Pueblo Indian Religion in the Early 20th Century Essay

Pueblo Indian Religion in the Early 20th Century Essay

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Pueblo Indian Religion in the Early 20th Century

The Pueblo Indians religious history is different than the average Christian religion history. Their religious beliefs are based on the creation of life. The persons seen as the creators of life are the centrality and the basis of their religion. In the early 1900’s these Indians were looked upon in different lights. White man compared the Pueblo rituals and religious routines with his own. Pueblo religious beliefs, practices and social forms were criticized, scrutinized and misunderstood by white Christian American settlers. The major religious practice and worship of the Pueblo Indians involved ritual dances. White men attempted to stop these Puebloan ritualistic dances because they did not meet his own religious standards and this happened before the Indians had a chance to explain or define what their dances really stood for. Women played a significant role in Puebloan ritual dances and religious

A brief description of the Pueblo Indian culture and religion are needed to get a full understanding of why their dances were misinterpreted by white settlers and why the Indians were judged and treated in such an unjust way. Pueblo Indians lived in Arizona and New Mexico and had a very different culture religiously than the white man. White religious history shows us that women were not seen, in European and new American culture, as not being significant to religious practices. In the Pueblo religion, however the woman was regarded in a different light. They rarely practiced in religious rituals but were the center of their people’s religion. Pueblos had rituals that were performed exclusively by men, and there, these men imitated women’s reproductive pow...


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... for their religious beliefs and cultural values. People’s religious beliefs and practices all need to be protected from harm and negative influence like a child needs care from his mother. The Pueblo Indians should be looked at as an example of how people should not be treated. This way, hopefully we won’t make the same mistake twice. We all have an obligation to know all the facts and the whole truth about something before we start to reject it. If the white people in the early 20th century had taken the time to understand the meaning of these dances they may not have been so quick to judge and may have stood back and reflected on their own ways of living.

Work Cited

Young Jane. "Women in Western Puebloan Society". Journal of American Folklore. 100.398(1987): 436-445.

Jacobs D. Margaret. "Making Savages of us all". Frontiers. 17.3(1983): 178-209.

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