The Native American Medicine Man

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The Native American medical specialty adult male. besides known as a priest-doctor ( modern term ) . priest. therapist. and even a “Star Being” were known to be the religious leaders of Native American civilizations. Each medical specialty adult male was alone in his ain manner merely because each Native American folk had their ain beginning of spiritualty and spiritual beliefs. Each medical specialty adult male had their ain theory on how to free people of their problems and ease their hurting when they were sick or in some kind of hurt.

In this research paper I will be analyzing different medical specialty adult male patterns and beliefs from the Native American folk of the Cheyenne. Iroquois. and the Sioux Indians. I will be discoursing some of the most common unwellnesss that Native Americans faced among their folks and what the medical specialty work forces or adult females did to assist. I will besides be discoursing the different resources the medical specialty adult male used. including workss for herbal redresss and other objects. in his method of bring arounding or assisting a patient ; and in conclusion I will be discoursing how some techniques have been modernized and are still used today.

To get down with our observation. allow us get down by understanding more about the medical specialty adult male himself and how the medical specialty adult male was perceived amongst his folk. Even though each medical specialty adult male was alone in his patterns. each medical specialty adult male shared a common worship amongst their tribal members. In general. folks have many similarities in respects to medical patterns. but the existent methods used differ with the folk and their locations. every bit good as with single therapists themselves.

“Magic. supplications. vocals. exhortation. suggestion. ceremonials. fetishes. and certain particulars and mechanical procedures are employed merely by the medicine-men or medicine-women ; other specific redresss or processs are proprietary. by and large among a few old adult females in the folk ; while many vegetational redresss and simple uses are of common cognition in a given vicinity. ” The medical specialty adult male was non relied on to run and angle for nutrient like other tribesmen were. The medical specialty adult male was more utile when he could be out distributing his tribes’ spiritual beliefs to others every bit good as conveying peace to those troubled or ailment.

The medical specialty adult male was much like our modern twenty-four hours physician. priest. head-shrinker. and counselor all rolled up into one large bundle that was relied on to mend non merely a person’s organic structure but besides a person’s spirit. He even sometimes served as a in-between adult male to convey peace between worlds troubled with other worlds. The medical specialty adult male was like a practical span between the natural universe and the religious universe for the benefit of his community. Practices and Beliefs As stated above. different techniques of mending were involved in a medical specialty man’smethods: Magic. supplications. vocals and ceremonials were the most common.

Magicwas used to oppose an alleged harmful influence. such as liquors of the dead. fabulous animate beings. etc. Prayers in contrast. frequently addressed good liquors as the medical specialty adult male would seek to name upon their assistance while he was go toing his patient. Healing vocals consisted of supplications or exhortations and were sung. Loud mouth offing wasalso done to guard off evil liquors that wereknown to do illness ; the loud noises was saidto frighten such evil liquors off. Ceremonies meant to bring around a patient normally combined all or most of the techniques mentioned above.

Some of them. as described about the Navaho Indians. were really complicated. drawn out. and tended to be dearly-won. 3 “The fetishes used are peculiarly molded rocks or wooden objects. lightning-riven wood. plumes. claws. hair. statuettes of mythic animate beings. representations of the Sun. of lightning. etc. and are supposed to incarnate a cryptic power capable of forestalling disease or of antagonizing its effects. ”3 Dieting and entire temperateness from nutrient were besides signifiers of intervention in some assorted vicinities. Cheyenne Indians.

The Cheyenne Indians are known to be one of the most western folk ; at first they were located on the Cheyenne ( evidently where they got their name ) . which is a subdivision of the Red River of the North. As they were driven by the Sioux Indians. they began to busy beyond the Missouri. and finally stoping up near the Black Hills after being driven there near the terminal of the 18th century. The medical specialty adult male was a really of import individual for the Cheyenne. He was like a combination of a physician. a priest. and a therapist both of the organic structure and of the spirit.

He. like other medical specialty work forces non merely cognize about the proper usage of native workss in his environing country that had medicative belongingss. but he besides knew assorted ceremonials. chants. and vocals which were supposed to exert charming powers for the benefit of persons or for the whole folk. He. like other medicine work forces. accepted points for trade as a method of payment alternatively of U. S. currency. There are many types of spiritual beliefs and traditions passed on through coevalss that may act upon the manner the medical specialty adult male may help those who are in demand.

