Indigenous Hawaiian religion: Hula Kahiko
The arts of native religions are not created by “artists” as “art” but as functional objects to be used in particular settings and special ways. For example, dance, which takes on particular importance in native religions, incorporates religious objects such as costumes, ornaments, and musical instruments. In native Hawaiian religion, hula kahiko is danced in conjunction with chanting to honor the gods. The hula kahiko, or ancient form of the dance, was and still is performed in traditional costume, accompanied by chanting, sacred words repeated to re-create the stories of religious traditions, and traditional percussion instruments, which when used in hula, are considered religious objects. The earliest forms of Hawaiian dances, the mele hula, were used either in their temple forms (h’aa) or their public forms (hula). Ha’a were usually performed as part of worship in the heiau (temple), under the direction of a kahuna (priest). These dances were often done in conjunction with rituals and ceremonies related to the specific temple and also to specific deities within those temples. Some of these were like a form of worship, paying homage to the gods with tales of their exploits. Other hula honored the ali’I - the chiefs and royalty - whose genealogies often linked them to the gods. It was also danced for pleasure, with themes filled with deeply felt emotions. There was mana, or life force and spiritual energy in the words, in the precision of the performance, in the discipline and harmony of the dancers’ movements, and in their spiritual composure, a sacred continuum that linked gods with man and nature.
Indigenous African religions: Ancestors
One belief on indigenous religions is the belief in ancestors. Spirits of ancestors must be treated well out of love for them, but also out of respect for their power. In African religions, ancestor spirits are commonly thought to bring health, wealth, and children if they are pleased, and disease and childlessness of they are not. Good spirits provide protection against harm, misfortune, and disease, heal illness, and provide children, rain for crops, fish, and wild game, and protection for livestock. These blessings are dependent on the appropriate behavior of humans. Good behavior, according African religious beliefs, includes following and practicing values and behavior established by society and culture, participation in religious rituals and practices, and proper respect for family, neighbors, and community. Failure to follow these behavioral guidelines often results in the good spirits withdrawing their blessing and protection. Such consequences include illness, death, draught, and other misfortune. It is not the desire of the ancestors that their families and communities be destroyed. Rather, the ancestors hope that illness and misfortune will be seen as warning and result in people and communities stopping the inappropriate and offensive behaviors. African religions hold that following social and cultural norms and values is the only way to guarantee security and prosperity.
Lakota indigenous religion - Sacred Space
Sacred space is the doorway through which the "other world" of gods and ancestors can contact us and we can contact them. According to Malloy, sacred space is associated with the center of the entire universe, where power and holiness are strongest and where we can renew our own strength.
- Experiencing the World's Religions, 5th edition, pg. 43