: World Religions - Primal Indigenous



The Primal Indigenous are also called as the 'Tribal Religionists, Ethnic religionists and Animists'. It is not a single, organized religion,but is followed by about 300 million people in Africa and Asia.

There are similarities among many primal-indigenous religions and cultures,such as use of an oral rather than written language and a lack of rigid boundaries between the sacred and secular aspects of life.

These groups include thousands of distinct religious traditions, mostly the religious-cultural world views of people, who have been grouped together in one category because they are pre-literate or less advanced technologically, than Western/European cultures.

These religions are the results of traditional and native world views of the lives of whom they are practiced. There are variations in tradition, region and ethnicity.

Hence, there are many surface differences between the diverse primal religions, though they share basic overlying concepts.

It has been previously compared primal religions to paganism, shamanism and animism and while they do share similarities, these comparisons have largely been abandoned.

The Followers of primal indigenous religions worship one god while acknowledging the existence of others and are called, henotheistic.

God dwells within all things and all things are spiritual in nature.All of existence is thought to be connected, including life and death, humans and animals, the physical world and spirit world, etc.

As mentioned, primal religions neither discern between the physical and the spiritual, nor is there a hard distinction between worship and other routine activities of life.

Living in and of itself is a spiritual act and the duties of each day are so much connected with nature and the earth that they are regarded as spiritual, as opposed to catogarise the life in to work, leisure and worship.

As per this religion, the time is not linear as western cultures think, but the idea of 'timelessness' is accepted. Rituals are enacted as performances of the original act.

They are ever-present and thus link individuals to the eternity through the present. Demographics & Rituals Cultures who practice tribal indigenous religions lack written language.

Their beliefs and traditions are usually through myths, which are passed down through the generations to explain the origin of man, civilisation, God and the world creation. Often these myths are based on the locale in which the indivisuals live.


Shamanism is one of the most widely practised phenomenon in all primal groups. The person who practises Shamanism is called a "Shaman". The Shamans operate within the spiritual world to help the human world. It is shared by American, Indians to Australian aborigines.

The Shamans are spiritually gifted people, who have acquired the techique of trance, to help others. By entering the trance state, they interact with the spirit world and to help to cure the affected people.

The state of trance is rerached by various methods, such as - chanting, drumming, fasting, singing dancing and by using toxic substances like tobacco etc.

In the state of trance, the shamans call on the spirits of the ancestors or other spirits and get the informaton for healing the body, mind, or soul of the affected person and also to predict the future.

A term is used as a 'medicine man', for a person with the combination of shamanic and priestly powers. The priestly powers include - rituals, songs, and mantras learned from the senior priests like the brahmans of India.

Many tribal shamans were also knowledgeable in the use of several herbal remedies. A shaman is exposed to significant personal risk during the course of shamanism.

Risks is likely from the spirit world, from enemy shamans, or from the media used to change the shaman's state of consciousness.

Some of the toxic plants used by shamans are dangerous if not used in a right way. Failure to return back to the normal state of conciousness can lead to death.