The Cheyenne for illustration. believed in spirit existences which resided in our existence ( which they called the existence to Hestanov ) and their sanctity was comparative to their relationship to their believed Godhead of all physical and religious life. Ma’heo’o. “In Cheyenne spiritual looks. facets of these spirit-beings or the spirit-beings themselves are entwined symbolically with works and animate being signifiers portrayed in Cheyenne ceremonials. Many Cheyenne today view the world’s ecological crisis as an terminal to Hestanov. ”

Disease came from both natural and supernatural causes for the Cheyenne. “Curing techniques involved the usage of herb tea and root redresss. ritual purification. the perspiration Lodge. smoke. supplication. and sometimes surgery. Both work forces and adult females were therapists. Treatment of illness was designed to reconstruct the patient non merely biologically but spiritually every bit good. “8 Iroquois Indians The Iroquois Indians consisted of six folks which were under one alliance: The Mohawk Indians. the Seneca. the Oneida. the Cayuga. the Onondaga. and the Tuscarora.

The Iroquois folks were spread throughout much of what we now call New York. The Iroquois Indians besides believed in spirit-beings. They believed that pestilences and diseases were caused by evil liquors ; they attempted to bring around the ill by keeping a spiritual festival to inquire for the assistance of their great spirit to free their people of the bad liquors. They besides believe that disease can infect a individual merely from non carry throughing their dreams or their desires. They believe that sometimes a person’s dreams can uncover what caused the disease. information which they used to bring around the patient.

To touch more on the footing of the Iroquois people’s belief in dreams ( as this was a big portion of their healing patterns ) . they viewed dreams as “experiences of the psyche in which we may go outside the organic structure. across clip and infinite. and into other dimensions–or receive trials from ascendants or religious guides” . They besides believed that dreams revealed the wants of one’s psyche. which would delve deeper. beyond our ain personal ends and those of others entwined with ours. to make a more spirited life.

They believe that dreams besides allow us to happen “where our critical psyche energy may hold gone missing–through hurting or injury or heartbreak–and how to acquire it back. ”7 Aside from their strong trust from dreams. one of the most interesting objects that the Iroquois used during their healing rites were wooden masks which were used to raise liquors and the dream universe. The mending ritual started off by stating the legendary history of how the mask came to be. the tribal members have oning the masks ( known as the False Face Society members ) would travel through places looking for anyone who is diseased or ill.

If a ill individual is found. they would execute the mending ritual which consisted of utilizing rattlings made out of turtle shells and blown ashes from baccy. The ritual dance continued throughout the ceremonial and ended with a ceremonial ash blowing and finalized it with a banquet. These rites were known to be performed three chief times during the twelvemonth. and smaller ceremonials were held whenever an sick individual requested or required it. 7 Navajo Indians The Navajo Indians were chiefly located in the southwesterly portion of the United States. near Arizona and New Mexico. The medicine adult male of the Navajo civilization was highly of import.

The medical specialty adult male was non expected to merely mend the ailment and the injured. but he was besides expected to keep the cognition of their heritage. their traditions. and their beliefs of the Navajo civilization. When the medical specialty adult male was called to execute a healing ceremonial. he would come to mend and besides come to state the narrative of their people and how they emerged into this universe. The medicine adult male of the Navajo Indians ( every bit good as other medicine work forces ) had a batch of cognition he was expected to keep. He was expected to pass many hours larning different ceremonial processs ( normally a sum of three ) .

He was expected to larn vocals and supplications. which none of the diction could be missed or merely bad things could go on to the patient. He was expected to larn approximately many different types of herbs ; every bit good as be expected to travel out and garner the points he needed for his sacred medical specialty bag. He was besides expected to sublimate himself by passing many hours with deep ideas in a perspiration hut. ; and he was besides expected to hold faith in the Great Spirit and in himself. all of which he needed to be able to successfully mend. The Navajo medical specialty adult male performed and learned several different ceremonials.

Other than utilizing the ceremonials to mend the ill. provide strength. and reconstruct verve to a patient ; ceremonials were besides held to observe a misss pubescence called the Beauty Way ceremonial and to observe a baby’s foremost laugh called the Hooghan Blessin Ceremony. Navajo ceremonials were fundamentally held to reconstruct one’s beauty. harmoniousness. balance. and one’s wellness. “There are said to be about 58 to sixty sacred ceremonials. Most of them last four yearss or more ; to be most effectual. they require that relations and friends attend and help out.

