The Soul of the Indian 1.0 1.0 (Blackberry)

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  • Added: 07/04/2014
  • Downloads:47
  • Price: Free
  • Language: English
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  • Os Support: Blackberry OS App



We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us their children.

We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to ustheir children. It teaches us to be thankful, to be united, and to love one another! We never quarrelabout religion. Thus spoke the great Seneca orator, Red Jacket, in his superb reply to MissionaryCram more than a century ago, and I have often heard the same thought expressed by mycountrymen. I have attempted to paint the religious life of the typical American Indian as it wasbefore he knew the white man. I have long wished to do this, because I cannot find that it hasever been seriously, adequately, and sincerely done. The religion of the Indian is the last thingabout him that the man of another race will ever understand. First, the Indian does not speak ofthese deep matters so long as he believes in them, and when he has ceased to believe he speaksinaccurately and slightingly. Second, even if he can be induced to speak, the racial and religiousprejudice of the other stands in the way of his sympathetic comprehension. Third, practically allexisting studies on this subject have been made during the transition period, when the originalbeliefs and philosophy of the native American were already undergoing rapid disintegration. Thereare to be found here and there superficial accounts of strange customs and ceremonies, of whichthe symbolism or inner meaning was largely hidden from the observer; and there has been a greatdeal of material collected in recent years which is without value because it is modern and hybrid,inextricably mixed with Biblical legend and Caucasian philosophy. Some of it has even beeninvented for commercial purposes. Give a reservation Indian a present, and he will possiblyprovide you with sacred songs, a mythology, and folk-lore to order! My little book does not pretendto be a scientific treatise. It is as true as I can make it to my childhood teaching and ancestralideals, but from the human, not the ethnological standpoint. I have not cared to pile up more drybones, but to clothe them with flesh and blood. So much as has been written by strangers of ourancient faith and worship treats it chiefly as matter of curiosity. I should like to emphasize itsuniversal quality, its personal appeal!

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