What does “Indigenish” mean?

In the Tribe of Gaea, we are not trying to be an indigenous people, claim indigenous heritage rights, or otherwise claim any kind of official status or recognition in that manner.

Indigenish is a term we use to indicate that we take our inspiration from certain characteristics commonly found among indigenous peoples, and from what we know of Old European indigenous culture in particular. While no two peoples are exactly alike, and it’s hard to make universal generalizations about what indigenous peoples are like, we try to remain true to the spirit of the Old European cultural mindset, which is centered around an honoring of the Divine Feminine as it is manifest in Nature, and we use some of their symbols, such as the water-bird, owl, and snake as totemic symbols. We share egalitarian values that are evident from the Old European settlements, which displayed little social stratification. We honor our bodies through eating a diet that is reminiscent of theirs, and we are unafraid to show our bodies, using clothing primarily for protective and symbolic purposes, not to hide in shame.

There are other things that we draw on from anthropological studies of those cultures, but due to fragmentary knowledge of our own ancestors’ ways from Old Europe, we also borrow some practices from other indigenous peoples, but nothing that could be laid claim to by any one culture. For example: If we use aromatic smoke incense that another culture uses, it’s only because it is locally available to us, sustainably harvested, and it gets the job done– we make no claim that we are doing things “The Native American Way” (as an example). If we wear an animal headdress in a ritual setting, it’s because such headdresses are common to many indigenous cultures. Eagle was not a major sacred animal to the Old Europeans, so we don’t use eagle feathers for our ritual garb (and it would be illegal to do so in the US, since we are not Native Americans). However, Owl was sacred to them, as was Heron, so we see no problem with humanely harvesting feathers from these birds (such as obtaining molted feathers from a bird sanctuary) for our regalia.

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Category: Life in the Tribe, Religion in the Tribe

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