olódùmarè, seen as unequaled and beyond all existence. Ketu’s deity is named Orisha. Orishas controls the destiny of the acts as a guardian. Orishas represent different forces in nature, colors and days of the week. In Ketu, Candomblé storytelling and animal sacrifices are important.
Storytelling is expected to be done in a clear and precise way in order to be passed down to further generations. Animals such as pigs, cows and chicken are sacrificed. Animals are seen as sacred, so they are sacrificed as a way to transfer energy between nature and Orishas. There was a great deal of Catholic resistance due to the belief. Slaves incorporated Catholic Saints in order to keep their practices a secret. Catholics wanted to slaves to convert to their religion and feared retaliation if slaves became too independent. Olorum Exu Ogum Oxóssi Oxum Oxalufã Oxaguiã Orixá Okô Olissá Orunmilá Xangô Ayrá Iemanjá Ossãe Oyá Obaluaiê Omolu Jagun Nanã Buruku Oxumarê Obá Ewá Ibêji Logun Edé Iroko Olorokê Apaoká Iyami Oxorongá Egungun Santería Ifá Yvonne, Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, Bahian Candomblé, University of Illinois Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-25207-207-9.:: Everything you wanted to know about Santeria Candomblé Ketu Ilê Opó Afonjá, a major Ketu house in Salvador Ama, A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade Qualia Folk
Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian religious tradition, practiced in Brazil by the povo de santo. Candomblé originated in Salvador, Bahia at the beginning of the 19th century, when the first temple was founded. Candomblé is practiced in Brazil, is practiced in other Latin American countries, including Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela, having as many as two million followers. Candomblé developed in a creolization of traditional Yoruba and Bantu beliefs brought from West and Central Africa by enslaved captives in the Portuguese Empire. Between 1549 and 1888, the religion developed in Brazil, influenced by the knowledge of enslaved African priests who continued to teach their religion, their culture, language. In addition, Candomblé absorbed elements of Roman Catholicism and includes indigenous American traditions; as an oral tradition, it does not have holy scriptures. Practitioners of Candomblé believe in a Supreme Creator called Oludumaré, served by lesser deities, which are called Orishas; every practitioner is believed to have their own tutelary orisha, which controls his or her destiny and acts as a protector.
Music and dance are important parts of Candomblé ceremonies, since the dances enable worshippers to become possessed by the orishas. In the rituals, participants make offerings like minerals and animals. Candomblé does not include the duality of evil. Candomblé does not have holy texts. Only have scholars and "povo de santo" begun to write down its practices; the word Candomblé means "dance in honour of the gods", music and dance are important parts of Candomblé ceremonies. The name Batuque is used to refer to the religion before the 19th century. After that, Candomblé became more common. Both words are believed to be derived from a Bantu-family language that of the Kingdom of Kongo. Candomblé may be called Macumba in some regions of Brazil, notably Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Macumba has a distinct set of practices more akin to European witchcraft. Candomblé originated among enslaved Africans who were transplanted to Brazil during the Atlantic slave trade. From the earliest days of the slave trade, many slave owners and Catholic Church leaders felt it was important to convert enslaved Africans.
They believed this would fulfill their religious obligations and lead the enslaved to be more submissive in their status. Some historians suggest that Africans were forced to give up their traditional religions to cut their ties to their pasts. Although the Church succeeded in many cases, not all slaves converted. Many outwardly practiced Christianity but secretly prayed to their own God, gods, or ancestor spirits. In Brazil, adherents of Candomblé saw in the Catholic veneration of saints a similarity with their own religion. Bantu followers found a shared system of worship with Brazil's indigenous people, through this connection they re-learned the ancestor worship, part of their own traditional systems, they concealed the sacred symbols of their deities inside figures of their Catholic saints. In segregated communities of the country, it was easy to create Catholic fraternities where slaves would meet with each other; these meetings, were an opportunity for Candomblé worship to be practiced and for feasts to be held on special religious days.
They were opportunities for the enslaved to gather and plan rebellions against their masters. Candomblé was condemned by the Catholic Church. Followers of the faith were persecuted violently, including by government-led public campaigns and police action. Repression of African religion began early in the Portuguese colonial period, with calundu subject to the Inquisition; the Brazilian Penal Code of 1850 condemned charlatanismo curandeirismo. Both Candomblé religious leaders and terreiros were attacked by the police. With Catholicism as the state religion, other religious practices threatened the secular authority; the persecution stopped in the 1970s with repeal of a law requiring police permission to hold public religious ceremonies. The religion has surged in popularity in Brazil since with as many as two million people professing to follow this faith, it is popular in Salvador, Bahia, in the northeast region of Brazil, more isolated from other influences and had a high percentage of enslaved Africans.
Many people from African countries visit Bahia in order to learn more about the faith of their ancestors. For many followers, Candomblé is not only a matter of religious belief but of reclaiming the cultural and historical identity of ethnic Africans, although their separate tribal identities have been obscured by peoples being mixed in communities during and after slavery. Brazilian slaves came from a number of African geographic regions and ethnic groups, including Mbundu, Igbo, Kongo and Ewe. Slave handlers classified them by the shore of embarkment, so records of ethnicity may not have been accurate, as captives were transported overland away from native areas before being loaded on ships; as the religion developed semi-independently in different regions of Brazil, among different African ethnic groups, it evolved into several "branches" or nations. These are distinguished chiefly by their set of worshiped deities, as well as the music and language used in the rituals; the division into nations was influenced by the religious and beneficent brotherhoods organized by the Catholic Church among Brazilian slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries.
These fraternities, organized alo