Preserving the Sacred

Preserving the Sacred

Historical Perspectives on the Ojibwa Midewiwin

eBook - 2002
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The Midewiwin is the traditional religious belief system central to the world view of Ojibwa in Canada and the US. It is a highly complex and rich series of sacred teachings and narratives whose preservation enabled the Ojibwa to withstand severe challenges to their entire social fabric throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It remains an important living and spiritual tradition for many Aboriginal people today.

The Midewiwin is the traditional religious belief system central to the world view of Ojibwa in Canada and the US. It is a highly complex and rich series of sacred teachings and narratives whose preservation enabled the Ojibwa to withstand severe challenges to their entire social fabric throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It remains an important living and spiritual tradition for many Aboriginal people today.
The rituals of the Midewiwin were observed by many 19th century Euro-Americans, most of whom approached these ceremonies with hostility and suspicion. As a result, although there were many accounts of the Midewiwin published in the 19th century, they were often riddled with misinterpretations and inaccuracies.
Historian Michael Angel compares the early texts written about the Midewiwin, and identifies major, common misconceptions in these accounts. In his explanation of the historical role played by the Midewiwin, he provides alternative viewpoints and explanations of the significance of the ceremonies, while respecting the sacred and symbolic nature of the Midewiwin rituals, songs, and scrolls.


Blackwell North Amer
The Midewiwin is the traditional religious belief system central to the world view of Ojibwa in Canada and the US. It is a highly complex and rich series of sacred teachings and narratives. The preservation of the Midewiwin enabled the Ojibwa to withstand the severe challenges they faced throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, the Midewiwin remains an important living spiritual tradition for many Aboriginal people.
The rituals of the Midewiwin were observed by many nineteenth-century Euro-Americans, most of whom approached these ceremonies with hostility and suspicion. As a result, although there were many published accounts of the Midewiwin, they were often riddled with misinterpretations and inaccuracies. Nevertheless, it is these early accounts that continue to be the dominant historical image of the Midewiwin today.
Preserving the Sacred provides an alternative to this inaccurate historical picture. Writing as a sympathetic outsider, Michael Angel analyzes the early texts written about the Midewiwin and places this important religious tradition within its historical context, showing how the Midewiwin has remained firmly rooted in the Anishinaabe world view. He explains the role of the Midewiwin in Ojibwa society, both within the context of Ojibwa sacred narratives, songs and rituals, and within the context of the changing historical circumstances of the Ojibwa people.

Publisher: Winnipeg [Man.] : University of Manitoba Press, Ă2002
ISBN: 9780887553585
0887553583
9780887551734
9780887556579
0887556574
0887551734
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiv, 274 pages) : illustrations, maps, portraits

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