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Native Americans (Essay Sample)


Write on any topic you find interesting - must have to do with Native Americans.


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Tobacco is sacred, it honors life. For many years before the harmful and commercial use came into being, tobacco had sacred and medicinal purposes among many Native American tribes. It has been used to seek divine protection, and to show respect and/or honor. Support Native American Art, SNAA (2010) adds that tobacco has also been used to heal many kinds of ailments for many years. Before the Europeans came into contact with the Native Americans, tobacco was used solely for these non harmful purposes. In addition, the Native Americans have been using tobacco as an offering to the spirits. They believe it is the connection between the physical and the spiritual worlds. Therefore, their life activities such as planting and gathering food have been marked by tobacco offerings.
The heart of the culture of the native people has always been this famous pipe ceremony and the sacred pipe. For the native people, the smoke of tobacco coming from mouth signifies that the truth is being uttered. On the other hand, the smoke plumes give direction for the prayers to get to the Great Spirit. Similarly, the Great Spirit gets to the Mother Earth using the direction of the plumes. For this reason, the Native Americans use the pipe ceremony as a sacred and ritual connection between the physical world and the spiritual world. (SNAA, 2010)
The use of the pipe, tobacco and the fire is symbolic just like the smoke produced is. According to the Native American tribes, the pipe represents the prayers in their physical form. The smoke on the other side symbolizes the words as it goes out and becomes part of everything. The fire used in the pipe represents the sun which the natives believe to be the source of life. The use of tobacco lays symbolic significance between the roots of the plant and the smoke. On one hand, the roots of the tobacco plant go deep into the ground just like its smoke rise high up into the skies. It is on this ground that tobacco is sacred and should not be abused.
In modern day life, the Native Americans live in the same houses just like those of the non native. However, this was not the case in the olden days. Long ago, they live in houses that were very different from those of non natives. Their homes and houses were built on purpose to suit the climatic conditions of their residential area. Amazingly, everything was made manually and from things that were naturally and readily available. Among the most popular shelters for the Native Americans are the tepee, adobe villages, ice igloos, wigwams and hogans among other structures. (Shelter Online, 2011)
The most popularly known of these shelters is the tepee otherwise called tepee or tipi. This was the shelter made by and for the Native Americans who lived in the plains. The major reason for the adoption of this basic structure by many of the Plains cultures was in relation to the nomadic nature of many of these people. Because they were hunters, they had to build shelters that were easily movable and temporary. In addition, the tepee was ideal because it could keep heat out during the hot weather and at the same time hold up the cold weather during the winter months.
Shelter Online (...
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