The Plains Apaches' mystical kinship with the land and the natural environment that the tribes perceived and nurtured is embodied in their four sacred medicine bundles - the no*bikagseli* (prayer on top of the earth). In "Prayer on Top of the Earth", we are introduced to the fascinating world of Apache bird, animal, and human spirits, a world enlivened by the antics of the beloved Coyote. Intrigued by the world of the medicine man, we follow the Apaches' vibrant ever-evolving religious community from the US government's banning of native religions to the arrival of evangelistic Christianity to the birth of the peyote religion. And finally, we share in the Apaches' frustration with the lack of cultural sensitivity displayed by Anglo America. "Prayer on Top of the Earth" presents and preserves important ethnographic information on the Plains Apaches for the first time in a single source.
Table of Contents
Seven Elder Historians; The Plains Apaches; The Apache Universe; Prayer on Top of the Earth; Birds and Spirits; Animals and Spirits; People and Spirits; Doctoring; Ceremonial Dances; Pan-Indian Religion; Christianity; Conclusion.