ES 2400 Sec 01: Intro American Indian Studies
Final Research Paper
The Ojibwa Tribe and their Dances and Ceremonies
“When Ah-ki' (the Earth) was young, it was said that the Earth had a family. Nee-ba-gee'-sis (the Moon) is called Grandmother, and Gee'-sis (the Sun) is called Grandfather. The Creator of this family is called Gi'-tchie Man-i-to'(Great Mystery or Creator). The Earth is said to be a woman. In this way it is understood that woman preceded man on the Earth. She is called Mother Earth because from her come all living things. Water is her life blood. It flows through her, nourishes her, and purifies her. On the surface of the Earth, all is given Four Sacred Directions--North, South, East, and West. Each of these directions contributes a vital part to the wholeness of the Earth. Each has physical powers as well as spiritual powers, as do all things. When she was young, the Earth was filled with beauty. The Creator sent his singers in the form of birds to the Earth to carry the seeds of life to all of the Four Directions. In this way life was spread across the Earth. On the Earth the Creator placed the swimming creatures of the water. He gave life to all the plant and insect world. He placed the crawling things and the four-leggeds on the land. All of these parts of life lived in harmony with each other. Gitchie Manito then took four parts of Mother Earth and blew into them using a Sacred Shell. From the union of the Four Sacred Elements and his breath, man was created. It is said the Gitchie Manito then lowered man to the Earth. Thus, man was the last form of life to be placed on Earth. From this Original Man came the A-nish-i-na'-be people. ”
This short version of the Ojibwa creation gives us an insight into how they think of the earth and how they live. The main focus of their tribe is respect. They show respect by being honest in their ceremonies and being thankful for the earth that gives them shelter and food. The focus of...