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Prayer and Meditation are both practices that dominant religions like Christianity and Buddhism use to connect with God and themselves. As oppose to using prayer and meditation, indigenous or “primitive’ religions use rituals. Indigenous religions have two other main characteristics. They believe in being one with nature, and most importantly that every living thing is ‘interrelated’ and ‘interdependent’.
Religions such as these strongly believe in rituals. For example, many people in indigenous societies submit to a ‘vision quest’. This is when a person is guided to a ‘sacred’ place to plead with the spirits.
Ritualsare an element that signifies passage through all of one’s stages in life. It brings with it a journey to new beginnings.But most importantly, it brings the people in a community and the world around them together in a harmonious symphony. Through rituals, people in a community join together in a steady cycle of life. In most cases a circle is the mark of unity.
It marks the time a person is born to they’re death. It also signifies things such as the cycle of the solar system or changes of the seasons.
Everyone and everything runs as if it is a well-oiled machine. This symbol of unity is a way of showing that the universe and the people and spiritual things in it must work together to stay in harmony. Without it, everything would be chaotic and unbalanced. Indigenous religions are also known for believing in being one with nature. Communicating with nature is just as important as communicating with one’s ancestors.
The people believe that everything is alive, or has a soul. In their view, ‘spiritual forces’ are in things like mountains, trees, andrivers. The land that they live on is sacred and is to be treated with the greatest respect and love as they love and respect themselves.
Dominant religions and indigenous religions have somewhat blended. Some religions like Buddhism frequently embraced some of the ancient practices. Some indigenous religions have also implemented of the newer customs of dominant religions. Even with accepting these customs, they still preserve their usual traditions. People of different societies that did not understand the truth of their faiths often tried to furrow out the indigenous ‘sacred ways’ in the past. To protect the sacredness of their customs, they often lied to people of different cultures.
Of course now things are different and people in the study of the old ways are more considerate. Now, in the 21st century, the indigenous people and their practices are being wiped out. It is mostly because their sacred land is being taken from them and is used for industrial purposes. The people that are trying to change their whole way of life are ‘supposedly’ giving them something better. People of other societies also exploit their rituals and practices. This is a current problem that affects all the indigenous people that want to keep to their traditions in a negative way.
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