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Old 02-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #1
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Do native americans pray to the Jewish God?

Hello all, I am hear to learn more about Native Americans whom I have always admired and been fascinated with since childhood so please excuse my many questions.

I searched for Native American beliefs and was lead to this article:

Native Beliefs

Everything in that article is pretty much what the God of Moses dictates. I understand Native American pray to the "spirits in the sky", is there any link to those spirits and the Jewish/Christian God please? Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:06 PM   #2
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So first thing I see is .....that website is about as hokey as they come !

Secondly , why is your God Jewish/Christian ? Aren't they 2 completely different religions ? What about the Muslim God , the Buddhist God ,don't they count?

We (most of us not tainted by religious bullsh!t) pray to The Creator. If there is something bigger than the power that Created everything , please enlighten us/me ! I give thanks to the 4 directions , pay homage to Mother Earth and Father Sun , and Pray to The One Above ( The Creator) Not some made up "God" that has a storybook created so the white man's church could control the people of that era ! Now there are some ndns that believe in Christianity ! To each their own. Typically I would not bash them , but I do try to make them realize they're being misled. My own Pops said though "it doesn't hurt anything to cover all the bases" ! LOL
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:41 AM   #3
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Welcome to powwows.com.

There is no such thing as a generic Native American spirituality, except in a box on the shelf in your local New Age bookstore or websites like the one you found. There is Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux or ad infinitum spirituality. Native peoples are not monolithic. Each people has their own practices and traditions. It is a grave error to think of them as one group,

Since 1492, the dominant culture depiction of the various idigenious people of the Americas has reduced us to a mostly homogenous mass of tipi dwelling, warbonnet wearing, buckskin clad Dances with Wolves extras. There was and is enormous cultural, political, social, linguistic, and economic variation among the in excess of 1000 different peoples of the Americas.

At the time of contact, there were cities that matched those in Europe and Asia in size and sophistication. There were empires that rivaled those in Europe. There were hunters and gathers, city dwelling bureaucrats and priests, sea faring fisherman and traders, and sophisticated farming cultures. The religious range within the New World was as large as that in the Old World. Each group had their own practices.

Religion isn't even a particularly good word to describe it. In the modern West, religion is often thought of a set of beliefs you are raised with then ultimately choose incorporate into aspects of your life or discard or even change. You need to understand that most traditional Native understandings of the spiritual arise from very different roots. The intellectual underpinnings are very dissimilar to Judeo-Christian ideas. Often the universe is understood as interdependent and human survival is dependent on the correct behavior and actions. Therefore religion in most Native cultures is deeply intertwined in every aspect of life. Within many Native cultures you are born to your people's system of belief. By the fact of being part of your Nation, you have a role. Changing to a different tribe's practices is often not even possible.


(Pardon the recycled posts.)
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:19 AM   #4
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Appreciate the response and knowledge guys, thanks! Seems the deeper I look into this the more confusing it gets, for me. To sum up the answer to my question, Native American have no belief in the Jewish God? I am not Jewish BTW so I am not here to attack anyone's beliefs. I came here to learn more about the native American life.

Personally, when I look at the big picture, I think most of us no matter the religion all pray to the same and one God, the "spirit in the sky". I think it's the way we go about it is what separates us so while I many not agree with the Muslim, Bhuddist or Hindu e.t.c traditions and total beliefs I still respect them.

I guess I too had stereotyped thinking [sorry] assuming all Native Americans believe in the same principles. If I were to visit a reservation and wished to take part in whatever festivities especially the dancing which I love, would I be welcomed to do so?
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic View Post
I came here to learn more about the native American life.
Lives. Plural. Ranging from those of rez dwelling traditionals to city dwelling scientists, from medicine people to astronauts (John B. Herrington), from Zuni farmers to Haida fisherman... This is part of the block you're having.

We're not any more homogenous than non-Indian people. No criticism intended but, I doubt you'd get on forum devoted to raves or football or some "dominant culture" dance or sport and ask if they all worshipped the "Jewish" God, because you recognize that those groups are heterogeneous. So are we.

Modern Native people are just that -- people. We share an ancestry that traces back to ancestors who were in the Americas in 1491. Frequently, that's all we share, LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic View Post
To sum up the answer to my question, Native American have no belief in the Jewish God?
I wonder if God would consent to ownership?

