Surrounded by natural forces
Some Iroquoians believe that there are supernatural forces that manifest themselves in all living things, from animals to inanimate objects such as water. All aspects of daily life are influenced by these spiritual beliefs. A persons relationship to the land is important. It is also important to take care of the environment and respect all beings.
Dreams are very important to the Iroquoians. It is through dreams that the spirits speak to the people. Sometimes they need the shaman‘s help to interpret their dreams. The shaman is known for having special talents that allow him to communicate with the spirits. He is also a healer who knows the medicinal power of plants.
To obtain favours from the spirits or to appease them, the Iroquoian people organize feasts, dances, offerings and rituals. They may have dances to honour corn, or offer tobacco to calm the waters that have been troubled by a storm. They may even conduct a special rite to heal someone who is sick.
They also believe in life after death. This afterlife is similar to that of the living, in which people hunt and fish. In fact, when people die, they are buried with their personal belongings so that they will have everything they need in the afterlife.
Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social
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