An essay on the cultural ethnography of the ojibway native americans

Remarkably that after the union the Objibwa became one of the most powerful tribes. The tribe is of great interest as it signed more treaties with the US than any other tribe. Their treaties were the most detailed ones ever signed. However, in literature other variations such as Ojibway and Chippeway are met as well.

An essay on the cultural ethnography of the ojibway native americans

History, Theory, and Reformulation. The substance of these studies have been based primarily in the perceptions, observations, and theories of non-native observers.

An essay on the cultural ethnography of the ojibway native americans

These non-native, written observations have then been used as primary sources for the study of native religions. Further, the context of Christian missionization, anthropological categorical reductions, and a surplus of historical narratives written by non-native observers has resulted in an externalized and fragmented view of native religions.

The beliefs and practices have been recorded in limited selections in the form of monographs and field reports by those often unfamiliar with the language and thought worlds of native practitioners. Subsequently, there exists significant tensions between the actual spiritual beliefs and practices within a given native community and the external literature on the religion of that community authored by non-native scholars.

Further, non-native authors have long held dismissive and skeptical attitudes toward native religions. Much of the early written literature is saturated with a tense dialectic between Christian and Native religious perspectives. Anthropological theory contributed strongly to this disjunction, first, in applying evolutionary theories which placed native religion and culture on the lower stratum of development and, secondly, by marginalizing the role of native religion in indigenous social life.

In general, native religions were seen only as peripheral to non-native interests in theoretical cultural categories. This is a direct inheritance from the biased views of Europeans and later American colonials who simply assumed the superiority of their own religious culture and worldview.

Scientific rationalism has continued this displacement of religion from the center of native life.

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In order to gain a sense of the actual complexity of indigenous native spiritual traditions and their transformations in the twentieth century, it is necessary to consider the dialogical interfaces between native practitioners and non-native observers whose written productions have dominated the field.

The heart of religious practice within native communities is not a written text, nor is it an explicitly rationalized creed, nor is it usually based in a dogmatic set of required 2 beliefs. In general, indigenous native religions are flexible, have nuanced interpretations based in personal experience, and revolve around the sanctioned leadership of those regarded as knowledgeable through many years of training and special visionary experiences.

Each community has its own unique patterns, language, and social structures that intimately unite religious beliefs and social practices in a holistic worldview. Further, communally distinctive rites are tied to native systems of knowledge based in many generations of close observation, precise symbolic coding, and complex behavioral and linguistic forms of intergenerational communication Kidwell, this volume.

These systems of knowledge are locally developed and tied to specific environments. While this knowledge was shared between groups, significant differences can be found between communities who shared mutual or adjoining territories. In most cases, the specific language of each group is crucial for the correct performance of religious actions and for interpretations found in a variety of narrative forms.

Religious knowledge is classified indigenously through linguistic categories of diverse types of practitioners, ritual leaders, experienced elders, and a large variety of special societies, all empowered to moderate and supervise the practice of specific rites and communal religious events.

These events are embedded in social codes of respect, proper behavior, ethical attitudes, and sanctioned leadership roles ranging through kin relations and society membership, to varying degrees of social and political influence through elected or inherited leadership.

The whole is embedded in a sacred landscape whose contours and places are rich in stories, remembered events, cosmological structures and resonate the power of sanctified places through a symbolic understanding of the interdependent relationships between place, plants, animals and human beings.

In the overall sense, context is more crucial than text. A text isolated from the performative, social, religious context is apt to be seen as a radical diminishment and source of distortion of the religious event. The emotional, symbolic, and spiritual content communicated through spoken, sung, and enacted words often registers a communal understanding that is not reducible to a text Gill This problem is made even more complex by the significance attributed by native religionists to the sacred qualities of the languages used in prayer and ceremony Powers Descriptive works written by non-native observers generally fails to adequately represent the complexity of native religious life.

The gap between the performative context, its symbolic processes, gestures, objects, prayers, invocations and communal narratives, and the written descriptive account is immense. Few written descriptions of actual religious practices contain the full nuances that pervade and legitimize the means through which a ceremony empowers and enriches the practitioners.

Many are reductive, truncated, highly biased by non-native theoretical assumptions, give wrong emphasis, or simply miss crucial, central features that are clearly known to the practitioners.

Free essay on Ethnographic Histroy of Native American Peoples

The written history of Native American religions is one of misunderstanding, biased dismissal, and liminalization in a context of oppression and forced denial of the legitimacy to practice native religions Irwin In reviewing the history of scholarly productions on native religions, there are four heuristic areas of study that reflect the various predispositions taken by scholars.

These four may be summarized historically as: Writers and scholars in each of these areas have tended to produce characteristic works reflecting certain historically shared biases toward the subject of 3 religion. Each area still has its active scholars, though anthropological studies in native religion have declined whereas the area of comparative religious studies has increased, but only very slowly and as a minor discipline within the larger field of comparative world religions.

For those who are unfamiliar with the study of native religions, a good overview is given in Champagnepp. Early Descriptive Ethnography With over native communities, each practicing its own spiritual traditions in a context tied to local landscapes, seasonal rites, major life changes, a unique language and a multitude of special ceremonies and practices generally closed to outsiders, it is no surprise that there is only a fragmentary, piecemeal record of native religions.

While the earliest religious ethnography Taino dates back toeverything recorded is fragmentary and isolated by the writers lack of knowledge. Thus the Christian mythic world was projected onto native peoples and their religious world was reduced to an alien construct--native religions were strictly engaged in demonic practices.

This demonization of native religions in Mexico is dealt with by Cervantes but has not yet been thoroughly studied in the rest of North America where it was a common strategy among missionaries. Even more restrictive, native people were often seen as having no religion whatsoever.

Inherited, thoroughly complex native ceremonies, religious beliefs, and social relations that gave meaning and coherence to native life were completely missed by such observers.Essay on Native American Culture This unit is an introduction to several aspects of Native American culture, for grades second through fifth.

In this unit the class will learn about Native Americans way of life through the books selected. An Essay on the Cultural Ethnography of the Ojibway Native Americans PAGES 3. WORDS 1, View Full Essay. More essays like this: gabe desrosiers, native american.

Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. Sign up to view the rest of the essay. Read the full essay.

More essays. Significant facets to the study of Native America are the histories, cultural research, and literature written by Native Americans.

This subject guide attempts to provide an overview of research pertaining to the Native American authors, researchers, and historians who have contributed to the growing fund of modern Native American scholarship.

An essay on the cultural ethnography of the ojibway native americans

Cultural assimilation of Native Americans wikipedia entry. Crazy Horse Memorial. Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas: 'Crazy Horse' is a biography of one of the most famous Native American warriors in recent history.

These rights have been granted to the people in law -- the Native Americans Freedom of Religion Act of , and in a treaty made between the Ojibway and the federal government in the s. So there is a legal issue at play, as well as a moral issue. Below are several Native American cultural facts that may help in the understanding of the rich history of Native Americans and the important role they’ve played in shaping modern culture.

Everything in Native American culture is considered to contain a spirit.

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