Like most types of poetry, Native American poetry is a wonderful way for individuals to express themselves. It embraces a kaleidoscope of feelings and emotions. Native American poetry can be light hearted and simple or deep and symbolic.
Within the Native American society poems are usually referred to as songs. This is because traditionally these expressions were sung rather than being written down on paper. Singing the poetry made it easier to be passed down through generations.
Native American poetry has been created for many reasons throughout history. Traditionally these poems centered on hunting rituals, initiation rites, healing ceremonies, and planting rituals. These poems were also sung to express religious feelings, to mourn, and to pray.
In the past Native American poetry was believed to help them communicate with nature. They would gather tribes at pow-wows and use the songs to ask for guidance from the earth.
Today there are many Native American poets. While many concentrate on some of the fundamentals of poetry that have been passed on from their ancestors. They continue to write about the Native American morals and beliefs, placing much emphasis on their love for the land, family, nature, and life.
Other poets create their own style of Native American poetry. For example, currently Native American poetry is used as a means to ponder about their way of life. Many poems reflect feelings surrounding the way Native Americans have been treated throughout the history of our country. Some poems also touch on life on the reservations and the struggle to maintain their way of life.
Also, keep in mind that not all Native American poetry is actually written by Native Americans. Many writers from different cultures have written poems about the rich history surrounding Native Americans. Many of these poets write in the first person to make the poems seem more authentic.