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North American Indian Religions Essay

North American Indian religions rely on icons to give meaning to the immediate environment and the cosmos in general. Icons also symbolize the elemental powers of nature – the spirits, the supernatural world, and the forests. In addition, icons also describes man’s relationship with the so-called ‘Supreme Being. ‘ In many North American Indian religions, the ‘Supreme Being’ occupies an integral role in value formation.

The Supreme Being is the foremost source of morality and tribal authority. Indeed, in totems, the Supreme Being occupies the highest position by virtue of power and seniority. Icons can also be analyzed in terms of its social and cultural sense. Icons represent the general values of a community – that is, imprinted images of cherished values. The more revered icons are, the more respected are accepted values in the tribe.

Culturally, icons are imprinted beliefs – that is, they symbolize man’s immediate concerns about the environment. These concerns are as follows: survival initiatives, self-esteem and belongingness, and self-admiration. Icons serve to remind man that his natural habits are still active. Objectives: To determine the use of icons or images in North American Indian religions To define the relationship between the use of icons and the immediate environment

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