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A Further Contribution to the Study of the Mortuary Customs of the North American Indians by H.C. Yarrow

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exhumed by the prairie wolf. Among the Yakamas we saw many
of their graves placed in conspicuous points of the basaltic
walls which line the lower valleys, and designated by a
clump of poles planted over them, from which fluttered
various articles of dress. Formerly these prairie tribes
killed horses over the graves--a custom now falling into
disuse in consequence of the teachings of the whites.

Upon Puget Sound all the forms obtain in different
localities. Among the Makuh of Cape Flattery the graves are
covered with a sort of box, rudely constructed of boards,
and elsewhere on the Sound the same method is adopted in
some cases, while in others the bodies are placed on
elevated scaffolds. As a general thing, however, the Indians
upon the water placed the dead in canoes, while those at a
distance from it buried them. Most of the graves are
surrounded with strips of cloth, blankets, and other
articles of property. Mr. Cameron, an English gentleman
residing at Esquimalt Harbor, Vancouver Island, informed me
that on his place there were graves having at each corner a
large stone, the interior space filled with rubbish. The
origin of these was unknown to the present Indians.

The distinctions of rank or wealth in all cases were very
marked; persons of no consideration and slaves being buried
with very little care or respect. Vancouver, whose attention
was particularly attracted to their methods of disposing of
the dead, mentions that at Port Discovery he saw baskets
suspended to the trees containing the skeletons of young
children, and, what is not easily explained, small square
boxes, containing, apparently, food. I do not think that any
of these tribes place articles of food with the dead, nor
have I been able to learn from living Indians that they
formerly followed that practice. What he took for such I do
not understand. He also mentions seeing in the same place a
cleared space recently burned over, in which the skulls and
bones of a number lay among the ashes. The practice of
burning the dead exists in parts of California and among the
Tshimsyan of Fort Simpson. It is also pursued by the
"Carriers" of New California, but no intermediate tribes, to
my knowledge, follow it. Certainly those of the Sound do not
at present.

It is clear from Vancouver's narrative that some great
epidemic had recently passed through the country, as
manifested by the quantity of human remains uncared for and
exposed at the time of his visit, and very probably the
Indians, being afraid, had buried a house, in which the
inhabitants had perished with the dead in it. This is
frequently done. They almost invariably remove from any
place where sickness has prevailed, generally destroying the
house also.

At Penn Cove Mr. Whalbey, one of Vancouver's officers,
noticed several sepulchers formed exactly like a sentry-box.
Some of them were open, and contained the skeletons of many
young children tied up in baskets. The smaller bones of
adults were likewise noticed, but not one of the limb bones
was found, which gave rise to an opinion that these, by the
living inhabitants of the neighborhood, were appropriated to
useful purposes, such as pointing their arrows, spears, or
other weapons.

It is hardly necessary to say that such a practice is
altogether foreign to Indian character. The bones of the
adults had probably been removed and buried elsewhere. The
corpses of children are variously disposed of; sometimes by
suspending them, at others by placing in the hollows of
trees. A cemetery devoted to infants is, however, an unusual
occurrence. In cases of chiefs or men of note much pomp was
used in the accompaniments of the rite. The canoes were of
great size and value--the war or state canoes of the
deceased. Frequently one was inverted over that holding the
body, and in one instance, near Shoalwater Bay, the corpse
was deposited in a small canoe, which again was placed in a
larger one and covered with a third. Among the _Tsinuk_ and
_Tsihalis_ the _tamahno-[=u]s_ board of the owner was placed
near him. The Puget Sound Indians do not make these
_tamahno-[=u]s_ boards, but they sometimes constructed effigies
of their chiefs, resembling the person as nearly as
possible, dressed in his usual costume, and wearing the
articles of which he was fond. One of these, representing
the Skagit chief Sneestum, stood very conspicuously upon a
high bank on the eastern side of Whidbey Island. The figures
observed by Captain Clarke at the Cascades were either of
this description or else the carved posts which had
ornamented the interior of the houses of the deceased, and
were connected with the superstition of the _tamahno-[=u]s_. The
most valuable articles of property were put into or hung up
around the grave, being first carefully rendered
unserviceable, and the living family were literally stripped
to do honor to the dead. No little self-denial must have
been practiced in parting with articles so precious, but
those interested frequently had the least to say on the
subject. The graves of women were distinguished by a cap, a
Kamas stick, or other implement of their occupation, and by
articles of dress.

Slaves were killed in proportion to the rank and wealth of the
deceased. In some instances they were starved to death, or
even tied to the dead body and left to perish thus horribly.
At present this practice has been almost entirely given up,
but till within a very few years it was not uncommon. A case
which occurred in 1850 has been already mentioned. Still
later, in 1853, Toke, a Tsinuk chief living at Shoalwater
Bay, undertook to kill a slave girl belonging to his
daughter, who, in dying, had requested that this might be
done. The woman fled, and was found by some citizens in the
woods half starved. Her master attempted to reclaim her, but
was soundly thrashed and warned against another attempt.

It was usual in the case of chiefs to renew or repair for a
considerable length of time the materials and ornaments of
the burial-place. With the common class of persons family
pride or domestic affection was satisfied with the gathering
together of the bones after the flesh had decayed and
wrapping them in a new mat. The violation of the grave was
always regarded as an offense of the first magnitude and
provoked severe revenge. Captain Belcher remarks: "Great
secrecy is observed in all their burial ceremonies, partly
from fear of Europeans, and as among themselves they will
instantly punish by death any violation of the tomb or wage
war if perpetrated by another tribe, so they are inveterate
and tenaceously bent on revenge should they discover that
any act of the kind has been perpetrated by a white man. It
is on record that part of the crew of a vessel on her return
to this port (the Columbia) suffered because a person who
belonged to her (but not then in her) was known to have
taken a skull, which, from the process of flattening, had
become an object of curiosity." He adds, however, that at
the period of his visit to the river "the skulls and
skeletons were scattered about in all directions; and as I
was on most of their positions unnoticed by the natives, I
suspect the feeling does not extend much beyond their
relatives, and then only till decay has destroyed body,
goods, and chattels. The chiefs, no doubt, are watched, as
their canoes are repainted, decorated, and greater care
taken by placing them in sequestered spots."

The motive for sacrificing or destroying property on
occasion of death will be referred to in treating of their
religious ideas. Wailing for the dead is continued for a
long time, and it seems to be rather a ceremonial
performance than an act of spontaneous grief. The duty, of
course, belongs to the woman, and the early morning is
usually chosen for the purpose. They go out alone to some
place a little distant from the lodge or camp and in a loud,
sobbing voice repeat a sort of stereotyped formula; as, for
instance, a mother, on the loss of her child, _"A seahb
shed-da bud-dah ah ta bud! ad-de-dah,"_ "Ah chief!" "My
child dead, alas!" When in dreams they see any of their
deceased friends this lamentation is renewed.

With most of the Northwest Indians it was quite common, as mentioned by
Mr. Gibbs, to kill or bury with the dead a living slave, who, failing to
die within three days, was strangled by another slave; but the custom
has also prevailed among other tribes and peoples, in many cases the
individuals offering themselves as voluntary sacrifices. Bancroft states

In Panama, Nata, and some other districts, when a cacique
died, those of his concubines that loved him enough, those
that he loved ardently and so appointed, as well as certain
servants, killed themselves and were interred with him. This
they did in order that they might wait upon him in the land
of spirits.

It is well known to all readers of history to what an extreme this
revolting practice has prevailed in Mexico, South America, and Africa.


As a confirmed rite or ceremony, this mode of disposing of the dead has
never been followed by any of our North American Indians, although
occasionally the dead have been disposed of by sinking in springs or
water-courses, by throwing into the sea, or by setting afloat in canoes.
Among the nations of antiquity the practice was not uncommon, for we are
informed that the Ichthyophagi, or fish-eaters, mentioned by Ptolemy,
living in a region bordering on the Persian Gulf, invariably committed
their dead to the sea, thus repaying the obligations they had incurred
to its inhabitants. The Lotophagians did the same, and the Hyperboreans,
with a commendable degree of forethought for the survivors, when ill or
about to die, threw themselves into the sea. The burial of Balder "the
beautiful," it may be remembered, was in a highly decorated ship, which
was pushed down to the sea, set on fire, and committed to the waves. The
Itzas of Guatemala, living on the islands of Lake Peten, according to
Bancroft, are said to have thrown their dead into the lake for want of
room. The Indians of Nootka Sound and the Chinooks were in the habit of
thus getting rid of their dead slaves, and, according to Timberlake, the
Cherokees of Tennessee "seldom bury the dead, but throw them into the

The Alibamans, as they were called by Bossu, denied the rite of
sepulture to suicides; they were looked upon as cowards, and their
bodies thrown into a river. The Rev. J.G. Wood[82] states that the
Ohongo or African tribe takes the body to some running stream, the
course of which has been previously diverted. A deep grave is dug in the
bed of the stream, the body placed in it, and covered over carefully.
Lastly, the stream is restored to its original course, so that all
traces of the grave are soon lost.

The Kavague also bury their common people, or wanjambo, by simply
sinking the body in some stream.

Historians inform us that Alaric was buried in a manner similar to that
employed by the Obongo, for in 410, at Cosenca, a town of Calabria, the
Goths turned aside the course of the river Vasento, and having made a
grave in the midst of its bed, where its course was most rapid, they
interred their king with a prodigious amount of wealth and riches. They
then caused the river to resume its regular course, and destroyed all
persons who had been concerned in preparing this romantic grave.

