Anishinaabe traditional beliefs

Anishinaabe traditional beliefs cover the traditional belief system of the Anishinaabeg peoples, consisting of the Algonquin/Nipissing, Ojibwa/Chippewa/Saulteaux/Mississaugas, Odawa, Potawatomi and Oji-Cree, located primarily in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.

Underwater Panther rock painting (crop)
Picture on a rock of an underwater panther (mishibizhiw) as well as two snakes and a canoe, attributed to the Ojibwe people. From Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario.

Medicine Societies

The Anishinaabe have four different Medicine Societies.

Midewiwin

The Midewiwin (also spelled Midewin and Medewiwin) is the Grand Medicine Society of the indigenous groups of the Maritimes, New England and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew and the practices of Midewiwin referred to as the Mide. The Midewiwin society is a secretive animistic religion, requiring an initiation, and then progressing to four levels of practitioners, called "degrees". Occasionally, male Midew are called Midewinini, which sometimes is very loosely translated into English as "medicine man".

Waabanowin

The Waabanowin (also spelled Wabuowin, Wabunohwin and Wabunohiwin) is the Dawn Society, also sometime improperly called the "Magical Dawn Society". Its practitioners are called Waabanow and the practices of Waabanowin referred to as the Waabano. The Wabanowin are distinct society of visionaries. Like the Midewiwin, the Waabanowin is a secretive animistic religion, requiring an initiation. But unlike the Mide, the Waabano have sometimes two levels and sometimes four. This variation being dependent on the particular lodge. They were systematically imprisoned in mental hospitals by the United States government in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Because of this persecution the Waabanowin went underground and have just begun to reemerge since the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. The ceremonies and traditions are closely guarded.

Jiisakiiwin

The Jiisakiiwin are also known as the Shaking Tent or the Juggler's Tent. Among the Anishinaabeg, a particularly powerful and well-respected spiritual leader who had trained from childhood is called a Jaasakiid or Jiisakiiwinini, also known as a "Juggler" or "Shaking-tent Seer." In the past they were hunted down and murdered by both Canadian and United States officials.

Migration story

According to the oral history of the Anishinaabeg, they originally lived on the shores of the "Great Salt Water" (presumably the Atlantic Ocean near the Gulf of St. Lawrence). They were instructed by seven prophets to follow a sacred miigis shell (whiteshell) toward the west, until they reached a place where food grew upon the water.[1] They began their migration some time around 950,[2] stopping at various points several times along the way, most significantly at Baawitigong, Sault Ste. Marie, where they stayed for a long time, and where two subgroups decided to stay (these became the Potawatomi and Ottawa). Eventually, after a trick by two of the clans, the other clans travelled West (see William Warren's account of this incident) and arrived at the wild ricing lands of Minnesota and Wisconsin (wild rice being the food that grew upon the water) and made Mooningwanekaaning minis (Madeline Island: "Island of the yellow-shafted flicker") their new capital. In total, the migration took around five centuries.[2]

Following the migration there was a cultural divergence separating the Potawatomi from the Ojibway and Ottawa. Particularly, the Potawatomi did not adopt the agricultural innovations discovered or adopted by the Ojibway, such as the Three Sisters crop complex, copper tools, conjugal collaborative farming, and the use of canoes in rice harvest.[3]

Nanabozho stories

Nanabozho (also known by a variety of other names and spellings, including Wenabozho, Menabozho, and Nanabush) is a trickster figure and culture hero who features as the protagonist of a cycle of stories that serve as the Anishinaabe origin belief. The cycle, which varies somewhat from community to community, tells the story of Nanabozho's conception, birth, and his ensuing adventures, which involve interactions with spirit and animal beings, the creation of the Earth, and the establishment of the Midewiwin. The myth cycle explains the origin of several traditions, including mourning customs, beliefs about the afterlife, and the creation of the sacred plant asemaa (tobacco).

Other stories

See also

References

  1. ^ Benton-Banai (1988), pp. 89-102
  2. ^ a b Benton-Banai (1988), pg. 102
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, Waldman & Braun.

