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92GTA 03-28-2015 12:14 AM

New guy from CA
 
My name is Alex and I've come here because it seems to be the largest Native American forum.

Since I can remember I've always felt a deep connection with nature and the world around me. I'm here to learn what I can about Native American beliefs. It seems to be the only belief system I can truly relate to (an equilibrium with nature, an interdependence), I've felt drawn to it for a very long time now and I'm soon coming to a cross-roads in my life. I'm looking for someone to take me under their wing and teach me.

I didn't see a specific sub-forum for discussing beliefs/religion so I'm not sure where it would be appropriate to read/post/lean about the subject. I understand things can vary greatly from tribe to tribe, region to region, but there are certain consistences across many of them it seems. I've studied most non-Native American religions for more than a decade and none of them feel right to me. For example, I believe in reincarnation, have my entire life, but in a specific way that I just feel.

As an example, take this from an article I found online: "Plains Indians did not have a definite idea of a final afterworld. That is because they believed that reincarnation occurs to allow a soul to be “finished.” “If the soul does not become complete, dies too soon, or fails successfully to traverse a part of the path of life, then it will be sent back to live on this earth again until it completes the journey ‘in a good way." That is like absolutely exactly how I feel put into words. I know I have been reincarnated (not sure if this is my 2nd or 3rd time in this world) to find my true path in this universe, to fulfill an emptiness in my soul that I can't explain. To figure out what my soul still must do, if that makes sense to anyone.

If anyone could point me in the right direction so I can begin to find my way I would appreciate it.

Thank you!

wanjica_the_one 03-28-2015 01:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 92GTA (Post 1616358)
My name is Alex and I've come here because it seems to be the largest Native American forum.

Since I can remember I've always felt a deep connection with nature and the world around me. I'm here to learn what I can about Native American beliefs. It seems to be the only belief system I can truly relate to (an equilibrium with nature, an interdependence), I've felt drawn to it for a very long time now and I'm soon coming to a cross-roads in my life. I'm looking for someone to take me under their wing and teach me.

I didn't see a specific sub-forum for discussing beliefs/religion so I'm not sure where it would be appropriate to read/post/lean about the subject. I understand things can vary greatly from tribe to tribe, region to region, but there are certain consistences across many of them it seems. I've studied most non-Native American religions for more than a decade and none of them feel right to me. For example, I believe in reincarnation, have my entire life, but in a specific way that I just feel.

As an example, take this from an article I found online: "Plains Indians did not have a definite idea of a final afterworld. That is because they believed that reincarnation occurs to allow a soul to be “finished.” “If the soul does not become complete, dies too soon, or fails successfully to traverse a part of the path of life, then it will be sent back to live on this earth again until it completes the journey ‘in a good way." That is like absolutely exactly how I feel put into words. I know I have been reincarnated (not sure if this is my 2nd or 3rd time in this world) to find my true path in this universe, to fulfill an emptiness in my soul that I can't explain. To figure out what my soul still must do, if that makes sense to anyone.

If anyone could point me in the right direction so I can begin to find my way I would appreciate it.

Thank you!

You need to find your kind, they are called "The Children of the Dirt."

92GTA 03-28-2015 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanjica_the_one (Post 1616360)
You need to find your kind, they are called "The Children of the Dirt."

Are you referring to this? It's the only relevant thing I could find doing a Google search of what you quoted:

"Children of the Dirt", by Simon Rich

According to Aristophanes, there were originally three sexes - the children of the moon who were half-male and half-female, the children of the sun who were fully male, and the children of the earth, who were fully female. Everyone had four legs, four arms and two heads, and spent their days in blissful contentment. Zeus became jealous of the humans' joy so he decided to split them all in two. Aristophanes called this punishment the origin of love because ever since, the children of the earth, moon and sun have been searching the globe in a desperate bid to find their other halves. Aristophanes' story though is incomplete because there was also a fourth sex - the children of the dirt. Unlike the other three sexes, the children of the dirt consisted of just one half. Some were male and some were female and each had just two arms, two legs and one head. The children of the dirt found the children of the earth, moon and sun to be completely insufferable. Whenever they saw a two-headed creature walking by, talking to itself in baby-talk voices, it made them want to vomit. They hated going to parties and when there was no way to get out of one, they sat in the corner, too bitter and depressed to talk to anybody. The children of the dirt were so miserable that they invented wine and art to dull their pain. It helped a little, but not really. When Zeus went on his rampage he decided to leave the children of the dirt alone. They're already screwed, he explained.

Happy gay couples descend from the children of the sun. Happy lesbian couples descend from the children of the earth. And happy straight couples descend from the children of the moon. But the vast majority of humans are descendants of the children of the dirt. And no matter how long they search the earth, they'll never find what they're looking for because there's nobody for them, not anybody in the world.