A later example of water-burial is that afforded by the funeral of De
Soto. Dying in 1542, his remains were inclosed in a wooden chest well
weighted, and committed to the turbid and tumultuous waters of the

After a careful search for well-authenticated instances of burial,
aquatic and semi-aquatic, among North American Indians, but two have
been found, which are here given. The first relates to the Gosh-Utes,
and is by Capt. J.H. Simpson:[83]

Skull Valley, which is a part of the Great Salt Lake Desert,
and which we have crossed to-day, Mr. George W. Bean, my
guide over this route last fall, says derives its name from
the number of skulls which have been found in it, and which
have arisen from the custom of the Goshute Indians burying
their dead in springs, which they sank with stones or keep
down with sticks. He says he has actually seen the Indians
bury their dead in this way near the town of Provo, where he

As corroborative of this statement, Captain Simpson mentions in another
part of the volume that, arriving at a spring one evening, they were
obliged to dig out the skeleton of an Indian from the mud at the bottom
before using the water.

This peculiar mode of burial is entirely unique, so far as known, and
but from the well-known probity of the relator might well be questioned,
especially when it is remembered that in the country spoken of water is
quite scarce and Indians are careful not to pollute the streams or
springs near which they live. Conjecture seems useless to establish a
reason for this disposition of the dead, unless we are inclined to
attribute it to the natural indolence of the savage, or a desire to
poison the springs for white persons.

The second example is by George Catlin,[84] and relates to the Chinook:

* * * This little cradle has a strap which passes over the
woman forehead whilst the cradle rides on her back, and if
the child dies during its subjection to this rigid mode,
its cradle becomes its coffin, forming a little canoe, in
which it lies floating on the water in some sacred pool,
where they are often in the habit of fastening their canoes
containing the dead bodies of the old and young, or, which
in often the case, elevated into the branches of trees,
where their bodies are left to decay and their bones to dry
whilst they are bandaged in many skins and curiously packed
in their canoes, with paddles to propel and ladles to bale
them out, and provisions to last and pipes to smoke as they
are performing their "long journey after death to their
contemplated hunting grounds," which these people think is
to be performed in their canoes.

[Illustration: Fig. 30--Mourning Cradle]

Figure 30, after Catlin, is a representation of a mourning-cradle.
Figure 31 represents the sorrowing mother committing the body of her
dead child to the mercy of the elements.


This is a term quaintly used by the learned M. Pierre Muret to express
the devouring of the dead by birds and animals or the surviving friends
and relatives. Exposure of the dead to animals and birds has already
been mentioned, but in the absence of any positive proof, it is not
believed that the North American Indians followed the custom, although
cannibalism may have prevailed to a limited extent. It is true that a
few accounts are given by authors, but these are considered apochryphal
in character, and the one mentioned is only offered to show how
credulous were the early writers on American natives.

That such a means of disposing of the dead was not in practice is
somewhat remarkable when we take into consideration how many analogies
been found in comparing old and new world funeral observances, and the
statements made by Bruhier, Lafitau, Muret, and others, who give a
number of examples of this peculiar mode of burial.

For instance, the Tartars sometimes ate their dead, and the Massagetics,
Padaeans, Derbices, and Effedens did the same, having previously
strangled the aged and mixed their flesh with mutton. Horace and
Tertulian both affirm that the Irish and ancient Britons devoured the
dead, and Lafitau remarks that certain Indians of South America did the
same, esteeming this mode of disposal more honorable and much to be
preferred than to rot and be eaten by worms.

J.G. Wood, in his work already quoted, states that the Fans of Africa
devour their dead, but this disposition is followed only for the common
people, the kings and chiefs being buried with much ceremony.

The following extract is from Lafitau:[85]

Dans l'Amerique Meridionale quelque Peuples decharnent les
corps de leurs Guerriers et les mangent leurs chairs, ainsi
que je viens de le dire, et apres les avoir consumees, ils
conservent pendant quelque temps leurs cadavres avec respect
dans leurs Cabanes, et il portent ces squeletes dans les
combats en guise d'Etendard, pour ranimer leur courage par
cette vue et inspirer de la terreur a leurs ennemis. * * *

Il est vrai qu'il y en a qui font festin des cadavres de
leurs parens; mais il est faux qu'elles les mettent a mort
dans leur vieillesse, pour avoir le plaisir de se nourrir de
leur chair, et d'en faire un repas. Quelques Nations de
l'Amerique Meridionale, qui ont encore cette coutume de
manger les corps morts de leurs parens, n'en usent ainsi que
par piete, piete mal entendue a la verite, mais piete
coloree neanmoins par quelque ombre de raison; car ils
croyent leur donner une sepulture bien plus honorable.

To the credit of our savages, this barbarous and revolting practice is
not believed to have been practiced by them.


The above subjects are coincident with burial, and some of them,
particularly mourning, have been more or less treated of in this paper,
yet it may be of advantage to here give a few of the collected examples,
under separate heads.


One of the most carefully described scenes of mourning at the death of a
chief of the Crows is related in the life of Beckwourth,[86] who for
many years lived among this people, finally attaining great distinction
as a warrior.

I dispatched a herald to the village to inform them of the
head chief's death, and then, burying him according to his
directions, we slowly proceeded homewards. My very soul
sickened at the contemplation of the scenes that would be
enacted at my arrival. When we drew in sight of the village,
we found every lodge laid prostrate. We entered amid
shrieks, cries, and yells. Blood was streaming from every
conceivable part of the bodies of all who were old enough to
comprehend their loss. Hundreds of fingers were dismembered;
hair torn from the head lay in profusion about the paths;
wails and moans in every direction assailed the ear, where
unrestrained joy had a few hours before prevailed. This
fearful mourning lasted until evening of the next day. * * *

A herald having been dispatched to our other villages to
acquaint them with the death of our head chief, and request
them to assemble at the Rose Bud, in order to meet our
village and devote themselves to a general time of mourning,
there met, in conformity to the summons, over ten thousand
Crows at the place indicated. Such a scene of disorderly,
vociferous mourning, no imagination can conceive nor any pen
portray. Long Hair cut off a large roll of his hair; a thing
he was never known to do before. The cutting and hacking of
human flesh exceeded all my previous experience; fingers
were dismembered as readily as twigs, and blood was poured
out like water. Many of the warriors would cut two gashes
nearly the entire length of their arm; then, separating the
skin from the flesh at one end, would grasp it in their
other hand, and rip it asunder to the shoulder. Others would
carve various devices upon their breasts and shoulders, and
raise the skin in the same manner to make the scars show to
advantage after the wound was healed. Some of their
mutilations were ghastly, and my heart sickened to look at
them, but they would not appear to receive any pain from

It should be remembered that many of Beckwourth's statements are to be
taken _cum grana salis_.

From L.L. Mahan, United States Indian agent for the Chippewas of Lake
Superior, Red Cliff, Wisconsin, the following detailed account of
mourning has been received:

There is probably no people that exhibit more sorrow and
grief for their dead than they. The young widow mourns the
loss of her husband; by day as by night she is heard
silently sobbing; she is a constant visitor to the place of
rest; with the greatest reluctance will she follow the
raised camp. The friends and relatives of the young mourner
will incessantly devise methods to distract her mind from
the thought of her lost husband. She refuses nourishment,
but as nature is exhausted she is prevailed upon to partake
of food; the supply is scant, but on every occasion the best
and largest proportion is deposited upon the grave of her
husband. In the mean time the female relatives of the
deceased have, according to custom, submitted to her charge
a parcel made up of different cloths ornamented with
bead-work and eagle's feathers, which she is charged to keep
by her side--the place made vacant by the demise of her
husband--a reminder of her widowhood. She is therefore for a
term of twelve moons not permitted to wear any finery,
neither is she permitted to slicken up and comb her head;
this to avoid attracting attention. Once in a while a female
relative of deceased, commiserating with her grief and
sorrow, will visit her and voluntarily proceed to comb out
the long-neglected and matted hair. With a jealous eye a
vigilant watch is kept over her conduct during the term of
her widowhood, yet she is allowed the privilege to marry,
any time during her widowhood, an unmarried brother or
cousin, or a person of the same _Dodem_ [sic] (family mark)
of her husband.

At the expiration of her term, the vows having been
faithfully performed and kept, the female relatives of
deceased assemble and, with greetings commensurate to the
occasion, proceed to wash her face, comb her hair, and
attire her person with new apparel, and otherwise
demonstrating the release from her vow and restraint. Still
she has not her entire freedom. If she will still refuse to
marry a relative of the deceased and will marry another, she
then has to purchase her freedom by giving a certain amount
of goods and whatever else she might have manufactured
during her widowhood in anticipation of the future now at
hand. Frequently, though, during widowhood the vows are
disregarded and an inclination to flirt and play courtship
or form an alliance of marriage outside of the relatives of
the deceased is being indulged, and when discovered the
widow is set upon by the female relatives, her slick braided
hair is shorn close up to the back of her neck, all her
apparel and trinkets are torn from her person, and a quarrel
frequently results fatally to some member of one or the
other side.

