Thursday, February 14, 2019

Plains Indians Essay -- essays research papers

For many an(prenominal) tribes of Plains Indians whose bison-hunting culture flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun dance was the major communal religious ceremony . . . the rite celebrates renewal - the spiritual rebirth of participants and their relatives as well as the regeneration of the living earth with all its components . . . The ritual, involving kick in and supplication to insure harmony between all living beings, continues to be practiced by many contemporary native Ameri s can words. -Elizabeth Atwood LawrenceAs the most all-important(a) ritual of the nomadic Plains Indians, the sunshine leap in itself presents many ideas, beliefs, and set of these cultures. Through its rich symbolism and complicated rituals we are able to bring a glimpse into these peoples view of the world. A solarise dance is held when a man feels the need to be a dancer to fulfill sure wishes, primarily "for his deliverance from his troubles, for supernatural wait on, an d for beneficent blessings upon all of his people." (Welker) It is this dancer who usually bears the expenses of the Sun Dance (Atwood), including a feast for all that comes to the celebration. (Welker) Motivations behind the Sun Dance varies slightly between tribes. The Crow held the ceremony to seek aid for revenge for family members killed in warfare. The entire event surrounding the Sun Dance generally lasts from four to seven days, though longer events exist. On the prototypal day a point is selected to serve as the sun- stake, the center perch for the Sun Dance perplex, or clean-Life-Lodge, as called by the Cheyenne. (Atwood) The selection of the tree is usually done by the eldest woman of the camp, who leads a concourse of elaborately dressed maidens to the tree to strip off its branches. On the neighboring morning, right as the sun is seen over the eastern horizon, armed warriors outpouring the sun-pole. They attack the tree in effort to symbolically kill it with gunshots and arrows. at a time it is dead it is cut down and taken to where the Sun Dance Lodge will be erected. (Schwatka) "Before raising the sun-pole, a fresh buffalo head with a broad centre strip of the back of the encompass and tail (is) fastened with strong throngs to the top crotch of the sun-pole. Then the pole (is) raised and set firmly in the ground, with the buffalo head set about toward the setting-sun." (Welker) The tree represents the center of the world, connect... ...mbolism and ritual involved with the Sun Dance we can more fully understand the character of the Plains Indian cultures. The Sun Dance shows a continuity between life. It shows that there is no true end to life, but a cycle of symbolic and true deaths and rebirths. All of disposition is intertwined and dependent on one another. This gives an equal ground to everything on the earth. " efficacious animals exhibit both physical and spiritual powers, just as the care for man and shaman d o, and as do the grains of tobacco in the consecrated pipe." (Smart p. 527) However, just like the rest of nature, humans must give of themselves to protagonist keep the cycles of regeneration going.SourcesAtwood-Lawrence, Elizabeth. The Symbolic Role of Animals in the Plains Indian Sun Dance. http// (Feb 3, 1997) Eliade, M. (1975). Myths, Dreams, and Mysteries. New York Harper and RowKehoe, Alice B. (1992). North American Indians A Comprehensive Account. New Jersey Prentice-HallSchwatka, Frederick. (1889-1890). The Sun-Dance of the Sioux. Century Magazine. Pp. 753-759.Welker, Glenn. The Sun Dance http// (Jan 7, 1996)

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