I've never heard that before.

wardancer 03-28-2015 01:50 AM

:rofl:

92GTA 03-28-2015 01:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wardancer (Post 1616363)
:rofl:

Yeah I'm guessing I said something off the wall so now I'm being trolled lol.

wardancer 03-28-2015 02:00 AM

Greetings and Welcome to the site. Now , this is a great place to meet folks and have fun. We discuss about anything. Mostly powwows and powwow related things. Religion and Spirituality is generally a subject we avoid. There are a plethora of reasons for this , the least of which is that we are not all the same NDNs ! There are many many tribes and they all believe different things. It also seems to really upset the actual native folks and confuse the non-ndns. With that said , have fun here. Ask your questions but be aware that you probably won't get any answers , or the answers you get , you won't like.

wardancer 03-28-2015 02:02 AM

Actually , I was laughing at wanji's reply to you ! And your seriousness !Good luck !

92GTA 03-28-2015 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wardancer (Post 1616367)
Actually , I was laughing at wanji's reply to you !

Haha, yeah that's what I thought, hence why I know I was getting trolled by him lol.

Ok, thanks for the quick explanation!

92GTA 03-28-2015 02:07 AM

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? Obviously speaking in regards to pre-colinzation in North America.

gilisi 03-28-2015 02:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 92GTA (Post 1616369)
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? Obviously speaking in regards to pre-colinzation in North America.

Try Dr Seuss

Or even better: Disney's Pocahontas

DeafElderWoman 03-28-2015 04:48 AM

I don't believe in reincarnation.

This Powwows.com is for discussion about traditional and/or competition dancing including some special dance like the Bear Dance. That was rare. We also discuss about regalia and other crafts. Anything that was on the topics can be discussed.

Welcome to Powwows.com. Have fun with us. :cool:

OLChemist 03-28-2015 08:14 AM

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 (Post 1616358)
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 (Post 1616369)
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 :)

Joe's Dad 03-28-2015 02:51 PM

Alex, I was at the Long Beach powwow not long ago. I was sitting down and this white lady was telling another white lady about her 'Indianness'. Up walks ANOTHER white dude and the first white lady introduces this man to the second white lady as her Shaman'.

Those f***'n white people think they can become any culture they want and it's ok. Then they want to know 'everything native and spiritual' AND still think with their white mentality. Can't be done, dude. And you damn sure can't read about it in a book.

I'm getting old, so it's kinda hard for me to say it nice. lol

I might make it to Malibu powow to see nor shamans.

Good luck in your endeavors.

92GTA 03-28-2015 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OLChemist (Post 1616378)
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 :)

That's great to hear! I will correct myself. Based on some of the responses I got I was starting to think otherwise.

I'm by no means looking for a book that somehow includes all of this knowledge, I know that doesn't exist because of face to face and oral ways of teaching, and as you mentioned, how sacred those teachings are. I am simply looking for the very basics, but truthful ones, not the misleading ones or hearsay.

By "popular" I meant more common, perhaps that's a better way to phrase it. In other words beliefs that are shared by 2 or more tribes/nations. I'm not looking to pick and choose, in fact I presumed there would not be books on every individual nation that was documented but rather a kind of summary/general overview type of book. I take ancestry very seriously and would never dare to REALLY learn the way of any other tribe other than those of my ancestors for many reasons which are just a given and not up for debate. Simply for the sake of education was I curious about others, not for the sake of picking and choosing and converting, etc. My mother's grandfather was full Osage. When I was about 6 or 7yrs old I remember being at his house and my mom was tape recording her grandmother telling stories in Osage. He had passed but his wife who was white, had learned much of the language from him. For this reason if I ever went down any serious path of learning, it would be in the Osage ways. I'm curious on what the Osage beliefs about reincarnation are.

Hopefully that's more an appropriate and respectful response. Thank you for your serious response.

92GTA 03-28-2015 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe's Dad (Post 1616381)
Alex, I was at the Long Beach powwow not long ago. I was sitting down and this white lady was telling another white lady about her 'Indianness'. Up walks ANOTHER white dude and the first white lady introduces this man to the second white lady as her Shaman'.

Those fvck en white people think they can become any culture they want and it's ok. Then they want to know 'everything native and spiritual' AND still think with their white mentality. Can't be done, dude. And you damn sure can't read about it in a book.

I'm getting old, so it's kinda hard for me to say it nice. lol

I might make it to Malibu powow to see nor shamans.

Good luck in your endeavors.

No I totally agree. There are ton of, I call them hippy, type white people that do like to pretend they are some sort of Shaman. I'm of course not after anything like that, nor would ever in my wildest dreams ever want to claim to be such lol. Please don't think that's what I'm thinking!

LittleWolf34 03-28-2015 03:24 PM

Hey 92
 
Hey bro and welcome.

