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Lame Deer (Chapters 6 and 10):
1. Lame Deer explains that the Sioux imagine themselves as a circle and that everything in the environment has symbolic sacrality. What might be the social, religious, and environmental impacts of this kind of world view?
2. Lame Deer refers to the pipe as “an open Bible.” What does he mean by that statement? How does it signify a fundamental difference between Lakota and Christian traditions? And how does it relate the ways in which many Native Americans today express their faith in Catholicism and Christianity in tandem with Native traditions?
Treglia, “American Indian Dance Bans 1900-1933”
3. Analyze the intersection of myth (Wovoka’s prophecy) and ritual (the Ghost Dance) in the historical events of Wounded Knee.
4. What are some of the Protestant values that influenced the dance bans 1900-1933? What do the dance bans tell us about colonial American assimilationist policies? Were colonial policies hegemonic? or “confused”? And what were the impacts on Native dance rituals?
Irwin, Walking the Line:
5. Irwin argues that this history of Native American religions in the US is the history of unparalleled restriction of religious freedom. Explain his justification for this argument. Use historical examples.
6. Ironically, public spaces, like prisons, have become a means to introduce Native American youth to their religious traditions. It has also assisted in creating pipe ceremonies and inipi rites as Pan-Native rituals. What does this notion of a Pan-Native ritual mean? and what are the consequences for future generations?
Raboteau, Slave Religion:
7. What are some of the defining characteristics of West African religions? Are there ways in which some of those mythologies and ritual practices are echoed in contemporary African-American religious practices?
8. Raboteau argues that West African religions are “danced religions.” What does he mean by this? How does this heritage impact African-American ritual?