Native Americans and the Rituals of Birth

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism Pages: 4 (1289 words) Published: February 20, 2007
Native Americans and the Rituals of Birth
There are so many different cultures inside the American Indian culture. Although within the American Indian culture you can categorize or generalize the culture by making factual statements such as: Native Americans value your word, Trust is important, and Native Americans rely on information networks, there are still numerous different religions, tribes, rituals and ceremonies that all lie within the one culture of Native Americans. Birthing rituals in the Native American culture different vastly from the birthing rituals of other culturals. The word is defined as the prescribed order of a religious ceremony; The body of ceremonies or rites used in a place of worship; and the prescribed form of conducting a formal secular ceremony: the ritual of an inauguration.The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved February 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rituals Keeping the Circle: American Indian Identity in Eastern North Carolina, 1885-2004 (Indians of the Southeast) by Christopher Arris Oakley

Native Americans that practice hindu religion perform ceremonies during pregnancy to ensure the health of the mother and growing child. The father may part the hair of the mother three times upward from the front to the back, to assure the ripening of the embryo. Charms may serve toward off the evil eye and witches or demons. At birth, before the umbilical cord is severed, the father may touch the baby's lips with a gold spoon or ring dipped in honey, curds, and ghee. The word vak (speech) is whispered three times into the right ear, and mantras are chanted to ensure a long life. A number of rituals for the infant include the first visit outside to a temple, the first feeding with solid food (usually cooked rice), an ear-piercing ceremony, and the first haircut (shaving the head) that often occurs at a temple or during a festival when the hair is...
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