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Comparison Between Native American Religions and African Religions Essay

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Belief systems can have dynamic impacts, causing profound transformations in personalities and civilizations, for better or worse (Fisher, 2017). Animism was practiced majorly by the Native Americans (Fisher, 2017). Fisher (2017) enumerates that the concept of natural objects such as rocks, stars, and trees among the Native Americans has sentient souls. Since earlier civilizations in Native America, there has been faith in a diverse range of demons, including a water-bug demon and a thorn demon (Fisher, 2017). The spirits of those who were not appropriately acknowledged following their deaths also fell among the range of demons (Fisher, 2017).

These demons were perceived to be wreaking so much havoc that numerous measures were made to prevent them, including gongs. Additionally, Fisher (2017) suggests that evil – deflecting charms, pleas through spirit mediums, firecrackers, exorcisms, spirit walls to keep them out of entrances, fasts, incense, and prayers were also used.

The Native Americans took part in coming-of-age and initiation rites (Fisher, 2017) that included spiritual dance and sun dances to persuade spirits to their side. In several native traditions, it was believed that the best way to connect with spirit is to leave it to people who have been particularly enlightened (Fisher, 2017). Experts’ tasks differ according to a group, but one typical function was that of the narrator, who had to recall lengthy and intricate narratives and melodies to preserve and teach the community’s religious customs. The other prized function was membership in a secret organization through either invitation or initiation, enabling the individual to connect with the spirit realm (Fisher, 2017).

Fisher (2017) itemizes that mystical performers also brought invisible energies to light and that in some religiously diverse communities, ceremonies are performed by priests and priestesses. The Native American religions revered creatures and were naturists, clinging to the belief that they possessed supernatural insight and foresight. Furthermore, they envisioned infiltrating the sky-world and underworld cosmos. To maintain harmony with the cosmological cycle, the ancient civilizations invented numerous ways of intuition (Fisher, 2017).

The federal character of invisible spirits’ powers was also a firmly held notion in the religion of the Native Americans. Based on external influences on culture, the manifestation of religion has changed. Conversely, African faiths acknowledge the existence of spirits but primarily believe in supernatural creatures. Several indigenous religions acknowledge a supreme deity, whereas others identify with a massive array of beings (Fisher, 2017). Communicating with spirits was very crucial to several religions, especially in Africa (Fisher, 2017). All components of the human realm were considered to be endowed with spirits and interrelated, and respect is consequently required for all species and the natural habitat.

Fisher (2017) further adds that cultivating a successful relationship with spirituality was also a significant issue in traditional ways of life. The strength of spirit was thought to be particularly condensed in some holy places and persons (Fisher, 2017). The basic concept was to coexist peacefully with both the supernatural and the environment or nature (Fisher, 2017). Fisher (2017) enumerates that the African religions made many sacrifices to entice, attract, and communicate with the spiritual world.

Additionally, in the African religions, the initiation and the rites of passage ceremonies were also used to bring mature individuals to the spiritual world. The African faiths believed in cosmic tales to describe and comprehend phenomena such as reproduction, love, and sexuality. The African religious practices were practiced in a great deal of dancing and shouting. Consequently, the African religions did not revere the environment and the creation as much as the Native Americans did, but they were highly adept at summoning spirits for good or evil. For instance, Fisher (2017) describes the practices as being voodoo and carried out by witch doctors. In conclusion, Fisher (2017) points out that the culture of the African religion changed when modern civilization and Christianity came to dominate such rituals.

Reference

Fisher, M. P. (2017). Living religions (10th ed.). Boston Pearson.

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