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Final Exam - Flashcards

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Class:REL_ST 2100H - Indigenous Religions - Honors
Subject:Religious Studies
University:University of Missouri - Columbia
Term:Fall 2011
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Oduduwa
- Supposed king who some members of the Yoruba tradition believe led his people from east to a place known as Ile Ife
- Said to have created the Earth at Ile Ife after climbing down mythical cord
- Significant because Yoruba claim that all dynasties of the kings in different regions of southwestern Nigeria spiritually descended from Oduduwa
Olodumare - The one supreme being within the Yoruba traditional belief
- It is said to be impossible to to reach Olodumare with our normal human psyche, so one has access through "agents" or through an aspect of Olodumare
- Agents are called Orishas and are regarded as different faces of Olodumare
- The creator of heaven and earth, source of all destinies and source of good and evil, but above human distinction of good and evil. 
- He is completely neutral
Babalawo - Medicine men of the Yoruba tradition or diviners; tend to be specialists in one or more types of disease
- Meant to protect against witchcraft
- Undertakes divination in order to commune with spirits to find problems, provide prescription, and offer solutions

Primal Religion - Suggests something like 'archaic'
- The term is difficult to use without prejudice so it should be abandoned
- Significant because people still use this term today in the wrong context
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Oyotunji Village - An African village found near Sheldon, South Carolina
- It's promoted as an authentic Yoruba village
- The villagers helped to develop a unique brand of Orisa (deity) worship that is rich with black nationalists concepts
Haitian Vodun - One God, the creator of all
- Bondje, mysteries, saints, or angles, the Vodouisant turns to these for help
- A vodun designates a venerated adored divinity
- The two main rites are The Rada and The Kongo-Petro
- Haitian Vodun is viewed negatively by those in power in Haiti because it was one of the factors that brought about war of independence that freed Haiti from the French, those in power in Haiti fear that it could be used against them too
African-derived Religions - A religion in the United States that had its origin in Africa and is now practiced by native-born African Americans
- The Yoruba religion, as well as Vodun can be classified as African-derived religions
Wicca - Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Europe.
- Wicca reconstructs beliefs on how ancestors lived, worshiped that have been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe its existence from history 
- Can be seen as indigenous religious tradition of Britain
- Demonized by the Christian Church
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Indigenism - A kind of ethnic national emphasizing the group's indignity to their homeland
- Or can mean belonging to a place or thing
- Generally involves a deep spiritual connection to the land or ancestors
- Often there is a closeness nature that is characteristic of indigenous people 
Mazoun - Specific rhythm in music of Rada rite in Haitian Vodun
- Performed after the nago gran kou and nago cho
- The term itself is a contraction of the word Amazon, which are legendary female warriors of Dahomey
- Always performed in short duration, lasting no more than two or three minutes
Marae - Expression of Maori art; a medium for the display of ancestral and family history; supposedly converts strangers (potential enemies) into guests, and converts the dead into ancestors
- This commonly refers to the courtyard in front of the meeting house, including all other buildings associated with tribal ancestors whose names are carried on the main buildings
- Symbol of tribal identity and solidarity and a common social and cultural gathering place
The Rada - A family spirit Vodun and the voodoo of the relatively peaceful and happy Ioa
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Rada - A major style of worship in Vodun; music and structure is drawn from the Fon and Yoruba family; voodoo of the Ioa
Orisha - The many faces of Oludumare; serves as a mediary between humans and Oludumare
- Similar to saints in the Catholic faith in that each orisha has a unique aspect (Orisha that rules the head, orisha that rules the land, etc.)
- Some orishas existed before and during the creation of space-time, while others are humans who have become divinities
Tapu - A principle that acts as a corrective and coherent power within maori society
- It places restrictions upon society to ensure that society flourishes and to ensure continued growth of the tribe
- Tapu is inherited; people with greater tapu are at the top of the hierarchy
Mana - A practical force of the kawai tipuna (revered ancestors); virtually every activity or ceremony has a link with the maintenance and enhancement of mana, like charisma
- It is a skill given by the gods, characteristic of outstanding leaders
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Kapa Haka - Maori term to stand in a row or rank and dance
- Performers must combine song, dance, expression and movement
- Can be performed by cultural groups or individuals either in formal or informal settings on marae, at schools, or at Kapa Haka festivals
Kawai Tipuna - Maori term for revered ancestors
- Responsibility of the whanau (family group) to protect the mana throughout their lifetime
- This is the source of the mana and tapu a child inherits when it is born
Bondye - This is the name of the supreme being in the Vodun belief
- Created the universe, the Iwa, human beings, animals, vegetables and minerals
Obatala - Elder brother of their celebrated King "Oduduwa"
- The supreme Orisha; the sculpture divinity; sent down to Earth (which was nothing but water at the time) to create land
- He is responsible for sculpting human beings after the world was created
- His essence is transcendental and benevolent, and has the ability to change into any form
Generated by Koofers.com
Kongo-Petro - A main rite of Haitian Vodun
- It emerged from the crucible of the plantation system
- Petro is seen as set of powerful recipes that the Haitians use against their enemies
- Vodun services usually held outside
- Drums, bells, rattles, and dancing are used
* A set of powerful musical rhythms that the Haitians use against their enemies
Shamanism - Man or woman whose soul is said to be able to leave their body during trance and travel to other realms of the cosmos
- Used primarily for healing purposes; the gift of shamanism is inherited
Mambo (Manbo) - Priestess in Vodun religion
- Their job is to perform religious ceremonies to call or pacify the spirits, hold initiations for new priests and priestess, tell the future or read dreams, cast spells and create protections, create potions for various purposes such as love and death and to heal the sick

