The Significance of Owls
Native American Culture
When Europeans first settled in North America, there were more than 1000 tribes native to the continent. Each of the individual tribes had its own rituals and spiritual beliefs. However, it can be said that all tribes shared a common bond of making spirituality the very center of their lives and the culture continues to be extremely spiritual today. Native American spirituality is nature-based because they have always had a close bond with the earth. Many different rituals associated with each tribe are based upon the area in which they live. For example, Great Plains Indians worship the sky and the sun, while farming Native Americans worship the corn god or animals they depend upon for food, clothing and general survival. Native Americans can be considered the ultimate environmentalists. They believe earth is all they have in life so they show it extreme respect and care. Tribes are taught that they live in cooperation with plants and animals, and there must be a high level of mutual respect for anything to be done. The presence of animals plays an important part of the culture and spiritual beliefs of Native American tribes. Tribes worship the spirits of animals and birds as gods or messengers of the great creator. Native Americans watched the habits of animals – eating, life cycles and motherhood – and recognized them as symbolic to human spiritual characteristics. Animals were also correlated with Native American religious beliefs of associating a symbol with a tribe or culture. The owl represented various spiritual meanings, depending on the Native American tribe. Considered both good and evil, the owl has its place within the tribal culture. Certain Native American tribes believe the owl is a good power, while others hate the owl and believe it to be bad. Many tribes believed owls were a source of divination and supernatural knowledge. Differing opinions came from the Ojibwa, who...
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