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Encyclopedia > Totemism

Totemism (derived from the root -oode in the Ojibwe language, which referred to something kinship-related) is a religious belief that is frequently associated with shamanistic religions. The totem is usually an animal or other naturalistic figure that spiritually represents a person or, more likely, a clan. Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa or Anishinaabemoowin is the third most commonly spoken Native language in Canada (after Cree and Inuktitut). ... Religion, a term sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices and institutions associated with such belief. ... Belief is assent to a proposition. ... Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. ... A totem is any natural or supernatural object, being or animal which has personal symbolic meaning to an individual and to whose phenomena and energy one feels closely associated with during ones life. ...

Totemism played an active role in the development of 19th and early 20th century theories of religion, especially for thinkers such as Émile Durkheim, who concentrated their study on primitive societies. Drawing on the identification of social group with spiritual totem in Australian aboriginal tribes, Durkheim theorized that all human religious expression was intrinsically founded in the relationship to a group. David Émile Durkheim ( April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as one of the founders of modern sociology. ...

In his essay Le Totemisme aujourdhui (Totemism), Claude Lévi-Strauss shows that human cognition, which is based on analogical thought, is independent of social context. From this, he excludes mathematical thought, which operates primarily through logic. Totems are chosen arbitrarily for the sole purpose of making the physical world a comprehensive and coherent classificatory system. Lévi-Strauss argues that the use of physical analogies is not an indication of a more primitive mental capacity. It is rather, a more efficient way to cope with this particular mode of life in which abstractions are rare, and in which the physical environment is in direct friction with the society. He also holds that scientific explanation entails the discovery of an arrangement; moreover, since the science of the concrete is a classificatory system enabling individuals to classify the world in a rational fashion, it is neither more nor less a science than any other in the western world. It is important to recognise that in this text the egalitarian nature of Lévi-Strauss and his work is manifested in all its force, and more importantly Lévi-Strauss diverts the interest of anthropology towards the understanding of human cognition. Claude Lévi-Strauss Claude Lévi-Strauss (born November 28, 1908) is a French anthropologist who became one of the twentieth centurys greatest intellectuals by developing structuralism as a method of understanding human society and culture Biography Claude Lévi-Strauss was born in Brussels and studied law and philosophy at... Human cognition is the study of how the human brain thinks. ... Logic (from ancient Greek λόγος (logos), originally meaning the word, or what is spoken, but coming to mean thought or reason) is the study of arguments. ... A totem is any natural or supernatural object, being or animal which has personal symbolic meaning to an individual and to whose phenomena and energy one feels closely associated with during ones life. ... An analogy is a comparison between two different things, in order to highlight some form of similarity. ... An abstraction is an idea, concept, or word which defines the phenomena which make up the concrete events or things which the abstraction refers to, the referents. ... This article is in need of attention. ... What is science? There are different theories of what science is. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος = human) consists of the study of humankind (see genus Homo). ...

  Results from FactBites:
Totem (1229 words)
Totem is the official movie player of the GNOME desktop environment based on xine-lib or GStreamer.
If you are running a recent distribution, there is a high chance totem is already installed since it is the default movie player of the GNOME desktop environment.
If you are convinced the problem is with Totem itself, you should first check the bug list if your bug isn't already reported.
85.06.01: Totem Poles of the North American Northwest Coast Indians (6041 words)
The study of totem poles as deeply meaningful symbols can lead students to think about the things that are important in their lives, objects which to them represent significant ideas, beliefs, or behaviors.
Totem poles were public documents raised to recall legends or validate events and the difference between the six types lie in the purpose for which they were erected.
Totem poles were painted with a type of fish egg tempera and colors were limited to subdued shades of red, fl, green, and blue.
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