Category Archives: Native American Culture

The Native American Tradition of Counting Coup

The Native American Tradition of Counting Coup

Counting coup is best described as a game of strategic warfare and, in many cases, it was considered a game of intertribal warfare. This was a tradition practiced by Native Americans of the Great Plains, and earning counting coup status was the highest honor a warrior could receive during combat. When the warrior was close… Continue Reading

Meaning of the Gourd Rattle in Native American Culture

Meaning of the Gourd Rattle in Native American Culture

Gourds are crafted by Native American artisans and they have been utilized to make many items, including birdhouses, pottery, and musical instruments. The gifting of a gourd rattle is a spiritual tradition; the rattle must be handled with care, as it is highly symbolic. Here we describe the histories of a few of the gourd… Continue Reading

Native American Courting Rituals

Native American Courting Rituals

Unlike today’s western civilization, where droves of people flock to social media sites to find life-long companions, the Native American people courted in a more localized fashion. While the ritual was displayed publicly, the men and women were able to forge an intimate bond that carried significant meaning within their tribes, as courting rituals often… Continue Reading

Native Americans and Totem Poles

Native Americans and Totem Poles

Native American tribes of the northwest coast, like the Haida, often built and carved totem poles as tall as 40 feet. What was the significance behind doing so? Totem poles were a sign of wealth Totem poles were built and placed outside homes to display families’ status, ancestry and social rank. They were a sign… Continue Reading

Dream Walking in Native American Culture

Dream Walking in Native American Culture

Dreams are significant to Native American cultures as they open new worlds beyond a normal comprehension of reality. Once dream realms are opened, dreamwalkers work within them to heal, teach, and unite with elderhearts. The ways in which dreamwalkers enter these worlds are very fascinating. Shaman Ritual Shamanism is practiced all over the globe, not… Continue Reading

The Importance of Shapeshifting in Native American Culture

The Importance of Shapeshifting in Native American Culture

When people hear the word, “shapeshifter,” they may think of supernatural figures like witches and werewolves. But the spiritual practice of shapeshifting travels well beyond a mythical and supernatural scope. What is Shapeshifting? A non-Native study of shapeshifting posits that the practice was used by medicine people and shamans to transform into part animal to… Continue Reading

How was Native American Day Celebrated?

How was Native American Day Celebrated?

Native American Day is crucial to the continued preservation efforts of the 100 federally recognized tribes in California and the nine that exist in the state of South Dakota. The Midwest began celebrating Native American Day in place of Columbus Day when legislation was passed during the late 80’s. Each state celebrates the holiday differently,… Continue Reading

Native American Medicinal Cures

Native American Medicinal Cures

Throughout the centuries, Native American tribes have used herbal remedies for a wide variety of ailments. Read on for a few examples of some Native American medicinal cures using trees, flowers, fruit, plants and other natural products for healing, some of which you can find at the grocery store in the supplements section, or even… Continue Reading

Marker Trees & Native American Culture

Marker Trees & Native American Culture

Did you know that trail trees, bent in their infancy to mark trails or important landmarks, hold sacred meaning for Native American people? These special trees are being identified and preserved by environmentalists all over the country today. To date, over 1,850 trail trees have been identified in 39 states. How to spot an Authentic… Continue Reading

Looking for Native American Culture in the US?

Looking for Native American Culture in the US?

While pop culture often misrepresents Native Americans with stereotypical portrayals, Native American culture is rich and thriving in the States. If you want an authentic experience, you won’t have to travel far to check out some of the best places! Washington, D.C. The National Museum of the American Indian is one of the Smithsonian museums… Continue Reading