Interesting and amazing Native American customs

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Interesting and amazing Native American customsIt is always interesting to delve into the past and find about the culture, life, and ways of our ancestors. From the early civilization to the present day culture, there have been many changes for the better and sometimes for worse too. Nevertheless knowing about a particular tribe’s culture helps in understanding their way of life and gives us a glimpse of the world that was at that particular time. Native American customs form a part of their culture. They have evolved from their spiritual traditions and beliefs. Here are a few of the intriguing customs:

Medicine man

In Native American custom, the medicine man features prominently. While the names may vary based on the particular tribe, they were mostly decided based on the person’s character, animals, natural environment, and certain other factors. The medicine men were healers who performed rituals to ward off evil and cure illnesses in persons. Bloodletting was a common procedure used by the medicine men to treat back pain, headaches, and other illnesses.

Totem animal

Native Americans believed that each human being possesses an inherent animal presence or force such as bear, wolf, or eagle. This is a chief identity used by a tribe and is subject to many controversies and superstitions. The animal names were taken up to serve as guardian angel for them. This animal symbolism has been linked to astrology and is representative of the culture, customs and natural influences.


Most of the celebrations in the Native American communities featured ritual dances in which men and women took part. Mostly the dances were performed to celebrate victory in battle. The blowing of conches was also done to indicate victory. Empty conch shells were also used as calling bells.

Nowadays with the huge technological advancements, we have sophisticated door bells, free of wires to ensure safety in homes. In addition to victory dances, joyous occasions such as weddings, religious festivals, and corn harvest were considered important and dancing was held at such events. The bravery of the soldiers in battles can be seen depicted clearly in the dances, which mimicked the fighting sequences in them.

Painting in sand

Based on the Navajo beliefs, the sand paintings were the gift bestowed upon the natives by the holy people. The paintings were done with a blend of gypsum, ochre, red sandstone, and charcoal and mixed using different techniques. The paintings created on a smooth sand base turned into a custom followed by several tribes. For added color, crushed flower petals as well as cornmeal was included. The paintings are connected to Navajo mythology and symbolize healing, harvest and other joyous events. Legendary visions, sacred mountains, and traditional dances are commonly featured in these paintings.

Sky, Great Spirit and Earth

Wakan-Taka, the Great Spirit is the core of universe and is present inside every person, according to the Native Americans and most customs followed by them revolve around this concept. Men and women thank the Great Spirit for their existence. The revered circle symbolized by rotating earth, stars and elements are related to the Great Spirit. The spirit was believed to wield control over stones, clouds, trees, animals and everything on earth.


America Before Europeans