Native North American Spirituality of the Eastern Woodlands: Sacred Myths, Dreams, Visions, Speeches, Healing Formulas, Rituals, and Ceremonials

Native North American Spirituality of the Eastern Woodlands: Sacred Myths, Dreams, Visions, Speeches, Healing Formulas, Rituals, and Ceremonials

Native North American Spirituality of the Eastern Woodlands: Sacred Myths, Dreams, Visions, Speeches, Healing Formulas, Rituals, and Ceremonials

Native North American Spirituality of the Eastern Woodlands: Sacred Myths, Dreams, Visions, Speeches, Healing Formulas, Rituals, and Ceremonials

Synopsis

This work makes available for the first time in a single volume a representative collection of the major spiritual texts from the Native American Indian peoples of the East Coast. Elisabeth Tooker, professor of anthropology at Temple University and and editor of The Handbook of North American Indians, presents the sacred traditions of the Iroquois, Winnibego, Fox, Menominee, Delaware, Cherokee and others. Included here are cosmological myths, thanksgiving addresses, dreams and visions, speeches of the shamans, teachings of parents, puberty fasts, blessings, healing rites, stories, songs, ceremonials for fires, hunting wars, feasts and the rituals of various spiritual societies.

Excerpt

This volume concerns the religious beliefs and practices of the Indians of eastern United States and Canada. It is a subject that has received too little attention, and of the descriptions that have appeared in the literature, only a small portion prints accounts by the Indians themselves and that often in relatively inaccessible scholarly anthropological monographs. Thus, one present objective is to make a sampling of these texts available to the general reader.

A number of the texts were originally recorded in native languages and then translated into English. With the exception of the Delaware texts, which have been retranslated especially for this volume by Ives Goddard, the translations used are those originally published. However, they have been somewhat edited for readability and consistency of spelling and punctuation.

Such texts are not available for all the aspects of religious life of any one Indian people. Nor are they available for all Indian peoples of the eastern part of the North American continent. Many of those that are, are from Indians of the Great Lakes region: Winnebago, Fox, Menominee, and Iroquois. Despite these limitations, however, much may be learned about Eastern Woodland Indian religions from a perusal of these texts. It is with the hope that they will, and that understanding of these peoples will be increased, that they are presented here.

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