Medicine Bags?Medicine men also carried “medicine bags”.

 Medicine methods in early native american culture range from modern use of medicine to strategies such as magic, songs, prayer and ceremonies. Most of these methods, and certain healing ceremonies were only allowed to be carried out  by a medicine man or medicine woman. Medicine men and medicine women were seen as spiritual and community leaders by their tribes.  “The Medicine Man is believed to have a spiritual connection with animals, supernatural creatures and all elements of nature” (warpaths2peacepipes.com).  A strong belief of spirits inhabiting all biotic and abiotic things was ingrained into native american religious beliefs. Both good and bad spirits existed in all things. Good spirits helped mankind in areas such as family, love and war, whereas bad spirits attacked mankind with illness, unhappiness and death. When bad spirits would “come into” a person, a medicine man’s role was to know protective mantras to rid the evil spirits. Medicine Bags?Medicine men also carried “medicine bags”. Inside these bags were items believed to help disarm evil spirits.  Medicine bags varied in sizes, some were about the size of a modern day pencil pouch, while others were as large as backpack and were referred to as “bandolier”. According to www.legendsofamerica.com Medicine bags might include “seeds, herbs, pine cones, grass, animal teeth or claws, horse hair, rocks, tobacco, beads, arrowheads, and bones,”. These items were used to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck , produce healing and more. Medicine men were held in high esteem from tribe to tribe so medicine bags were considered very sacred to the community. Medicine bags were usually made from leather and hand stitched. Medicine bags were both intricately designed as well as plain. Extremely decorated medicine bags might be painted, include tribal designs, have feathers, and or be beaded.