Interactions between Native Americans and White European Settlers can be traced back to the late 1400's. (Dempsey) These groups shared many similarities and differences including but not limited to: lifestyles, methods of hunting and traveling, cures for various illnesses, and methods of cooking. However, one of the primary differences in the culture of these groups was religion. The religions of the Indigenous Native Americans were closely tied into nature. In contrast, the Colonial White European Settlers inherited their religion from the Roman Catholic Church. The dissimilarities in religion between the Colonial White European Settlers, and the Indigenous Native Americans can be illustrated by exploring underlying themes, beliefs, rituals, symbols and practices between both cultures.
Many of the settlers actually came to America to further explore their religion without persecution. Christianity manifested itself in countless denominations among the European settlers. Roman Catholics, English Catholics, Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians, German and Swedish Lutherans, Dutch Calvinists, English Puritans, French Huguenots, Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish religions were all represented by the settlers of the new land.() The fore mentioned are all Christians that practiced in various ways. The Dutch Calvinists and Scottish Presbyterians all studied the Calvinist theological traditions.(Taylor) The German and Swedish Lutherans practiced under the theology of Martin Luther. (Taylor
[...] The Apache believed in evil spirits, which can be translated within the majority of Christian White European Settlers' religion as "devils" or "demons." (Pearse) Native American symbols have been used for generations to communicate thoughts, expressions, and beliefs. Their symbols included but are not limited to: the arrow, the arrowhead, the avanyu, the bear, the bear track, the bird man, the bird symbol, the butterfly, the cactus, the feather, circle, coyote, crow, dancer, dragon fly, deer track, falcon, fox, fire, handprint, hand eye, lightning, twins, turtle, swastika, spider, snake, square, mountain range and medicine wheel. Most of these heavily differ from the symbols used in the Christian community of the European settlers. [...]
[...] They were inherited from generation to generation for centuries. The ritual of Festival was the most common to happen. This is very similar to the worship of Roman Catholic Church. They thank the "Great Spirit" for survival and protection as members of the Roman Catholic Church would thank the Lord for blessings. The ceremonies were commanded by "Keepers of the Faith" known as "Ho-nun-den-ont." This is similar to the way a priest would lead a church service for Catholics. Rituals in the Sioux tribe were also eminent. [...]
[...] Library of Congress Print. Taylor, Allan. The Settling of North America. Penguin Books Print. Tiller , Veronica. Culture and Customs of the Apache Indians . 1s. Greenwood, Print. [...]
[...] Lutherans also shared many core beliefs, but stood out due to the fact that they didn't believe it was necessary for a priest to mediate relations with God. In contrast the different Native Americans tribes and populations believed in various dieties.The Iroquois believe that the spirits controlled the seasons. The Sioux believed that human beings, like the buffalo and a vast number of animals, were created from the Mother Earth . (McGaa) The Sioux also believed in invisible beings. They utilized The Sacred pipe to mediate between them and Wakan Tanka. [...]
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