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Native Americans, can you please answer ? Totems question?

I wanted to start of by saying my family has documented Native ancestry - on my father's side, it's Muscogee-Creek, and on my mother's side, it's Cherokee; I am Black Native but the elders of my family died long before I was even born so I never could learn things from them so basically; I don't know my heritage much.

However, I have been trying to get in touch with my African and Native ancestry via family tree tracing and researching. I came across cultural appropriation of Native culture and it opened my eyes to a lot that I kind of already knew.

The question I had was , is there really such a thing as "animal totems?"Did Native Americans of any tribe ever have such things ? Did they believe that people have animal guides(totems) as well? I ask because I know there are white people who pose as being Native American with this new age shamanistic stuff just to get money from people and Totems seem to have been appropriated??????

8 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No. No animal spirit guides, no zodiac. And no "shamans" (shamanism is an asian religion) And please read this, too.

    Source(s): Navajo
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Natives don't have animal totems, sorry. That's another thing New Age people claim, not true. Now there are certain tribes that use totem poles, but that's the Northwest Natives. The totem poles are to represent clans and families. The tribes you claim to be from, don't have totem poles, or use "totem animals".

    I also want to touch on this. You want to get in touch with your Native and African culture. That's good, but I looked at the African culture, and their culture is not like ours. There's only one continent that HAD a similar culture prior to Christianity, that was Northern Europe especially with the Celts and Norse. Even East Asians culture don't resemble ours in the least.

    Source(s): Huηkpapa Lakota
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  • Thomas
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Na, this is all New Age nonsense that was made up pretty much wholecloth. You can't learn traditions from books. At least you have political affiliation with a tribal nation, that's good. So, perhaps look into your greater tribal community if your elders are gone. It is just a big extended family anyway.

    There are still quite a few tradish Creeks around. If you approach them and clearly state who your family is and are patient and show an interest, it shouldn't be hard to make friends and maybe start participating in tribal events and ceremonies. Well, if you are around Oklahoma that is. If you are outside of that area, it will be more challenging to make these connections.

    My advice is to just stay away from the New Agy stuff. And by the way, your "heritage" is what was actually passed down from your family and tribal community. If you didn't get much passed down, that is just the way it is. My family is all Christian from many generations ago when they were converted by missionaries. One of my ancestors was the first in our tribe to be baptised by a missionary, in facct. He grew up to be a preacher and converted his fellow tribesmen. Ironically, nowadays a "tradish" person can be one that uses the tribal language in church services. Many of the old beliefs are gone. You'd have to actively seek out those that have kept the traditions, but they are still out there.

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  • sommer
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    As some others have warned, some Wiccans and New Agers regrettably misrepresent interior of sight American ideals. NA "totem animals" are in many cases linked with a tribe, no longer a individual, as an occasion. And it is which you and this Wiccan got here up with an identical solutions when you consider which you have been analyzing an identical guidance. She knew your character and linked you with that animal. additionally, those descriptions are in many cases particularly accepted. seem at another animals and notice what share could greater healthful you. it is solid which you're being severe approximately your supplies. surely, the information superhighway is probable a unfavorable place to get the information you're searching for. i might propose finding for books by ability of anthropologists approximately interior of sight American ideals. it is a lot greater in all hazard to get you solid guidance, in need of having the flexibility to ask a NA individually.

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  • Emma
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    The animal spirits whose qualities we most associate with or those animal spirits which most associate with us. These are qualities that we feel most connected to or qualities that are connected with us. It is a simple belief, that we are all connected, humans, animals and mother earth.

    Our animal spirits (totems) can guide us through all or certain parts of our lives. An easy way to learn your totem is to find a quiet place and concentrate or meditate. Don't try too hard or your totems will elude you. It is possible to have several totems and these totems can change as we change throughout life.

    Every animal on earth is sacred, revered or has spiritual meaning in one culture or another. Just as the Eagle symbolizes unity, strength and freedom for the United States. Below we list the symbolic meaning of animals in many Native American Indian traditions.

    About Totems -

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  • 8 years ago

    There are hundreds of different tribes but they are all grouped under native american. They all have different beliefs. I know for sure being a sioux from standing rock reservation we have nothing to do with Totem poles. There isn't much traditions to learn though most öf ít has been forgotten when our ancestors were forced to forget it. Look up the history on that instead.

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  • Totem is an Anglicized version of the word odoodem. It means CLAN. Not ridiculous animal spirit guide. Somehow it got co-opted by the new-agers and got turned into animal spirit guide.

    Source(s): Ojibwe
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  • 8 years ago

    is there really such a thing as "animal totems?"


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