Native American Indian Customs

In America, there are hundreds of Native American Indian tribes. Despite the cultural differences among these tribes, they also shared some common customs, cultural aspects, clothing and language. A custom is a traditional practice accepted and followed by the people of a particular group. The following are some of the traditions that were shared by the Native Americans and the Indians;


Believe in the Great Spirit or the Wakan Tanka

The Indians and the Native Americans who lived in the plains had a firm belief in the Great Spirit or the Wakan Tanka. They believed that this strong spirit had total control over all the components of nature such as animals, trees, clouds and even the clouds. It was thought that the earth was the source of all spirits. The light and warmth on the earth came from the sun, and it was therefore considered to possess great power. It was the choice of a person to pray individually or in a group. Whenever they experienced visions in their dreams, they perceived that those visions came from the spirits. Shaman was the name of the medicine man, and his primary role was to heal the sick and interpret dreams.


General lifestyle


The lifestyle of the American Indian tribes was categorized into two groups namely the nomadic and the sedentary farmers. Suitable examples of the sedentary farmers were the Hopi. These people usually stayed in one place and were farmers who grew food as a means of survival. Unlike the nomads, the houses of the sedentary farmers were permanent. An example of the nomads is the Navajo. They moved from one place to another to hunt for food. Their houses were temporary and were easy to take apart and transport.


The role of the men and the women


In most of the native American-Indian tribes, men were warriors while the women were responsible for growing and harvesting crops, cooking, making shelters, making tools, weapons and sometimes participated in the war. Take an example of Tashenamani who was a famous female warrior. She led an attack in the battle of greasy grass which took place in 1876. In very few regions such as the southwest, men assisted in farming. They majorly tilled the soil in preparation for the planting.


Traditional ceremonies


During the traditional ceremonies, these tribes used herbs such as tobacco and sage. These herbs were mostly used as an offering to the spirits. During the battle, they painted their bodies and faces with symbols that they believed would protect them during the contest. These symbols were also thought to give superpowers to the people participating in the war.


The use of horses


In the American-Indian culture, horses were commonly used for hunting and transporting objects such as houses for the nomads. There before, horses did not exist in the American lands. The Indians are the ones who acquired them from the Spanish explorers during the early days. (Check ourĀ newspaper craft step by step in making horses)


It is therefore evident that there were several customs that the Native Americans and the Indians shared and did together. Anytime there was a disagreement among the tribes; the Native American men were responsible for negotiating with the Indian tribes and the other tribes and traders.