Re: Native American
By: Aeons_Wing / Novice Nov 08, 2015
Post # 2
I have a copy of Native North America by Larry J. Zimmerman and Brian Leigh Molyneaux (University of Oklahoma press). It has a section on Sacred History (creation stories, culture heroes) spirituality in the ''present'' or at least in 1996 when the book was written (that section includes the significance of dreams, dances, and drum circles).
The thing is, continental America is a really big place. Huge. Even if you limit your region to North America as in the United States, or North America as in Canada, or even Meso-America like the spirituality of Aztec civilization, the inhabitants before colonialism did everything very differently depending on which group they were in.
Michael Harner wrote a book about Core Shamanism. The word ''shamanism'' was used by anthropologists to generalize spiritual traditions, and it's popular and influential among New Agers, especially in America where there would be the cultural diffusion going on. The term has become outdated because it doesn't actually describe a tradition, but it might be closer to what you're looking for.
It is true that Native American culture is very diverse! You might want to narrow it down to one specific tribe and research their traditions (Creek, Cherokee, Mohawk etc,) but here are some cool books: American Indian Healing Arts by E. Barrie Kavasch and Karen Baar, Medicine of the Cherokee by J.T. and Michael Garrett, and Meditations with the Cherokee by J.T. Garrett, if you're interested in studying the Cherokee.
True, they are a very diverse and amazing people with a very interesting culture, each with their own deep rooted stories, medicines, spiritual rituals, there is almost no end in the list of differences between each. Personally, I see them as an example of how we all don't have to believe in the same thing to have peace and order amongst other people.
Thank you for the suggestions. I think the tribe I am most interested in starting with would be the Cherokee, but I am also interested in a broad spectrum study. I will checkout all the suggestions. Again thank you very much.