What was the Midewiwin and Who were healers of the Grand Medicine Society in the Ojibwa tribe?

The most distinguished healers among the Ojibwa tribe were the members of the Grand Medicine Society, or Midewiwin.

To enter the society, men and women had to undergo a lengthy initiation, during which they learned about herbal medicines and were trained in the special songs and ceremonies of the Midewiwin. Achieving all four ranks of the Midewiwin could take as long as 20 years.

Only those who displayed great bravery and honor were able to reach the highest level. These healers inspired fear as well as respect in their fellow Ojibwa. Through their contact with spirits called manitous, they possessed great power, which they could use as easily for evil as for good.

Ojibwa women made works of art by biting decorative shapes into pieces of birch bark.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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