Animism (from Latin anima, 'breath, spirit, life') is the world's oldest form of religion according to which all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, even spoken words, buildings and other artifacts—are experienced as animated and alive. It is sometimes described as a belief that various objects, places, and creatures possess distinctive spiritual qualities.
Animism is still practiced in a variety of forms in many traditional societies. It is found at the root of the belief systems of many indigenous tribal people. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, 'animism' is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' 'spiritual' or 'supernatural' perspectives.