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Old 09-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #1
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Prayer

Is it acceptable for the MC to 'preach' his own brand of religion in the Grand Entry prayer? Are prayers at Powwows intended to be Christian in nature? If so, how is that? How can the Mother Earth receive due respect when the patriarchal god is weighted so heavily to negate duality?
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gaia Sis View Post
Is it acceptable for the MC to 'preach' his own brand of religion in the Grand Entry prayer? Are prayers at Powwows intended to be Christian in nature? If so, how is that? How can the Mother Earth receive due respect when the patriarchal god is weighted so heavily to negate duality?





Hmmmmm?


I didn't realize there was more than one God?
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:45 PM   #3
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Prayer reply to reply

I am confused by your answer ~ was it an answer? I gather preaching fundaminalist Christianity during a Powwow Grand Entry Prayer is not only acceptable but normal. Is this correct?

One God, hmmmmmm?? This remark is puzzling in light of the quote that followed your response having to do with English being a foreign language.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:54 PM   #4
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I'm a Christian and an NDN. I am not offended when the prayer that is offered is from a native religious tradition. Anytime someone speaks to the Creator on my behalf it is a good thing, and I say Amen to what they say regardless of whether the approach is on the basis of Christianity or native religious practice.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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There are many different tribes who attend and participate in powwows. Prayer is accepted at all the events I have ever attended, in whatever form it takes and to whomever the person is praying.

It is not my place to question how who or what someone prays...I just listen show reverence and am thankful for the prayer.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiyaanii mom View Post
There are many different tribes who attend and participate in powwows. Prayer is accepted at all the events I have ever attended, in whatever form it takes and to whomever the person is praying.

It is not my place to question how who or what someone prays...I just listen show reverence and am thankful for the prayer.
+1

Good answer.

Gaia, don't confuse religion with spirituality. Why do you think the Creator and Earth are gender defined?
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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Well Kiyaanii Mom, I do not believe I have confused religion with spirituality as it really is the purpose of keeping religion our of what is suppose to be spiritual for those of many religions or not that instigated my asking the original question.

Powwows typically have been a very powerful spiritual experience for me. That previous experience was at powwows in Colorado. I enjoyed the Grand Entry of those tremendously which included prayers oftentimes in an Indigenous American language. On one occasion the Mayor of the town said the prayer, yet it stayed true to a spiritual focus without her religion intruding. I never found them to be religious in orientation, but they were spiritual.

I didn’t object to a prayer ~ I expected one. I just didn’t expect one that was so focused on the individual’s religious beliefs. The prayer was suppose to have been focused on those who risk their lives to save others ~ as it was on 9/11. Instead the prayer espoused or preached Creationism.

Finally Kiyaanii, many peoples of the Earth who live their lives focused on nature define the spirits of their worlds in a gender perspective ~ duality, yin/yang, mother/father, god/goddess. If Mother Earth and Father Sky are to be spoken of, I would hope they are respected as such at that particular prayer and leave the ‘God’ to his very dominate realm.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:57 AM   #8
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I am Christian and Indian, too. Only prayer I've consistently heard at pow wow's is to our Creator (God).........and I'm thankful that our MC's continue to do that for us. I'm also glad to hear our prayers spoken in our Indian languages when someone is able to.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:51 PM   #9
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Gaia Sis,

Wiccan??????


If so, wrong site.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #10
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Sounds like your were the one personally offended by the prayer....
So it's your issue. Not ours...
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rez_hopper View Post
Gaia Sis,

Wiccan??????


If so, wrong site.
Or some kind of new age freak! LMAO!!!
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:18 PM   #12
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There are literally hundreds of Native religious ways. Some are as different from each other as Odism is from Baptist. One of the things you learn very fast being a Native person is different strokes for different different folks. You don't develop the dominant culture desire to have their practices/beliefs/ways accommodated in every circumstance.

You learn respect your hosts religious practices. This is their time and space; and their ways may contradict yours. Showing respect does not mean you must agree. Nor does it mean you can take righteous offense and tell others how to conduct their events. It means if you can't just let it ride, then you leave.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaia Sis View Post
Powwows typically have been a very powerful spiritual experience for me. That previous experience was at powwows in Colorado. I enjoyed the Grand Entry of those tremendously which included prayers oftentimes in an Indigenous American language. ealm.

Gaia,

So if people don't pray the way you pray, it's wrong? Hmmmmmm?

Two year's ago at Denver March (Colorado), my dad and I went through the "cedaring off ceremony" done in the style of the Native American Church. This was done on the Thursday before the powwow started, in the Denver Collesium and was open to all. We both respect Native ways and have been invited to ceremony from many, many different Indigenous nations in Canada, the United States and South America.

Throughout the rest of the powwow, my father was honored to be asked by the commiittee to say a prayer preceding each grand entry. Even though he speaks his trubal language, he prayed in English so that all listening could understand his words to the Creator. At the end of each prayer, he said, 'In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Traditional Native people who were attending the Denver March Powwow came up and thanked him for his prayers.


