By Suzanne J. Crawford O'Brien
This broad paintings is going past comparable surveys that spotlight purely on anthropology and historical past and explores the spiritual practices, hobbies, associations, key figures, ceremonial structures, and spiritual accoutrements indigenous to North the US, from the precontact period to the current. Taking a deep and knowledgeable glance particularly on the non secular and non secular nature of local american citizens, the encyclopedia locations traditions inside their old and theoretical context, reading their relevance inside local spiritual lifestyles and perform in addition to in the educational examine of religion.
Topics lined contain key principles and concerns, non secular and political leaders, fundamental ceremonies, mythic figures, and similar cultural matters, resembling basketry, whaling, farming, and bison searching, that have spiritual importance for local peoples. members comprise famous students of yank Indian spiritual tradition, together with many that come from tribal traditions and will supply beneficial insights and observations from their own experience.
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Extra info for American Indian Religious Traditions: An Encyclopedia (3 Volume set)
Many aspects of their lives are unique adaptations to the mountains and valleys in which they live. However, these people were strongly influenced by the Plains people to the east and the Northwest Coast people to the west prior to Euro-American contact. Most of the Plateau people lived in small villages or village clusters, with economies based on hunting, fishing, and wild horticulture. The Plateau culture area is an upland region that encompasses the Columbia Plateau and the basins of the great Fraser and Columbia Rivers.
This somewhat harsh environment produces more nomadic tribes than regions to the west, and these tribes speak variations of the Uto-Aztecan family. The one exception is the Washoe to the west who speak a Hokan dialect. The major tribal groups of the Great Basin are the Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute, each with various subdivisions and offshoots. Although dialects vary throughout the region, their similarities have made it possible for different groups to maintain diplomatic relations for trade and intermarriage.
Another myth is that all Indians of the Plains lived in tepees prior to contact. The tepee is a portable shelter that served its purpose for most groups for portions of the year. Earth and grass lodges were also frequently used dwellings before Euro-American arrival, providing large communal dwellings and ceremonial structures. Religion among the Plains peoples is as diverse as the linguistic traditions represented there, however, there are also some similarities. With the important role that bison play in the lives of these tribal groups, it is no wonder that that animal would be an important spirit being and relative, as well.