Religious Experience Of Native Americans Essay

1687 Words Apr 15th, 2016 7 Pages
Religious Experience of Native Americans

The Native American religious experience from before the European presence to the 20th century underwent many transformations throughout its evolution. In the beginning, the Olmec and Mayan hierarchical civilizations believed their kings, who were also their religious leaders, were able to communicate with the Gods and ancestors. This demonstrated how the early Native Americans believed that supernatural forces existed. This belief in the supernatural led to the Native Americans developing a cultural relationship between themselves and nature, with the intent to maintain a harmonic balance between the spiritual and living world (Unit 1, Lecture 1).
This relationship with nature caused Native Americans to develop rituals and beliefs that were unchanged until encountering the Europeans in the late 15th century. Examples of some of the rituals performed include solar cycle and seasonal rituals to ensure fruitful crops, or funeral rituals for burying the dead (Unit 1, Lecture 1). In addition to these rituals, Native Americans believed that the world was based on personal belief. They also believed that everything was inter-related as a family network, from birds to the weather to the crops they grew, with the Native Americans themselves siblings among them. Another belief was that history was sacred, as they did not have to ability to understand events that happened prior to their existence (Unit 1, Lecture 1).
Outside of the…

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