The Native American Medicine Man Essay

3136 Words Jun 13th, 2012 13 Pages
The Native American Medicine Man | From the Past to the Present | | | |

The Native American medicine man, also known as a shaman (modern term), priest, healer, and even a “Star Being” were known to be the spiritual leaders of Native American cultures. Each medicine man was unique in his own way simply because each Native American tribe had their own origin of spirituality and religious beliefs. Each medicine man had their own theory on how to rid people of their troubles and ease their pain when they were ill or in some sort of distress. In this research paper I will be examining different medicine man practices and beliefs from the Native American tribes of the Cheyenne, Iroquois, and the Sioux Indians. I will be discussing
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As they were driven by the Sioux Indians, they began to occupy beyond the Missouri, and eventually ending up near the Black Hills after being driven there near the end of the eighteenth century. The medicine man was a very important person for the Cheyenne. He was like a combination of a doctor, a priest, and a healer both of the body and of the spirit. He, like other medicine men not only knew about the proper use of native plants in his surrounding area that had medicinal properties, but he also knew various ceremonies, chants, and songs which were supposed to wield magical powers for the benefit of individuals or for the whole tribe. He, like other medicine men, accepted items for trade as a method of payment instead of U.S. currency. There are many types of religious beliefs and traditions passed on through generations that may influence the way the medicine man may aid those who are in need. The Cheyenne for example, believed in spirit beings which resided in our universe (which they called the universe to Hestanov) and their holiness was comparative to their relationship to their believed creator of all physical and spiritual life, Ma’heo’o. “In Cheyenne religious expressions, aspects of these spirit-beings or the spirit-beings themselves are entwined symbolically with plant and animal forms portrayed in Cheyenne ceremonies. Many Cheyenne today view the world's ecological crisis as an end to Hestanov.”

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