Essay about Apache Religious Ceremonies

1124 Words Dec 14th, 2013 5 Pages
Apache Religious Ceremonies
The Apache Tribe is primarily associated with Spanish Southwest and the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Apaches believe that a number of supernatural powers associated with natural phenomena’s exist. These powers are neutral with respect to good and evil, but they can be used for various individual purposes. Belief is supported by a mythology that explains the creation of the world and includes several idols. Most important are Life Giver, Changing Woman, a source of eternal youth and life; and her twins, Slayer of Monsters and Child of Water. Life Giver, Child of the Water, and White Painted Women are forms of religious
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The Apache Sunrise Ceremony or the Mescalero Apache Puberty Ceremony is a communal four-day ceremony that Apache girls of the past and present experience soon after their first menstruation. In the book, Women of the Apache Nation, Stockel does a great job describing the steps of the Puberty Ceremony. “For most of the four days and nights, to songs and prayers, they dance, as well as run toward the four directions. During this time, they also participate in and conduct sacred rituals, receiving and giving both gifts and blessings, and experiencing their own capacity to heal” (Stockel, 161-162). The Apache girls have many steps leading up to the ceremony. I believe that the Sunrise Ceremony serves many purposes…personally, spiritually and communally, and is often one of the most memorable and significant experiences of Apache females. “Not only does she give to the community - food, gifts, healings, blessings, but she also joyfully receives from the community blessings, acceptance and love. Throughout the ceremony, she receives prayers and heartfelt wishes for prosperity, wellbeing, fruitfulness, a long life, and a healthy old age”(Stockel, 165). This quote exemplifies how united the Apache Tribe is. They come together to celebrate the womanhood of the girls and to greet them into Adulthood. She is faced against many hardships and her goal is to overcome the difficulties then the celebration starts. The Puberty

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