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Native American Literature - Supernatural and Superstitions - Essay Example

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Native American Literature – supernatural and superstitions Outline I. Introduction II. Body A. Supernatural beliefs and Black Hawk’s autobiography B. Relation with animals and their spirit C. Corn Spirit D. God, spirit and rituals II. Conclusion Native American literature originated in the nineteenth century.  This literature was a link between oral tradition that was prevalent for centuries before the advent of Europeans and the growing of modern fiction in the 1960s…
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Native American Literature - Supernatural and Superstitions
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Download file to see previous pages These disruptions reflect on many of the famous works of the Native American authors. (Natives American Nations)          Supernatural belief among the Algonquins as ‘Manitous’ and Iroquois and Hurons as ‘Okies’ or ‘Otkons’ was largely prevalent (Native American Nations). These words refer to all the types of supernatural being ranging from fairies, giants to monsters. In the autobiography of Black Hawk author describes a large bird, as “he was white, with wings like a swan, but ten times larger.” (Sayre, 262) Hawk essentially talks about his tribal identity rather than national identity. Every primitive Indian has a mentor who provides guidance and protection. He talks of the custom of visiting the graves of friends and relatives in order to “keep them I repair for many years” (Sayre 263). When in grief, the place where the bones and remains of their forefathers lay buried was the best place to visit. The Great Spirit was supposed to have mercy on the individual at such a place. According to customs after a member died their possessions were all given away in order to gain the mercy of the Great Spirit by showing their modesty through reduction to poverty (Sayre 264). In the Mud Diver Story or Munsee (first told in Munsee Delaware language a long time ago), portrays their beliefs about existence some of which might seem to possess supernatural context. For instance, a story amongst the Native Americans proposes that Red Hawk’s family stayed near the Garden of Edens and after ousting Adam and Eve God went to this family and charged them of committing sin but the Red Hawk said that such a word does not exist in their language. Again, the giant bullfrog is represented in their stories as “eyes are too big for their stomachs” and it drinks the entire water in Mi’kmaq story. Both Algonquins and Iroquois tribe believed that earth had originated from the rear side of a tortoise. The turtle is known for “diving down to the mud, burrowing under and coming up with mud on its back” and in later versions the painted turtle is used to symbolize the earth’s beauty (Pritchard, 6). An Indian hunter tries to seek apology from the animal he has wounded or killed. For example in the book called ‘Tour to the Lakes’ by Mc Kinney, the author describes the discomfort some Indians faced in a party by seeing a stuffed moose. They thought that the spirit would get offended, so they started offering remorseful speeches and breathing tobacco smoke at it, as a placatory offering. Bones were treated with care so that the spirit of the dead does not take any offense (Native American Nations). In the story ‘Buffalo Wife’ Coyote is the villain and his misfortunes were brought about by his greed and misdeeds, which angered the spirit of the buffalo who chases him. Coyote manages to befriend the buffalo that gifted him a buffalo wife. He killed his Buffalo wife to meet his hunger and an outside force prevented him to eat the flesh despite his hunger. The spirit of the buffalo wife perhaps brought this about. This tale brings animals and man together and shows how the spirit of animals also had important things to teach a man. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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