Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Ojibwe Prayer Song
The Ojibwe speak a language of the Algonkian language family and constitute the largest Indian group north of Mexico. Their extensive pre-contact territory in Canada was mainly north of Lakes Superior and Huron. During historic times, they spread west and south and today numerous Ojibwe bands stretch from present-day Ontario in eastern Canada all the way into Montana. Oral traditions of the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi assert that at one time all three tribes were one people who lived at the Straits of Mackinac. From there, they split off into three different groups. Linguistic, archeological, and historical evidence confirms that the three tribes descend from a common ethnic origin.
Ojibwe religious life was largely personal, but was also a daily concern with living appropriately and making one's way through a world filled with spirits which inhabited birds, animals, rocks, and cosmic phenomena including the sun, moon, the four winds, thunder, lightning, and thunderbirds. On a personal basis, one of the most important spirits was an individual's guardian spirit which was acquired via a dream or vision and could be called on for protection and guidance. Spirits were honored through prayers and tobacco and food offerings and could sometimes be contacted through shamans. Oral traditions described the world of spirits and provided appropriate models of correct behavior with regard to them.
Picture: The Great Migration