A ritual is any practice or pattern of actions where the performance has symbolic value, which is usually held together by strong traditions(#) and usually honors manifestations of all kinds. They can express individuality in their nature, and hardly have any limitations. Rituals are most commonly experienced with family (#), friends (#), or through religious practices.

Rituals play significant roles in our lives, and when families, friends, or those experiencing the ritual barricade it from incurring, via lack of time, technology, or other obligations; we lose sight of the how imperative it is to one's culture.

Rituals inhibit many different meanings to those who experience them. They can be performed on a specific occasion or within regular intervals. Rituals "may be performed by a single individual, by a group, or by the entire community; in arbitrary places, or in places especially reserved for it; either in public, in private, or before specific people."(http://www.reference.com/browse/ritual) Rituals embed a dedication and knowledge of history in one's mind that cannot be broken. A fundamental key of rituals is the upbringing in them. When rituals are carried through generations, their importance becomes momentous in its nature and the fulfillment is extraordinary. Whether rituals are from day to day, month to month, or annually, their significance never flounders because of the well-built morals when passed down.

Montanans have many significant rituals. After my two personal interviews, the Montana Fish and Game was the most significant. The stability of hunting has been in this region for thousands of years. Hunting and fishing season to Montanans is similar to a holiday; as many people going to hunt or fish at least once during the season. Brett Tierry believes hunting and fishing is “a family oriented activity, and the teaching of togetherness and the memories is what I value most". Engraining family traditions like this at a young age not only teaches moral values, it also allows these children the choice to then pass that value to their children as well. In Montana a proud moment for many individuals is a father teaching their child how to hunt.

The stability of hunting will always be in this area, but the value of rituals is diminishing. Careers, lack of time, and technology have taken over our society’s focus, not only on children, but upon their parents or friends as well. Families in this region have been opting to participate in other activities for an array of reasons. As our economic downturn is still thriving, careers are becoming more demanding. Seeing that money is tight in our middle class families, who are most often, times the majority of hunters, the demand, has made a remarkable drop off. Children in our society today have been raised on a technology-based upbringing which has its advantages and disadvantages. Our children in today's public would rather stay inside playing video or computer games, than going outside and experiencing something new with the family. School is more socially accepted to have the newest video game than to have shot an animal (to children).

Since our society’s and families have a lack of time for rituals, or bonding activities at least every other month, the family should set aside specific time for experiencing their rituals together. By setting aside this time, the parent's fulfillment to their elders will be executed and the children may even prefer the activity.



Rituals express a sense of belonging(#) to a person experiencing the ritual, and a sense of fulfillment(#) to the person who is passing on the ritual. Sharing(#) rituals with friends, families, or even members of a community is an uplifting experience for most, and it increases our diversity(#) as a person.

1. http://www.reference.com/browse/ritual
2. Personal Interview Brett Tierry
3. Personal Interview Roberta Lee

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