Thomas L. McKenney[87] gives a description of the Chippewa widow which
differs slightly from the one above:

I have noticed several women here carrying with them rolls
of clothing. On inquiring what these imported, I learn that
they _are widows_ who carry them, and that these are badges
of mourning. It is indispensable, when a woman of the
Chippeway Nation loses her husband, for her to take of her
best apparel--and the whole of it is not worth a dollar--and
roll it up, and confine it by means of her husband's sashes;
and if he had ornaments, these are generally put on the top
of the roll, and around it is wrapped a piece of cloth. This
bundle is called her husband, and it is expected that she is
never to be seen without it. If she walks out she takes it
with her; if she sits down in her lodge, she places it by
her side. This badge of widowhood and of mourning the widow
is compelled to carry with her until some of her late
husband's family shall call and take it away, which is done
when they think she has mourned long enough, and which is
generally at the expiration of a year. She is then, but not
before, released from her mourning, and at liberty to marry
again. She has the privilege to take this husband to the
family of the deceased and leave it, but this is considered
indecorous, and is seldom done. Sometimes a brother of the
deceased takes the widow for his wife at the grave of her
husband, which is done by a ceremony of walking her over it.
And this he has a right to do; and when this is done she is
not required to go into mourning; or, if she chooses, she
has the right _to go to him_, and he is _bound_ to support her.

I visited a lodge to-day, where I saw one of these badges.
The size varies according to the quantity of clothing which
the widow may happen to have. It is expected of her to put
up her _best_ and wear her _worst_. The "_husband_" I saw just now
was 30 inches high and 18 inches in circumference.

I was told by the interpreter that he knew a woman who had
been left to mourn after this fashion for years, none of her
husband's family calling for the badge or token of her
grief. At a certain time it was told her that some of her
husband's family were passing, and she was advised to speak
to them on the subject. She did so, and told them she had
mourned long and was poor; that she had no means to buy
clothes, and her's being all in the mourning badge, and
sacred, could not be touched. She expressed a hope that her
request might not be interpreted into a wish to marry; it
was only made that she might be placed in a situation to get
some clothes. She got for answer, that "they were going to
Mackinac, and would think of it." They left her in this
state of uncertainty, but on returning, and finding her
faithful still, they took her "husband" and presented her
with clothing of various kinds. Thus was she rewarded for
her constancy and made comfortable.

The Choctaw widows mourn by never combing their hair for the
term of their grief, which is generally about a year. The
Chippeway men mourn by painting their faces black.

I omitted to mention that when presents are going round, the
badge of mourning, this "_husband_" comes in for an equal
share, as if it were the living husband.

A Chippeway mother, on losing her child, prepares an image
of it in the best manner she is able, and dresses it as she
did her living child, and fixes it in the kind of cradle I
have referred to, and goes through the ceremonies of nursing
it as if it were alive, by dropping little particles of food
in the direction of its mouth, and giving it of whatever the
living child partook. This ceremony also is generally
observed for a year.

Figure 32 represents the Chippewa widow holding in her arms the
substitute for the dead husband.

The substitution of a reminder for the dead husband, made from rags,
furs, and other articles, is not confined alone to the Chippewas, other
tribes having the same custom. In some instances the widows are obliged
to carry around with them, for a variable period, a bundle containing
the bones of the deceased consort.

Similar observances, according to Bancroft,[88] were followed by some
of the Central American tribes of Indians, those of the Sambos and
Mosquitos being as follows:

The widow was bound to supply the grave of her husband for a
year, after which she took up the bones and carried them
with her for another year, at last placing them upon the
roof of her house, and then only was she allowed to marry
again. On returning from the grave the property of the
deceased is destroyed, the cocoa palms being cut down, and
all who have taken part in the funeral undergo a lustration
in the river. Relatives cut off the hair, the men leaving a
ridge along the middle from the nape of the neck to the
forehead. Widows, according to some old writers, after
supplying the grave with food for a year take up the bones
and carry them on the back in the daytime, sleeping with
them at night for another year, after which they are placed
at the door or upon the house-top. On the anniversary of
deaths, friends of the deceased hold a feast, called
_serkroe,_ at which large quantities of liquor are drained
to his memory. Squier, who witnessed the ceremonies on an
occasion of this kind, says that males and females were
dressed in _ule_ cloaks fantastically painted black and
white, while their faces were correspondingly streaked with
red and yellow, and they performed a slow walk around,
prostrating themselves at intervals and calling loudly upon
the dead and tearing the ground with their hands. At no
other time is the departed referred to, the very mention of
his name being superstitiously avoided. Some tribes extend a
thread from the house of death to the grave, carrying it in
a straight line over every obstacle. Froeebel states that
among the Woolwas all property of the deceased is buried
with him, and that both husband and wife cut the hair and
burn the hut on the death of either, placing a gruel of
maize upon the grave for a certain time.

Benson[89] gives the following account of the Choctaws' funeral
ceremonies, embracing the disposition of the body, mourning feast and

Their funeral is styled by them "the last cry."

When the husband dies the friends assemble, prepare the
grave, and place the corpse in it, but do not fill it up.
The gun, bow and arrows, hatchet, and knife are deposited in
the grave. Poles are planted at the head and the foot, upon
which flags are placed; the grave is then inclosed by
pickets driven in the ground. The funeral ceremonies now
begin, the widow being the chief mourner. At night and
morning she will go to the grave and pour forth the most
piteous cries and wailings. It is not important that any
other member of the family should take any very active part
in the "cry," though they do participate to some extent.

The widow wholly neglects her toilet, while she daily goes
to the grave during one entire moon from the date when the
death occurred. On the evening of the last day of the moon
the friends all assemble at the cabin of the disconsolate
widow, bringing provisions for a sumptuous feast, which
consists of corn and jerked beef boiled together in a
kettle. While the supper is preparing the bereaved wife goes
to the grave and pours out, with unusual vehemence, her
bitter wailings and lamentations. When the food is
thoroughly cooked the kettle is taken from the fire and
placed in the center of the cabin, and the friends gather
around it, passing the buffalo-horn spoon from hand to hand
and from mouth to mouth till all have been bountifully
supplied. While supper is being served, two of the oldest
men of the company quietly withdraw and go to the grave and
fill it up, taking down the flags. All then join in a dance,
which not unfrequently is continued till morning; the widow
does not fail to unite in the dance, and to contribute her
part to the festivities of the occasion. This is the "_last
cry_," the days of mourning are ended, and the widow is now
ready to form another matrimonial alliance. The ceremonies
are precisely the same when a man has lost his wife, and
they are only slightly varied when any other member of the
family has died. (Slaves were buried without ceremonies.)


Some examples of human sacrifice have already been given in connection
with another subject, but it is thought others might prove interesting.
The first relates to the Natchez of Louisiana.[90]

When their sovereign died he was accompanied in the grave by
his wives and by several of his subjects. The lesser Suns
took care to follow the same custom. The law likewise
condemned every Natchez to death who had married a girl of
the blood of the Suns as soon as she was expired. On this
occasion I must tell you the history of an Indian who was
noways willing to submit to this law. His name was
_Elteacteal_; he contracted an alliance with the Suns, but
the consequences which this honor brought along with it had
like to have proved very unfortunate to him. His wife fell
sick; as soon as he saw her at the point of death he fled,
embarked in a piragua on the _Mississippi,_ and came to New
Orleans. He put himself under the protection of M. de
Bienville, the then governor, and offered to be his
huntsman. The governor accepted his services, and interested
himself for him with the Natchez, who declared that he had
nothing more to fear, because the ceremony was past, and he
was accordingly no longer a lawful prize.

_Elteacteal_, being thus assured, ventured to return to his
nation, and, without settling among them, he made several
voyages thither. He happened to be there when the Sun called
the _Stung Serpent_, brother to the Great Sun, died. He was
a relative of the late wife of _Elteacteal_, and they
resolved to make him pay his debt. M. de Bienville had been
recalled to France, and the sovereign of the Natchez thought
that the protector's absence had annulled the reprieve
granted to the protected person, and accordingly he caused
him to be arrested. As soon as the poor fellow found himself
in the hut of the grand chief of war, together with the
other victims destined to be sacrificed to the _Stung
Serpent_, he gave vent to the excess of his grief. The
favorite wife of the late Son, who was likewise to be
sacrificed, and who saw the preparations for her death with
firmness, and seemed impatient to rejoin her husband,
hearing _Elteacteal's_ complaints and groans, said to him:
"Art thou no warrior?" He answered, "Yes: I am one."
"However," said she, "thou cryest; life is dear to thee, and
as that is the case, it is not good that thou shouldst go
along with us; go with the women." _Elteacteal_ replied:
"True; life is dear to me. It would be well if I walked yet
on earth till to the death of the Great Sun, and I would die
with him." "Go thy way," said the favorite, "it is not fit
thou shouldst go with us, and that thy heart should remain
behind on earth. Once more, get away, and let me see thee no

_Elteacteal_ did not stay to hear this order repeated to
him; he disappeared like lightning; three old women, two of
which were his relatives, offered to pay his debt; their age
and their infirmities had disgusted them of life; none of
them had been able to use their legs for a great while. The
hair of the two that were related to _Elteacteal_ was no
more gray than those of women of fifty-five years in France.
the other old woman was a hundred and twenty years old, and
had very white hair, which is a very uncommon thing among
the Indians. None of the three had a quite wrinkled skin.
They were dispatched in the evening, one at the door of the
_Stung Serpent_, and the other two upon the place before the
temple. * * * A cord is fastened round their necks with a
slip-knot, and eight men of their relations strangle them by
drawing, four one way and four the other. So many are not
necessary, but as they acquire nobility by such executions,
there are always more than are wanting, and the operation is
performed in an instant. The generosity of these women gave
_Elteacteal_ life again, acquired him the degree of
_considered_, and cleared his honor, which he had sullied by
fearing death. He remained quiet after that time, and taking
advantage of what he had learned during his stay among the
French, he became a juggler and made use of his knowledge to
impose upon his countrymen.

