Spirituality and Respect at the Core of Native American History
Native Americans are known to have a distinct culture and unique tribes. Their spirituality boils down to respecting nature. They believe that nature is the where they come from and is also what sustains them. The beliefs and practices of these people revolve around nature; it also includes the way they mature and how they get healed. Knowing about their cultures and tribes in-depth is tough, but here is some basic information on the spirituality of Native American.
Beliefs & Rituals
There are several tribes, and each tribe believed human beings came to be in the world for a purpose. The Cherokee people say there was a large floating island and it was in the middle of the vast ocean held by four ropes. This is the time in which the Great Spirit asked everyone to stay awake for seven nights and seven days. Fortunately, the one who could stay awake was rewarded; it was then that human beings appeared. On the other hand, the Navajo tribe, one of the Native American tribes believed that this is the Fourth World. The first three people in the world were the insects, animals and masked spirits. The woman and man who came first belonged to the first world and they were here due to the different clouds meeting.
Gods and Spirits
The Native Americans revered and looked up to many deities. Some of the deities included hunting, trickery and healing deities. The Great Spirit describes the higher all-encompassing power, while there are many more in their belief system as individual spirits. They believe that most of them are animals trusting in humanity to take care of the lower lifeforms.
Native Americans dislike using the medicine man term. They refer to them in their native language where they would be referred to as ‘mystery men’. They believe that it is essential that one stay balanced and ensure the cosmic energy is smoothly flowing to stay happy and healthy. The term that the Navajo tribe people use to define the mystery men is ‘Hatali’. The Navajo tribes believed that these healers could bridge the spirits and within the tribe, their job was to include a healer, historian, educator, and prophet. These people were believed to leave their bodies so that they could communicate with spirits.
Reaching puberty in a young body meant they get to go on a vision quest. The rite of passage is given to the young boys so that they acquire proper guidance from their higher powers. This is done to show the growth spiritually and to reflect on self, such that they find their future direction. The so-called ‘Medicine People’ also go through the spiritual journey and communicate with the spirit world. They are the common men protectors and become the enemy of the evil/bad spiritual beings. The natural and holistic way of the Native Americans has been used to develop the medical practices that is used today. Though we do not believe in the spiritual aspects, we certainly take the core values to some extent. Thus, incorporating the desire to lead a harmonious, balanced life by respecting nature and ensure spiritual practice.