Burial Rituals of Native American Culture Essay

At some point in our lives. we all come to recognize that decease is a portion of life. Cultural diverseness provides a broad assortment of life styles and traditions for each of the alone groups of people in our universe. Within these different civilizations. the rites associated with decease and entombment can besides be unambiguously diverse. Many consider ritualistic traditions that differ from their ain to be slightly unusual and frequently perceive them as unnatural. A premier illustration would be the burial rites of the Native American people.

Leslie Marmon Silko’s narrative entitled The Man to Send Rain Clouds describes a funeral service carried out by a Native American Pueblo household. Though many perceive the funeral service narrated in this narrative to be missing in emotion and besides missing regard for the passing of their loved 1. it portrays a ceremonial that is rather common for the Native American communities. There is besides a intimation of struggle happening between the characters in the narrative that are transporting out their traditions while including an outside spiritual figure in the ceremonial.

The decease of an old adult male sets the phase for this narrative and Tells of the manner his household goes about fixing him for his journey into the hereafter. A plume is tied into the old man’s hair. his face was painted with bluish. yellow. green and white pigment. Leontocebus oedipuss of maize repast and pollen were tossed into the air current and eventually his organic structure was wrapped in a ruddy cover prior to being transported. Harmonizing to Let go ofing the Spirit: A Lesson in Native American Funeral Rituals by Gary F.

Santillanes. “Pueblo Indians attention for their ain dead with no funeral manager involved. The household will take the deceased. normally in their truck. back to the place of the deceased and topographic point him or her on the floor confronting east to west. on a native cover. Depending on the deceased’s stature in the folk. his face may be painted in the traditional nature. A powdery substance is placed on the face of all the dead normally made of maize. traditional supplications and possibly dances are completed” ( www. umn. du ) .

The plume tied to his hair is a supplication plume and the picture of the face is to guarantee that he will be recognized in the following universe by his ascendants who have crossed over before him. The colourss are representative of the Earth. sky. Sun and H2O. The scattering of maize repast and H2O are said to supply the dead with nutriment on their journey to the following universe. The pollen is representative of the earth’s reclamation from the rainclouds that will be sent back by the spirit of the deceased.

Silko often refers to a “red blanket” that the old adult male is wrapped in for entombment ( 149 ) . The Native American people frequently leave a cord hanging from the cover which wraps the organic structure of the asleep and is thought to supply a manner for the spirit to be released into the hereafter. All Native American civilizations have strong beliefs in life after decease. although the agencies of making the following life may change from folk to tribe.

They traditionally believe that decease is a portion of a natural rhythm in which their liquors are transported back and Forth between this universe and the spirit universe so that they can convey reclamation and new life when they return. Most see this passage to be an award or privilege since it will guarantee the endurance of their people. In Native American civilization. it is believed that disregard of tribal rites can ensue in decease and illness. because the spirit returns without approvals. holding been unable to come in the other universe. Harmonizing to Who Were The Anasazi?

Published by The Bureau of Land Management. “religious constructs and events were associated with seasonal undertakings like farming ( in spring and summer ) and runing ( in autumn and winter ) ” which would be a plausible account for the belief that the old adult male could direct back rain clouds and besides for cultural beliefs in the liquors returning to life ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www. blm. gov/co/st/en/fo/ahc ) . Many folks perform ceremonials which can include luxuriant and colourful tribal dances. Modern rites sometimes allow for foreigners to watch the ceremonials.

During the burial procedure there are besides patterns that are more common to what many people consider to be normal. Bodies are dressed in nice vesture and some of their ownerships are frequently placed following to them. The Native American people prepare nutrient to be given to the households of the dead. members of the community visit to pay their regard to the deceased and at times a spiritual service is included. When these spiritual services are conducted. “they are held in churches on their native land” where “they have their native spiritual beliefs with their ain gods” ( World Wide Web. umn. du ) . Native American “religious specializers draw wisdom from familial traditions.

Priests bring rain through ceremonial and supplication. They are thought to hold a particular degree of communicating with the spirits” ( World Wide Web. umn. edu ) . The Native American civilization frequently frowns upon outside spiritual rites such as last rites being included in the ceremonials. This is thought to be partially because of the contention environing the invasion of Catholics upon their land and partially because they believe that it will impair the passage into the hereafter and reprobate the psyche of the deceased.

Pallbearers are employed to transport the organic structures to the grave site. but in several folks. no 1 else is allowed to touch the organic structure or the grave. The pallbearers must finally travel through a cleansing ritual following the burial. Regardless of our cultural heritage. handling our loved 1s with regard. tradition and self-respect is normally our primary concern. Though we may non understand the patterns of other civilizations. it does non intend that methods by which entombments are conducted are any less religious or right.

We all tend to believe in our ain Gods and the fact that there will be something else waiting for us when we pass from the universe in which we exist. We all feel the demand to do certain that our loved 1s are decently prepared for their journey by whatever means our traditions dictate. The lone differences seem to be the methods in which we believe will assist us do that passage. There is no uncertainty that household coherence and socioeconomic position play an of import function in the overall success of the passage but with the proper support system. even those in deprived communities can do the best of a bad state of affairs.


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