Mysterium Tremendum is Latin for "overwhelming mystery" and refers to the evocation of awe in audiences for rituals, rites and ceremonies. According to Vine Deloria Jr., Native Americans employed this as a mechanism for achieving social control rather than law, which was perceived as alien or external force not rooted in the sense of individual and tribal identity.
- Vine Deloria, Jr. 1969. Custer Died For Your Sins. New York: Avon. p. 107.