The concept that at birth an individual would belong to the clan of which their mother belonged. It is believed that the Iroquois clans were families that were traced through female lineages known as matrilines.
A societal group that is based around a totem (also known as “gens” or “gentes”). Due to the sensitive nature of clan/totemic association, many Native Americans may have hidden the existence of specific clans from historians. Clans were often considered another “family” and were given the same strength of bond as a biological relationship. This explains the example of “Bear Ceremonialism”, apologizing to the bear that it must be killed. The Iroquoian clan system helped strengthen the Iroquois confederacy.
A social system or arrangement whereby marriage is not allowed between to members of the same group (or clan). In the Iroquois system, marriage was not allowed between two members of the same clan or the same moiety, this is know a “double exogamy”.
The ability of a person or spirit to change form or “shape shift”
Charms and fetishes are objects that attract or hold a specific spirit or entity. Charms are generally objects that are found and used as is, fetishes are generally man made. Fetishes are also considered to enslave the spirit they contain such that a person who possesses the fetish may harness the powers of the enslaved spirit.
In some Native American cultures (specifically the Ojibwa), when a young child is seeking a dream or vision quest, they will abstain from eating for a period of time to help initiate the vision. Often children are prepared for a vision fast in the years leading up to their vision quest. Parents may awaken the child on a given morning and offer them a choice of charcoal or bread to eat. Children who choose bread may be punished thus encouraging voluntary fasting.
Sign up for free and study better.
Get started today!