(1) What are the central beliefs of animism?
Animism was a prominent religion during the Paleolithic era also known as the old stone age around 100,000 B.C.E. Tribal nomads were the followers of this religion they were grouped in blood kin ‘tribes’ defined by lineage. These ‘tribes’ defined the territory they lived on and the separate areas occupied by individual ‘tribes’. The tribal nomad animists were hunter gathers mainly and live off the earth which ties closely into their belief system. They all worked around a short 15- 25 hours per week. What did this group believe in what was there culture centered around? Animism which is the religious belief that all living and non-living things have a spirit: humans are equal to deer as well as the rocks. Why does everything having a spirit make them equal? Well one of the chief beliefs of animism is the belief that all spirits are equal so if every single thing has a spirit this means all things are equal. All the spirits are interchangeable; your spirit can leave your body and another spirit can take its place. Maybe your mother is acting very angry and irritable? She has the spirit of a bear in her possibly not the spirit of your mother. Bodies don’t have spirits, spirits have bodies. So you may wonder if these tribal nomads are hunter- gathers and live of the earth and the plants and animals doesn’t that break their belief system? No, it doesn’t; yes, they recognize that the animals and plants they consume are their spiritual equal, but they believe that all this is given to them if they need meat and an animal passes or a herd passes their territory that is the Earths way of giving them that animal to live. When they (as humans) die they will become part of the earth too and therefore will be feeding future members of the herd or species because they are given to eachother oddly enough a good example is a Disney song (shocking I know), but the circle of life explains many of these beliefs and...
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