The morning after this execution they made everything ready
for the convoy, and the hour being come, the great master of
the ceremonies appeared at the door of the hut, adorned
suitably to his quality. The victims who were to accompany
the deceased prince into the mansion of the spirits came
forth; they consisted of the favorite wife of the deceased,
of his second wife, his chancellor, his physician, his hired
man, that is, his first servant, and of some old women.

The favorite went to the Great Sun, with whom there were
several Frenchmen, to take leave of him; she gave orders for
the Suns of both sexes that were her children to appear, and
spoke to the following effect:

"Children, this is the day on which I am to tear myself from
you (_sic_) arms and to follow your father's steps, who
waits for me in the country of the spirits; if I were to
yield to your tears I would injure my love and fail in my
duty. I have done enough for you by bearing you next to my
heart, and by suckling you with my breasts. You that are
descended of his blood and fed by my milk, ought you to shed
tears? Rejoice rather that you are _Suns_ and warriors; you
are bound to give examples of firmness and valor to the
whole nation: go, my children, I have provided for all your
wants, by procuring you friends; my friends and those of
your father are yours too; I leave you amidst them; they are
the French; they are tender-hearted and generous; make
yourselves worthy of their esteem by not degenerating from
your race; always act openly with them and never implore
them with meanness.

"And you, Frenchmen," added she, turning herself towards our
officers, "I recommend my orphan children to you; they will
know no other fathers than you; you ought to protect them."

After that she got up; and, followed by her troop, returned
to her husband's hut with a surprising firmness.

A noble woman came to join herself to the number of victims
of her own accord, being engaged by the friendship she bore
the _Stung Serpent_ to follow him into the other world. The
Europeans called her the _haughty_ lady, on account of her
majestic deportment and her proud air, and because she only
frequented the company of the most distinguished Frenchmen.
They regretted her much, because she had the knowledge of
several simples with which she had saved the lives of many
of our sick. This moving sight filled our people with grief
and horror. The favorite wife of the deceased rose up and
spoke to them with a smiling countenance: "I die without
fear;" said she, "grief does not embitter my last hours. I
recommend my children to you; whenever you see them, noble
Frenchmen, remember that you have loved their father, and
that he was till death a true and sincere friend of your
nation, whom he loved more than himself. The disposer of
life has been pleased to call him, and I shall soon go and
join him; I shall tell him that I have seen your hearts
moved at the sight of his corps; do not be grieved; we shall
be longer friends in the _country of the spirits_ than here,
because we do not die there again."[91]

These words forced tears from the eyes of all the French;
they were obliged to do all they could to prevent the Great
Sun from killing himself, for he was inconsolable at the
death of his brother, upon whom he was used to lay the
weight of government, he being great chief of war of the
Natches, i.e. generalissimo of their armies; that prince
grew furious by the resistance he met with; he held his gun
by the barrel, and the Sun, his presumptive heir, held it by
the lock, and caused the powder to fall out of the pan; the
hut was full of Suns, Nobles, and Honorables[92] but the
French raised their spirits again, by hiding all the arms
belonging to the sovereign, and filling the barrel of his
gun with water, that it might be unfit for use for some

As soon as the Suns saw their sovereign's life in safety,
they thanked the French, by squeezing their hands, but
without speaking; a most profound silence reigned
throughout, for grief and awe kept in bounds the multitude
that were present.

The wife of the Great Sun was seized with fear during this
transaction. She was asked whether she was ill, and she
answered aloud, "Yes, I am"; and added with a lower voice,
"If the Frenchmen go out of this hut, my husband dies and
all the Natches will die with him; stay, then, brave
Frenchmen, because your words are as powerful as arrows;
besides, who could have ventured to do what you have done?
But you are his true friends and those of his brother."
Their laws obliged the Great Sun's wife to follow her
husband in the grave; this was doubtless the cause of her
fears; and likewise the gratitude towards the French, who
interested themselves in behalf of his life, prompted her to
speak in the above-mentioned manner.

The Great Sun gave his hand to the officers, and said to
them: "My friends, my heart is so overpowered with grief
that, though my eyes were open, I have not taken notice that
you have been standing all this while, nor have I asked you
to sit down; but pardon the excess of my affliction."

The Frenchmen told him that he had no need of excuses; that
they were going to leave him alone, but that they would
cease to be his friends unless he gave orders to light the
fires again,[93] lighting his own before them; and that they
should not leave him till his brother was buried.

He took all the Frenchmen by the hands, and said: "Since all
the chiefs and noble officers will have me stay on earth, I
will do it; I will not kill myself; let the fires be lighted
again immediately, and I'll wait till death joins me to my
brother; I am already old, and till I die I shall walk with
the French; had it not been for them I should have gone with
my brother, and all the roads would have been covered with
dead bodies."

Improbable as this account may appear, it has nevertheless been credited
by some of the wisest and most careful of ethnological writers, and its
seeming appearance of romance disappears when the remembrance of similar
ceremonies among Old World peoples comes to our minds.

An apparently well-authenticated case of attempted burial sacrifice is
described by Miss A.J. Allen,[94] and refers to the Wascopums, of

At length, by meaning looks and gestures rather than words,
it was found that the chief had determined that the deceased
boy's friend, who had been his companion in hunting the
rabbit, snaring the pheasant, and fishing in the streams,
was to be his companion to the spirit land; his son should
not be deprived of his associate in the strange world to
which he had gone; that associate should perish by the hand
of his father, and be conveyed with him to the dead-house.
This receptacle was built on a long, black rock in the
center of the Columbia River, around which, being so near
the falls, the current was amazingly rapid. It was thirty
feet in length, and perhaps half that in breadth, completely
enclosed and sodded except at one end, where was a narrow
aperture just sufficient to carry a corpse through. The
council overruled, and little George, instead of being
slain, was conveyed living to the dead-house about sunset.
The dead were piled on each side, leaving a narrow aisle
between, and on one of these was placed the deceased boy;
and, bound tightly till the purple, quivering flesh puffed
above the strong bark cords, that he might die very soon,
the living was placed by his side, his face to his till the
very lips met, and extending along limb to limb and foot to
foot, and nestled down into his couch of rottenness, to
impede his breathing as far as possible and smother his

Bancroft[95] states that--

the slaves sacrificed at the graves by the Aztecs and
Tarascos were selected from various trades and professions,
and took with them the most cherished articles of the master
and the implements of their trade wherewith to supply his

while among certain of the Central American tribe death was voluntary,
wives, attendants, slaves, friends, and relations sacrificing themselves
by means of a vegetable poison.

To the mind of a savage man unimpressed with the idea that self-murder
is forbidden by law or custom, there can seem no reason why, if he so
wills, he should not follow his beloved chief, master, or friend to the
"happy other world;" and when this is remembered we need not feel
astonished as we read of accounts in which scores of self immolations
are related. It is quite likely that among our own people similar
customs might be followed did not the law and society frown down such
proceedings. In fact the daily prints occasionally inform us,
notwithstanding the restraints mentioned, that sacrifices do take place
on the occasion of the death of a beloved one.


In Beltrami[96] an account is given of the funeral ceremonies of one of
the tribes of the west, including a description of the feast which took
place before the body was consigned to its final resting-place:

I was a spectator of the funeral ceremony performed in honor
of the manes of _Cloudy Weather's_ son-in-law, whose body
had remained with the Sioux, and was suspected to have
furnished one of their repasts. What appeared not a little
singular and indeed ludicrous in this funeral comedy was the
contrast exhibited by the terrific lamentations and yells of
one part of the company while the others were singing and
dancing with all their might.

At another funeral ceremony for a member of the _Grand
Medicine_, and at which as _a man of another world_ I was
permitted to attend, the same practice occurred. But at the
feast which took place on that occasion an allowance was
served up for the deceased out of every article of which it
consisted, while others were beating, wounding, and
torturing themselves, and letting their blood flow both over
the dead man and his provisions, thinking possibly that this
was the most palatable seasoning for the latter which they
could possibly supply. His wife furnished out an
entertainment present for him of all her hair and rags,
with which, together with his arms, his provisions, his
ornaments, and his mystic medicine bag, he was wrapped up in
the skin which had been his last covering when alive. He was
then tied round with the bark of some particular trees which
they use for making cords, and bonds of a very firm texture
and hold (the only ones indeed which they have), and instead
of being buried in the earth was hung up to a large oak. The
reason of this was that, as his favorite Manitou was the
eagle, his spirit would be enabled more easily from such a
situation to fly with him to Paradise.

Hind[97] mentions an account of a burial feast by De Brebeuf which
occurred among the Hurons of New York:

The Jesuit missionary, P. de Brebeuf, who assisted at one of
the "feasts of the dead" at the village of Ossosane, before
the dispersion of the Hurons, relates that the ceremony took
place in the presence of 2,000 Indians, who offered 1,300
presents at the common tomb, in testimony of their grief.
The people belonging to five large villages deposited the
bones of their dead in a gigantic shroud, composed of
forty-eight robes, each robe being made of ten beaver skins.
After being carefully wrapped in this shroud, they were
placed between moss and bark. A wall of stones was built
around this vast ossuary to preserve it from profanation.
Before covering the bones with earth a few grains of Indian
corn were thrown by the women upon the sacred relics.
According to the superstitious belief of the Hurons the
souls of the dead remain near the bodies until the "feast of
the dead"; after which ceremony they become free, and can at
once depart for the land of spirits, which they believe to
be situated in the regions of the setting sun.