Don't mind these guys, judging by their comments they are the last people to ask for anything educational wise. Although I'm sure a lot of my brethren are harsh due to the many situations they have been through, it is still not an excuse to be rude and unkind. I'm Ben, I'm a full Blackfoot, my Dad is Pikani and my Mother is Siksika. I do agree with one thing that war dancer wrote, and that is white people have made fun of our culture and nearly destroyed it, now they come back and romanticize our cultures and have made it a fad where everyone seems to be native these days. Powwows.com is a place to talk powwows but some off topic inquiries shouldn't be ignored.

Before one can truly begin a quest such as you'res, you must delve into the unknown and suppressed to really grasp native culture. You must learn first of what happened here and what 95% percent of my brothers and sisters went through. Yes there are more than 500 cultures and beliefs, but to connect them you must see what has happened. I recommend reading the "inconvenient Indian," to really grasp what happened and why many are harsh to non natives just coming in here and asking away and expecting a answer. Many pearls of wisdom were given to the white man only to be trampled in the mud. What we have left we hold onto dearly. Read that book with sincerity. And after that you'll know how to ask and who to search out.

Good luck bro.

92GTA 03-28-2015 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleWolf34 (Post 1616384)
Hey bro and welcome.

Don't mind these guys, judging by their comments they are the last people to ask for anything educational wise. Although I'm sure a lot of my brethren are harsh due to the many situations they have been through, it is still not an excuse to be rude and unkind. I'm Ben, I'm a full Blackfoot, my Dad is Pikani and my Mother is Siksika. I do agree with one thing that war dancer wrote, and that is white people have made fun of our culture and nearly destroyed it, now they come back and romanticize our cultures and have made it a fad where everyone seems to be native these days. Powwows.com is a place to talk powwows but some off topic inquiries shouldn't be ignored.

Before one can truly begin a quest such as you'res, you must delve into the unknown and suppressed to really grasp native culture. You must learn first of what happened here and what 95% percent of my brothers and sisters went through. Yes there are more than 500 cultures and beliefs, but to connect them you must see what has happened. I recommend reading the "inconvenient Indian," to really grasp what happened and why many are harsh to non natives just coming in here and asking away and expecting a answer. Many pearls of wisdom were given to the white man only to be trampled in the mud. What we have left we hold onto dearly. Read that book with sincerity. And after that you'll know how to ask and who to search out.

Good luck bro.

Thank you!!!

To be honest, I wasn't even born in this country and have only lived here half my life on and off. I don't do fads or social media or watch TV (haven't even had TV for over 11 years now) or any of that crap. If given the chance, many will find I am very different from most typical Americans. I try to be a very meek person however that's a goal and virtually impossible to do living mainstream America and working a typical American career. Which is why I'm walking away from it as fast as I can in 6 yrs, I'll be selling all of my possessions and hope to find my own way somehow. I'm been looking forward to it for at least 10 yrs now.

I hope I have not offended anyone or led anyone to believe that I wish to become Native American because some people think it's "cool" or whatever. Honestly where I live I don't know anyone like that but I can imagine there are some that some of you have met.

wardancer 03-28-2015 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleWolf34 (Post 1616384)
I do agree with one thing that war dancer wrote, and that is white people have made fun of our culture and nearly destroyed it, now they come back and romanticize our cultures and have made it a fad where everyone seems to be native these days. Powwows.com is a place to talk powwows but some off topic inquiries shouldn't be ignored.

I dis-remember saying that , how ever true it may be !(at least not in this thread) I think you have me mixed up with OC.
It wasn't ignored ! It was addressed. I said the answers you get , you probably won't like. :thinking:

92GTA 03-28-2015 04:07 PM

I'd like to say at this point I'm going to step away from this topic.

Others are correct, this is not something for "online" discussion and sharing.

I will pursue this offline.

Thanks everyone!

OLChemist 03-28-2015 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 92GTA (Post 1616382)
Based on some of the responses I got I was starting to think otherwise.

A friendly suggestion, tone down comments like the above. Let me tell you what I heard as I read that, based on my 30+ years of experience as a Native person working in academia and industry and being forced to act as a unpaid cultural educator:

"I didn't receive the grateful embrace I expected when I rode in as Lt Dunbar on my clever pony. You must not know your people's ways, if you're not eager share with another lost white guy or deculturated mixed-blood."

Now, I suspect you didn't consciously mean that. But, too many of us have had the experience of having some long estranged person, with a claim to distant Native descent, detonate when we don't give them unfettered access to precious and jealously guarded cultural patrimony. Knowledge many of us have worked most of our lives to cultivate. So, it will be helpful for your quest to be cautious and remember one learns with the eyes and ears, not the mouth:)

It sounds like you're only a generation from family. If you want to learn, get home. I'm sure your family has elders who would appreciate a visit from a respectful young man with a couple bags of groceries and a willing pair of hands to help. Shut your mouth and listen up. A wealth of treasures are gained when you serve your family and community.

And if you have those tapes, I suspect there are folks who might be interested. Wazhazhe ie lost it's last native speaker in 2005. People are fighting to save it.


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