Foreigners are frequently discouraged from take parting in instance they become a load to others or go against a tabu. This could impact the turnout of the ceremonial. The ceremonial must be done in exactly the right mode to mend the patient. This includes everyone that is involved. “14 Aside from the ceremonials ( which seems to be the most popular signifier of mending for the Navajo ) . the medical specialty adult male would utilize several different methods to happen out what the diagnosings is on a patient.

He used objects such as crystal stones or used a intoning supplication while he shook his custodies over the patient’s organic structure. declaiming mending chants for whatever complaint he suspected the patient to hold. sometimes the chant would last a few hours. Common Ailments/Diseases Some possible causes of complaints could be the consequence of go againsting tabus believed by their Native American civilizations. Reach with lightning-struck objects for illustration. or being exposed to animate beings such as serpents which were considered to be a forbidden animate being. or even being in contact with the dead were some of grounds that required healing and chants. Warriors frequently suffered religious and psychological harm from taking portion in warfare.

They would come back and a ceremonial called the Enemy Way Ceremony would be performed in order to assist reconstruct the harmoniousness back to the individual. both mentally and emotionally. Curses were other grounds the medical specialty adult male would necessitate to go to a patient. It wasn’t until the European colonization’s arrived that diseases the Native Americans could non command began to take clasp of 1000s upon 1000s of lives. Before the Europeans arrived. the most common complaints were common colds. hurts. go againsting local tabu. psychological hurts. and those which were believed to be invoked by both good and bad liquors.

After the Europeans arrived. the Native Americans had no unsusceptibility towards the most deathly disease. variola. Smallpox seemed to hold come in moving ridges. even destructing full small towns. non merely because Native Americans had no unsusceptibility. but because they did non cognize how to handle the disease either. Other common diseases at that clip were scarlet fever. cholera. grippe. whooping cough. and many more. Resources Used for Bring arounding Many workss were used for herbal redresss to bring around those who were ailment. Some workss were used as redresss without any idea as to what they really did for the patient.

Every folk were cognizant of what the toxicant workss were in their encompassing countries. every bit good as their counterpoisons. Roots. on occasion twigs. foliages. bark. flowers and seeds were the most common works parts used. The workss could be either fresh or dry. and most normally the medical specialty adult male would pull out the chief ingredient he needed out of the works. “Generally merely a individual works would necessitate to be used. but among some Indians every bit many as four workss would be combined for a individual medicine” . 2 Animal and mineral substances were besides on occasion used as redresss.

“Among Southwestern tribes the bite of a serpent was frequently treated by using to the lesion a part of the ventral surface of the organic structure of the same serpent. “2 Other animate beings used for redresss include: crickets. lizards. and spiders’ eggs. Navajo Indians every bit good as some other Indian folks used reddish-orange crude Fe oxide combined with fat to use externally to forestall tan. “The ruddy. wastes clay from beneath a campfire was used by White Mountain Apache adult females to bring on asepsis ; the Hopi blow wood coal. ashes. or other merchandises of fire on an inflamed surface to antagonize the supposed fire which causes the complaint.

“2 Objects were besides used to assist remedy complaints. One object. for illustration. was used in Blackfeet Indians ceremonials was called a sacred medical specialty package. “which the medical specialty adult male used and was expected to sing four hundred drawn-out chants without losing a word or acquiring a stanza out of place” . 2 Rattles were besides used to help with chants. every bit good as other assorted objects that the medical specialty adult male felt would assist name the Great Spirits for assistance. Related Methods Used Today Presently. most Native Americans use modern medical specialty to bring around afflictions. but native therapists are still used by many people today.

There are infirmaries located on Indian reserves where modern twenty-four hours Native American physicians still perform mending chants to their patients. Other methods of mending. such as aromatherapy. is said to deduce from Native Americans because with aromatherapy. tapers. oils. and different things which produce a aroma can change one’s temper every bit good as enhance the organic structure. the head. and the spirit. “Many of the herbs used by Native Americans are the 1s you can really happen in acetylsalicylic acid and other medicines today. Many ingredients used in assorted modern medicines are really derived from Native American cultures” .

17 “Several over- the – counter and prescription drugs contain ingredients such as taxol. ergot. and Oncovin. which were derived from Native American medicinal herbs. The OAM reported that “cough drops that contain menthol. batch. horehound. or lemons are herbal readyings ; camomile and batch teas taken for digestion or a nervous tummy are time- esteemed herbal redresss ; and many simple but effectual OTC ache- and pain- relieving readyings on every druggist’s or grocer’s shelf contain oils of camphor. menthol. or eucalyptus. Millions of Americans greet the forenoon with their favourite herbal stimulant– coffee” .

