It is sad that I have to make this page, instead of simply stating what my beliefs are, until a scientist or anthropologist shows up no one listens. Below are clips about our beliefs from several sites, which can be confirmed on line. All I want is the opportunity to set my precious George's soul free so he can move on, or come back to me. It must also be understood that this death can not go without retribution, it is not my way to let anyone murder my children & walk away, these days the battles are fought in boardrooms, not on the battlefields, & I will educate myself well to be able to seek recompense for his soul

Religious beliefs were based on animism; all things—animate or otherwise—were believed to have a living essence. Thus, all humans, animals, plants, and objects had souls or spirits, which might be related to one another in a hereafter, details of the location of which varied from group to group. Courtesies given to freshly killed animals promoted their reincarnation as new animals of the same species. The souls of humans were subject to interference from other spirits, and soul loss meant illness or even death. There also were ideas of human reincarnation. The name of a deceased person was given to a child who “became” that person by being addressed with kinship terms appropriate to the deceased. [2]

Traditionally, all people were in contact with the spirit world; they carried amulets of traditional or individual potency, experienced dreams, devised songs or other words of power, and achieved special relationships with particular spirit-beings. Men and women who were especially adept at such contact became shamans; they were called on to cure the sick by recovering lost soul-stuff, to foretell the future, to determine the location of game, and so forth—all with the help of powerful spirit familiars. [2]

Shamans were also expected to contact a few more strongly personified spirit-beings, such as the female being (whose name and attributes varied from group to group) who governed important land or sea mammals; when game was scarce, the shaman might cajole her into providing more bounty. In Greenland the shaman was also an entertainer whose séances, escape tricks, and noisy spirit helpers could enliven a long winter's night in the communal house (see shamanism). [2]



Eskimo-Aleut Religion
Doctrines

Eskimo-Aleut beliefs reflect the hunting culture upon which Eskimo-Aleut survival depends. All animals are believed to possess a soul, which meant that the Eskimo-Aleut sought to treat all animals with respect. When an animal had been hunted and killed a ritual would sometimes be performed to enable the animal to return to the place from which it had come. Certain taboos governed hunting practices. Land and sea animals were kept separate from one another. Women, who were ritually impure through birth or menstruation, were not allowed access to game.
The life cycle was governed by a number of rites of passage. At birth a child would often be given the name of a person who had recently died in the belief that the deceased person would live on in the child. When a boy killed his first seal would be celebrated by a ritual distribution of the seal's meat. At death the soul would go to live in a land in the sky or in the sea.
In some Eskimo-Aleut traditions the shaman was of great importance. Shamans would go into a trance and receive messages from spirits or deities or control them in order to ensure successful hunting. Shamans were also healers and could identify sorcerers who used their powers for evil ends.
Among the more prominent deities were Sea Woman (also called Sedna), who controlled the sea animals; Aningaaq, the sun; and Sila, the air. Sedna is the subject of a number of origin myths. In one she is presented as a girl who was thrown off a boat and, while trying to cling on, had her fingers cut off. Her fingers became the sea animals and she became Sea Woman with the power to withold sea animals if certain taboos were broken.

History        

According to archaeological studies the ancestors of the Eskimo-Aleut crossed the Bering Straits between 8-10,000 years ago. As they spread across the north as far east the Eskimo-Aleut evolved into distinct language groups.
The life of the Eskimo-Aleut of Alaska was transformed in 1741 with the arrival of Russian explorers and the subsequent establishment of trading stations. The Eskimo-Aleut were exploited by the Russian traders for the otter-hunting skills. So badly were the Eskimo-Aleut treated that they rebelled in the 1760s only to be crushed by the fire power of the Russians. Oppression and the introduction of new diseases depleted the Eskimo-Aleut population to the extent that by 1799 Eskimo-Aleut numbers were reduced to one eighth of their pre-contact size. Those who survived effectively became vassals to the russian American Company which had monopoly trading rights in the area.
A further consequence of the presence of Europeans in the area was the process of converting the indigenous peoples to Christianity. Over time many Eskimo-Aleut abandoned their traditional beliefs as they came to accept Russian Orthodox Christianity.
In 1867 Alaska was sold to the United States for $7,200,000. With the Americans came renewed impact of European culture on the native peoples of the region. The opening of the first canning factory in 1883 provided seasonal work to native Alaskans that removed the need for a traditional lifestyle. The presence of Moravian Brethren missionaries brought more into the Christian fold. In the 1930s the last masked dances were performed. However, attempts are being made to revive traditional religion.

