Native American church in United States of America
Famous Native American church
Native American church teaches native American religion also called “peyotism” which is a religion including rituals from Christianity and Indian rituals derivatives. For understanding, one must know what “peyote” means.
Peyote is actually the name of a bud of a specific type of cacti. The bud has sacramental value for Native American church. Bud is actually consumed by the adherents of the religion, the consumption causes hallucinations which is believed to be helpful to speak and see sacred spirits. The bud is found in southern Texas and northern Mexico in its original state.
Initially originated in Oklahoma around the 1890s, Native American religion shouldn’t be mistaken for the beliefs of native Americans or the religion of native people. The religion is widespread along with the Indian people between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Eastern California and southern Canada. Though not the first religion followed by Americans, religion is spreading widely among the western states of America.
Religious practices and ceremonies:
There are two types of ceremony commonly observed by the followers. The big-moon ceremony and the half-moon ceremony, both the ceremony involve the altar at which the rituals are performed and sacred instruments are played.
The ceremonies include the use of peyote during rituals to connect to the spirits. Jesus holds eminent value among the followers. The religion believes in monotheism and mostly regard to that one being as GREAT SPIRIT. Although the rituals vary among followers, mostly include bible sermons, dancing, drums and peyote consumption. The ceremony lasts all night from Saturday to the next day. A pastor or a priest is the one who leads the ceremony. There is a special kind of breakfast offered before sunrise that includes, water, shredded beef, corn mush and some version of berries. After sunrise, another breakfast is served which consists of the normal stuff like boiled egg, sausages and hash browns.
The ceremony doesn’t take place every week, mostly observed for a birthday or for a memorial service. Whole tribe devote the night to the holy spirits. The ceremony usually is held at the plain Tippi.
From the Christianity rituals like the cross, the trinity. The baptism and some Christian theologies are involved as common practices.
Family and tribe care, avoiding alcohol and drugs are also common religious practices.
Laws related to peyote usage:
As the US government more involved in the drugs law, there were some difficulties during the 20th century, faced by the followers of the religion in the consumption of peyote. After many efforts, the Native American religion was allowed to consume peyote. It was after the Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1993 that the peyote consumption was allowed to the adherents of the religion.
The Native American Church in the early 19th century faced a bit of backlash. But it flourished and now is one of the primal religion followed by the Americans in the western states of USA, Mexico and southern Canada. You can find these churches in all of such states like Arizona, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico and most importantly Oklahoma. Although alcohol and drugs are not allowed in the religion the followers of NAC do not consider peyote as a drug.