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Using Native American Sites for Worship

By Swain Wodening

[Snip] When the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes came to Great Britain they adopted many of the Celtic and pre-Celtic sites for their use. Barrows in particular were the focus of Anglo-Saxon holy sites. The temple site at Yeavering had an ancient barrow on its site. It had been adopted by the Celtic tribes in the area before them even though it had come from a previous people. Given this habit of the ancient Germanic peoples of adopting the sites of previous peoples this raised the question of whether we in the Americas should do the same. In my area there are many Native American burial mounds that have long been abandoned either because the tribes that used them no longer exist or have long since moved on. In some cases, these are on private land owned by Heathens. As long as they were not disturbed there would be little legal ramifications if they were the site of worship.

Therefore, the only questions left are ethical and moral ones. Clearly our ancestors did not have a problem with adopting the ritual sites of peoples that had lived in the area before them. They did routinely use ancient burial mounds and other cult sites. In most cases, the people that had used these sites no longer existed though. They had moved to other areas or had died off as a folk or were assimilated into the Germanic peoples. That is not the case here in the United States. While many native peoples have died off as a folk there are usually related peoples that still exist as incorporated tribes. They still have legal rights to their burial sites. It is therefore their say about whether or not someone else can use them. I would therefore question whether or not anyone else should use them.

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