Published on September 21, 2010 by John
The Menominee belief system was dualistic, with a continuing cosmic conflict between good spirits above the earth and evil spirits below. The highest tier of the universe above the earth was the home of the supreme deity, Mecawetok, and below him were the Thunderbirds or Thunderers, the gods of war, and the Morning Star. Beneath the earth and in the lowest tier was Great White Bear, the main power of evil. Others who resided in the evil underworld were Underground Panther, White Deer, and Horned Hairy Serpent, who inhabited the lakes and streams and tried to cap-size boats in order to drag people to the underworld. The earth itself was believed to be peopled with evil spirits and hobgoblins. The central experience of Menominee religion was the dream revelation, in which individuals obtained special power in the form of a guardian spirit. With some changes, the pattern of securing a guardian spirit through fasting and dreaming persisted among traditional Menominee in 1960.
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