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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > North American Indigenous Spirituality

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Old 11-04-2012, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by RiversLady
It depends on how strongly you believe in the spirit realm. Read the whole thread and you will get some idea of the problems you can encounter.

Now I ask you to do this small mental excersize. Think about this: What would happen if you lost your name? Someone stole it perhaps? Don't look at it as impossible, and don't apply it to the material world. How would you feel and what would you do? I await your reply!

Perhaps some have their own romanticized take on American Indian spirituality ?
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:23 AM
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Actually the term ‘totem’ was derived from the Algonquian word - Ototema or sometimes - Nto’tem or Odoodem which means kin or sibling. In many Algonquian dialects it refers to a particular animal or supernatural being/creature associated with a tribe, clan, or band. This Ototema is often thought as an ancestor, family member, old friend and most definitely a protector or ally.

These Algonquian Ototemas go far back to the tribe’s, clan’s or band’s origins. Totems cannot be chosen randomly or by an individual’s affection or admiration of a particular animal. Information regarding Ototemas is much less guarded than personal spirit helpers and guardian spirits and are often displayed in art.

As much as we would like to think, the totem poles’ of the northwest coastal tribes are not true Ototemas. Instead, these ‘totem poles’ are the equivalent of family crests and have no similarities with the totems of the Algonquians. These totem poles were erroneously identified by the whites who already had knowledge of the Algonquian totems of the east.

The term Totemism is used by ethnographers and anthropologists to describe similar beliefs shared by primitive tribes all over the world.

There’s nothing really preventing people from choosing what they believe to be totem and spirit animals, but they do so in ignorance of the tribal cultures associated with such.
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