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Ceremonies and Rituals

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1 Ceremonies and Rituals
Mi’kmaq Studies

2 Ceremonies and Rituals
What are ceremonies and rituals? What are some ceremonies and rituals that we take part in today? What do they look, sound and feel like? Write down your ideas.

3 Ceremonies and Rituals
A ritual is order of a ceremony. The special things the do. A ceremony is a formal act or procedure that is customary to a particular culture. Special events they hold.

4 Mi’kmaq Spirituality The Mi’kmaq believe that death is a part of the cycle of life and that the souls of the dead go to a Spirit World where they are happy. The Mi’kmaq believe that crying is inappropriate when a person is dying and should wait until the person has passed. There is no concept of Hell in traditional Mi’kmaw beliefs.

5 Mi’kmaq Ceremonies Mi’kmaq connect with their culture and spirituality by taking part in traditional ceremonies and rituals The traditional Mi’kmaq cultural ceremonies are not as widely practiced today due to assimilation into European culture To keep their culture alive, it is important that the Mi’kmaq continue to take part in the ceremonies and rituals of theirs ancestors

6 Pow Wow Preserve heritage Renew old friendships and make new ones
Visiting Dancing Singing

7 Mi’kmaq Pow Wow Pow wow is a tribal gathering to renew social and spiritual ties. There are strict rules. Liquor or drugs are not allowed in the pow wow grounds. Tobacco is offered to the spirits called by the drum and to the spirit of the drum itself. A sacred fire is lit at the beginning of the pow wow and is not permitted to go out until the pow wow is over.

8 Fasting A person must fast for four days before they enter some ceremonies (including food, drugs and alcohol) Cleanse the body and spirit to better connect with the Creator

9 Vision Quest Takes place when a person comes to a critical moment in their life A new direction or better purpose must be chosen Look to the creator for guidance Sacred, personal adventure

10 Talking Circle Way to discuss and solve problems
Only one person talks at a time Everyone gets a chance to talk Respect what others say

11 Pipe Ceremony Used to exchange information after a period of fasting
Usually held by a healer or medicine man

12 Sacred Pipe The sacred pipe is often called the “peace pipe.”
Often used during sweat lodge ceremonies, The pipe is broken into two pieces, symbolizing a man and a woman. When the pieces of the pipe are joined—to symbolize unity—it becomes a sacred part of the ceremony.

13 Sweat Lodge Lodge constructed of willow or alder bushes
Entrance always faces east Hot rocks placed in the centre People enter and exit many times throughout the ceremony Ceremony is for spiritual cleansing and healing

14 The Sweat Lodge The sweat lodge is a place of spiritual communication and cleansing. Entrance always faces east The spirits are brought in with the ‘grandfathers’, which are the stones which are heated in the fire Splashing water on the grandfathers create steam All four elements present: earth below, air around, fire in the grandfathers and water in the steam.

15 Smudging Similar to blessing oneself in Catholic faith
Done to cleanse the spirit before taking part in a traditional ceremony The smoke from sweet grass, cedar and sage is used for smudging

16 Sweet Grass Found between bodies of salt and fresh water
Signifies spiritual strength, as it is given by Mother Earth Burn sweet grass to purify and cleanse ourselves Done so our ceremonies will be celebrated in a respectful way

17 Ceremonial Items Drums: The drum is a symbol of spiritual strength for the Mi'kmaq people. It represents the heartbeat of the people. Cedar: Used for smudging in traditional ceremonies Sage: Used for smudging Tobacco: Used in burial ceremonies, pipe ceremonies and to send a message to people in your community to ask for help

18 Ceremonial Items Rock:
Used in sweat lodge ceremony, the rock is being asked to give up it’s life Eagle feather: Way of delivering a message to the Creator Honor to receive and eagle feather Eagle is the only creature to have touched the face of the creator Through the eagle, native people can identify and appreciate the Creator’s spirit among them

19 A Closer Look at a Pow Wow
A Pow Wow in Dartmouth: elated

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