Indigenous Religions Analysis Essay

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In chapter 2, the textbook author uses various terms for “indigenous religions”: traditional, aboriginal, indigenous, tribal, nonliterate, primal, native, oral, and basic. Select four or five of these terms and discuss why you believe each of those terms is applicable to the religions covered in this chapter. “Native”.

The word native relates well with the religions in this chapter because many of these religions are native to the place they come from. For instance the indigenous religion in Hawaii host a goddess of fire, Pele, whom is native to just that religion. “Oral”. The word oral relates to the indigenous religions in this chapter because that is how most of these religions were spread. Very little of these religions had writing systems to pass on their religions from one to another, so instead they used their words, artwork, and sacred artifacts to spread their religion. “Tribal”.

The word tribal relates to indigenous religions in this chapter because many of the religions discussed were the religions of the different tribes. The indigenous religions fell in line with the life of tribes with creating sacrifices in order for a tribe to succeed in battle or with health. “Primal”. The word primal relates well because compared to the religions of today’s time these religions seem primitive.

They either have barbaric executions or puzzling celebrations with odd mask which all seems primitive. Why do so many indigenous religions have such a reverence for nature? Many of the indigenous religions have a huge reference to nature because depending on how nature treated the people part of the religions directly related to whether they survived or not. So as a way of thanking nature for keeping them prosperous they showed their appreciation in sacrifices, celebrations, and thought of nature as godlike. Discuss the state of indigenous religions today.

Indigenous religions today are way less abundant if not extinct. Many of the indigenous religions were the building blocks for the bigger religions of today, so in a sense they are still floating around just living through other religions. Most of them died with the extinction of the tribes themselves as well. What is animism?

The belief that every living and inanimate objects in the universe have a spirit or soul. In general, what is the relationship between the human and
animal worlds among indigenous religions? In general they go hand in hand with each other.

In most of the indigenous religion when killing and animal for meat or killing a tree for shelter they do it respectfully as possible in reference to their souls. How do indigenous religions, in general, select their “sacred spaces”? Indigenous religions select a great mountain, a volcano, a valley, a lake, a forest, a single large tree, or some other striking natural site. How are ancestors viewed in most indigenous religions?

Ancestors in ‘most’ indigenous religions have almost god-like respect for them. They are treated quite well out of love for them and their power they are thought to have. What “big events” in life are usually marked by ceremonies in indigenous religions?

In indigenous religions rites of passage are marked by ceremonies; Child birth and crossing over into adulthood are examples. What is a taboo? What are some examples of taboos in our modern culture, and are they religious or cultural in nature? A taboo is a rule that forbids specific behavior with regard to certain objects, people, animals, days, or phases of life.

A taboo in our modern culture would be something like picking your nose in public. By nature taboos are more cultural than religious. To me they are a combination of the two; culture and religion. What is a shaman, and what role does the shaman play in indigenous religions? A shaman is a person who can contact the spirit realm, receive visions of it, and transmit messages from it, often to help or heal others. The shaman acts as an intermediary between the visible, ordinary world and the spirit world.

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