Cultural Systems and Indigenous Religions

In essence, indigenous religion is a faith that has evolved and is affiliated with a certain ethnic community. There is a wide group of ethnic religions practiced by various peoples all over the world. While many of the various manifestations of indigenous religions arose in isolation from one another, there are similar elements that all of them seem to share. For example, rites of passage, in which participants are supposed to participate in rituals that signify the beginning of significant stages of a person’s life cycle. Furthermore, ancestral veneration is a typical feature in indigenous religions. it is a form of ancestor worship, essential for keeping the spirits of the deceased at peace, which would otherwise be potentially troublesome. This essay will highlight the role of indigenous religions in re-connecting people, how they help relate to the right relationships and how they serve as cultural systems for ethnic communities.

How Indigenous Religions Re-Connect People

Essentially, native religion is a derivative of social circumstances; such situations help create an enabling environment for people to involuntarily accept a way of life. Some ethnic groups expect their members to engage in various activities to manifest their sense of unity. For instance, participation in ceremonies, belief systems, and rituals, especially as a consequence of group membership. Moreover, orientation and certain behavior towards objects and symbols that are perceived sacred serve to bind back people to a given ethnicity. Indigenous religions operate to provide a sense of belonging to a particular community or group. As such, the beliefs and practices undertaken by a particular ethnic religion are meant to bring people together(Foley,2000). As a result, people re-connect in the sense of belonging to a group driven by an underlying and greater sacred reality.

How Indigenous Religion Relates to the Right Relationships

Many indigenous religions share a common element in the belief that all forms of life and everything in the universe are interdependent and interrelated. As such, right relationships must be created and maintained by everyone and in everything so as to successfully ensure a balance of existence. Furthermore, according to ethnic communities, all aspects of the tangible world are spiritually interconnected in efforts to promote unity in all creation. Therefore, the circle of right relationships should be established to make sure that they capture the sense of kinship with all creation. The various symbols, myths, and rituals are meant to cultivate proper relations with spiritual power, usually a Supreme Deity (Olupona, 2004). It is, therefore, of the essence to create right relationships for an individual belonging to an ethnic religion for the good of everything in the world.

Indigenous Religions as Cultural Systems

First, it is important to recognize that every community has a distinct indigenous religion, which was developed separately from each other depending on the cultural origin. As such, an ethnic religion is native and only applies to a particular geographic area. This form of religion is practiced by a tribe on the basis of their language, a customary system, cultural traits, and economic and ceremonial dealings. It is, therefore, evident that the indigenous religion serves to promote and preserve cultural values and beliefs. In addition, indigenous forms of spirituality are a reflection of traditions that developed within a particular group of people over a long time (Foley, 2000). Although some cultures keep essential, all ethnic based religious groups to under ancestral enclosures. The identity formation of any individual belonging to a given cultural background highly depends on indigenous religions for proper development and well-being.


Foley, D. (January 01, 2000). Indigenous research, differing value systems. Australian Journal of

Indigenous Education, 28, 1, 17-30.

Olupona, J. K. (Ed.). (2004). Beyond primitivism: indigenous religious traditions and modernity.

Psychology Press.

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