Symbols        

Amulets often made of bones would be used to enhance the possibility of a successful hunt. Masks were often used in religious rituals, particularly during the 19th century. These masks represent the spirits of animals, deities or natural phenomena. The eskimos also had a distinctive form of engraving style. A number of relics have been found which contain circle and dot motifs. Later eskimo art is representational consisting of drawings of beavers or bears.

Adherents According to the federal government 1980 census on tribal population there were 661 Aleut and Eskimo in the United States.


ALASKAN NATIVE CURSES PART 1

                                                                                                 PREFACE

Alaska's indigenous people are jointly called Alaskan Natives and could be called Alaskan Indians or American Indians. There are similarities to the Apache and Navajo Indians. Alaskan Indians are more closely related genetically to other American Indians than they are to Alaskan Eskimos. This land is the deeply-revered home for Native people.

                                                                                 SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

Matrilineal (traced through the female) descent and inheritance characterized Aleut kinship patterns. A fundamental Athabaskan trait based kinship on matrilineal descent; matrilineal halves were know as Raven and Seagull.

Patrilineal-related crews conducted rituals prior to whaling and walrus hunting and called on shamans for assistance. Gambling was a favorite pastime of many Native men.

The captain was a substantial figure, responsible for many activities including the whale hunt, the ceremonies, festivals, religious rituals and trading expeditions. In Inupiat belief and practice, husband and wife both must carry out their spiritual and secular responsibilities so the captain was worthy to receive a whale.

Preferential female infanticide was practiced, but due to the many accidental deaths suffered by males, the number of adult men and women tended to be fairly balanced.

Individuals were born into these totemic corporate groups which traced their origins from mythical or legendary incidents. The clans were typically named after an animal or mythical being. For example, the Kiksadi, a important clan among the Sitka people, claimed the frog as its major symbol or crest. Classes are usually divided into the nobles or aristocracy, the commoners and the slaves.

                                                                                              Gender Roles

Among the Alutiiq, gender roles for men as women and women as men were both recognized. Despite the cultural emphasis on male hardiness and self-reliance, there was a recognized role in Unangan society for the male transvestite who dressed and worked as a woman. They were often considered experts in healing.

                                                                                                  Marriage

Wealthier males occasionally had several wives and, among the Gwich'in, might use younger males to sire heirs by their younger wives. These long-standing relationships could include short-term exchanges of spouses as part of the generosity between the two families. Among the Gwich'in, high-status women occasionally had unions to brothers (woman married to several men).

An individual was a member of one side, Raven and Eagle or Wolf, and had to obtain a marriage partner from the opposite side; to marry or have sexual relations with a member of one's own side was considered incestuous.  Marriages, particularly among the nobles, were arranged by the mother and her brother for the woman's children.

                                                                                               RELIGIONS

The first foreign religion introduced into Alaska was Russian Orthodox. Alaska has been subjected to catholic religious influence. In 1882, Jackson convened a meeting of Christian missionaries from various sects interested in proselytizing in Alaska and through mutual agreement, different sects were assigned to different areas of Alaska.

                                                                                                 BELIEFS

                                                                                                  Unangan

Although little is known of the Unangan belief system, they appear to have conceived of a creator deity related to the sun who was instrumental in hunting success and the reincarnation of souls. Small images of the creator, were carved from ivory and hung from the ceiling beams. The creator, however, had little impact on everyday life which was instead influenced by two classes of spirits, good and evil. Animals also had spirits. The most important ones were those of the whale and sea otter. The Unangan believed in the reincarnation of souls which migrated between the earth, a world below and a world above.

