Our Place and Responsibility in Society Native North America, Larry J. Zimmerman
Sacredness and Ceremony Pages: 74-‐103
The Life of the Spirit According to this passage, how would you describe the relationship between people and the rest of the world?
Foundations of the Sacred 1-‐ Describe the difference between “religion” and Native American “sacred life”? 2-‐ Give examples of how a “sacred life” is illustrated in a Native American understanding or lifestyle. 3-‐ Re: Big Horn medicine wheel. Would it be relevant to keep this site in existence, if the land were to belong to the National Park Service and was considering removing it for more profitable or accessible reasons?
Nature and Spirit 1-‐ Could you argue for/against the “scholarly” theory that the concept of Mother Earth “predates contact with Whites or is essentially a European construct”? 2-‐ Do you see trends in modern popular culture that resemble the information and perspectives in this section titled, “Nature and spirit”?
Kinship and Spirit 1-‐ Describe the value in the adoption of strangers. Is this a practice in other cultures? (“culture”) 2-‐ How can a clan system have value within a tribe? 3-‐ Give a description of how the clan system might have been interpreted in early U.S. history and how it might be interpreted today.
Haida Villages 1-‐ Examine the sentence, “Such openings reflected the womb-‐like nature of the dwellings.” As a student of American Indian religion and philosophy, could you confidently translate the sentence afore mentioned? What evidence could you use to support your interpretation?
Sacred Societies 1-‐ How would you describe the role or importance of Sacred Societies within the tribe? How do you suppose it was effective? 2-‐ What is the role/responsibility of the False Face Society? 3-‐ Why do you suppose some ceremonies held by American Indians are closed to the public/
Ceremonial Transformations 1-‐ Put in context and clarify the following: When a Blackfoot holy man put on a yellow bear hide, for his audience he actually was the bear. 2-‐ Are there examples of sacred clowns or something similar in other cultures or in our society today? 3-‐ What is being accomplished by having transformation, within a tribe or ceremony?
The Powwow 1-‐ Describe the significant importance to having intertribal powwows today. 2-‐ How do you suppose identity reflects aspects of religion and philosophy?
Holy People 1-‐ Give your best definitions for shaman, medicine man/woman, and holy people. 2-‐ How does skepticism play a role in ceremony? Why or how is this important? Does discipline play a role? 3-‐ What are common responsibilities of holy people?
Seeking the Spirit 1-‐ How might an individual reveal they have received “power”? 2-‐ Why might someone not want the “power”? 3-‐ There’s mention of elders being close to the spirit world. Why would this notion be considered?
Rites of Passage 1-‐ On what occasions do rites of passage exist for some American Indians? 2-‐ How are souls described and respected by some American Indian people? Are these practices and beliefs similar in other cultures? Pages: 112-‐113
World Renewal 1-‐ What is world renewal? Pages: 136-‐137
The Ghost Dance 1-‐ According to the text, how do you interpret the revival of the Ghost Dance? 2-‐ How and why was the ghost dance spread to other tribes? 3-‐ What liberties were taken in spreading the ghost dance? Why?