Ori - Word for destiny and the head
- Means simultaneously the physical head, destiny, potentiality, the quality of a person's character, the ancestral guardian spirit named Ori
- This is significant because the head is the top of anything and is sacred to the Yoruba because it is the seat of divinity, a symbol of the link between the ancestors and the living, divine and human. 
Generated by Koofers.com
Destiny - The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thin gin the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate
- In the Yoruba faith, each person chooses their own destiny in Heaven by kneeling before Olodumare and choosing their destiny.
- When they are born they forget their choice, and they must use babalawos and priests to divine their destiny
Oungan - Priest in Vodun religion
Lakou - Voudou compound.
- The site of family ceremonies
- Has temple at its center
Yanvalou - A favorite Voudoun dance; the name means 'supplication'
- It's characterized by the hands being placed on the knees and thighs, and has several main variations
- Its origin can be traced to the Fon people of Dahomey in Benin, West Africa
- Played first at all Rada ceremonies, because it's an invocation and supplication, the term literally meaning "come to me"
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Zepol - A type of dance style played for the Rada
- Dance of the shoulders, in Creole Zepol means shoulders. 
- The Zepol dancers move their shoulders back and forth as they perform the dance
- West African in origin, specifically Togo, Benin, and Ghana
- Considered one of the most beautiful dances in the Haitian vodun repertoire
Ifa - The facet of the supreme being that diviners and oracles look toward to get into contact with the more impersonal "supreme being"
- To worship Ifa, a priest must memorize poems or poetic verses that are of significance to the Yoruba
- There are more than 4000 of them, and any configuration of thrown cowry shells can signify one that the Priest of Ifa will have to know
Druid - Self-describe Pagan priest
- A druid stresses the mystery of poetic inspiration and explores healing, divination and sacred mythology
- The three grades of Druid are the Bardic grade, the Ovate grade and the Druid grade
How Important is it that Indigenous religions be preserved? What, if anything, can be done to keep them from disappearing?
    • keeping the religion keeps the vast knowledge and cultures alive, as well as their history
    • keeps a connection to past, ancestor, builds identity
    • the fact that it exists makes it worth protecting
    • community while maintaining individuality
    • respect them, even if we disagree, people see the world from different angles, just because it doesn’t match your world view doesn’t make it wrong
    • there are government grants for study and continuation of indigenous religions
    • we discover more of ourselves by interacting with others.  We can strengthen our own identity by seeing how it is unique from other identities. (feels most like a scot when not in Scotland)
    • avoid ‘otherization’, stigmatization
    • studying the religion would be good; when people study the religion they are exposed to it and they have a chance of adopting the practices (the prominent example of this is when University professors study Druidism/Shamanism and then became druids/shamans
Generated by Koofers.com
How did the American Indians’ religious traditions understand the relationship of humans with other animals and the environment? In what ways would those understandings differ from the views of mainstream North American society today? In what ways would they be similar?
  • American Indians believed everything in nature deserved the same amount of respect that human beings received.
  • They viewed everything in nature as a life force that benefited humans (i.e., animals could be used for food, plants could be used for medicine). Because of this, they believed nature deserved mutual respect.
  • In mainstream North American society today, we typically use natural resources for our own selfish purposes without giving thanks to nature or restoring the natural resources in any way.
Critically assess the argument by Paul Heelas that the phenomenon of 'new age' religiosity exemplifies a cultural shift from religion to spirituality
    • Spiritual Seeking in the United States: Report on a Panel Study
      • has statistics to back up the argument (that there’s a shift towards spirituality)
      • The article shows that people, especially in the US have been shifting toward spirituality away from religion. Some factors contributing to this shift is an independent attitude and a dissolution with established religions.
      • Especially following the 1960s and ‘70s (after the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal occurred), U.S. citizens became more anti-establishment and learned to question authority. This break from authority also had an effect on the country’s views of organized religion-people began to form their own beliefs and practices instead of take part in organized religious ceremonies.
      • Spirituality tends to focus more on internal healing. It’s much more individualized and personal.
      • Non-denominational megachurches are growing in popularity in the United States.
      • Neo-Pagan systems such as Druidism and Wicca, which emphasize spirituality and the individual’s beliefs, are growing in popularity worldwide as well as in America. They no longer feel the need to hide their existence from the masses to avoid being opposed or criticized.
Examine some characteristics of the indigenous religions we have studied, and how these might or might not differentiate them adequately from so-called 'world relgions'
    • World Religion has massive followings (billions of people) and universal appeal (they claim to be the only true religion/way to get into heaven)  Indigenous religions do not and are often only practiced in a single remote village
    • World Religions are powerful enough to have interacted with world history, shaped it, and changed it, Indigenous Religions have not
    • World Religions can be separated from the lives of the practitioners (there is secularization: they cook and THEN  they do religion), Indigenous Religions are inseparable from the everyday lives of their practitioners, there isn’t a way to stop “doing religion” and because of this many languages don’t even have a word for religion
Mention and discuss some of the intermediaries between gods and humans in Yoruba religion. - The different Orishas and their functions
- Ancestors
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Using examples, discuss the role of shamans in indigenous and contemporary societies