Are there modern Native people who are Christians, Jews or Mormons -- yes. I've also meet Native people who pray to Allah, offer mantras taught by the Buddha, practice Wicca, and pray to nothing at all. I've even met some who believe and peddle the consummerist, feel-good mush of the New Age.

But, do pre-contact traditional religions worship Yahweh? That depends on whether you're a universalist or not. But, by my reading of the Tanakh -- albeit in English -- I don't think Moses would agree.

Native cultures do not rise from the intellectual soil of the Fertile Crescent or the Hellenistic Mediterranean. By and large those Native intellectual traditions I'm familiar with look at the world and the relationship of humans to the powers around them very differently. (See my first post, LOL.)

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If I were to visit a reservation and wished to take part in whatever festivities especially the dancing which I love, would I be welcomed to do so?
Most true Native religious practices are inaccessible to outsiders. We don't seek converts. Spirituality is part of life, so you would see it all around you, if you knew what you were seeing. But, there is a veil; you would be unable to touch it.

That would depend. Even overtly missionary religions, like Christianity, Islam, or Mormonism would look askance at an outsider who inserted himself into the midst of their activities. If you were to attend a powwow, which is a social gathering not religious, and respectfully observed protocol and danced an intertribal or two, you would be welcome to celebrate life and survival with us. But, if you went to a Saint's Day or the winter dances at a pueblo and threw yourself into the line of dancers, you'd be shown the door.

Last edited by OLChemist; 02-06-2017 at 11:07 AM.. Reason: Good grammar -- it's not just a good idea.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:17 AM   #6
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Oh I see, makes sense. Thanks for explaining the difference between a pow wow and winter dances. If I were to ever attend a pow pow of course I would never do anything without asking first.

Also I am sorry for being so stereotypical about everything, being a foreigner to this country all I had to go on was what I was seeing in the movies all my life and now the internet.

I have always wanted to spend some time on a farm but here in the heart of NY, I would need to go upstate somewhere. Would it be possible for me to visit and spend time on a reservation close by?
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #7
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Some more stereotypical thinking :) It does not hold that:

Rez == Indian
City != Indian

According to the last census, 78% of Native people lived outside of reservations. NYC has the largest native population of any urban area in the US. We're still here; all around you if you just look and listen.

There are many reservations in New York state. You don't even have to go upstate. There are two on Long Island: Poospatuck and Shinnecock.

Would you be welcomed? That depends a lot on you and your approach.
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Last edited by OLChemist; 02-07-2017 at 01:44 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
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Long Island will work nicely. Can you advise me on how I should get started and what my approach should be please? I have been looking into visiting a farm and offering to help in any way so I get to spend time among nature/animals and help people in the process.

If I were to have the opportunity to do so on a reservation then that would be a big bonus for me as I can have real life interaction with Native Americans and contribute something in a positive way.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic View Post
Appreciate the response and knowledge guys, thanks! Seems the deeper I look into this the more confusing it gets, for me. To sum up the answer to my question, Native American have no belief in the Jewish God? I am not Jewish BTW so I am not here to attack anyone's beliefs. I came here to learn more about the native American life.

Personally, when I look at the big picture, I think most of us no matter the religion all pray to the same and one God, the "spirit in the sky". I think it's the way we go about it is what separates us so while I many not agree with the Muslim, Bhuddist or Hindu e.t.c traditions and total beliefs I still respect them.

I guess I too had stereotyped thinking [sorry] assuming all Native Americans believe in the same principles. If I were to visit a reservation and wished to take part in whatever festivities especially the dancing which I love, would I be welcomed to do so?
No.
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

Mr. Rossie Freeman
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:10 PM   #10
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No.
Dang , marriage made you mean !
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
No.
I am confused, OLChemist stated:

Most true Native religious practices are inaccessible to outsiders. We don't seek converts. Spirituality is part of life, so you would see it all around you, if you knew what you were seeing. But, there is a veil; you would be unable to touch it.

That would depend. Even overtly missionary religions, like Christianity, Islam, or Mormonism would look askance at an outsider who inserted himself into the midst of their activities. If you were to attend a powwow, which is a social gathering not religious, and respectfully observed protocol and danced an intertribal or two, you would be welcome to celebrate life and survival with us. But, if you went to a Saint's Day or the winter dances at a pueblo and threw yourself into the line of dancers, you'd be shown the door.