Ossuaries have not been used by savage nations alone, for the custom of
exhuming the bones of the dead after a certain period, and collecting
them in suitable receptacles, is well known to have been practiced in
Italy, Switzerland, and France. The writer saw in the church-yard of
Zug, Switzerland, in 1857, a slatted pen containing the remains of
hundreds of individuals. These had been dug up from the grave-yard and
preserved in the manner indicated. The catacombs of Naples and Paris
afford examples of burial ossuaries.


The following account is by Dr. S.G. Wright, acting physician to the
Leech Lake Agency, Minnesota:--

Pagan Indians or those who have not become Christians still
adhere to the ancient practice of feasting at the grave of
departed friends; the object is to feast with the departed;
that is, they believe that while they partake of the visible
material the departed spirit partakes at the same time of
the spirit that dwells in the food. From ancient time it was
customary to bury with the dead various articles, such
especially as were most valued in lifetime. The idea was
that there was a spirit dwelling in the article represented
by the material article; thus the war-club contained a
spiritual war-club, the pipe a spiritual pipe, which could
be used by the departed in another world. These several
spiritual implements were supposed, of course, to accompany
the soul, to be used also on the way to its final abode.
This habit has now ceased.


This subject has been sufficiently mentioned elsewhere in connection
with other matters and does not need to be now repeated. It has been an
almost universal custom throughout the whole extent of the country to
place food in or near the grave of deceased persons.


Gymnastic exercises, dignified with this name, upon the occasion of a
death or funeral, were common to many tribes. It is thus described by

An occasional and very singular figure was called the "dance
for the dead." It was known as the _O-ke-wa._ It was danced
by the women alone. The music was entirely vocal, a select
band of singers being stationed in the center of the room.
To the songs for the dead which they sang the dancers joined
in chorus. It was plaintive and mournful music. This dance
was usually separate from all councils and the only dance of
the occasion. It was commenced at dusk or soon after and
continued until towards morning, when the shades of the dead
who were believed to be present and participate in the dance
were supposed to disappear. The dance was had whenever a
family which had lost a member called for it, which was
usually a year after the event. In the spring and fall it
was often given for all the dead indiscriminately, who were
believed then to revisit the earth and join in the dance.

The interesting account which now follows is by Stephen Powers[99] and
relates to the Yo-kai-a of California, containing other matters of
importance pertaining to burial:

I paid a visit to their camp four miles below Ukiah, and
finding there a unique kind of assembly-house, desired to
enter and examine it, but was not allowed to do so until I
had gained the confidence of the old sexton by a few
friendly words and the tender of a silver half dollar. The
pit of it was about 50 feet in diameter and 4 or 5 feet
deep, and it was so heavily roofed with earth that the
interior was damp and somber as a tomb. It looked like a low
tumulus, and was provided with a tunnel-like entrance about
10 feet long and 4 feet high, and leading down to a level
with the floor of the pit. The mouth of the tunnel was
closed with brush, and the venerable sexton would not remove
it until he had slowly and devoutly paced several times to
and fro before the entrance.

Passing in I found the massive roof supported by a number of
peeled poles painted white and ringed with black and
ornamented with rude devices. The floor was covered thick
and green with sprouting wheat, which had been scattered to
feed the spirit of the captain of the tribe, lately
deceased. Not long afterwards a deputation of the Senel come
up to condole with the Yo-kai-a on the loss of their chief,
and a dance or series of dances was held which lasted three
days. During this time of course the Senel were the guests
of the Yo-kai-a, and the latter were subjected to a
considerable expense. I was prevented by other engagements
from being present, and shall be obliged to depend on the
description of an eye-witness, Mr. John Tenney, whose
account is here given with a few changes:

There are four officials connected with the building, who
are probably chosen to preserve order and to allow no
intruders. They are the assistants of the chief. The
invitation to attend was from one of them, and admission was
given by the same. These four wore black vests trimmed with
red flannel and shell ornaments. The chief made no special
display on the occasion. In addition to these four, who were
officers of the assembly-chamber, there were an old man and
a young woman, who seemed to be priest and priestess. The
young woman was dressed differently from any other, the
rest dressing in plain calico dresses. Her dress was white
covered with spots of red flannel, cut in neat figure,
ornamented with shells. It looked gorgeous and denoted some
office, the name of which I could not ascertain. Before the
visitors were ready to enter, the older men of the tribe
were reclining around the fire smoking and chatting. As the
ceremonies were about to commence, the old man and young
woman were summoned, and, standing at the end opposite the
entrance, they inaugurated the exercises by a brief service,
which seemed to be a dedication of the house to the
exercises about to commence. Each of them spoke a few words,
joined in a brief chant, and the house was thrown open for
their visitors. They staid at their post until the visitors
entered and were seated on one side of the room. After the
visitors then others were seated, making about 200 in all,
though there was plenty of room in the center for the

Before the dance commented the chief of the visiting tribe
made a brief speech in which he no doubt referred to the
death of the chief of the Yo-kai-n, and offered the sympathy
of his tribe in this loss. As he spoke, some of the women
scarcely refrained from crying out, and with difficulty they
suppressed their sobs. I presume that he proposed a few
moments of mourning, for when he stopped the whole
assemblage burst forth into a bitter wailing, some screaming
as if in agony. The whole thing created such a din that I
was compelled to stop my ears. The air was rent and pierced
with their cries. This wailing and shedding of tears lasted
about three or five minutes, though it seemed to last a half
hour. At a given signal they ceased, wiped their eyes, and
quieted down.

Then preparations were made for the dance. One end of the
room was set aside for the dressing-room. The chief actors
wens five men, who were muscular and agile. They were
profusely decorated with paint and feathers, while white and
dark stripes covered their bodies. They were girt about the
middle with cloth of bright colors, sometimes with
variegated shawls. A feather mantle hung from the shoulder,
reaching below the knee; strings of shells ornamented the
neck, while their heads were covered with a crown of eagle
feathers. They had whistles in their months as they danced,
swaying their heads, bending and whirling their bodies;
every muscle seemed to be exercised, and the feather
ornaments quivered with light. They were agile and graceful
as they bounded about in the sinuous course of the dance.

The five men were assisted by a semicircle of twenty women,
who only marked time by stepping up and down with short
step. They always took their places first and disappeared
first, the men making their exit gracefully one by one. The
dresses of the women were suitable for the occasion. They
were white dresses, trimmed heavily with black velvet. The
stripes were about three inches wide, some plain and others
edged like saw teeth. This was an indication of their
mourning for the dead chief, in whose honor they had
prepared that style of dancing. Strings of haliotis and
pachydesma shell beads encircled their necks, and around
their waists were belts heavily loaded with the same
material. Their head-dresses were more showy than those of
the men. The head was encircled with a bandeau of otters' or
beavers' fur, to which were attached short wires standing
out in all directions, with glass or shell beads strung on
them, and at the tips little feather flags and quail plumes.
Surmounting all was a pyramidal plume of feathers, black,
gray, and scarlet, the top generally being a bright scarlet
bunch, waving and tossing very beautifully. All these
combined gave their heads a very brilliant and spangled

The first day the dance was slow and funereal, in honor of
the Yo-kai-a chief who died a short time before. The music
was mournful and simple, being a monotonous chant in which
only two tones were used, accompanied with a rattling of
split sticks and stamping on a hollow slab. The second day
the dance was more lively on the part of the men, the music
was better, employing airs which had a greater range of
tune, and the women generally joined in the chorus. The
dress of the women was not so beautiful, as they appeared in
ordinary calico. The third day, if observed in accordance
with Indian custom, the dancing was still more lively and
the proceedings more gay, just as the coming home from a
Christian funeral is apt to be much more jolly than the
going out.

A Yo-kai-a widow's style of mourning is peculiar. In
addition to the usual evidences of grief, she mingles the
ashes of her dead husband with pitch, making a white tar or
unguent, with which she smears a band about two inches wide
all around the edge of the hair (which is previously cut off
close to the head), so that at a little distance she appears
to be wearing a white chaplet.

It is their custom to "feed the spirits of the dead" for the
space of one year by going daily to places which they were
accustomed to frequent while living, where they sprinkle
pinole upon the ground. A Yo-kai-a mother who has lost her
babe goes every day for a year to some place where her
little one played when alive, or to the spot where the body
was burned, and milks her breasts into the air. This is
accompanied by plaintive mourning and weeping and piteous
calling upon her little one to return, and sometimes she
sings a hoarse and melancholy chant, and dances with a wild
static swaying of the body.


It has nearly always been customary to sing songs at not only funerals,
but for varying periods of time afterwards, although these chants may no
doubt occasionally have been simply wailing or mournful ejaculation. A
writer[100] mentions it as follows:

At almost all funerals there is an irregular crying kind of
singing, with no accompaniments, but generally all do not
sing the same melody at the same time in unison. Several may
sing the same song and at the same time, but each begins and
finishes when he or she may wish. Often for weeks, or even
months, after the decease of a dear friend, a living one,
usually a woman, will sit by her house and sing or cry by
the hour, and they also sing for a short time when they
visit the grave or meet an esteemed friend whom they have
not seen since the decease. At the funeral both men and
women sing. No. 11 I have heard more frequently some time
after the funeral, and No. 12 at the time of the funeral, by
the Twanos, (For song see p. 251 of the magazine quoted.)
The words are simply an exclamation of grief, as our word
"alas," but they also have other words which they use, and
sometimes they use merely the syllable _la_. Often the notes
are sung in this order, and sometimes not, but in some order
the notes _do_ and _la,_ and occasionally _mi,_ are sung.