The Inupiat belief system appears to have been based on the principle of reincarnation and the recycling of spirit forms from one life to the next. This was true of both the human and animal worlds. Names of those who had recently died would be given to newborn infants. Animal spirits were seen as critical for only if they were released could the animal be regenerated and return for future human harvest. Consequently a great number of special behaviors were accorded various animals including offering marine mammals a drink of freshwater, cutting the throats or skull to release the spirit, and taking care to make maximum use of the products. Shamans had a special place in Inupiat society as curers, and forecasters of weather and future events. Healers (usually women) expert in the medicinal uses of plants also helped maintain Inupiat health.

A critical set of beliefs revolved around the similarities between men and animals in the distant past. Both have spirits and in the past they communicated directly with each other. These ancient relationships had been transformed by the acts and antics of Raven, a culture hero and trickster who constantly disrupted the moral order by deception. The legend cycle, told in stories to Athabaskan children, is composed of tales concerning the activities of Raven, along with other mythical beings which exemplify concepts of right and wrong in Athabaskan culture.

                                                                              KNOWLEDGE SPECIALISTS
Among the Alutiiq, knowledge specialists were present whose expertise covered different domains such as medicinal healing, divination, marshaling spiritual forces, and maintaining social order. Apparently unique among Alaska Natives, Koniag Alutiiq communities had persons known as wise men (revered elders who were the ritual leaders of the winter masked ceremonials. As bearers of the cosmological truths, they were capable of communicating with the most powerful spirits as well as with the spirits of the animals. For Koniag Alutiiq, the influence and capabilities were viewed as separate from, superior to and more important than the shamans.

Kalaik, both men and women, had spiritual assistants whose powers they called upon to predict the outcome of hunts, battles and travels, and to discern, and endeavor to alter weather, prevent calamities, and heal certain kinds of sickness. Some sources suggest that certain shamans obtained powers form evil spirits and that bad shamans used their powers to bring harm to humans. Shamanic powers were activated spiritually through unusual clothing, facial painting, special objects, rattles, whistles, song, dance, gestures, and formulaic verbalizations. Another category of knowledge specialist was the medicinal curer who utilized a diverse array of more physically-based techniques in their healing practices and passed their knowledge on to descendants. Included in the repertoires of these healers were herbs for beverages, foods and poultices, acupuncture, blood letting, surgical procedures and bone setting.

                                                                 SPIRITUAL CEREMONIES AND RITUALS
Fathers, supported by their kinsmen, were responsible for hosting the feast and distributing food and gifts to guests who were invited to witness the ceremonial transformation of a young man after a successful sea lion or bear hunt. Central to the religious practices of the Alutiiq were the masked winter dances and ritual performances conducted. A primary focus of these activities was to thank and show respect to spirits controlling the availability and abundance of game. Presentations included dramatic appearances and disappearances from the smoke hole in the ceiling. Through the drum, the heartbeat of the spirit was felt and it joined the heartbeats of all participants in the ceremonies through song and dance. New clothes and equipment were brought out because this was a festival of renewal, or insuring the continuation of life. Due to a combination of grieving and fear of the corpse, most were cremated but shamans would be interred in coffins away from the community.

                                                                                          Menstrual Period

A number of taboos were imposed and she was expected to stay away from contact with men and their hunting gear for fear of polluting it from the ritual associated with a young woman's first menstruation. During the seclusion, she received focused training on her physical transformation, on the behavioral taboos and requirements during her menstrual period.
                                                                         CEREMONIAL PARAPHERNALIA
Wooden masks were used in some dances to invoke the presence of powerful spirits. The exquisite quality and rarity of such lamps suggest they may have been used only in rituals. The Koniag used small carved wooden dolls for several purposes. These may have been used in ceremonial performances or attached to dance masks. Among the Koniag and lower Kenai Peninsula Alutiiq, dances to mollify evil spirits were a part of the ceremonies. Alutiq masks were the presence and embodiment of spiritual forces. One of the most important practices was the bringing out of elaborate masks that embodied the spirit who was honored by such representation. The Yupiit cosmos was inhabited by many spirits including those of the deceased. Spirit poles were erected by graves to keep the spirits of the dead who wished to be reborn from disrupting the world of the living.

