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Old 03-28-2015, 08:14 AM   #12
OLChemist
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Welcome to powwows.com. As several have already stated, we are a forum for the discussion of powwow dancing and powwow related crafts, not metaphysics.


Time for some Native 101:

First, a little background to help understand the hostility that erupts over these types of inquiries: We are the survivors of the end of the world. For 500+ years, our ways have been attacked, suppressed, punished and damn near erased. Our ancestors lost their land, language, culture and lives. They buried 50-90% of their tribes. Now, their children are fighting to preserve the remnants. We have to battle the culture vultures who steal pieces of our religions and lifeways, twist them into grotesque shapes, then sell the battered fragments to make themselves rich. So, not surprisingly many of us are weary and sometimes less than patient.

That explanation/warning out of the way....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92GTA View Post
If anyone could point me in the right direction so I can begin to find my way I would appreciate it.
Dominant culture understandings of intellectual property and cultural patrimony are very different from those of all the Native peoples I know. We have different modes of sharing and transmission of knowledge. There is some knowledge that cannot be shared with the unauthorized without physical and metaphysical consequences. So, within many Native communities it is considered inappropriate or unwise to discuss spiritual matters with outsiders and/or the uninitiated. In most of our traditions these things are treated with a special respect and protectiveness that prohibits the casual sharing of spiritual information. You don't trifle with the sacred or even speak too casually about these things.

Further, all you have to do is look at what happened to the Pueblo people when they met up with the Spanish Inquisition in the form of the Spanish missionaries or the Pequots and Wampanoags when they trespassed upon the cultural norms of the Puritan invaders. These terrible aftermaths should be reason enough for us to be unwilling to share, without invoking any indigenous ethics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92GTA View Post
What would everyone here suggest as good reading materials for studying all of what were the more popular and wide spread different Native American beliefs?
The essence of our cultures aren't found in books.

Popular? That is an odd word choice. This suggests that one gets to pick and choose from among the instructions the Creator gives? I'm not just trying to be obnoxious -- one doesn't have to try when one is naturally good at it - with that question. It reflects a very basic difference in ethos that bears consideration.

I have never encountered a Native culture which provides a path to conversion or seeks converts. The missionary impulse is by and large absent from traditional religions. The Great Commission isn't a Native thing. To be part of our system, you have to be part of our people.

Also, please do not refer to our beliefs in the past tense. We're still here. Despite many people's best efforts, our children still learn our ways :)
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