oldest known type of belief system in the world. It is still practiced in a
variety of forms in many traditional societies.
Founder-There is no one person who is considered
Geographic Origin-Developed simultaneously in different
parts of the world.
Currently Practiced-World-wide, but most common in
areas of Africa and the Americas.
traditional cultures that
practice Animism also have an oral tradition of story-telling,
rather than a developed writing system.
Places of Worship-Animist rituals tend to take place
outdoors in nature.
Significant Religious People-Animist rituals are typically
conducted by a
Shaman, Medicine Man, or Medicine Woman.
Teachings and Beliefs
Animists practice nature worship. They believe that everything in
the universe has a spirit. This is exemplified by the practices of
the Plains Indians in North America who would praise the spirit of the
buffalo that they killed for giving its life to them so that they might
survive. Animists also believed that ancestors watch over the living from
the spirit world. This belief resulted in
ancestor worship as a means
of communicating with and showing respect to ancestors.