Gender and Religion

Religion was based on the existence of individual spirits that established personal relationships with men and women. This spirit helped guide their lives. More powerful spirits were personified, often in animal symbols, and were said to exist without great interest in humans. The most significant exception was the trickster, Raven. Raven, who was said in various tales to have created humans (both men and women together), to have made the tide and sun available for human use, and to have had countless other adventures for humans, took on both male and female persona. However, Raven was not worshipped or active in individual lives.

Individuals took on both positive and negative roles in supernatural practice. The negative role was that of the witch. Either a man or women could become a witch. The witch used supernatural means to bring sickness and death to his or her enemies. Witches were universally condemned and subject to death when discovered. Acknowledgement that a clansman or clanswoman was a witch would undermine the ranking of the entire clan. The socially acceptable religious practitioners were called ixt' or, in English, Indian doctors. Indian doctors fit the anthropological designation of shaman. They were men and women who had accumulated a number of spirit guides and had trained with senior ixt' to learn the techniques of curing and ritual. They were called upon to cure serious illness. In the practice they went into trances and in the supernatural realm found the witch who was causing the disease and fought him or her for the health of the patient. A successful ixt' became wealthy and powerful. Ixt' were paid for their cures and the more highly ranked the patient, the more expensive was the fee. While the individuals were seen as essentially benevolent, their spirits were powerful and not fully controlled. It was feared that an insult to such a person could invoke the wrath of the spirits. Both men and women became shamans, and both men and women were counted among the powerful practitioners.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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