Native American Religious Experience Essay
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 …show more content…
By instilling beliefs and practices that instill positivity and prosperity, the religious experience of African Americans relays an underlying message of hope and perseverance. Religion gave African Americans a haven for when things looked bleak. It also provided a blueprint for an altogether better life. Overall, without religion, African Americans may not have accomplished all they did. As a society, we still have a long way to go in race relations, but the religious experience of African Americans demonstrates that we are moving in the right