Why is praying an issue with you?

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Old 09-18-2009, 11:43 PM   #14
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I never question prayer we all have our own ways to pray no matter the beliefs. I think when we pray from the heart its a very special thing reaching all who hears it in different ways. My lil mama would teach us to respect all prayers no matter what perhaps not understanding the reasons for them but respecting them just the same.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:07 AM   #15
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OL Chemist, thank you for your kind and thoughtful response. Yes, the 3 of us who were ‘scouts’ did leave and sadly the other 6 elected not to attend the next day, even thought they had driven from Atlanta to do so.

Those who drove from Atlanta to TN would shutter that you take them for Wiccan! Although raised in the southern Christian faith, I have studied the Zuni cosmology to Buddhism, Hindusim, Muslim, Theology, as well as Mayan healing beliefs. And I have studied Gnostics and Wiccan beliefs. I simply consider myself a non atheist. And I am good with ‘Creator’ as it can’t be so without both the male and female. In a scientific perspective, I guess you have the stuff that went bang and that which made it do so.

There were 3 of us (one Catholic, one atheist, and one spiritualist) and we all took offense at being PREACHED AT ~ NOT WITH A PRAYER. Of the 5 others who elected not to pay entry fees or possibly make purchases from vendors or pick up on a tad amount of Indigenous American culture, there was a Jew, a Catholic, an atheist, and 2 unknowns.

I suggested that we avoid the Grand Entry and just go for the drumming, singing and dancing. But to those who had never been to a Powwow it seemed more like an ‘Indian Festival’ after hearing about the country music, preaching and seeming lake of deep cultural involvement and Native American youth. For some the country music was enough to turn them away. I guess they felt like they were comfortable were they were and did not need to spend the money and effort to experience things they would normally avoid.

I think this is the point many are missing when they say just go with the flow and over look it and enjoy regardless. And I am trying to tell you that for many who have to do that in so much of there day to day life, why should they pay to do so on a week end. The point of going to something like a Powwow is to get away from being preached to and listening to the same ole music heard everywhere. There is lots of Native American music and it is not all flute music.

I would have put these remarks on the Powwow listing but as a newbie I am not allowed to do so and it would seem that me and my friends are the minority. But maybe it just seems that way ~ others just don’t make the effort to voice what I have.

Again the offense was not with a prayer ~ it was being preached to about how to have faith, about how to think and how to believe. It was with making an effort to drive 3.5 hours and have other drive 2 hours to attend an event that we had all hoped would have been more true to spirit. My most memorable life experiences have come about through what most Americans and Europeans would call prayer.

Here is the down deep thing that is the crux of it for me. I think of Powwows as a medium by which Ingenious Americans can reach out and try to reestablish for them selves and their children and all us Gringos that way of life that was so nature focused that allowed thousands of tribes to live on this continent for thousands of years without the destruction of it. It was a SUSTAINABLE way of living in that it respected Gaia.

By the way, Gaia is a Greek word for Earth of its cosmos out of chaos ~ the Greeks have nothing to do with Wiccan practices.

I would hope that Powwows would attempt to focus on the Powhattans or the ancient cultures spiritual way of life, rather than the European religions. Mother Earth needs to be less dominated and respected more for just being a living breathing thing that can be killed. What happened to those Native American efforts to bring awareness to this fact?
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:59 AM   #16
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Since it was not until 1973, YES 1973, that a country supposedly founded on 'religious freedom' granted to the original peoples of that land the right to pursue the rituals of their cultural spiritual beliefs.

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. Desmond Tutu
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaia Sis View Post
OL Chemist, thank you for your kind and thoughtful response. Yes, the 3 of us who were ‘scouts’ did leave and sadly the other 6 elected not to attend the next day, even thought they had driven from Atlanta to do so.

Those who drove from Atlanta to TN would shutter that you take them for Wiccan! Although raised in the southern Christian faith, I have studied the Zuni cosmology to Buddhism, Hindusim, Muslim, Theology, as well as Mayan healing beliefs. And I have studied Gnostics and Wiccan beliefs. I simply consider myself a non atheist. And I am good with ‘Creator’ as it can’t be so without both the male and female. In a scientific perspective, I guess you have the stuff that went bang and that which made it do so.

There were 3 of us (one Catholic, one atheist, and one spiritualist) and we all took offense at being PREACHED AT ~ NOT WITH A PRAYER. Of the 5 others who elected not to pay entry fees or possibly make purchases from vendors or pick up on a tad amount of Indigenous American culture, there was a Jew, a Catholic, an atheist, and 2 unknowns.

I suggested that we avoid the Grand Entry and just go for the drumming, singing and dancing. But to those who had never been to a Powwow it seemed more like an ‘Indian Festival’ after hearing about the country music, preaching and seeming lake of deep cultural involvement and Native American youth. For some the country music was enough to turn them away. I guess they felt like they were comfortable were they were and did not need to spend the money and effort to experience things they would normally avoid.

