Culture and Lifeways of the Anishinabe

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Culture and Lifeways of the Anishinabe

I have been drawn to Native American culture for as long as I can remember. When I was really young I would watch cowboy and Indian movies and I always found myself cheering for the Indians. I especially loved watching the Disney movie “Pocahontas.” I think I still know it by heart to this day. I was raised in Phoenix Arizona and my mom would go to the casinos all the time. With the money she won, she would buy Kachina dolls. They are decorative dolls given to Native American children to teach them about their religion. She would also buy a lot of Indian plates that were worth a lot of money. Long story short, I was exposed to the Native American culture from a child. I have also known since I was very young that I have Native American blood in my family. It was something that I was taught to be proud of. I am not exactly sure what specific tribe I come from but I hope to find out one day. I chose to revisit the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Mt. Pleasant, for this assignment. I learned a lot from my first visit there about a year ago. The have recently changed their exhibits and I was very interested in seeing what new information I could find out. First I want to review what I learned on the initial visit, Anishinabe means, “First man lowered from above and placed on the Earth. The Anishinabek (plural) are descendants of this original man.” (Ziibiwing, 2013). During the visit I was able to watch a movie that described their belief systems. They believe that mother earth and the animals vowed to take care of man by offering themselves as a sacrifice so man could survive. That meant man would be allowed to eat, hunt, and have shelter in cooperation with the world around them. The Anishinabek think, “Animals, plants, trees, and stones are all equal to us. Based on this belief, we honor our relationship to the other parts of creation.” (Ziibiwing, 2013). They believed in taking care of...