Some pages back will be found a reference, and the words of a peculiar
death dirge sung by the Senel of California, as related by Mr. Powers.
It is as follows:


Mr. John Campbell, of Montreal, Canada, has kindly called the attention
of the writer to death songs very similar in character; for instance,
the Basques of Spain ululate thus:

Lelo il Lelo, Lelo dead Lelo,
Lelo il Lelo,
Lelo zarat, Lelo zara,
Il Lelon killed Lelo.

This was called the "ululating Lelo." Mr. Campbell says:

This again connects with the Linns or Ailinus of the Greeks
and Egyptians * * * which Wilkinson connects with the Coptic
"ya lay-lee-ya lail." The Alleluia which Lescarbot heard the
South Americans sing must have been the same wail. The Greek
verb [Greek: ololuzo] and the Latin ululare, with an English
howl and wail, are probably derived from this ancient form
of lamentation.

In our own time a writer on the manner and customs of the Creeks
describes a peculiar alleluia or hallelujah he heard, from which he
inferred that the American Indians must be the descendants of the lost
tribes of Israel.


It is not proposed to describe under this heading examples of those
athletic and gymnastic performances following the death of a person
which have been described by Lafitau, but simply to call attention to a
practice as a secondary or adjunct part of the funeral rites, which
consists in gambling for the possession of the property of the defunct.
Dr. Charles E. McChesney, U.S.A., who for some time was stationed
among the Wahpeton and Sisseton Sioux, furnishes a detailed and
interesting account of what is called the "ghost gamble." This is played
with marked wild-plum stones. So far as ascertained it is peculiar to
the Sioux. Figure 33 appears as a fair illustration of the manner in
which this game is played.

After the death of a wealthy Indian the near relatives take
charge of the effects, and at a stated time--usually at the
time of the first feast held over the bundle containing the
lock of hair--they are divided into many small piles, so as
to give all the Indians invited to play an opportunity to
win something. One Indian is selected to represent the ghost
and he plays against all the others, who are not required to
stake anything on the result, but simply invited to take
part in the ceremony, which is usually held in the lodge of
the dead person, in which is contained the bundle inclosing
the lock of hair. In cases where the ghost himself is not
wealthy the stakes are furnished by his rich friends, should
he have any. The players are called in one at a time, and
play singly against the ghost's representative, the gambling
being done in recent years by means of cards. If the invited
player succeeds in beating the ghost, he takes one of the
piles of goods and passes out, when another is invited to
play, &c., until all the piles of goods are won. In cases of
men only the men play, and in cases of women the women only
take part in the ceremony.

Before white men came among these Indians and taught them
many of his improved vices, this game was played by means of
figured plum-seeds, the men using eight and the women seven
seeds, figured as follows, and shown in Figure 34.

Two seeds are simply blackened on one side, the reverse
containing nothing. Two seeds are black on one side, with a
small spot of the color of the seed left in the center, the
reverse side having a black spot in the center, the body
being plain. Two seeds have a buffalo's head on one side and
the reverse simply two crossed black lines. There is but one
seed of this kind in the set used by the women. Two seeds
have half of one side blackened and the rest left plain, so
as to represent a half moon; the reverse has a black
longitudinal line crossed at right angles by six small ones.
There are six throws whereby the player can win, and five
that entitle him to another throw. The winning throws are as
follows, each winner taking a pile of the ghost's goods:

[Illustration: Fig. 47--Auxiliary throw No 5.]

Two plain ones up, two plain with black spots up, buffalo's
head up, and two half moons up wins a pile. Two plain black
ones up, two black with natural spots up, two longitudinally
crossed ones up, and the transversely crossed one up wins a
pile. Two plain black ones up, two black with natural spots
up, two half moons up, and the transversely crossed one up
wins a pile. Two plain black ones, two black with natural
spots up, two half moons up, and the buffalo's head up wins
a pile. Two plain ones up, two with black spots up, two
longitudinally crossed ones up, and the transversely crossed
one up wins a pile. Two plain ones up, two with black spots
up, buffalo's head up, and two long crossed up wins a pile.
The following auxiliary throws entitle to another chance to
win: two plain ones up, two with black spots up, one half
moon up, one longitudinally crossed one up, and buffalo's
head up gives another throw, and on this throw, if the two
plain ones up and two with black spots with either of the
half moons or buffalo's head up, the player takes a pile.
Two plain ones up, two with black spots up, two half moons
up, and the transversely crossed one up entitles to another
throw, when, if all of the black sides come up, excepting
one, the throw wins. One of the plain ones up and all the
rest with black sides up gives another throw, and the same
then turning up wins. One of the plain black ones up with
that side up of all the others having the least black on
gives another throw, when the same turning up again wins.
One half moon up, with that side up of all the others having
the least black on gives another throw, and if the throw is
then duplicated it wins. The eighth seed, used by the men,
has its place in their game whenever its facings are
mentioned above. I transmit with this paper a set of these
figured seeds, which can be used to illustrate the game if
desired. These seeds are said to be nearly a hundred years
old, and sets of them are now very rare.

For assisting in obtaining this account Dr. McChesney acknowledges his
indebtedness to Dr. C.C. Miller, physician to the Sisseton Indian

Figures 35 to 45 represent the appearance of the plum stones and the
different throws; these have been carefully drawn from the set of stones
sent by Dr. McChesney.


These are placed at the head or foot of the grave, or at both ends, and
have painted or carved on them a history of the deceased or his family,
certain totemic characters, or, according to Schoolcraft, not the
achievements of the dead, but of those warriors who assisted and danced
at the interment. The northwest tribes and others frequently plant poles
near the graves, suspending therefrom bite of rag, flags, horses' tails,
&c. The custom among the present Indians does not exist to any extent.
Beltrami[101] speaks of it as follows:

Here I saw a most singular union. One of these graves was
surmounted by a cross, whilst upon another close to it a
trunk of a tree was raised, covered with hieroglyphics
recording the number of enemies slain by the tenant of the
tomb and several of his tutelary Manitous.

The following extract from Schoolcraft[102] relates to the burial posts
used by the Sioux and Chippewas. Figure 40 is after the picture given by
this author in connection with the account quoted:

Among the Sioux and Western Chippawas, after the body had
been wrapped in its best clothes and ornaments, it is then
placed on a scaffold or in a tree until the flesh is entirely
decayed, after which the bones are buried and grave-posts
fixed. At the head of the grave a tubular piece of cedar or
other wood, called the _adjedatig,_ is set. This grave-board
contains the symbolic or representative figure, which
records, if it be a warrior, his totem, that is to say the
symbol of his family, or surname, and such arithmetical or
other devices as seem to denote how many times the deceased
has been in war parties, and how many scalps he has taken
from the enemy--two facts from which his reputation is
essentially to be derived. It is seldom that more is
attempted in the way of inscription. Often, however,
distinguished chiefs have their war flag, or, in modern
days, a small ensign of American fabric, displayed on a
standard at the head of their graves, which is left to fly
over the deceased till it is wasted by the elements. Scalps
of their enemies, feathers of the bald or black eagle, the
swallow-tailed falcon, or some carnivorous bird, are also
placed, in such instances, on the _adjedatig,_ or suspended,
with offerings of various kinds, on a separate staff. But
the latter are superadditions of a religious character, and
belong to the class of the Ke-ke-wa-o-win-an-tig (_ante_,
No. 4). The building of a funeral fire on recent graves is
also a rite which belongs to the consideration of their
religious faith.


It is extremely difficult to determine why the custom of building fires
on or near graves was originated, some authors stating that the soul
thereby underwent a certain process of purification, others that demons
were driven away by them, and again that they were to afford light to
the wandering soul setting out for the spirit land. One writer states

The Algonkins believed that the fire lighted nightly on the
grave was to light the spirit on its journey. By a
coincidence to be explained by the universal sacredness of
the number, both Algonkins and Mexicans maintained it for
four nights consecutively. The former related the tradition
that one of their ancestors returned from the spirit land
and informed their nation that the journey thither consumed
just four days, and that collecting fuel every night added
much to the toil and fatigue the soul encountered, all of
which could be spared it.

So it would appear that the belief existed that the fire was also
intended to assist the spirit in preparing its repast.

Stephen Powers[103] gives a tradition current among the Yurok of
California as to the use of fires:

After death they keep a fire burning certain nights in the
vicinity of the grave. They hold and believe, at least the
"Big Indians" do, that the spirits of the departed are
compelled to cross an extremely attenuated greasy pole,
which bridges over the chasm of the debatable land, and that
they require the fire to light them on their darksome
journey. A righteous soul traverses the pole quicker than a
wicked one, hence they regulate the number of nights for
burning a light according to the character for goodness or
the opposite which the deceased possessed in this world.

Dr. Emil Bessels, of the Polaris expedition, informs the writer that a
somewhat similar belief obtains among the Esquimaux.

Figure 47 is a fair illustration of a grave-fire; it also shows one of
the grave-posts mentioned in a previous section.