So who is correct?
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:38 PM   #12
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You have to remember the painful history between our peoples. Modern Native people are the descendants of survivors of the end of the world. Depending on whether you're a high counter or low counter 50-90% of our population died within the half a millennium plus since the lost white guy from Europe -- i.e. Columbus -- washed up on our shores. Smallpox, Plague, war, starvation, economic collapse, forced assimilation, termination, relocation... We've had a rough 500 years. Don't expect universal welcome.

Your attitude may well rub many the wrong way. You seem really eager to ask sensitive questions and the handle you have selected suggests to me at least you are a seeker. We've seen a lot of outsiders come and throw themselves into the middle of our communities and lives, overrunning our activities. We've had many come, appropriate and then profane our sacred ways. Few wait and watch and learn, humbly. Only joining when invited. Accepting that they may never be invited.

At most powwows -- again these are social gatherings -- when the MC calls for everyone to come down and dance, all those who respect the rules of the arena and community will generally be welcome. However, you may hear a nasty comment or two. Be humble. The arena isn't about you.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:44 PM   #13
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Every member of every tribe may or may not welcome you .There is no "set in stone" answer. Now to make it generic , at MOST inter-tribal powwows visitors are welcome as long as they respect the rules at that particular venue. But that is not saying that every ndn there will welcome you , no more than a stranger walking into someone else's get together.
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:24 PM   #14
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Hmnn, my cherokee friend had told me that people come from all over the world and they all are very welcomed and have a great time but thanks for the warnings guys and the reality of the situation, I will need to rethink now if I should ever attend a pow wow as I can understand that some visitors may not be totally respectful and not all of the people may not be readily accepting of visitors, certainly can't blame them for being wary or suspicious of visitor's motives.
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:46 PM   #15
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Why do people expect that Indians at gatherings are going to effusively welcome strangers? And why when we don't do they take their ball and go home?

Let me illustrate: I'm a nerd, so I gravitate to nerdish things -- like lapidary clubs and Star Trek conventions. (Sorry, if I crushed any illusions. Not ya'll JD and Wardancer; you guys know I'm a nerd, LOL.)

A couple years ago, I joined an all Anglo rockhound/lapidary/jewelry club. The first meeting I attended turned out not to be a regular club meeting but -- surprise, surprise -- the Christmas potluck. Some folks made a point of greeting me and inviting me to join their table. Others were too busy meeting old friends and doing their own thing. And one person made a remark about my showing empty handed. If I had acted like some non-Indians do the second they are corrected or not greeted with instant blood-botherhood or some dang thing, I'd have missed out on a lot of fun.

I won't even discuss the welcome I got from a bunch of drunken "Klingons" in the hallway of a Boston Hyatt. But I still go to cons.

NDN's are people. We're not prefect -- except JD We're just folks. We have varying levels of interest in and aptitude at intercultural interaction. We have varying temperaments. Some of us are nice, some of us are jerks.

You want to go to a powwow, start with a nice, well advertised contest powwow at university or someplace like that. Sit in the back. Don't sit where a blanket has been placed on a seat or bench. Buy a program if they have one and read the powwow etiquette section, if there is one. Listen to the MC and the Arena Director. Stand when they tell you. Keep your hands to yourself (you'd be amazed the number of people who touch dancers without permission -- powwow not petting zoo) and your eyes open.

Watch for patterns more than ask questions. Learn to distinguish between contests and intertribals. Watch how folks of your gender behave. Nothing brands you as a -- uh -- can't find a polite word for it, than being the lone white girl on the floor without regalia, clutching a feather duster, dancing men's traditional during an intertribal. Or being the straight non-Indian guy with a blanket slung over his shoulders dancing fancy shawl. (Yes, I have seen both of these.) Save the dancing during an intertribal for the next powwow, unless invited by a new acquaintance you might have made.

Then go buy some Indian food and crafts. Get an extra bottle of water and offer it the elderly person next to you. Note the differences in etiquette. Watch and listen more than talk. Be humble.
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Last edited by OLChemist; 02-06-2017 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:44 PM   #16
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...Now there are some ndns that believe in Christianity ! To each their own. Typically I would not bash them , but I do try to make them realize they're being misled. My own Pops said though "it doesn't hurt anything to cover all the bases" ! LOL
Like so many NDNs of her generation, my mom was sent away to a Jesuit run Boarding School. It was a painful experience & she didn't talk about it very much, but my auntie told us stories of what it was like.

Afterwards, I asked my mom how she learned English & she said that the priests & the nuns would hit them if they heard anyone speaking our language. The only time they could talk to each other was at night when they were in bed, but they had to be real quiet.

