Religion and the Shaman - Plateau Native Americans in Olden Times for Kids Illustration

Religion and the Shaman
Plateau Native Americans in Olden Times

For Kids

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.

The Shamans: 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 trainees.

Ceremonies: As the religious leader, the Shaman conducted many ceremonies thoughout the year.

Why were Plateau native ceremonies so noisy?

Story: The Medicine Man

Return to the People of the Plateau for Kids (main index)

See Also: The Job of a Shaman in the Far North

Native American Games & Activities

Native American Stories, Myths and Legends