In the past people have mistaken about their tradition Indigenous originality or occurring naturally (country, region etc) To be indigenous kinship (relation to one another) and location(connection of particular place) Indigenous religion beliefs, experience and practices concerning non-falsifiable realities of people who have kinship and location Syncretism: Syncretism merging of elements from different religions. Eg : north American tradition have been influenced by Christianity, some African rituals are influences by Islam. * Change occurs everywhere.
* Traditions are less authentic (accurate) than thousands year ago Indigenous can be found anywhere: * Anishinaubae: drumming ceremony in Toronto * Yoruba: Funeral rites in London * Maori: Purification ritual in opera house Sydney Australia Misconceptions * Common to Indigenous traditions is colonialism * Oglala (Indigenous community) –> a theorist explained them as “warriors without weapons basically they were incapable to adapting a new economy lifestyle they focused on how to make them “modern Indians” * Outsider lack insider knowledge.
* Scholars often used terms such as fetish, myth, mana, taboo to explain Indigenous traditions. * Eg “ Indigenous stories are called myth where the bible is considered to be true. Primitive Cultures that are unchanged from the beginning primitive Christians, who believed in god and their tradition, had superiority and began to spread their religion to who didn’t know about gospel Indigenous traditions are tend to think more primitive — Due to non-literate * But writing to not better than oral speaking * Mayan did use writing * Most Indigenous people are very literate.
Indigenous tradition are tend to think more primitive – consider everything to be sacred (untrue) * Eg : Navajo : ceremony that transforms normal house into a scared place. So everything such as eating, sleeping is considered to be sacred. * Australian aborigine knows where to pray(know the difference between sacred and non sacred mountains) Primitive term is now disagreeing by many scoloars Mohawk and Cree (Dr Clare Brant) Mohawk: Indigenous traditions who give more food to their guest to show their wealth. Cree: Indigenous tradition who eat all the food offered to show scarcity.
These two traditions did not go well together and this shows that Indigenous traditions are different from each other. Another point is that we see other cultures according to our own cultures. Gender roles: * Male: hunting and warfare * Female: healing and food preparation * Maori carvers were men and weavers were women. Bunu men frow cotton and women turn it into clothes. * Sometimes the roles switch just like other traditions * Usually religions practices are different for men and woman too. Power of speech Oral speaking is very imp for Indigenous traditions things are passed down oraly. Many people think oral primitive (untrue).
Both Quran and Bible was passed down orally before written into text Stories : After life : * Kewa: a man finds a tunnel where his dead people wre living together and they gave them many things and asks him not to speak of it. When he goes and tell everyone about the tunnel, he breaks the promise and when he returns the tunnel is gone. * Anishinaubae : young man fiance died, and he go on a journey to find her and when he found her , he returns home heartbroken, keeping his promise. * These stories tell us about importance of relationships tell us about how we should live than about dying Writing stores often “fixed in time”.
Trickster: * Considered as “culture heroes” because they are the central figures in many stores * Usually shape shift usually into animals * Can change genders sometime biological and sometime just clothes changing * Outer form is reflected into infidelity * They can appear as fools, selfish, kind, scandalous etc. * Usually driven by self interest alone * Trickster stores show us how we should behave and how we should not * The stories often explain the origins of world and connect to a community more deeply. * Embodies the extremes of humanity: human weakness and strength Practice (rituals).
Indigenous tradition rituals are very similar to our traditions * Rituals remind us on what is imp in our life. * In religious terms, rituals, communicate some ways with gods, ancestor and spirits. * Rituals are roots in the human needs and relationship Rituals : * Every rituals varies * Usually involves food Muslim and Jews have specific food eating habits * Many Buddhist set food portions aside for ancestors * Anishinaubae put small amount of food for the spirits * Some rituals are more complicated * Such as marriage, death, birth * Sometimes these rituals mark transformation and sometimes they help to bring the transformation about.
* Indigenous tradition rituals serve in some ways to recreate some aspects of the world, order and life Journey: * Going on a journey/quest: rites of passage * Journey to a new place is where a transformation occurs. * The person returns home with physical change, such as tattoo, scar or a body part to symbolize their new self. * Pondos: moved into a special hut to become sacred healers- if they go into town before they must be covered in white * White usually symbolize the color of transformation in Africa * Anishinaubae vision quest – yong man travels far away from home only with water and be completely alone.
Then late he become a “adult man” and comes home with food and the ritual is complete . Sacrifice Mel Gibson: sacrifices in Indigenous traditions are vey common Bear sacrifice: raise a young cub, and raise it for two day and kill it. Head is emptied and filled with flowers and then the animal is cooked and eaten. They think that the bear is the gold’s spirit and they see it as freeing the spirit. Sun dance : dance till days and community provide support. Some sun dance involves sacrifice . the pole and lodge are buil to show the creation of the world Nuer : sacrifice ox for healing.
