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Religions that do not have their own holy book are called natural religions. These religions originated before the invention of literacy and have often maintained their connection to technically higher cultures at a distance, often due to their geographically remote status. The best-known indigenous peoples alive today are the Aboriginal people of Australia, the Navajians of North America, the indigenous peoples of Siberia and the Bushmannians of Africa,   Canadian Inuit  and the Maori of New Zealand. The religion of the ancient Finns was also natural  religion. Natural religions are not all the same, but their belief tradition  and habits can be very different. However, they have many things in common:

Oral tradition as a force for community

  Because sacred texts could not be created in writing, all religious tradition material had to be passed on orally  to the next generation and stored in memory. Oral tradition formed  gradually poetic, as it was easier to remember and recall when necessary.


Knowledge of the content of myths was needed to organize various rituals. Every community had a sage-shaman with respect for the community and an absolute position of authority. He was a specialist in rituals and a performer of them. These schematic activities could be organized, for example, to appease gods or spirits, to give thanks for a good prey ( sacrificial rituals ) or when a child was born into a family, a young person's transition from childhood to adulthood ( initiation ), man and woman began living as a couple or when someone died. The latter are called transition disputes.   

The cycle of the year involved a lot of rituals, especially in agricultural crops, when the sowing work began  and in connection with harvesting ( calendar rites ).

Rituals required community and the individual needed community to protect them. Even death did not remove a person from community membership permanently, but the deceased was considered to be still following the life of his own family and tribe. The ancestors had to be treated with respect, which was evident in the funeral rituals and the commemoration of the deceased later. According to the deceased, very valuable necessities and food might be placed in the grave for a future life. With these actions, the surviving relatives also wanted to ensure their own happiness. If the deceased was not happy with his treatment, he was believed to be causing something bad.


Mana, understood as a supernatural force, was protected against evil supernatural forces. Mana can be in certain places: in special stones, springs, trees, animals, for example, for Finns, a bear was a sacred animal . The tribal chiefs and samans had mana , by the power of which they were able to heal or control, to communicate with supernatural forces . In the Finnish tradition, the word people is the equivalent of the Mana concept. (pulley, with force and force). Some still believe that amulets bring good luck and keep them with them. The amulet therefore contains mana. Without mana, one could not practice magic , that is, forcing supernatural forces to act as desired. Magic was needed for many things. The spells also contained mana and could be used to obtain fish or hunting luck. The spells kept the evil spirits under control and attracted luck close. Sometimes  spells were desired  evil to others, then we talk about black magic.

The people, animals, or places believed to be mana were  taboo. The taboo also includes the presence of the saint . If anyone was taboo, it was not allowed to touch because Mana could flow away and  harm the rapper. The transgressor of the taboo rule had to perform the sacrificial service on behalf of himself and his tribe.

Man has always asked the question: How were the world, humans, plants and animals born? Why does thunder roar, why does the sun shine? Indigenous peoples had their answers to these. Such stories are called myths . A Finnish myth said that the world was born of a broken mess egg.



Deity is believed to be an impersonal force that occurs everywhere in nature. It was difficult for Native Americans to understand that someone wanted to own land. The souling of nature, or animism, was  typical of natural religions. The Indians spoke of the mother country, the Finns of the mother mother. The various places of nature: rocks, springs, forest, stars, etc., had their own spirit beings who were the real owners, or holders, of these places.


There are currently about 370 million supporters of natural religions, or 3.6% of the world's population.


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