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Through out history historians have had the ability to pass on the knowledge of the past because of written documents and other forms of evidence that acknowledge the existence of past civilizations and cultures When there are no written documents whether lost or never created it can be more difficult for historians to explain past civilizations The Native Americans were a group that kept no written records The information that we know today was passed down from generation to generation through oral traditions Despite the information we have there is much more that researchers dont know about because a considerable amount of information has either been lost or has been impossible to obtain But from what we already knowhistorians can conclude there are common characteristics that seem to be shared by all of the Native Americans I will also include the creation myth of the Osage Indians and the afterlife beliefs of the Lakota Sioux Although there are many points of contrast the beliefs of Native Americans are distinguished by some common characteristics p54 Nigosian Some of these characteristics are that they all seem to believe in the existence of a high god or vital force along with lesser gods and spirits and that certain individuals possess sacred power and therefore can act as intermediaries between the tribe and the deities In the ceremonies associated with ritual and initiation they engaged in certain traditional rites that were designed to perpetuate the smooth operation of the natural order including human society and they all believed that by repeating stories or by storytelling they kept the world alive p54 Nigosian Therefore the Native Americans viewed life evolving around a holy force that holds all things together which leads to the basic goal of staying in harmony with all natural and supernatural powers p62 Nigosian This leads me to believe that the spirits they had for different aspects of nature and their
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