Tradition, Performance, and Religion in Native America by Dennis Kelley
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - E98 .E85 K45 2014
In contemporary Indian Country, many of the people who identify as "American Indian" fall into the "urban Indian" category: away from traditional lands and communities, in cities and towns wherein the opportunities to live one's identity as Native can be restricted, and even more so for American Indian religious practice and activity. Tradition, Performance, and Religion in Native America: Ancestral Ways, Modern Selves explores a possible theoretical model for discussing the religious nature of urbanized Indians. It uses aspects of contemporary pantribal practices such as the inter-tribal pow wow, substance abuse recovery programs such as the Wellbriety Movement, and political involvement to provide insights into contemporary Native religious identity. Simply put, this book addresses the question what does it mean to be an Indigenous American in the 21st century, and how does one express that indigeneity religiously? It proposes that practices and ideologies appropriate to the pan-Indian context provide much of the foundation for maintaining a sense of aboriginal spiritual identity within modernity. Individuals and families who identify themselves as Native American can participate in activities associated with a broad network of other Native people, in effect performing their Indian identity and enacting the values that are connected to that identity.
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- - GENERAL - BL2500 .J46 2004
In books such as Mystics and Messiahs, Hidden Gospels, and The Next Christendom, Philip Jenkins has established himself as a leading commentator on religion and society. Now, in Dream Catchers, Jenkins offers a brilliant account of the changing mainstream attitudes towards Native Americanspirituality, once seen as degraded spectacle, now hailed as New Age salvation. While early Americans had nothing but contempt for Indian religions, deploring them as loathsome devil worship and snake dancing, white Americans today respect and admire Native spirituality. In this book, Jenkins charts this remarkable change, highlighting the complex history of whiteAmerican attitudes towards Native religions from colonial times to the present. Jenkins ranges widely, considering everything from the 19th-century American obsession with "Hebrew Indians" and Lost Tribes, to the early 20th-century cult of the Maya as bearers of the wisdom of ancient Atlantis, tofilms like Pocahontas and Dances With Wolves. He looks at the popularity of the Carlos Castaneda books, the writings of Lynn Andrews, and the influential works of Frank Waters, and he explores the New Age paraphernalia found in places like Sedona, Arizona, including dream-catchers, crystals,medicine bags, and Native-themed Tarot cards. Jenkins examines the controversial New Age appropriation of Native sacred places; notes that many "white Indians" see mainstream society as religiously empty; and asks why a government founded on religious freedom tried to eradicate native religions inthe last century--and what this says about how we define religion. An engrossing account of our changing attitudes towards Native spirituality, Dream Catchers offers a fascinating introduction to one of the more interesting aspects of contemporary American religion.
Teaching Spirits by Joseph Epes Brown; Emily Cousins
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - E98.R3 B753 2001
Teaching Spirits offers a thematic approach to Native American religious traditions. Through years of living with and learning about Native traditions across the continent, Joseph Epes Brown learned firsthand of the great diversity of the North American Indian cultures. Yet within this greatmultiplicity, he also noticed certain common themes that resonate within many Native traditions. These themes include a shared sense of time as cyclical rather than linear, a belief that landscapes are inhabited by spirits, a rich oral tradition, visual arts that emphasize the process of creation,a reciprocal relationship with the natural world, and the rituals that tie these themes together. Brown illustrates each of these themes with in-depth explorations of specific native cultures including Lakota, Navajo, Apache, Koyukon, and Ojibwe. Brown was one of the first scholars to recognize that Native religions-rather than being relics of the past-are vital traditions that tribal members shape and adapt to meet both timeless and contemporary needs. Teaching Spirits reflects this view, using examples from the present as well as thepast. For instance, when writing about Plains rituals, he describes not only building an impromptu sweat lodge in a Denver hotel room with Black Elk in the 1940s, but also the struggles of present-day Crow tribal members to balance Sun Dances and vision quests with nine-to-five jobs. In this groundbreaking work, Brown suggests that Native American traditions demonstrate how all components of a culture can be interconnected-how the presence of the sacred can permeate all lifeways to such a degree that what we call religion is integrated into all of life's activities. Throughoutthe book, Brown draws on his extensive personal experience with Black Elk, who came to symbolize for many the richness of the imperiled native cultures. This volume brings to life the themes that resonate at the heart of Native American religious traditions.
This volume offers a stimulating, multidisciplinary set of essays by noted Native and non-Native scholars that explore the problems and prospects of understanding and writing about Native American spirituality in the twenty-first century. Considerable attention is given to the appropriateness and value of different interpretive paradigms for Native religion, including both "traditional" religion and Native Christianity. The book also investigates the ethics of religious representation, issues of authenticity, the commodification of spirituality, and pedagogical practices. Of special interest is the role of dialogue in expressing and understanding Native American religious beliefs and practices. A final set of essays explores the power of and reactions to Native spirituality from a long-term, historical perspective.
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - E98 .M6 N38 2010
In this interdisciplinary collection of essays, Joel W. Martin and Mark A. Nicholas gather emerging and leading voices in the study of Native American religion to reconsider the complex and often misunderstood history of Native peoples' engagement with Christianity and with Euro-American missionaries. Surveying mission encounters from contact through the mid-nineteenth century, the volume alters and enriches our understanding of both American Christianity and indigenous religion. The essays here explore a variety of postcontact identities, including indigenous Christians, "mission friendly" non-Christians, and ex-Christians, thereby exploring the shifting world of Native-white cultural and religious exchange. Rather than questioning the authenticity of Native Christian experiences, these scholars reveal how indigenous peoples negotiated change with regard to missions, missionaries, and Christianity. This collection challenges the pervasive stereotype of Native Americans as culturally static and ill-equipped to navigate the roiling currents associated with colonialism and missionization. The contributors are Emma Anderson, Joanna Brooks, Steven W. Hackel, Tracy Neal Leavelle, Daniel Mandell, Joel W. Martin, Michael D. McNally, Mark A. Nicholas, Michelene Pesantubbee, David J. Silverman, Laura M. Stevens, Rachel Wheeler, Douglas L. Winiarski, and Hilary E. Wyss.