I think this is the point many are missing when they say just go with the flow and over look it and enjoy regardless. And I am trying to tell you that for many who have to do that in so much of there day to day life, why should they pay to do so on a week end. The point of going to something like a Powwow is to get away from being preached to and listening to the same ole music heard everywhere. There is lots of Native American music and it is not all flute music.

I would have put these remarks on the Powwow listing but as a newbie I am not allowed to do so and it would seem that me and my friends are the minority. But maybe it just seems that way ~ others just don’t make the effort to voice what I have.

Again the offense was not with a prayer ~ it was being preached to about how to have faith, about how to think and how to believe. It was with making an effort to drive 3.5 hours and have other drive 2 hours to attend an event that we had all hoped would have been more true to spirit. My most memorable life experiences have come about through what most Americans and Europeans would call prayer.

Here is the down deep thing that is the crux of it for me. I think of Powwows as a medium by which Ingenious Americans can reach out and try to reestablish for them selves and their children and all us Gringos that way of life that was so nature focused that allowed thousands of tribes to live on this continent for thousands of years without the destruction of it. It was a SUSTAINABLE way of living in that it respected Gaia.

By the way, Gaia is a Greek word for Earth of its cosmos out of chaos ~ the Greeks have nothing to do with Wiccan practices.

I would hope that Powwows would attempt to focus on the Powhattans or the ancient cultures spiritual way of life, rather than the European religions. Mother Earth needs to be less dominated and respected more for just being a living breathing thing that can be killed. What happened to those Native American efforts to bring awareness to this fact?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaia Sis View Post
Since it was not until 1973, YES 1973, that a country supposedly founded on 'religious freedom' granted to the original peoples of that land the right to pursue the rituals of their cultural spiritual beliefs.

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. Desmond Tutu
Hello and good day

I read through what you have posted here...

I want to clarify a couple of things:
Powwows are not Traditional
Powwows came about from the old wild west shows at the turn of the century
Powwows are made of many different tribes across the country

They are also vastly different in other parts of the country especially in areas that have very large Native populations.
Alot of these dances are put together for other Natives and do not have much "entertainment" for the non-natives

It can be a gathering of Natives to sing,dance and compete to find friends and make friends.

It can be a gathering that only has one type of dance such the gourd dance and feeds everybody for free and by the way does not charge.

It can be a rather large gathering such as Red Earth and Gathering of Nations or Denver March...

But through all of them you will find prayer, some of us belong to Native American Church and there is that and others are Baptist and Catholic and Lutherans and Methodist on and on all a courtesy of the Boarding school system. But its all part of who we are TODAY

It just this: The songs bring us back together and we dance simple as that...
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #18
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If the prayer at powwow offends you or you do not agree with what is said, just do your own and call it good.

It doesn't matter who does the prayer or even if one is said at all.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:15 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gaia Sis View Post
Here is the down deep thing that is the crux of it for me. I think of Powwows as a medium by which Ingenious Americans can reach out and try to reestablish for them selves and their children and all us Gringos that way of life that was so nature focused that allowed thousands of tribes to live on this continent for thousands of years without the destruction of it. It was a SUSTAINABLE way of living in that it respected Gaia....

I would hope that Powwows would attempt to focus on the Powhattans or the ancient cultures spiritual way of life, rather than the European religions. Mother Earth needs to be less dominated and respected more for just being a living breathing thing that can be killed. What happened to those Native American efforts to bring awareness to this fact?

What I hear in your words is disappointment. You have a mental image of Native people as earth goddess worshipping, environmentalists who were going to have give you a lovely weekend with the noble savage. Sorry we failed to meet your expectations.

But then again, we as Native people have been failing to meet European expectations since 1492. So we're used to disappointing.

We talk and Europeans do not listen. We tell you a powwow is not a spiritual event. We tell you that powwows are Indian time for Indian people and as such have only to answer to the community that sponsors them. We tell you we are not our "dead-noble-ancestors." We tell you life goes on, even after cultural genocide. We tell you that some of us include Christianity, computers, country-western music, and Hagen-Dazs in our lives. But you do not want to hear.

You have an issue with Christianity and you want us to join you in your fight against it. Again we as Native people are expected to conform to European whims. We have our own issues; we have our own fights. If you want to find out who we really are: stop telling us who you want us to be and endure a little discomfort. You might find that real Native experiences, insights, and friendships are worth it.


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Since it was not until 1973, YES 1973, that a country supposedly founded on 'religious freedom' granted to the original peoples of that land the right to pursue the rituals of their cultural spiritual beliefs.

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed in 1978. I remember well, I was in 8th grade Civics class -- at a fundamentalist Christian school -- when the teacher read the news article and a passage from The Way to Rainy Mountain to the class. He then discussed what the church and Christians had to atone for in their treatment of Native people. Painting all Christians with one brush is no more fair than painting all Native people.

Last edited by OLChemist; 09-21-2009 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:45 AM   #20
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It's simple manners....manners our mothers and grandmothers have been teaching for many generations.

And Respect...even for things that are different.

You were a guest...how did you behave?
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