By Susan Crawford Sullivan
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Just like the Teton Sioux, the Cheyenne initially resided in Minnesota yet settled in North and South Dakota within the 18th century. They finally break up into divisions--Northern and Southern--that have been separated via the Arkansas River. As with many Plains Indians, the solar Dance, which referred to as for a renewal of the flora and fauna, performed an necessary function in Cheyenne society.
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Alan Wolfe writes that the language of damnation and sin has been replaced by empathy, understanding, and nonjudgmentalness; the Lord to whom Americans turn “rarely gets angry and frequently strengthens self-esteem” (2003, 3). ” My respondents hold images of God that do not fall neatly into either of these categories. God is both loving and judgmental. Their primary image of God is that of a caring, tender, loving father who is deeply involved in the details of their everyday lives. They believe God hears their prayers and understands the hardships they face and will help them and be with them.
Twentynine of the women told me they had no religion or were not currently practicing any, but the majority of these women would fall into the category of “unchurched believers” (Hout and Fischer 2002). 26 Overall, twenty-one women said faith or religion was very important to them, eighteen said it was of medium importance, and six said neither personal religious faith nor organized religion was important to them. Twenty-eight women prayed very frequently—once a day or more; nine mothers prayed several times a month; and eight rarely or never prayed.
Studies find religion to serve as a source of strength for people who have experienced trauma. Religion can foster resilience through several pathways. It can help provide people with a sense of meaning in adverse life events or situations. It can buffer negative emotions such as depression. Religion can promote “relational resilience,” as religious people often have more social networks and social support. Furthermore, religion can serve as a force for personal transformation during crisis or adversity (Pargament and Cummings 2010; Pargament 1997; Pargament and Park 1995).