By Ann Marie B. Bahr
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Additional info for Indigenous Religions (Religions of the World)
Adivasi religion also differs from Christianity. It has no concept of a personal god similar to the Western God. The Adivasi creator deity is generally not involved either in history or in the personal lives of individuals. Adivasis have no concept of a savior god or of the need for one. They do believe in spirits but not in a single spirit. Christian missionaries are active in India, however, and in certain areas one can trace their influence on Adivasi culture and religion. The degree of acceptance of Hinduism or Christianity varies a great deal.
All African societies have healers. Some healers are herbalists —they use extracts from berries, roots, leaves, and bark to cure diseases. If an herbalist is confronted with an unknown disease, he or she will enter a trance and be possessed by a spirit that leads him or her to the appropriate plants to provide a cure. Other healers are diviners. They rely solely on spiritual means, usually a special ancestral spirit, to diagnose and cure illnesses. Until very recently, the Western world believed that African indigenous healing methods were fraudulent.
All village land is owned collectively. They engage in some cultivation, but they do not plow, as that would inflict pain on the body of Mother Earth. Instead, they pierce the ground with pointed wood implements and place the seeds in the depressions created. Such isolated Adivasi groups are one of Earth’s few remaining examples of a subsistence lifestyle. The Abhuj Marias only take from the earth that which they need to survive. They do not make a profit and do not buy anything with money. They make what they need and share what they have.