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Eastern Woodlandsand Plaines
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Eastern Woodlandsand Plaines

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  • 1. Mythology of the Indians of the Eastern Woodlands and Plaines By David, Jayda, Jodi, Alyssa, and Tommy
  • 2. The Mythology of Tribes from the Eastern Woodlands 1. The Spirits 2. Nature & the Moral world 3. Death
  • 3. The Spirits: Eastern Woodlands • The tribes of the Eastern Woodlands’ supreme being was Manitou. He guided the world. Offerings from the Iroquois were made to him, because he was loved so much in the Iroquois community. • They thought that everything hade a spirit. From a tiny ant to a great bear. • They had two main spirits: The God of Nature and the God of Animals. • The God of Nature took care of all the trees and crops that they planted and the God of Animals took care of all the animals. • Six festivals were honored to the God of Nature and the God of animals. • The Six festivals were: • The festival of Spring. During this festival the people of the tribe announced their sins at sugar time.
  • 4. Spirits: Eastern Woodlands (continued) • The corn planting festival was another one that was celebrated to the God of nature. It was celebrated as soon as the first corn appeared. • Green corn festival. This was celebrated when the corn matured. • Harvest festival. When harvest time came this festival was celebrated. This was celebrated to thank the God of Nature for giving them food to eat. • Finally the White Dog festival. This was a cleansing held in the dead of winter.
  • 5. Nature & the Moral World(Life): Eastern Woodland • The stars were a very important feature to the beliefs of the tribes of the Eastern Woodlands. • The movement of the constellations helped the Indians of the Eastern Woodlands determine planting cycles. • The placement of the stars helped them determine direction. • They believed that the north star “The star that never moves” was created when a hunting party got lost. A creature helped their tribe members out by finding them food. Then the creature’s chief came and put a new star in the sky that did not move and led them back to camp.
  • 6. Death:Eastern Woodlands • They believed in ancestral spirits who would appear in dreams to their descendants. • The Algonquin believed that when you died you would be a part of the Northern lights. They thought that the Northern lights were the dancing souls of the dead. • The Haidas believed that you went to an underworld. It could be visited by the living, but only under certain circumstances. If you ate anything during the time you spent in the underworld you could never return to the world of the living.
  • 7. Death:Eastern Woodlands (continued) • The Iroquois had the most sophisticated concept of death. They believed that the dead lived in wonderful villages where you lack nothing. The dead could visit you in your dreams. They were the only tribe that thought that the dead were rewarded.
  • 8. Mythology of Tribes from the Plains 1. The Spirits 2. Nature & the Moral world 3. Death
  • 9. The Spirits: Plains • Their God was the Sky Father. Sky Father would come down in different shapes to observe life on earth. • These spirits lived in the heavens the same way humans live on earth. They believed that the spirits interfered with human life. To keep it on the right track. • Warriors would stare into the sun all day long. They would then suspend themselves from poles by running wooden skewers through their chest muscles. This making a medicine-man was called the Sun Dance. They only performed the sun dance when evil befell the tribe.
  • 10. Nature & the Moral World(Life): Plains • Before the seventeenth century the Plains Indians used dos for most of their ways of living. The Spaniards then brought horses to America. They started hunting using horses. • The Indians lives changed drastically. They raided their enemies when before, they farmed their own land.
  • 11. Death: Plains • The Indians of the plains believed that the North star was the creator god. • The south star was feared for he was the God of the the underworld. • The Morning star was their protector because he pushed the sun up in the sky. • The Evening star was the enemy because he pushed the sun down into darkness.
  • 12. The way that Joseph Campbell would have viewed these myths. •The creation myth by the Eastern woodlands people does not comply with Campbell’s list of the four human means. •In a small way it instills a sense of awe in the human relationship to the mysteries of the universe. •It provides only a meager understanding of the world in accordance with scientific knowledge of the time. •It fails to support the social order through rights and rituals. •The myth could not comfort or guide the individual through the psychological traumas of living. •It would please Campbell however that this myth does not comply with some of his theories. •A common archetype is that good is up and evil is down and this myth is no exception. •The princess falls from the sky, signaling that she is good and establishing her as an important character.