Native Spirituality is a form of animism … the worship of the spirit of the worldly. Animal spirits are a great part of native spirituality. Each tribe of Native Americans has developed independently a spirituality; though all believe that the earth and all the creatures upon it, including humans, are interconnected and have “spirit.” The Medicine Man, depicted here, is believed to have a spiritual connection with animals, supernatural creatures, and all elements of nature. Spirits were believed to inhabit the rivers, lakes, mountains, trees, plants, sky, stars, sun, animals, insects, fish, flowers, and birds.
Medicine man is the term coined by those outside tribes of indigenous peoples, because healing is a part of the mission of these spiritual leaders. There are "medicine men" and "women" in tribes all over the world, not only among Native American peoples. Each tribe has their own word for those who take on this role within their community.
This is a depiction of a member of the Cherokee Nation. He is shown in ceremonial attire. Medicine men and women go about the tasks of their mission in simpler clothing.
There is much debate about the artist Troy Denton. Most auction houses label him as a “copyist” … someone who sees the work of others and recreates it by hand in the medium, but who did not come up with the image in their own vision. These sites consider him an American. Others say that there is no one artist … that the paintings signed Troy Denton are the copies being made by artists in China, North Korea, or South Korea who cannot make a living through their art and who copy and sell the paintings of others. There is the occasional claim that an individual has met the real Troy Denton and that he is a South Korean and that the images are his own and that there are those in the art world who want to publicize the work of one Howard Terpning. Denton’s paintings are similar and some say identical to Terpning’s.
Further notes on
Native American Spirituality:
Native American religions are the spiritual practices of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Traditional Native American ceremonial ways can vary widely and are based on the differing histories and beliefs of individual tribes, clans, and bands. Early European explorers describe individual Native American tribes, and even small bands, since each having their own religious practices.
Theology may be monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, animistic, shamanistic, pantheistic, or any combination thereof. Traditional beliefs are usually passed down in the forms of oral histories, stories, allegories, and principles, and rely on face to face teaching in one's family and community.