Customs of Native American Indians

Want to know about customs of Native American Indians? Read on to get a comprehensive overview of the customs prevailing in Native American society over the years…

The Native American Indians have a rich cultural heritage tinted with many strange customs. The Natives have put in great effort to maintain these customs and traditions and you will find them to be present amongst the modern day Native American Indian tribes in America.

Medicine Man

This is a unique concept that existed in all American Native tribes. Each tribe would have certain special holy men known as Maya Shamans. They were like priests for the tribe. They would perform certain superstitious rituals for the purpose of healing patients suffering from various illnesses.

One of the commonly practiced healing processes practiced in Native American tribes was that of bloodletting. This was a process in which the medicine man would put a small cut on the area inflicted with pain. They would use thorns or stingray spines to do this and as a result blood would be allowed to drain out. This was particularly effective in reducing tooth aches, head aches, back pain and other such problems. Bleeding was also a ritual practice conducted during ceremonies.

Totem Animals

This is perhaps the biggest identity forming custom of Native Americans. The locals believed that every human being had an inherent animal such as a wolf or an eagle or some other noble beast. The concept of totem animals was riddled with superstition. There is much information and controversy regarding the use of totem animals.

There is a popular belief that the Native Americans took them as angels or as guides. Then there are recordings that show they had a link with astrology as the use of animal symbolism for astrology has been a common practice in many cultures. In essence totems are a part of the spiritual journey that each individual must take. They represent the values of the Native American culture and have a certain personality sketch to them.

Native American Traditional Celebrations

Dance was one of the main ritualistic practices of the Native Americans. The notion of Native Indians dancing around the sacred circle is common. The Pow Wow for example is one of the most popular Native American dance replicas which are performed in schools today. Both men and women participate in these dances.

These dances would be performed on various occasions. For example there would be a big traditional dance celebration every time warriors would come back victorious from their battles. Bravery was one of the main themes in men’s traditional dances. These dances were basically practical demonstrations of how the fighting took place in the battle ground.

Sand Painting

This is yet another unique Native Indian custom. Sand Painting also goes by the name of dry painting as it is conducted with colored sand. These kinds of paintings were conducted live during ceremonies of harvests as well as healing. They have a deep symbolic meaning especially in Navajo mythology. Sacred mountains, legendary visions and scenes of traditional dances were the most common themes for such paintings.

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