Masks representing animal and other spirits were an important part of religious ceremonies and dances among the Central Yupiit. Since it was believed that the seal spirits would return at that time to the vicinity to witness the ceremony, noise was kept at a minimum in order not to disturb the seal spirits. The shaman had a special role for he was to leave the festival and travel to the home of the seals to see if they had been satisfied with the human efforts.

                                                                                                WHALING
A very elaborate type of visored headgear was worn by the Koniag whalers that was a symbolic component of their ritualized hunting transformation into a type of killer whale. Whalers were ritual and knowledge specialists who were viewed with both awe and horror by their fellow Alutiiq. Koniag whalers left their villages and went to solitary retreats in caves or secluded coves in April, perhaps a month prior to the arrival of whales, to ritually transform themselves. They had to activate their amulets or talismans through ritual procedures to access their power.

Perhaps the most unique practice of the Koniag whaler was the use of rendered human fat in their hunting. Then he would proceed into the bay and after vocally calling on his spiritual supporters and the sun for assistance, would go and harpoon the whale. Once the whale was struck, the whaler would use song and motion to tow the whale ashore. At the conclusion of the whaling season, the whaler had to ritually cleanse and decommission himself. Only by transforming himself back to his other human form would he be able to return to the village and live. Whalers had to go through a similar set of ritual preparations and also were said to use human fat to keep struck whales in the bays.

Unangan whaling was a highly ritualized activity for which men and their wives prepared themselves by abstinence and other behaviors to make themselves worthy. The stone harpoon heads were coated with a magical poison concocted from the aconite plant. During this time, the hunter who struck the whale secluded himself in his house and pretended to be ill hoping that the whale likewise would become sick and die.

                                                                                             Hunter's Wife
Throughout these preparations and practices, the whaler's wife, who had remained behind in the village, had a strict set of behaviors she was to follow including not leaving the house, limiting her movements and keeping her voice down. Wives observed many taboos and rituals to assist their husbands' hunting. These included a broad range of activities such as cutting skins at certain times, eating certain foods or looking in certain directions. It was thought that if those taboos were broken, then bad luck would befall the husband's hunting efforts.

                                                                                  HUNTING AND FISHING
Halibut hooks were carved with representations of powerful spirits called upon by the fishermen to assist their efforts. A strong spirit was needed to overcome the strength of the halibut. Special clubs were made for dispatching the powerful halibut when brought to the surface where they were ceremoniously greeted and thanked. ANCSA also explicitly extinguished all aboriginal hunting and fishing rights.

                                                                                           TOTEM POLES
Mortuary posts were erected in memory of a deceased clan head often having a niche carved in the back for placement of ashes of the deceased. Chief Skowl, a Kaigani Haida, erected a pole with carved images of Russian Orthodox priests to memorialize his opposition to Christian beliefs.


Anirniit
The Inuit believed that all things had a form of spirit or soul (in Inuktitut: anirniq - "breath"; plural anirniit), just like humans. These spirits were held to persist after death. The belief in the pervasiveness of spirits has consequences. According to a customary Inuit saying The great peril of our existence lies in the fact that our diet consists entirely of souls. By believing that all things, including animals, have souls like those of humans, killing an animal is little different from killing a person.

Once the anirniq of the dead, animal or human, is liberated, it is free to take revenge. The spirit of the dead can only be placated by obedience to custom, avoiding taboos, and performing the right rituals.

For the Inuit, to offend an anirniq was to risk extinction. The principal role of the angakkuq in Inuit society was to advise and remind people of the rituals and taboos they needed to obey to placate the spirits, since he was held to be able to see and contact them.

