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Native Americans (Essay Sample)


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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 ...
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