- medium between higher power and people, a lighthouse

-providing healing to wounds, anxieties, trauma, closure

-ambassador to all nations, religions, beliefs, a guide who changes to fit the beliefs and needs of the person being helped

Generated by Koofers.com

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 Oduduwa
- Supposed king who some members of the Yoruba tradition believe led his people from east to a place known as Ile Ife
- Said to have created the Earth at Ile Ife after climbing down mythical cord
- Significant because Yoruba claim that all dynasties of the kings in different regions of southwestern Nigeria spiritually descended from Oduduwa
 Olodumare- The one supreme being within the Yoruba traditional belief
- It is said to be impossible to to reach Olodumare with our normal human psyche, so one has access through "agents" or through an aspect of Olodumare
- Agents are called Orishas and are regarded as different faces of Olodumare
- The creator of heaven and earth, source of all destinies and source of good and evil, but above human distinction of good and evil. 
- He is completely neutral
 Babalawo- Medicine men of the Yoruba tradition or diviners; tend to be specialists in one or more types of disease
- Meant to protect against witchcraft
- Undertakes divination in order to commune with spirits to find problems, provide prescription, and offer solutions

 Primal Religion- Suggests something like 'archaic'
- The term is difficult to use without prejudice so it should be abandoned
- Significant because people still use this term today in the wrong context
 Oyotunji Village- An African village found near Sheldon, South Carolina
- It's promoted as an authentic Yoruba village
- The villagers helped to develop a unique brand of Orisa (deity) worship that is rich with black nationalists concepts
 Haitian Vodun- One God, the creator of all
- Bondje, mysteries, saints, or angles, the Vodouisant turns to these for help
- A vodun designates a venerated adored divinity
- The two main rites are The Rada and The Kongo-Petro
- Haitian Vodun is viewed negatively by those in power in Haiti because it was one of the factors that brought about war of independence that freed Haiti from the French, those in power in Haiti fear that it could be used against them too
 African-derived Religions- A religion in the United States that had its origin in Africa and is now practiced by native-born African Americans
- The Yoruba religion, as well as Vodun can be classified as African-derived religions
 Wicca- Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Europe.
- Wicca reconstructs beliefs on how ancestors lived, worshiped that have been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe its existence from history 
- Can be seen as indigenous religious tradition of Britain
- Demonized by the Christian Church
 Indigenism- A kind of ethnic national emphasizing the group's indignity to their homeland
- Or can mean belonging to a place or thing
- Generally involves a deep spiritual connection to the land or ancestors
- Often there is a closeness nature that is characteristic of indigenous people 
 Mazoun- Specific rhythm in music of Rada rite in Haitian Vodun
- Performed after the nago gran kou and nago cho
- The term itself is a contraction of the word Amazon, which are legendary female warriors of Dahomey
- Always performed in short duration, lasting no more than two or three minutes
