Aboriginal Spirituality - Mrs. Einhorn's Class | kate

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Transcript Aboriginal Spirituality - Mrs. Einhorn's Class | kate

Aboriginal Spirituality
Practices, Rituals and Festivals
The Beginnings
• Native peoples
have been in
Canada longer
than any other
• According to
their traditions,
Americans have
always been
here, ever since
the beginning of
• Each Native American
group has its own
Creation story to explain
that group’s origins,
which grew out of the
experiences and folklore
of the Native People
• Stories reflect their
beliefs in the
interrelationship of
people, animals, and the
natural environment.
• Archaeological
evidence supports a
second theory that
Aboriginal peoples
migrated from Asia to
North and South
America by crossing a
land bridge over the
Bering Straight.
• Estimates as to when
they first come to this
continent vary widely.
Ranging from 12 000
to over 70 000 years.
Today, Aboriginal
peoples keep their
spiritualism alive by
participating in
traditional festivals
and by depicting
their belief through
their art and
symbols. Some of
their religious
practices have
become common to
all Aboriginal
The Morning Dance
• Takes place every spring by the
Ojibwa of southern Ontario, also
known as the Wabeno.
• All fast and cleanse themselves
before a male elder plays a drum
and leads the dance in a clearing
around a selected tree.
• As each dancer passes the tree, the
drummer signals a dancer to touch
the trunk to give thanks.
• Around midday, a huge feast of
meat and fish is served.
The Sundance Ceremony
Practiced differently by several North American
Indian Nations, but many of the ceremonies
have features in common, including dancing,
singing and drumming, the experience of
visions, fasting, and, in some cases, selftorture.
• The buffalo, however, makes up the main theme
of the Sun Dance. Buffalo songs, dances, and
feast commonly accompany the Sun Dance.
• The buffalo symbolized life, for it was the
buffalo that gave them quality of life (food,
clothing, shelter, utensils, toys). This
relationship was praised and blessed with the
Sun Dance.
The Potlach Ceremony
• Feasting, distributing wealth, sharing
songs and dances are all part of the
• Celebrations take place in the Northwest Pacific Coast
• The host gives a feast to celebrate an important event, e.g.,
• The more wealth the host gives away, the more that person
gains in status.
• Songs and dances are performed to honor the Great Spirit.
The Sweat Lodge
• This celebration helps the
great plains nations renew
the soul and regain focus.
• It is said to cleanse both
the spiritual and physical
• Under the direction of
the Shaman, the
participants make a
• Hot stones, water
sprinkled, then people
crouch & crowd around
the confined space;
sweat profusely ultimately cleansing
the body physically
and spiritually.
Smudging Ceremony
• One of the most popular Aboriginal rituals that
includes the burning of sweet grass and
drawing smoke ritually over the body.
• This helps to clear one’s thoughts, wash away
impurities, and focus on a positive future.
The Vision Quest
• The Vision Quest is a ceremony common to most
Aboriginal Religions.
• Celebrates an adolescents passage to adulthood.
• A young Aboriginal must confess his/her sins, fast,
pray, camp alone, participate in a sweat lodge, all in
the hopes of receiving a message or “vision” which
will help give direction to their life.