An entire volume might well be written which should embrace only an
account of the superstitious regarding death and burial among the
Indians, so thoroughly has the matter been examined and discussed by
various authors, and yet so much still remains to be commented on, but
in this work, which is mainly tentative, and is hoped will be
provocative of future efforts, it is deemed sufficient to give only a
few accounts. The first is by Dr. W. Mathews, United States Army,[104]
and relates to the Hidatsa:

When a Hidatsa dies, his shade lingers four nights around
the camp or village in which he died, and then goes to the
lodge of his departed kindred in the "village of the dead."
When he has arrived there he is rewarded for his valor,
self-denial, and ambition on earth by receiving the same
regard in the one place as in the other, for there as here
the brave man is honored and the coward despised. Some say
that the ghosts of those that commit suicide occupy a
separate part of the village, but that their condition
differs in no wise from that of the others. In the next
world human shades hunt and live in the shades of buffalo
and other animals that have here died. There, too there are
four seasons, but they come in an inverse order to the
terrestrial seasons. During the four nights that the ghost
is supposed to linger near his former dwelling, those who
disliked or feared the deceased, and do not wish a visit
from the shade, scorch with red coals a pair of moccasins
which they leave at the door of the lodge. The smell of the
burning leather they claim keeps the ghost out; but the true
friends of the dead man take no such precautions.

From this account it will be seen that the Hidatsa as well as the
Algonkins and Mexicans believed that four days were required before the
spirit could finally leave the earth. Why the smell of burning leather
should be offensive to spirits it would perhaps be fruitless to
speculate on.

The next account, by Keating,[105] relating to the Chippewas, shows a
slight analogy regarding the slippery-pole tradition already alluded to:

The Chippewas believe that there is in man an essence
entirely distinct from the body; they call it _Ochechag_,
and appear to supply to it the qualities which we refer to
the soul. They believe that it quits the body it the time of
death, and repairs to what they term _Chekechekchekawe;_
this region is supposed to be situated to the south, and on
the shores of the great ocean. Previous to arriving there
they meet with a stream which they are obliged to cross upon
a large snake that answers the purpose of a bridge; those
who die from drowning never succeed in crossing the stream;
they are thrown into it and remain there forever. Some souls
come to the edge of the stream, but are prevented from
passing by the snake, which threatens to devour them; these
are the souls of the persons in a lethargy or trance. Being
refused a passage these souls return to their bodies and
reanimate them. They believe that animals have souls, and
even that inorganic substances, such as kettles, &c., have
in them a similar essence.

In this land of souls all are treated according to their
merits. Those who have been good men are free from pain;
they have no duties to perform, their time is spent in
dancing and singing, and they feed upon mushrooms, which are
very abundant. The souls of bad men are haunted by the
phantom of the persons or things that they have injured;
thus, if a man has destroyed much property the phantoms of
the wrecks of this property obstruct his passage wherever he
goes; if he has been cruel to his dogs or horses they also
torment him after death. The ghosts of those whom during his
lifetime he wronged are there permitted to avenge their
injuries. They think that when a soul has crossed the stream
it cannot return to its body, yet they believe in
apparitions, and entertain the opinion that the spirits of
the departed will frequently revisit the abodes of their
friends in order to invite them to the other world, and to
forewarn them of their approaching dissolution.

Stephen Powers, in his valuable work so often quoted, gives a number of
examples of superstitions regarding the dead, of which the following
relates to the Karok of California:

How well and truly the Karok reverence the memory of the
dead is shown by the fact that the highest crime one can
commit is the _pet-chi-e-ri_ the mere mention of the dead
relative's name. It is a deadly insult to the survivors, and
can be atoned for only by the same amount of blood-money
paid for willful murder. In default of that they will have
the villain's blood. * * * At the mention of his name the
mouldering skeleton turns in his grave and groans. They do
not like stragglers even to inspect the burial place. * * *
They believe that the soul of a good Karok goes to the
"happy western land" beyond the great ocean. That they have
a well-grounded assurance of an immortality beyond the grave
is proven, if not otherwise, by their beautiful and poetical
custom of whispering a message in the ear of the dead. * * *
Believe that dancing will liberate some relative's soul from
bonds of death, and restore him to earth.

According to the same author, when a Kelta dies a little bird flies away
with his soul to the spirit land. If he was a bad Indian a hawk will
catch the little bird and eat him up, soul and feathers, but if he was
good he will reach the spirit land. Mr. Powers also states that--

The Tolowa share in the superstitious observance for the
memory of the dead which is common to the Northern
Californian tribes. When I asked the chief Tahhokolli to
tell me the Indian words for "father" and "mother" and
certain others similar, he shook his head mournfully and
said, "All dead," "All dead," "No good."' They are forbidden
to mention the name of the dead, as it is a deadly insult to
the relatives, * * * and that the Mat-toal hold that the
good depart to a happy region somewhere southward in the
great ocean, but the soul of a bad Indian transmigrates into
a grizzly bear, which they consider, of all animals, the
cousin-german of sin.

The same author who has been so freely quoted states as follows
regarding some of the superstitions and beliefs of the Modocs:

* * * It has always been one of the most passionate desires
among the Modok, as well as their neighbors, the Shastika,
to live, die, and be buried where they were born. Some of
their usages in regard to the dead and their burial may be
gathered from an incident that occurred while the captives
of 1873 were on their way from the Lava Beds to Fort
Klamath, as it was described by an eye-witness. Curly-headed
Jack, a prominent warrior, committed suicide with a pistol.
His mother and female friends gathered about him and set up
a dismal wailing; they besmeared themselves with his blood
and endeavored by other Indian customs to restore his life.
The mother took his head in her lap and scooped the blood
from his ear, another old woman placed her hand upon his
heart, and a third blew in his face. The sight of the
group--these poor old women, whose grief was unfeigned, and
the dying man--was terrible in its sadness. Outside the
tent stood Bogus-Charley, Huka Jim, Shucknasty Jim,
Steamboat Frank, Curly-headed Doctor, and others who had
been the dying man's companions from childhood, all affected
to tears. When he was lowered into the grave, before the
soldiers began to cover the body, Huka Jim was seen running
eagerly about the camp trying to exchange a two-dollar bill
of currency for silver. He owed the dead warrior that amount
of money, and he had grave doubts whether the currency would
be of any use to him in the other world--sad commentary on
our national currency!--and desired to have the coin
instead. Procuring it from one of the soldiers he cast it in
and seemed greatly relieved. All the dead man's other
effects, consisting of clothing, trinkets, and a half
dollar, were interred with him, together with some
root-flour as victual for the journey to the spirit land.

The superstitious fear Indians have of the dead or spirit of the dead
may be observed from the following narrative by Swan.[106] It regards
the natives of Washington Territory:

My opinion about the cause of these deserted villages is
this: It is the universal custom with these Indians never to
live in a lodge where a person has died. If a person of
importance dies, the lodge is usually burned down, or taken
down and removed to some other part of the bay; and it can
be readily seen that in the case of the Palox Indians, who
had been attacked by the Chehalis people, as before stated,
their relatives chose at once to leave for some other place.
This objection to living in a lodge where a person has died
is the reason why their sick slaves are invariably carried
out into the woods, where they remain either to recover or
die. There is, however, no disputing the fact that an
immense mortality has occurred among these people, and they
are now reduced to a mere handful.

The great superstitious dread these Indians have for a dead
person, and their horror of touching a corpse, oftentimes
give rise to a difficulty as to who shall perform the
funeral ceremonies; for any person who handles a dead body
must not eat of salmon or sturgeon for thirty days.
Sometimes, in cases of small-pox, I have known them leave
the corpse in the lodge, and all remove elsewhere; and in
two instances that came to my knowledge, the whites had to
burn the lodges, with the bodies in them, to prevent

So, in the instances I have before mentioned, where we had
buried Indians, not one of their friends or relatives could
be seen. All kept in their lodges, singing and drumming to
keep away the spirits of the dead.

According to Bancroft[107]--

The Tlascaltecs supposed that the common people were after
death transformed into beetles and disgusting objects, while
the nobler became stars and beautiful birds.

The Mosquito Indians of Central America studiously and superstitiously
avoid mentioning the name of the dead, in this regard resembling those
of our own country.

Enough of illustrative examples have now been given, it is thought, to
enable observers to thoroughly comprehend the scope of the proposed
final volume on the mortuary customs of North American Indians, and
while much more might have been added from the stored-up material on
hand, it has not been deemed advisable at this time to yield to a desire
for amplification. The reader will notice, as in the previous paper,
that discussion has been avoided as foreign to the present purpose of
the volume, which is intended, as has been already stated, simply to
induce further investigation and contribution from careful and
conscientious observers. From a perusal of the excerpts from books and
correspondence given will be seen what facts are useful and needed; in
short, most of them may serve as copies for preparation of similar

To assist observers, the queries published in the former volume are also

_1st._ NAME OF THE TRIBE; present appellation; former, if differing any;
and that used by the Indians themselves.

_2d._ LOCALITY, PRESENT AND FORMER.--The response should give the range
of the tribe and be full and geographically accurate.

_3d._ DEATHS AND FUNERAL CEREMONIES; what are the important and
characteristic facts connected with these subjects? How is the corpse
prepared after death and disposed of? How long is it retained? Is it
spoken to after death as if alive? when and where? What is the character
of the addresses? What articles are deposited with it; and why? Is food
put in the grave, or in or near it afterwards? Is this said to be an
ancient custom? Are persons of the same gens buried together; and is the
clan distinction obsolete, or did it ever prevail?

