CHANGE THEY WERE FORCED TO
- scholars tend to treat indigenous traditions as
CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITIES
- indigenous traditions have radically changed, they
are not artifacts from history, and their cultures and
religions have changed after contact with Europeans
- a lot of First Nations folks converted when they
first met with European. Some of it was
● forced (residential schools)
THE GHOST DANCE
- a good example of new indigenous religious created in
reaction to the europeans
- GOT ITS DEFINITIVE FORM FROM A PAIUTE INDIAN from
NEVADA named WOVOKA, around 1870
- WOULDED KNEE, SOUTH DAKOTA
- syncretistic hybrid of christianity and native
- operating in a time of westward expansion, losing
land and being forced into smaller and poorer
- Wokova received vision from sky that told him how to align all the North American traditions and turn the
tide back on all the changes. Utopia would be
established by spirits of the dead if this dance was
done. Peace would come with white people, lands
returned, buffalo would return.
- this movement cut across tribal lines.
- as it spread into our neck of the woods (great
plains) it underwent a change where the dance would
actually drive away the whites or destroy them. it
became a messianic movement (in this area there was
still a lot of armed conflic with the whites)
- the europeans regarded it with suspicion
- us army got involved, saw it not as religion but as
- US ARMY MASSACRED ALL THE GHOST DANCERS AT WOUNDED
KNEE, SOUTH DAKOTA
- all the people were wearing their ghost shirts which
they thought would stop bullets
- this was a big movement and moment for the natives of
NA, especiall USA
NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH
- similar to ghost dance in that it was syncretistic
with Roman Catholicism
- traditional things like pipes, drumming, visions. but
there's also belief in jesus, mary, angels
- most important ritual was eating PEYOTE PEYOTE
- bud from a cactus. powerful hallucinations. MESCALINE
is in it.
- taking it would give you insights into the other
- taking hallucinogens is not rare in religion
- consumed liek eucharist at gathering
NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH early 1800's
- 100,000 members
- represents itself as pan-indian, all tribes are
- whites obviously don't like this
- they fought for recognition and won, they are
recognized as a religion, and are allowed to consume
REVITALIZATION AND PAN-INDIANISM
- ties into counter cultural movements and new age
stuff. emerged around the 60s
- cross tribal meetings with stone lodges and dances
and all the different traditions combined.
- this is called PAN-INDIANISM
They are trying to identify the doctrines all the NA
native religions share: THE NOTION THAT NATURE IS CONTINUALLY UNFOLDING
NOTION THAT TIME IS CYCLICAL, NOT LINEAR
THE NOTION THAT SUPERHUMAN POWERS AND IN THE WORLD
THE NOTION THAT DREAMS, VISIONS, AND ORAL TRADITIONS
PROVIDE US WITH A KIND OF TRUTH
AND FINALLY, IT PROMOTES A MORALITY THAT STRESSES
DECENT RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL BEINGS.
- proponents of this whole movement believe that all
these tribes need to unify politically
- it is a new religions movement.
NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY AND
NEW AGE RELIGION
- This is not what natives are doing with native
tradition but what WHITES ARE DOING WITH NATIVE
ENVIRONMENTALISM - they've really linked the native
spirituality to their movement. idea is that their
beliefs are much better stewards for the earth
- if we can combine some of their beliefs, it would
improve our way of life.
- this may all be a chimera, whites may be imagining
things a certain way and calling it native religion
- this does help give Natives more voice
- for that reason, there are a lot of Native leaders who are thus rallying around environmentalism as a key
to greater political power by valorising them
- there is no belief that all of nature is sacred. if
everything is sacred, nothing is sacred. this is new
stuff. it is reaction.
TESTAMENT OF CHIEF SEATTLE - a good example of this
zeitgeist manifesting itself.
"How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the
land? The idea is strange to us..."
- made in the mid 1800's when their land was trying to
be bought from them by the Europeans.
- this speech was actually penned by Ted Perry for a
movie called "Home" in the 1970's. This speech gets
attributed to the First Nations.
- it fits into the ideology that the First Nations want
to promote because it is politically empowered
- it is the white people telling the First Nations what
their tradition was. a certain type of imperialism is
new age groups appropriate the native traditions.
- A UCLA DOCTORAL CANDIDATE IN ANTHROPOLOGY
SPECIALIZING IN THE TRADITIONAL MEDICAL TECHNIQUES OF
THE YAQUI OF NORTHERN MEXICO.
- became banner waver in the 60s for mind altering
drugs, became something of a cult figure. used native traditions to valourize his views
- started talking about cosmic light rays and energy
fields and bending that shit and such.
some of his disciples have developed
SHAMANIC THERAPY - IE USING VISION AND TRANCE
TECHNIQUES OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS TO ACHIEVE THE NEW
AGE GOALS OF PERSONAL SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
- some First Nations groups like it, some are appalled!
after taking everything else, now they take our ideas
and bend them to use them for theirselves.
- so First Nations spirituality is hotly contested.
- new kid gary, nice and smart, everyone hates him.
- he disarms his enemies with kindness
- he goes over family night.
- turns out they are mormons