TOTEMS AND CLANS
Totem and or Clan systems have been in existence since the beginning of time and the system still exists today. The system is like a framework of government or an extended Family that gives Strength, Order, and Identity to it’s Member’s. In some Nations, individuals will get their clan recognition through matriarchal or patriarchal lineage. Some may be on a fast and recieve a vision of their clan. Others may approach a traditional person who specializes with names and totems and request their clan.
The Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians displays it’s clan recognition on a medicine wheel: Bear, Rabbit, Eagle, Deer, Turtle, Crane. other tribes may vary on how they place the Animal symbols on their medicine wheel.
Each Totem has special characteristics. Some of those outward characteristics may be in leadership, oration, or speakers and protection. Individuals of the Samr Clan but from different territories recognize themselves as Brothers and Sisters. It is rare that people choose to mate from the same clan.
Anishnabe introduce themselves by name, clan, place of residence, and family lineage. Individuals may have a feast for their peticular clan, for example, some will feast the Bear clan three times a year.
Once when the bear goes into hybernation (fall) again when the mother bear has her cubs (winter) and then when they come out of hybernation (spring).