Given all the horrible things that the missionaries & the Catholic Church did to my mom, to my aunties & uncles & to NDN people, I asked my mom, "Why did she go ahead & baptize us kids?" She answered, "Insurance."

She told me that Catholics believe that if you are not baptized that you won't go to heaven. She said that she didn't know if it was true or not, but just in case it is, she wanted us to be covered & get in.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Why do people expect that Indians at gatherings are going to effusively welcome strangers? And why when we don't do they take their ball and go home?

Watch and listen more than talk. Be humble.
Thanks a million for all of the detailed advice! To address your question above, that is what I and my family have always done, it's who we are, our family I mean. Our household always have visitors every weekend, mainly my friends and relatives but a lot of the times they will bring one or more people we've never met before. The more the merrier we say. When we cook, we offer everyone first, if there's any left it's only then we eat.

We are not pretentious, it's in our blood to treat everyone the same, whether relative, friend or stranger. We go out of our way especially to make strangers feel very welcomed, I guess sometimes I forget that not every person does things the way we do.

Remember that the reason I inquired here about visiting a pow pow is because the cherokee friend had told me about the "Standing Rock" pow wow, how great and enjoyable it is for all visitors from all over the world, that is what I had based my intentions on.

I think I see now why the friend's statements may not be accurate. She is a 60 year old well travelled University Grad, have made a lot of friend worldwide, is by nature a very friendly and outgoing person, I share the same personality so does my family BUT she told me that she had only spent a whopping 6 "weeks" on a reservation with her relatives all of her life.

I am thinking now this is why she may not know the whole reality of true Reservation life and protocol and why her statements differ from you guys here?
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:52 AM   #18
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Lives. Plural. Ranging from those of rez dwelling traditionals to city dwelling scientists, from medicine people to astronauts (John B. Herrington), from Zuni farmers to Haida fisherman... This is part of the block you're having.

We're not any more homogenous than non-Indian people. No criticism intended but, I doubt you'd get on forum devoted to raves or football or some "dominant culture" dance or sport and ask if they all worshipped the "Jewish" God, because you recognize that those groups are heterogeneous. So are we.

Modern Native people are just that -- people. We share an ancestry that traces back to ancestors who were in the Americas in 1491. Frequently, that's all we share, LOL.



I wonder if God would consent to ownership?

Are there modern Native people who are Christians, Jews or Mormons -- yes. I've also meet Native people who pray to Allah, offer mantras taught by the Buddha, practice Wicca, and pray to nothing at all. I've even met some who believe and peddle the consummerist, feel-good mush of the New Age.

But, do pre-contact traditional religions worship Yahweh? That depends on whether you're a universalist or not. But, by my reading of the Tanakh -- albeit in English -- I don't think Moses would agree.

Native cultures do not rise from the intellectual soil of the Fertile Crescent or the Hellenistic Mediterranean. By and large those Native intellectual traditions I'm familiar with look at the world and the relationship of humans to the powers around them very differently. (See my first post, LOL.)



Most true Native religious practices are inaccessible to outsiders. We don't seek converts. Spirituality is part of life, so you would see it all around you, if you knew what you were seeing. But, there is a veil; you would be unable to touch it.

That would depend. Even overtly missionary religions, like Christianity, Islam, or Mormonism would look askance at an outsider who inserted himself into the midst of their activities. If you were to attend a powwow, which is a social gathering not religious, and respectfully observed protocol and danced an intertribal or two, you would be welcome to celebrate life and survival with us. But, if you went to a Saint's Day or the winter dances at a pueblo and threw yourself into the line of dancers, you'd be shown the door.
She meant no...too.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:53 AM   #19
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I am confused, OLChemist stated:

Most true Native religious practices are inaccessible to outsiders. We don't seek converts. Spirituality is part of life, so you would see it all around you, if you knew what you were seeing. But, there is a veil; you would be unable to touch it.

That would depend. Even overtly missionary religions, like Christianity, Islam, or Mormonism would look askance at an outsider who inserted himself into the midst of their activities. If you were to attend a powwow, which is a social gathering not religious, and respectfully observed protocol and danced an intertribal or two, you would be welcome to celebrate life and survival with us. But, if you went to a Saint's Day or the winter dances at a pueblo and threw yourself into the line of dancers, you'd be shown the door.

So who is correct?
I am.
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

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Old 02-07-2017, 07:55 AM   #20
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Dang , marriage made you mean !
I'm changing...in a good way.
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


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