30 January, 2016

Similar Traditions Of Northern Paiute Native Americans To Christian Religion

Northern Paiute: Native Americans
I came across and article about Native Americans from 1937. Times have certainly changed, the article was headed Pagan Custom Less Among Indians. It came to my attention because there is a coincidence of sorts. This is the article:

Sarah Winnemucca
Paganism is gradually disappearing among Indians on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, according to the Rev. William A Stinson vicar at St Mary's on the desert of the Nevada Episcopal missionary district.

"Many of the old customs still exist to be sure," he said, "but they interfere very little with our Christian teachings."

There are now 400 baptized Indians on the reservation, of whom 175 have been confirmed.

"One of the strongest of the old traditions is that of water babies," the vicar reported. "When some of the Indians tell me that the water babies were crying last night, they are really serious.

"Tradition has it that when the wind blows in off Pyramid Lake and sighs though the trees of the reservation it is the water babies crying, and something ominous is about to happen," he explained. "Superstitious Indians remain indoors when they think the water babies are about."

A similarity between religion of the primitive western tribes and the Christian religion was described by the vicar.

"It may only be a coincidence, but the older Indians have told me their ancestors used to kneel facing the east each morning as they washed their faces and would pray to the Great Spirit to cleanse their hearts as the water cleansed their faces," he said. "As you know, the altars in our churches are always placed in the east end."

"A literal translation of the Indians' tribal name is water ute derived from the name of the original Ute Indians in Utah and pah meaning water," he declared.

As I understand it, the indigenous peoples of the mentioned area are known as Northern Paiute.

Other Native American Posts:
Synchronicity Leading To Pocahontas Saving John Smith
Native American Chief Seattle And His Powerful Speech
Tecumseh And The Shawnee Way To Live And Die

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. But I always cringe when I read about reverends and vicars trying to convert Native Americans, whose spiritual traditions are so rich.

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