 Marae- Expression of Maori art; a medium for the display of ancestral and family history; supposedly converts strangers (potential enemies) into guests, and converts the dead into ancestors
- This commonly refers to the courtyard in front of the meeting house, including all other buildings associated with tribal ancestors whose names are carried on the main buildings
- Symbol of tribal identity and solidarity and a common social and cultural gathering place
 The Rada- A family spirit Vodun and the voodoo of the relatively peaceful and happy Ioa
 Rada- A major style of worship in Vodun; music and structure is drawn from the Fon and Yoruba family; voodoo of the Ioa
 Orisha- The many faces of Oludumare; serves as a mediary between humans and Oludumare
- Similar to saints in the Catholic faith in that each orisha has a unique aspect (Orisha that rules the head, orisha that rules the land, etc.)
- Some orishas existed before and during the creation of space-time, while others are humans who have become divinities
 Tapu- A principle that acts as a corrective and coherent power within maori society
- It places restrictions upon society to ensure that society flourishes and to ensure continued growth of the tribe
- Tapu is inherited; people with greater tapu are at the top of the hierarchy
 Mana- A practical force of the kawai tipuna (revered ancestors); virtually every activity or ceremony has a link with the maintenance and enhancement of mana, like charisma
- It is a skill given by the gods, characteristic of outstanding leaders
 Kapa Haka- Maori term to stand in a row or rank and dance
- Performers must combine song, dance, expression and movement
- Can be performed by cultural groups or individuals either in formal or informal settings on marae, at schools, or at Kapa Haka festivals
 Kawai Tipuna- Maori term for revered ancestors
- Responsibility of the whanau (family group) to protect the mana throughout their lifetime
- This is the source of the mana and tapu a child inherits when it is born
 Bondye- This is the name of the supreme being in the Vodun belief
- Created the universe, the Iwa, human beings, animals, vegetables and minerals
 Obatala- Elder brother of their celebrated King "Oduduwa"
- The supreme Orisha; the sculpture divinity; sent down to Earth (which was nothing but water at the time) to create land
- He is responsible for sculpting human beings after the world was created
- His essence is transcendental and benevolent, and has the ability to change into any form
 Kongo-Petro- A main rite of Haitian Vodun
- It emerged from the crucible of the plantation system
- Petro is seen as set of powerful recipes that the Haitians use against their enemies
- Vodun services usually held outside
- Drums, bells, rattles, and dancing are used
* A set of powerful musical rhythms that the Haitians use against their enemies
 Shamanism- Man or woman whose soul is said to be able to leave their body during trance and travel to other realms of the cosmos
- Used primarily for healing purposes; the gift of shamanism is inherited
 Mambo (Manbo)- Priestess in Vodun religion
- Their job is to perform religious ceremonies to call or pacify the spirits, hold initiations for new priests and priestess, tell the future or read dreams, cast spells and create protections, create potions for various purposes such as love and death and to heal the sick

