Although these archetypes are largely associated with age brackets, I submit that they are not necessarily age dependent, with two exceptions: youth begins with birth and continues until you otherwise transition your position in the tribe and ancestry begins at death and does not eevolve. I have all sorts of fancy ideas about progression, regression, and even maintaining dual identities, but for now, I will examine the basic aspects of youth identity.
The essential traits of youth is that they are:
- in the care of adults materially, educationally, and spiritually.
- generally not called on to provide material, educational or spiritual care for themselves or others.
- in the most active stage of mental, spiritual and (typically) physical growth and development of their lives.
- The adults of the tribe must provide for all material needs of the youth, as well as their education and spiritual instruction.
- The adults (and sometimes elders) must provide mentorship.
- The elders must advise and plan for the next seven generations* of the (a responsibility that they have to both the adults and youth)
- The adults must provide support and celebrate the transition of youths to adults.
- The youth must learn the traditions, customs, and history of the tribe. These will continue to be important through all identity stages.
- The youth must stir up new ideas and challenge traditions and customs that are no longer useful, and question history when it has a bias and disadvantages those learning it by teaching untruths.
- The youth must respect their tribal elders and receive their wisdom.
- The youth mus respect their adults and work with them to receive mentorship.
- Less a responsibility and more a seeming inevitability of human nature, the youth will largely rebel against the adults at some point and do whatever their cultures version of drugs, sex and rock 'n roll is.
*Seven generation forethought is includied in the branding of numerous eco friendly products and services and even an eco focused charter school, according to a quick Google search. My mentor Chris Bartlett suggested this number, and it rang a bell as I'd used a product by Seventh Generation whose label I vaugely remember mentioning a Native American custom. Another quick Google search points me in the direction of a seven generation consideration of action originating with the Iroquois. However, seven is a significant number regarding the complete of a cycle in many spiritual beliefs from the Judeo-Christian Creation of the world in seven days to belief in the seven major chakras of the body and their spiritual evolution in seven year cycles. Because it is a number of such wide and accepted cultural and spiritual significance, I continue to use it here.