Religion and the Shaman
Plateau Indians in Olden Times
Religion: The people of the Plateau believed in many gods and spirits. They believed spirits inhabited all living and non-living things. Some spirits were bad. Some were good. But spirits were everywhere. They held animals in very high regard. The most important ones were deer, coyote, and horses. They created myths and legends about some of the spirits, stories passed down from generation to generation.
Besides the village and task leaders, each village had a religious leader called
a Shaman. The Shaman was part historian, part doctor, and part priest. It was
the Shaman who told stories of the tribe and passed those stories onto the next
Shaman. Shamans always had extensive
knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants. The Shamans were believed to
have special powers to heal the sick and to predict the future by communicating
with the spirit world. You trained to become a Shaman. Shamans chose the
Shamans chose the trainees.
Ceremonies: As the religious leader, the Shaman conducted
many ceremonies thoughout the year.
Ceremonies: As the religious leader, the Shaman conducted many ceremonies thoughout the year.
See Also: The Job of a Shaman in the Far North