17 Conclusion Native American medical specialty work forces have played a immense function in my head when it comes to our modern twenty-four hours medical interventions. Without their cognition of our natural works and carnal resources. I believe it would hold taken us rather a few more old ages before we would hold discovered inoculations for variola and interventions for other unwellnesss. I think we. dead persons of our European ascendants. still greatly underestimate the cognition of Native Americans… even to this twenty-four hours. Native Americans kept themselves healthy and free of major epidemics of disease until the Europeans settled on their land.

Before medical engineering became available. physicians relied on the Native American cognition of nature and natural resources to bring around a person’s illnesses. Peoples started to depend to a great extent on the modern medical engineering ; burying about their roots in their Native American civilizations. Advanced engineering and improved medical ways seems to hold made some people forget to thank and retrieve the Native American Indians who gave them their beginning cognition to get down with. * Bibliography Cheyenne- Religion and Expressive Culture. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. everyculture. com/North-America/Cheyenne-Religion-and-Expressive-Culture.

hypertext markup language ( accessed May 16. 2011 ) . Handbook of American Indians. 1906. Access Genealogy. 1999-2011. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. accessgenealogy. com/native/tribes/history/indianmedicine. htm ( accessed May 16. 2011 ) . Iverson. Peter. Jennifer Nez Denetdale. and Ada E. Deer. The Navajo. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 2006. Lippert. Dorothy. and Stephen J Spignesi. Native American History For Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing Inc. 2008. Mazaska Enterprises. LTD. “Indian medical specialty work forces. religious leaders. priests and priest-doctors. ” AAANativeArts. com. 1999-2005. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. aaanativearts. com/medicine_men. htm ( accessed May 16. 2011 ) .

Michaele. Support Native American Art. 2010. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. support-native-american-art. com/iroquois-masks. hypertext markup language ( accessed May 15. 2011 ) . Moss. Robert. Dreamways of the Iroquois: Honoring the Secret Wishes of the Soul. Rochester: Destiny Books. 2004. Native Languages of the Americas. Native Languages of the Americas: Native American Cultlures. 1998-2011. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. bigorrin. org/mohawk_kids. htm ( accessed May 15. 2011 ) . Navajo Tourism. Discover Navajo. 2008. hypertext transfer protocol: //discovernavajo. com/a11. hypertext markup language ( accessed May 16. 2011 ) . Paul. Son of the South. 2003-2008. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. sonofthesouth. net/american-indians/cheyenne-indians.

htm ( accessed May 15. 2011 ) . “Primitive Concept of Disease. ” University of California Publications in American Archeology and Ethnology. Vol. XXXII. 1932. Sandner. Donald. Navaho symbols of healing: a Jungian geographic expedition of ritual. image. and medical specialty. Rochester: Healing Arts Press. 1991. Terpning. Howard. “Medicine Man of the Cheyenne. ” National Academy of Western Art. Swoyer’s Fine Art & A ; Collections. The Study of Native Americans. February 11. 1998. hypertext transfer protocol: //inkido. Indiana. edu/w310work/romac/native. htm ( accessed May 16. 2011 ) . Wolf. Melinda. “Alternative Medicine: A journey to proactive health care.

“CNI Newspapers. 1999. ——————————————– [ 1 ] . ( Terpning n. d. ) [ 2 ] . ( Mazaska Enterprises. LTD 1999-2005 ) [ 3 ] . ( Handbook of American Indians. 1906 1999-2011 ) [ 4 ] . ( Paul 2003-2008 ) [ 5 ] . ( Terpning n. d. ) [ 6 ] . ( Cheyenne- Religion and Expressive Culture n. d. ) [ 7 ] . ( Native Languages of the Americas 1998-2011 ) [ 8 ] . ( Crude Concept of Disease 1932 ) [ 9 ] . ( Moss 2004 ) [ 10 ] . ( Michaele 2010 ) [ 11 ] . ( The Study of Native Americans 1998 ) [ 12 ] . ( Navajo Tourism 2008 ) [ 13 ] . ( Navajo Tourism 2008 ) [ 14 ] . ( Iverson. Nez Denetdale and Deer 2006 ) .

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