Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Native American Spirituality
Native spirituality speaks of the world as one spirit, referring to the creator of all things as the “Great Spirit.” Mainstream religions might use words such as God, Allah , or Mind to describe this metaphor. In Native spirituality, every aspect of life is sacred, including the spirit that lives inside every human being. Sacred or holy teachings are often passed on through storytelling and the wisdom of the Elders or medicine men; such teachings, most often, include an intrinsic connection to land, tradition, and culture. Native spirituality is a highly ceremonial and experiential religion, with the ceremonies and traditions varying from tribe to tribe. For traditional Native Americans, there is no separation between the sacred and the ordinary, nor any special day set aside for religious practices. Every act, every thought, every feeling walks hand in hand with Spirit. Rather than going to church, the traditional Native might attend ...