Religions of Native America 

Religion in America


   300 societies and distinct languages



   Cultural diversity

     Eastern Woodland

     Great Plains

     Southwest Pueblo cultures

     Hunter-gatherers of West Coast

   Differences in material culture

   Differences in social organization

Common Characteristics

   No separation between sacred & everyday

     Kinship between spirits, people, natural world

     Shifting of shapes

Common Characteristics

   Continuity of sacred & present time

     Sacred origins

Common Characteristics

   Power and the spirit world

     Rituals for taking & restoring food

     Controlling & directing the powers of nature

     Interpreting dreams,
visions, and signs

Trance and  transformation

   The Trickster figure

   The sacred clowns

     Funny and vicious

   Masked dancers and the spirits


   The sacred four, five, or seven directions

   The sacred wheel


Significant deities

   The Sun God of Central America

Significant deities

   The Corn god