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Native American Religions

             The people of the Southwest, along with the Southeast had full-time religious leaders with shrines or temple buildings. Most Native Americans believe that in the universe there exists an Almighty, a spiritual force that is the source of all life. The Almighty belief is not pictured as a man in the sky, but is believed to be formless and exist in the universe. The sun is viewed as the power of the Almighty. They are not worshipping the sun, but praying to the Almighty, and the sun is a sign and symbol for that. Native Americans show less interest in an afterlife unlike the Christians. They assume the souls of the dead go to another part of the universe where they have a new existence carrying on everyday activities like they were still alive. They are just in a different world.
             Hopi Religion.
             Hopis believe that the world was created by Taiowa (the sun-father) and Sotuknang, his nephew. The first creature was Kokyangwuti, spider woman, who created humanity. As humanity multiplied it forgot Taiowa and became corrupt, forcing Sotuknang to destroy the surface of the world. A small faithful minority were preserved through taking shelter in the world, only emerging when the upper world had been restored. This scenario was repeated twice prior to the creation of the present (fourth) world. After the creation of the fourth world people wandered over the earth until they reached the Black Mesa of the Colorado Plateau.
             Hopi ceremonial practice is governed by the belief in the absolute interdependent relationship between the upper and lower worlds. Day and night, summer and winter alternate between the two realms. It is believed that when people are born they emerge out of the lower world and when they die their souls descend into the lower world. Cooperation between these realms is essential to maintain the cycle of seasons. The ceremonial cycle of the Hopi calendar is observed in order to maintain this cooperative relationship.

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