Further reading

  • Blessing, Fred K., Jr. The Ojibway Indians observed. Minnesota Archaeological Society (St. Paul: 1977).
  • Barnouw, Victor. Wisconsin Chippewa Myths & Tales and Their Relation to Chippewa Life. University of Wisconsin Press (Madison: 1977). ISBN 0-299-07310-6
  • Benton-Banai, Edward. The Mishomis Book: The voice of the Ojibway. Indian Country Communications, Inc., and Red School House Press (Hayward, WI: 1988).
  • Densmore, Frances. Chippewa Customs. Minnesota Historical Press (St. Paul: 1979).
  • Hoffman, Walter James, M.D. The Mide'wiwin: Grand Medicine Society of the Ojibway. Lightning Source Inc. (Minneapolis: 2005).
  • Johnston, Basil. Ojibway heritage. Columbia University Press (New York: 1976).
  • Johnston, Basil. How the birds got their colours : Gah w'indinimowaut binaesheehnyuk w'idinauziwin-wauh. Kids Can Press (Toronto: 1978).
  • Johnston, Basil. Tales the elders told : Ojibway legends. Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto: 1981).
  • Johnston, Basil. Ojibway ceremonies. McClelland and Stewart (Toronto: 1987).
  • Johnston, Basil. Tales of the Anishinaubaek. Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto: 1993).
  • Johnston, Basil. The Manitous: the spiritual world of the Ojibway. HarperCollins Publishers (New York: 1995).
  • Johnston, Basil. The bear-walker and other stories. Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto: 1995).
  • Johnston, Basil. The star man and other tales. Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto: 1997).
  • Johnston, Basil. Mermaids and Medicine Women. Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto: 1998).
  • Johnston, Basil. Honour Earth Mother. University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln: 2003).
  • Jones, William. Ojibwa Texts, vol. 7. Collected by William Jones. Truman Michelson, ed. Leyden, E.J. Brill, Ltd. (New York: G.E. Stechert & Co., 1917–19).
  • Warren, William W. History of the Ojibway People. Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul: 1984 [1885]).
  • Vecsey, Christopher. Traditional Ojibwa Religion and its Historical Changes. American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia 1983).

External links

Absolute (philosophy)

The concept of the Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, The Ground of Being, Urgrund, The Absolute Principle, The Source/Fountain/Well/Center/Foundation of Reality, The Ultimate Oneness/Whole, The Absolute God of The Universe, and other names, titles, aliases, and epithets, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the entity that is the greatest, highest, or "truest" being, existence, or reality.

There are many conceptions of the Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, formal science (such as mathematics), and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, objects, entities, and types, kinds, and categories of being.

The Absolute is often thought of as generating manifestations that interact with lower or lesser types, kinds, and categories of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of the Absolute.

The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".

The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.

Canadian folklore

Canadian folklore is the traditional material that Canadians pass down from generation to generation, either as oral literature or "by custom or practice". It includes songs, legends, jokes, rhymes, proverbs, weather lore, superstitions, and practices such as traditional food-making and craft-making. The largest bodies of folklore in Canada belong to the aboriginal and French-Canadian cultures. English-Canadian folklore and the folklore of recent immigrant groups have added to the country's folk.

Index of articles related to Indigenous Canadians

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to Indigenous peoples in Canada, comprising the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

List of ethnic religions

Ethnic religions (also "indigenous religions") are generally defined as religions which are related to a particular ethnic group, and often seen as a defining part of that ethnicity's culture, language, and customs.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Midewiwin

The Midewiwin (also spelled Midewin and Medewiwin) or the Grand Medicine Society is a secretive religion of some of the indigenous peoples of the Maritimes, New England and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew, and the practices of Midewiwin are referred to as Mide. Occasionally, male Midew are called Midewinini, which is sometimes translated into English as "medicine man".

Rabbit

Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha (along with the hare and the pika). Oryctolagus cuniculus includes the European rabbit species and its descendants, the world's 305 breeds of domestic rabbit. Sylvilagus includes 13 wild rabbit species, among them the 7 types of cottontail. The European rabbit, which has been introduced on every continent except Antarctica, is familiar throughout the world as a wild prey animal and as a domesticated form of livestock and pet. With its widespread effect on ecologies and cultures, the rabbit (or bunny) is, in many areas of the world, a part of daily life—as food, clothing, a companion, and as a source of artistic inspiration.

Underwater panther

An underwater panther, called Mishipeshu or Mishibijiw in Ojibwe (IPA: [mɪʃɪbɪʑɪw]), is one of the most important of several mythological water beings among many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands and Great Lakes region, particularly among the Anishinaabe.

Mishipeshu translates into "the Great Lynx". It has the head and paws of a giant cat but is covered in scales and has dagger-like spikes running along its back and tail. Mishipeshu calls Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior his home and is a powerful creature in the mythological traditions of some Native American tribes, particularly Anishinaabe tribes, the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi, of the Great Lakes region of Canada and the United States. In addition to the Anishinaabeg, Innu also have Mishibizhiw stories.To the Algonquins, the underwater panther was the most powerful underworld being. The Ojibwe traditionally held them to be masters of all water creatures, including snakes. Some versions of the Nanabozho creation legend refers to whole communities of water lynx.Some archaeologists believe that underwater panthers were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of the Mississippian culture in the prehistoric American Southeast.

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