The anirniit were seen to be a part of the sila - the sky or air around them - and were merely borrowed from it. Although each person's anirniq was individual, shaped by the life and body it inhabited, at the same time it was part of a larger whole. This enabled Inuit to borrow the powers or characteristics of an anirniq by taking its name. Furthermore, the spirits of a single class of thing - be it sea mammals, polar bears, or plants - were in some sense held to be the same, and could be invoked through a sort of keeper or master who was connected in some fashion with that class of thing. In some cases, it is the anirniq of a human or animal who became a figure of respect or influence over animals or things through some action, recounted in a traditional tale. In other cases, it is a tuurngaq, as described below.

Since the arrival of Christianity among the Inuit, anirniq has become the accepted word for a soul in the Christian sense. This is the root word for a number of other Christian terms: anirnisiaq means angel and God is rendered as anirnialuk - the great spirit.


Athabascan beliefs and customs
The animistic belief system was common to all Alaskan Athabascan groups. All creatures, and some inanimate objects, had spirits which were active and powerful components of those creatures. The spirits enabled an animal to know more than was immediately apparent to him. Thus, if human beings did something which displeased the animal's spirit, the animal itself would remain aloof from the people, and the people might starve. There were very definite rules which people had to follow in dealing with animals based on this belief in animal spirits. The specific rules differed from area to area, but the general concept was the same.


Religion - - -

The Aleut believed in spirits and supernatural beings whose power was ever present in all things, from rocks to animals. One class of deities ruled over the sea, another the earth, and still another the sky. These deities were very important to the Aleut because they could provide good hunting, protection from enemies, and the like. In short, these supernatural beings could fill all of the needs of Aleut society. However, they helped only those Aleut who helped themselves.

Like the northern Eskimo, the Aleut were careful to keep separate those things which belonged to the land gods and those things which belonged to the sea gods. For example, if it became necessary for a hunter to lighten the rock-ballast in his kayak, he could not throw the rocks into the sea, because such an act would make the sea gods angry; he had to return them to the land. Likewise, the bones of the first sea-mammal killed by a hunting party had to be thrown back into the sea, although the flensing of the animal and the removal of the bones could take place on shore.

The ocean gods and other spirits assisted the Aleut sea-faring hunter, but the hunter and Aleut society as a whole had to undertake certain ceremonies and rituals in order to please them and insure their continued support.

The winter festival, for instance — a ceremony in which the whole village participated — was performed, at least in part, for the purpose of obtaining a plentiful food supply from the gods. Doubtless other rites were performed by individual hunters. Additional help in hunting could be obtained from the spirits of dead relatives, from one's animal protector, or from the supernatural power lodged in the carvings and painted designs on the wooden headgear or in amulets. Some hunting amulets listed by Jochelson were as follows: The feathers of the rosy finch were an amulet used in whale hunting, and pieces of hematite were amulets for hunting sea otters and whales. Other amulets were ravens' beaks and carved bone figures of different animals. A rather complicated amulet used by eastern Aleut fox hunters consisted of a small rope made from the long neck hair of a male reindeer, the sinew of a fox tail, and stems of a strawberry plant soaked in urine. This was wrapped in a piece of skin or gut.

There were a number of things a hunter could not do without inviting disaster. He must not allow anyone to see his amulets, and before a hunting trip he had to avoid contact with women, especially widows and menstruating women.

Sickness and death were caused by evil spirits. Sometimes death could be prevented or sickness could be cured by shamans, specialists who could use their supernatural power against the evil spirits of sickness and death. Only shamans could make the sacred masks used in Aleut rituals.

In contrast to the northern Eskimo, Aleut did not fear the dead. Spirits of dead relatives were helpful in many ways. Also, spirits of dead Aleut could reside in animals; for instance, sea otters could have human souls. The Aleut religion took care of the needs of the people it served and was well integrated with the other aspects of Aleut society.

