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
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Their prayers and requests were to have more children and to have an increase in agricultural foods.

Since women were looked upon, as the ones who brought life, men wanted to insure the women’s fertility and they did this through the ritualistic dances. In these dances the Puebloan men imitated the reproduction of women. White man saw these rituals and thought that the women did not have a significant role in religion because they did not perform in the dances. But the women were the core of this religious belief and way of life. At worship shrines these woman would pray to their gods to have more children, sometimes specifically a girl or a boy. This indicates that both men and woman were an important part in their society. Women would reproduce and men would grow crops.

White settlers generally believed that the man was the most important person in the family. The Indians were a little different in this aspect, when asked who they thought was more important, one Puebloan woman replied, “We are, because we are the mothers” (1). White Christian Americans believed that the man was the center of the church and household. This caused a serious conflict between the Pueblo Indians and white settlers. Some other Pueblo women said that men were important also because they were messengers to their gods. Men who were the planters and grew the
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