 Ori- Word for destiny and the head
- Means simultaneously the physical head, destiny, potentiality, the quality of a person's character, the ancestral guardian spirit named Ori
- This is significant because the head is the top of anything and is sacred to the Yoruba because it is the seat of divinity, a symbol of the link between the ancestors and the living, divine and human. 
 Destiny- The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thin gin the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate
- In the Yoruba faith, each person chooses their own destiny in Heaven by kneeling before Olodumare and choosing their destiny.
- When they are born they forget their choice, and they must use babalawos and priests to divine their destiny
 Oungan- Priest in Vodun religion
 Lakou- Voudou compound.
- The site of family ceremonies
- Has temple at its center
 Yanvalou- A favorite Voudoun dance; the name means 'supplication'
- It's characterized by the hands being placed on the knees and thighs, and has several main variations
- Its origin can be traced to the Fon people of Dahomey in Benin, West Africa
- Played first at all Rada ceremonies, because it's an invocation and supplication, the term literally meaning "come to me"
 Zepol- A type of dance style played for the Rada
- Dance of the shoulders, in Creole Zepol means shoulders. 
- The Zepol dancers move their shoulders back and forth as they perform the dance
- West African in origin, specifically Togo, Benin, and Ghana
- Considered one of the most beautiful dances in the Haitian vodun repertoire
 Ifa- The facet of the supreme being that diviners and oracles look toward to get into contact with the more impersonal "supreme being"
- To worship Ifa, a priest must memorize poems or poetic verses that are of significance to the Yoruba
- There are more than 4000 of them, and any configuration of thrown cowry shells can signify one that the Priest of Ifa will have to know
 Druid- Self-describe Pagan priest
- A druid stresses the mystery of poetic inspiration and explores healing, divination and sacred mythology
- The three grades of Druid are the Bardic grade, the Ovate grade and the Druid grade
 How Important is it that Indigenous religions be preserved? What, if anything, can be done to keep them from disappearing?
    • keeping the religion keeps the vast knowledge and cultures alive, as well as their history
    • keeps a connection to past, ancestor, builds identity
    • the fact that it exists makes it worth protecting
    • community while maintaining individuality
    • respect them, even if we disagree, people see the world from different angles, just because it doesn’t match your world view doesn’t make it wrong
    • there are government grants for study and continuation of indigenous religions
    • we discover more of ourselves by interacting with others.  We can strengthen our own identity by seeing how it is unique from other identities. (feels most like a scot when not in Scotland)
    • avoid ‘otherization’, stigmatization
    • studying the religion would be good; when people study the religion they are exposed to it and they have a chance of adopting the practices (the prominent example of this is when University professors study Druidism/Shamanism and then became druids/shamans
 How did the American Indians’ religious traditions understand the relationship of humans with other animals and the environment? In what ways would those understandings differ from the views of mainstream North American society today? In what ways would they be similar?
  • American Indians believed everything in nature deserved the same amount of respect that human beings received.
  • They viewed everything in nature as a life force that benefited humans (i.e., animals could be used for food, plants could be used for medicine). Because of this, they believed nature deserved mutual respect.
  • In mainstream North American society today, we typically use natural resources for our own selfish purposes without giving thanks to nature or restoring the natural resources in any way.
 Critically assess the argument by Paul Heelas that the phenomenon of 'new age' religiosity exemplifies a cultural shift from religion to spirituality
    • Spiritual Seeking in the United States: Report on a Panel Study
      • has statistics to back up the argument (that there’s a shift towards spirituality)
      • The article shows that people, especially in the US have been shifting toward spirituality away from religion. Some factors contributing to this shift is an independent attitude and a dissolution with established religions.
      • Especially following the 1960s and ‘70s (after the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal occurred), U.S. citizens became more anti-establishment and learned to question authority. This break from authority also had an effect on the country’s views of organized religion-people began to form their own beliefs and practices instead of take part in organized religious ceremonies.
      • Spirituality tends to focus more on internal healing. It’s much more individualized and personal.
      • Non-denominational megachurches are growing in popularity in the United States.
      • Neo-Pagan systems such as Druidism and Wicca, which emphasize spirituality and the individual’s beliefs, are growing in popularity worldwide as well as in America. They no longer feel the need to hide their existence from the masses to avoid being opposed or criticized.
 Examine some characteristics of the indigenous religions we have studied, and how these might or might not differentiate them adequately from so-called 'world relgions'
    • World Religion has massive followings (billions of people) and universal appeal (they claim to be the only true religion/way to get into heaven)  Indigenous religions do not and are often only practiced in a single remote village
    • World Religions are powerful enough to have interacted with world history, shaped it, and changed it, Indigenous Religions have not
    • World Religions can be separated from the lives of the practitioners (there is secularization: they cook and THEN  they do religion), Indigenous Religions are inseparable from the everyday lives of their practitioners, there isn’t a way to stop “doing religion” and because of this many languages don’t even have a word for religion
 Mention and discuss some of the intermediaries between gods and humans in Yoruba religion.- The different Orishas and their functions
- Ancestors
 Using examples, discuss the role of shamans in indigenous and contemporary societies

- medium between higher power and people, a lighthouse

-providing healing to wounds, anxieties, trauma, closure

-ambassador to all nations, religions, beliefs, a guide who changes to fit the beliefs and needs of the person being helped

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