Blackfoot mythology

There are many myths surrounding the Blackfoot Native Americans as well as Aboriginal people. The Blackfeet inhabit areas of Alberta, Canada, and areas of Montana. These stories, myths, origins, and legends play a big role in their everyday life, such as their religion, their history, and their beliefs.[1] Only the elders of the Blackfoot tribes are allowed to tell the tales. These myths are sometimes hard to get a hold of because the elders of the tribes are often reluctant to tell them to strangers who are not of the tribe.[1] People such as George B. Grinnell, John Maclean, D.C. Duvall, Clark Wissler, and James Willard Schultz were able to obtain some of the stories that are so sacred to the tribes.

The Myth of Creation

There are several creation myths found within Native American culture; one of those is the creation myth involving Napioa. Napioa is mentioned in almost all Blackfoot myths and is considered an important figure in the Blackfoot mythology itself. Napioa is known by many names including the sun, Old man, and Napi (Nah-pee). Napioa is said to have created the earth using the mud from a turtle's mouth that was found on a river upon which napioa floated.[1][2] He not only created the earth using the mud, but he also created the men and women as well. Napioa also made the bison as tame as ever for the people to hunt.[1][2] He is said to also have created the animals and the grass and everything else that is on the earth.

Origin of the Wind

In Blackfoot mythology, there are legends surrounding the origins of everything because, to them, everything has an origin. Napioa is featured in the origin of the wind.[1] In this legend, Napioa finds two bags containing summer and winter. Napioa was determined to get a hold of these bags so that he could make the two seasons of equal months.[1] Napioa tried to gain possession of the bags without success. He finally sent a little animal, which successfully gained possession of the summer bag. The guardian of the bag chased after the animal and decapitated it. In the chaos, the bag burst open and a strong wind came out of it.[1]

Language on a Mountain

In this story, Napioa is referred to as Old Man.[3] There was a great flood that swept through the land, and after the flood, Old Man made the water different colors. He gathered the people on top of a large mountain where he gave them water of different colors. Old Man then told the people to drink the water, then speak, and so they did.[3] Everyone was speaking a different language except those who received the black water; they were speaking the same language, and they consisted of the Piegans, the Blackfeet, and the Blood Native Americans. This was said to have taken place in the highest mountain in the Montana reservation.[3]

Legend of Red Coulee

Not all legends involved old man/Napioa, such as the Legend of Red Coulee. This is more of a historical legend. Red Coulee is an actual place located between Mcleod and Benton next to the Marias River in Montana.[1] The Blackfoot Native Americans were told of a medicine stone by the people who inhabited the Montana area at the time. Years later, the Blackfoot tribe gathered a group of men and headed off to find the stone. When they found it, they were laughed at by their leader who said it was a child's story and rolled the stone down the hill.[1] Later, on their way back to the tribe, they became engaged in battle, leaving all dead but one man alive to tell the story. And that is why they call it Red Coulee. People still stop by there today to give offerings for all who lost their lives.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Maclean, John (1893). "Blackfoot mythology". The Journal of American Folklore. 22. 6 (July-Sept.): 165–172. doi:10.2307/533004.
  2. ^ a b Grinnell, George (1913). Native American Legends: Blackfoot Legends-Blackfoot Creation. George Bird Grinnell.
  3. ^ a b c Duvall, D.C.; Clark Wissler (1995). Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. p. 19.
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.

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.

Blackfoot Confederacy

The Blackfoot Confederacy, Niitsitapi or Siksikaitsitapi (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, meaning "the people" or "Blackfoot-speaking real people") is a historic collective name for the four bands that make up the Blackfoot or Blackfeet people: three First Nation band governments in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, and one federally recognized Native American tribe in Montana, United States. The Siksika ("Blackfoot"), the Kainai or Kainah ("Blood"), and the Northern Piegan or Peigan or Piikani ("Apa’tosee" or "Poor Robes") reside in Canada; the Southern Piegan/Piegan Blackfeet ("Amskapi Piikani" or Pikuni) are located in the United States, where they are also known as the Blackfeet Nation. In modern use, the term is sometimes used only for the three First Nations in Canada.Historically, the member peoples of the Confederacy were nomadic bison hunters and trout fishermen, who ranged across large areas of the northern Great Plains of western North America, specifically the semi-arid shortgrass prairie ecological region. They followed the bison herds as they migrated between what are now the United States and Canada, as far north as the Bow River. In the first half of the 18th century, they acquired horses and firearms from white traders and their Cree and Assiniboine go-betweens. The Blackfoot used these to expand their territory at the expense of neighboring tribes. By riding horses and using them to transport goods, the Blackfoot and other Plains tribes could extend the range of their buffalo hunts.

In the mid to late 19th century, the systematic commercial bison hunting by white hunters nearly ended the bison herds and permanently changed Native American life on the Great Plains, since their primary food source was no longer abundant. Periods of starvation and deprivation followed. The Blackfoot tribe, like other Plains Indians, was forced to adopt ranching and farming, settling in permanent reservations. In the 1870s, their bands signed treaties with both the United States and Canada, ceding most of their lands in exchange for annuities of food and medical aid, as well as help in learning to farm. But the Blackfoot have worked to maintain their traditional language and culture in the face of assimilationist policies of both the U.S. and Canada.

Blackfoot religion

The Blackfoot are a tribe of Native Americans who currently live in Montana and Alberta. They lived northwest of the Great Lakes and came to participate in Plains Indian culture.

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.

White horse (mythology)

White horses have a special significance in the mythologies of cultures around the world. They are often associated with the sun chariot, with warrior-heroes, with fertility (in both mare and stallion manifestations), or with an end-of-time saviour, but other interpretations exist as well. Both truly white horses and the more common grey horses, with completely white hair coats, were identified as "white" by various religious and cultural traditions.

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