Xhosa : when a woman fall ill the community gathers and kill a cow and do many rituals. This is due their thinking that the ancestor or spirit is angry with the women. * above rituals shows the involvement of community even though there is sacrifice involved. * The rituals ultimately brings people together * Sacrifice like rituals create order and meaning * Those rituals join people to the past and respond to current situation Cultural Expression What you see is not always what you get Art in Indigenous traditions is aout relationship objects are coonected to people Weaving :
* Intertwine and connect * Weavers work together , helping one another , passing knowledge. * Shows bonds among people Maori Tradition : * All weavers are female * A girl is said all about weaving more said more discouraged if people saw true commitment then they let the girl into whare pora(caretakers of the weaving) * Whare pora have rules no sex before dying, no food allowed during weaving, special garment should be weaved during the day and not strangets can view the weaving * Traditional colors : black, red and white * Sacred thread is sewed on all garments to show the bond Underlying cloth :
* Clothing declare who we are and how we fit into social fabric * Has two side : can hide much as it reveals and help us create a public face * Lady gaga : he masks and clothes hide part of her but also reveals her identity that she wishes to show * Special clothes are associated with imp rituals * Bunu : believes that the special clothes are kind of womb, enveloping the body as like a fetus is being born. Clothing only wears it does not die old cloth is replaces by new, as old spirits is reborn Spirit basket : * Oldest arts * In pomo community men makes the heavy basket for hunting and fishing * Women were responsible for religious baskets.
* Mable mckey : was a traditional healer in pomo community and famous basket weaver in the world. Masks : * Masks are used in imp rituals wedding , funerals, hunting celebration etc * Masks are ment to ring spirit into the community lesser deities (gods) * Mask represent certain animals does not mean they worship the animal * Epa mask in Yoruba community extremely heavy show the strength require to dance with the mask and enter the adult hood with responsibility. * Carvers are usualy male Totem poles : * Very specific to each communities * Function of totem poles also varies in each tradition.
* Meaning varies serve as a supporting structure or grave makers and other as a symbol for power * Most also tell stories such as historical, achievements and religious * Grizzly bear at the base holding a human represents self-preservation or survival. Moko * Maori carvings are less likely to be displayed outside the original physical context * Moko tattoos * In the beginning the women were only allowed tattoos around their lips and chin where men can have tattoos all over their face * Moko story remind the Maori people their ancestor and importance of meeting ones obligation and treating one another with respect Ancestoral House.
* Marae Maori religious and social home. Site of wedding , funeral, celebration. * Authority is held by community elders where they use the space to pass n traditions, stories and arts, carving, weaving. * If the artist when wrong painting the place, they could be put to death. * Location is very imp it must be located in a place where the previous generation carried out the religious and social activities. * Whare Whakairo physical form which represents the body of the ancestor * The building is divided into body parts of the ancestor Three points and Shrine : * Some traditions are very plain, harder for an outsider to see * Three issues :
* Most rituals are performed outside * Think bout the function of religious structures that are used in the rituals * What you see is not often what you get * Mbari shrine : represents the founder of the community, a great healer and was forced to flee because they were attacked by another community. Elder stands her to protects the shrine all the time. * The guard signify the change modern development Hogans * Navajo Hogan traditional living space as well as the site for many rituals. * It is the site for daily activities and some are religious and some are not * Before new Hogan is occupied a song is performed.
* Known as Blessing way ceremony four divining earth, mountain woman, water woman, corn woman also the song speaks everyday things * According to them world is structure – Hogan All these things symbolizes: * Link btw past and present * Btw community and place * Btw our world and world of spirits Colonialism * Colonialism process where people from one place maintain a settlement in another and to the effects of people who were already there. * Changes include – subjugation or removal , new laws, social practices and new economy. * Power and profit are factors that drive colonialism.
* Religion is also one of the reason Colombus : * He destroyed a community Arawaks * He wanted to tell him where the gold was people who gave him gold were left alive and people who didn’t were killed(by cutting hands) * Then he realized that the most valuable are the people, so he sent them back to Europe by the boat land. Genocides : * 20 million African were taken as slave and only 11 million returned * 96% od aboriginals were dead in Australia * factors of depopulation : military action, torture, starvation, suicide and slavery. * More aboriginals are killed when the Americans want more land Masters of continent :
* As settler population growed the indigenous population reduced less friendly for land * Terra nullius no ones land was the phrase that European settlers used no owner ship primitive – they do not count as people Conversion : * Many converted to different religion due to colonialism * In Indonesia indigenous tradition is not recognized by lay so all are counted as muslim Loss of religion : * Europeans tried to convert them into chistianity rarely worked * Europeans used military strengeth and religion “our people is tronger because our god is stronger “ * Missionaries.
* Also sometimes the colonial government made the indigenous religion illegal * Eg : potlatch and sundance was made illegal –? Die to the felf harm and economic hardship is potlatch(poverty) * Colonialism lead to patriarchy The potlatch : * Feast that are hosted by a family and hosting family presents the guests with gifts * Demonstrate hospitality and redistributing wealth. Loss of language : * Colonialism language disappeared forever * 20 languages extinct * when communities died, the languages died with them * children’s were forbidden to speak their own languages “Stolen generation” Loss of Land:
* Many religious and indigenous land were taken and was destroyed * Two problems that non-indigenous people had: * Very common belief, no specific belief and are mostly about practice * Religion such as Christians can pray anywhere but indigenous people had to pray at a specific site Identity : (the sympols of indeginous people in sports) * Cleveland Indians play at Atlanta braves : it’s a reminder of ongoing colonialism that has been taken from the indigenous people. * Indigenous oriented names : “eskimo pie” to market the products evoke a primitive stereotype that is best suited for the product.
Courtney from Study Moose
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