Native North American Religious Traditions: Dancing For Life by Jordan Paper

Native North American Religious Traditions: Dancing For Life

byJordan Paper

Hardcover | November 1, 2006

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As current interest surrounding Native American studies continues to grow, attention has often been given to the various religious beliefs, rituals, and customs of the diverse traditions across the country. But most treatments of the subject are cursory and encyclopedic and do not provide readers with the flavor of the living, modern traditions. Here, representative Native American religions and rituals are introduced to readers in a way that respects the individual traditions as more than local curiosities or exotic rituals, even as commonalities between and among traditions are explored and explained. This general introduction offers wide-ranging coverage of the major factors--geography, history, religious behavior, and religious ideology (theology)--analyzing select traditions that can be dealt with, to varying degrees, on a contemporary basis. Covering such diverse ceremonies as the Muskogee (Creek) Busk, the Northwest Coast Potlatch, the Navajo and Apache menarche rituals, and the Anishnabe (Great Lakes area) Midewiwin seasonal gatherings, Paper takes a comparative approach, based on the study of human religion in general, and the special place of Native American religions within it. His book is informed by perspective gained through nearly fifty years of formal study and several decades of personal involvement, treating readers to a glimpse of the living religious traditions of Native American communities across the country.

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Title:Native North American Religious Traditions: Dancing For LifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 2006Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275990974

ISBN - 13:9780275990978

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"Drawing upon three decades of scholarship and participation in Anishinabe, Cree, Pikuni, and Tlingit ceremonies, Paper has attempted a comprehensive introduction to Native North American religions. The first three chapters sensitize readers to the history of colonization and repression, differentiated by region and culture area, and the contemporary revitalization of traditional religions following the decades of Red Power activism and tribal renewal. The author identifies common features in Native religions as a this-worldly ritualized connection with numinous "other-than-human beings," and the elaboration of an oral tradition that includes the charter myths of cosmogony, trickster tales, and culture heroes who provide the foundation for Native lifeways and the experiential traditions of "dancing for life." Paper devotes chapters to exploring historic and contemporary iterations of ceremonies such as the Anishinabe Midewiwin, Navajo Kinaalda, Muskogee Green Corn Ceremony, Creek Stomp Dance, Kwakiutl potlatch, and the pan-Indian rituals of sweat lodge, shaking tent, and Thirst or Sun Dance. Paper's insightful analysis and suggestions for additional reading provide an excellent introduction for students in Native studies and comparative religion. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."-Choice