Native American Indian Ceremonies

Native American Ceremonies

Native Ceremonial Eagle Dancer

Ceremony plays a vital, essential role in Native American religions. Whereas western religions typically consider ceremony the servant of theology, Native American religions barely recognize the distinction between myth and ritual.Often the ritual proves to be established and secure while the myth is vague and unclear. Indian ceremonies grew up within local groups; some elements of Indian ceremonials have been traced back to the Old World. The ceremonies were adapted locally, using both traditional and borrowed elements, to suit local needs. These ceremonies often began as practical actions.

Indians were eager to embrace ceremonies or portions of ceremonies that provided power to conquer the difficulties of life. As these practices developed, they were modified and imbued with additional meanings and purposes.


  • Ceremonial Dances
    • Rain Dance
    • Good Crop Dance
    • Harvest Dance
    • Spirit Dance
  • Life Cycle Rites
    • Na’ii’es – Sunrise Ceremony (Female Puberty Rite)
      • The most important and frequent community ceremony. It normally takes place in the summer months of the year after a girl’s first menstruation.
    • First Steps Rite


  • Ceremonial Dances
    • Stomp Dance

Diegueño Indians (California)

  • Ceremonial Dances
    • Awikunchi – A fair weather making ceremonial dance and song.


  • The Seven Sacred Rites
    • The Sweat Lodge
    • The Vision Quest
    • Ghost Keeping
    • The Sun Dance
    • Making Relatives
    • Puberty Ceremony
    • Throwing the Ball
  • Life Cycle Rites
  • Life Renewal Rites
    • Summer Solstice Ceremony
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