Mythology - - '

The myths and stories of the Aleut were of three kinds. The first class dealt with animal protectors, guardians, and other supernatural beings. The second kind of myth told of the deeds of culture-heroes, warriors, strong men, and chiefs. The third style of story was historical, telling of the present or past life of the Aleut.

The narration of myths was an art, and a narrator was proud of his skill. His fellow villagers also took pride in his skill and expected him to maintain a high standard of excellence. As Jochelson stated, the narration of a myth was regarded as the "common work of the tribe expressed by individuals." Stories were prefaced with the statement that this is "the work or creation of my country."

Disposal of the Dead - - -

The northern Eskimo feared the dead and disposed of bodies as quickly as possible. The Aleut, on the other hand, had no such fear. In fact, family attachments were so great that parting with the dead was delayed as long as possible. Undoubtedly there were various ritualistic observances in the period between death and disposal of the body. We know, for instance, that there were processions marked by the beating of drums and the wailing of the bereaved and that labrets were removed as a sign of mourning. When at length the time arrived for the removal of the body, it was disposed of in one of three ways: cremation, burial in the ground, or burial in caves.

Cremation seems to have been the mark of a low status in society, for cremated cave burials were mostly of women, children, and slaves, probably associates of some great personage or chief who was the central theme of the particular burial. Interments were made in circular pits which were regarded by the living as houses for the dead. A number of individuals could be buried in the same pit along with grave offerings. Preparation for such burials is said to have been the same as for cave burials.

Still another funeral custom of the Aleut was burial in a tomb or sarcophagus made of logs and planks. These underground tombs were rectangular, about eight feet wide, ten feet long, and three feet high. The sides and ends were made of logs, but the top of the crypt was covered by planks caulked with pieces of fur and neatly tied bundles, also of fur. The bodies inside the crypt were in flexed positions and accompanied by their clothing, tools, ornaments, and other belongings.

The most interesting and spectacular burials were the mummy packs, deposited in caves. For this interment, the viscera sometimes were removed and the space left by such removal was filled with grass; in other cases there was no such evisceration. The body, dressed in a parka of bird skins or sea-otter fur, over which (in the case of men) there might be a waterproof parka, was placed in a sitting position with arms and legs drawn tightly against the torso, and was wrapped in woven mats. Then the mummy pack was tied with cords or nets and perhaps more matting. Finally it was removed to a dry cave where it was placed amid a lavish display of burial furniture. Women, for instance, were surrounded by their
sewing equipment and cooking utensils. Babies were in their cradles. Hunters had all their weapons and kayaks with them. Warriors were dressed in armor, with their weapons at hand. Thus it can be seen that cave burials were communities of the dead completely equipped to live in a spirit world in much the same way as they had lived before death. Some Aleut believed that at night the dead went about their tasks of hunting and housekeeping, that they held their festivals and ceremonies, but that with the arrival of daylight they returned to their cave resting-places and assumed their burial positions.

There were two types of cave burial. Chiefs with their retinue and honored persons such as some warriors and whale hunters, were placed in large grotto-like caves, where the mummies were suspended from wooden frames or laid upon a wooden platform. Smaller caves served as village cemeteries where the dead were placed upon the bare floor of the cave or upon mats. All of the caves were dry and relatively warm, an important factor in accounting for the excellent preservation of mummies.

These are the pictures of George's desecrated body, they took him apart & paraded his body parts around like he had no value, no meaning, no feelngs, no worth, or no SOUL that is the heart that used to beat, the feet that used to carry him to me, the tail that had finally learned how to wag, the precious being that had been held prisoner for 12 years with no lov or care of concern. Did they hold him when they killed him? Did they tell him how much they loved him? Did they care if he was scared? WHERE IN THE HELL ARE ALL OF HIS BODY PARTS, & HIS BODY, WAS HE WASHED OR WRAPPED, DID ANYONE EVEN SAY A BLESSING OVER HIS BODY? What kind of human being does this to another soul? He was someone's love, he had meaning, he had value, & even if you don't believe he did have a soul that you have trapped to roam here on the earth forever until he can be set free.

 
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