THE GRAVES; CREMATION.--Are burials usually made in high and dry
grounds? Have mounds or tumuli been erected in modern times over the
dead? How is the grave prepared and finished? What position are bodies
placed in? Give reasons therefor if possible. If cremation is or was
practiced, describe the process, disposal of the ashes, and origin of
custom or traditions relating thereto. Are the dead ever eaten by the
survivors? Are bodies deposited in springs or in any body of water? Are
scaffolds or trees used as burial places; if so, describe construction
of the former and how the corpse is prepared, and whether placed in
skins or boxes. Are bodies placed in canoes? State whether they are
suspended from trees, put on scaffolds or posts, allowed to float on the
water or sunk beneath it, or buried in the ground. Can any reasons be
given for the prevalence of any one or all of the methods? Are burial
posts or slabs used, plain, or marked, with flags or other insignia of
position of deceased. Describe embalmment, mummification, desiccation,
or if antiseptic precautions are taken, and subsequent disposal of
remains. Are bones collected and reinterred; describe ceremonies, if
any, whether modern or ancient. If charnel houses exist or have been
used, describe them.

_5th._ MOURNING OBSERVANCES.--Is scarification practiced, or personal
mutilation? What is the garb or sign of mourning? How are the dead
lamented? Are periodical visits made to the grave? Do widows carry
symbols of their deceased children or husbands, and for how long? Are
sacrifices, human or otherwise, voluntary or involuntary, offered? Are
fires kindled on graves; why, and at what time, and for how long?

_6th._ BURIAL TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITIONS.--Give in full all that can
be learned on these subjects, as they are full of interest and very

In short, every fact bearing on the disposal of the dead; and
correlative customs are needed, and details should be as succinct and
full as possible.

One of the most important matters upon which information is needed is
the "why" and "wherefore" for every rite and custom; for, as a rule,
observers are content to simply state a certain occurrence as a fact,
but take very little trouble to inquire the reason for it.

Any material the result of careful observation will be most gratefully
received and acknowledged in the final volume; but the writer must here
confess the lasting obligation he is under to those who have already
contributed, a number so large that limited space precludes a mention of
their individual names.

Criticism and comments are earnestly invited from all those interested
in the special subject of this paper and anthropology in general.
Contributions are also requested from persons acquainted with curious
forms of burial prevailing among other tribes of savage men.

The lithographs which illustrate this paper have been made by Thos.
Sinclair & Son, of Philadelphia, Pa., after original drawings made by
Mr. W.H. Holmes, who has with great kindness superintended their


[Footnote 1: Hist. Ind. Tribes of U.S. 1853 pt. 3, p. 193.]

[Footnote 2: Antiq. of Southern Indians, 1873, pp. 108-110.]

[Footnote 3: Hist. of Carolina, 1714, p. 181.]

[Footnote 4: Hist. Ind. Tribes of U.S., 1855, pt. 5, p.270.]

[Footnote 5: Rep. Smithsonian Institution, 1871, p. 407.]

[Footnote 6: Nov. dans l'Arizona in Ball. Soc. de Geographic 1877.]

[Footnote 7: Nat. Races Pacif. States 1874, vol. i, p 555.]

[Footnote 8: Cont. to N.A. Ethnol., 1877, vol. iii, p. 133.]

[Footnote 9: L'incertitude des Signes de la Mort, 1749, t. 1, p. 439.]

[Footnote 10: Rites of Funeral, Ancient and Modern, 1683, p. 45.]

[Footnote 11: Schoolcraft Hist. Ind. Tribes of the United States, 1853,
Pt. 3, p. 140.]

[Footnote 12: U.S. Geol. Surv. of Terr. 1876, p. 473.]

[Footnote 13: Life and adventures of Moses Van Campen, 1841, p. 252.]

[Footnote 14: Trans. Amer. Antiq. Soc., 1830, vol i, p. 302.]

[Footnote 15: Antiquities of Tennessee. Smith. Inst. Cont. to Knowledge.
No. 259, 1876. pp. 1, 8, 37, 52, 55, 82.]

[Footnote 16: Pop. Sc. Month, Sept., 1877, p. 577.]

[Footnote 17: Nat. Races of the Pacific States, 1874, vol. i, p. 780.]

[Footnote 18: A detailed account of this exploration, with many
illustrations, will be found in the Eleventh Annual Report of the
Peabody Museum, Cambridge, 1878.]

[Footnote 19: Trans. Amer. Antiq. Soc., 1820, vol. i, p. 174 _et seq_.]

[Footnote 20: American Naturalist, 1877, xi, No. 11, p. 688.]

[Footnote 21: Proc. Am. Ass. Adv. of Science, 1875, p. 288.]

[Footnote 22: Bartram's Travels, 1791, p. 513.]

[Footnote 23: Bartram's Travels, 1791, p. 515.]

[Footnote 24: A Concise Nat. Hist. of East and West Florida, 1775.]

[Footnote 25: Mem. Hist. sur la Louisiane, 1753, vol. i, pp. 241-243.]

[Footnote 26: Uncivilized Races of the World, 1870, vol i, p. 464.]

[Footnote 27: Rep. Smithsonian Inst., 1867, p. 406.]

[Footnote 28: Contrib. to N.A. Ethnol., 1877, vol. 1, p.62.]

[Footnote 29: Hist. of Virginia, 1722, p. 185.]

[Footnote 30: Collection of Voyages, 1812, vol. xiii, p. 39.]

[Footnote 31: Hist. Ind. Tribes United States, 1854, Part IV, pp. 155
_et seq._]

[Footnote 32: Trans. Amer. Antiq. Soc., 1820, vol. 1, p. 360.]

[Footnote 33: A mummy of this kind, of a person of mature age,
discovered in Kentucky, is now in the cabinet of the American
Antiquarian Society. It is a female. Several human bodies were found
enwrapped carefully in skins and cloths. They were inhumed below the
floor of the cave; _inhumed_, and not lodged in catacombs.]

[Footnote 34: Letter to Samuel M. Burnside, in Trans. and Coll. Amer.
Antiq. Soc., 1820, vol. 1, p. 318.]

[Footnote 35: Cont. to N.A. Ethnol., 1877, vol. i, p. 89.]

[Footnote 36: Billings' Exped., 1802, p. 161.]

[Footnote 37: Pre-historic Races, 1873, p. 199.]

[Footnote 38: Rawlinson's Herodotus, Book I, chap. 198, _note_.]

[Footnote 39: Amer. Naturalist, 1876, vol. x, p. 465 et seq.]

[Footnote[40]: Manners, Customs, &c., of North American Indians, 1844,
vol. ii, p. 5.]

[Footnote 41: Uncivilized Races of the World, 1870, vol. i, p. 483.]

[Footnote 42: Hist, de l'Amerique Septentrionale, 1753, tome ii, p. 43.]

[Footnote 43: Pioneer Life, 1872.]

[Footnote 44: I saw the body of this woman in the tree. It was
undoubtedly an exceptional case. When I came here (Rock Island) the
bluffs on the peninsula between Mississippi and Rock River (three miles
distant) were thickly studded with Indian grave mounds, showing
conclusively that subterranean was the usual mode of burial. In making
roads, streets, and digging foundations, skulls, bones, trinkets,
beads, etc., in great numbers, were exhumed, proving that many things
(according to the wealth or station of survivors) were deposited in the
graves. In 1836 I witnessed the burial of two chiefs in the manner
stated.--P. GREGG.]

[Footnote 45: Tract No. 50, West. Reserve and North. Ohio Hist. Soc.
(1879f), p. 107.]

[Footnote 46: Hist. of Ft. Wayne, 1868, p. 284.]

[Footnote 47: The Last Act, 1876.]

[Footnote 48: Cont. to N.A. Ethnol., 1877, vol. iii, p. 341.]

[Footnote 49: Hist. Indian Tribes of the United States, 1854, part IV,
p. 224.]

[Footnote 50: Adventures on the Columbia River, 1831. vol. ii, p. 387.]

[Footnote 51: Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., 1820, vol. i, p. 377.]

[Footnote 52: Hist Indian Tribes of the United States, 1853, part iii,
p. 182.]

[Footnote 53: Contrib. to N.A. Ethnol., 1877, vol iii, p. 169.]

[Footnote 54: Amer. Naturalist, November 1878, p. 753]

[Footnote 55: Proc. Dav. Acad. Nat. Sci., 1867-76, p. 64.]

[Footnote 56: Pre-historic Races. 1873, p. 149.]

[Footnote 57: Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., Nov. 1874; p. 168.]

[Footnote 58: Amer. Naturalist, Sept., 1878, p. 629.]

[Footnote 59: Explorations of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah,
1852, p. 43.]

[Footnote 60: Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific, 1831, vol. 1, p.

[Footnote 61: Nat. Races of Pac. States, 1871, vol. 1, p. 780.]

[Footnote 62: Am. Antiq. and Discov., 1838, p 286.]

[Footnote 63: Nat. Races of Pac. States, 1874 vol 1, p 69.]

[Footnote 64: Prav. Is. in Alaska, 1869 p. 100]

[Footnote 65: Alaska and its Resources, 1870, pp. 19, 132, 145]

[Footnote 66: Life on the Plains, 1854, p. 68.]

[Footnote 67: Tour to the Lakes, 1827, p. 305.]

[Footnote 68: Long's Exped. to the St. Peter's River, 1824, p. 332]

[Footnote 69: L'incertitude des signes de la Mort, 1742, tome 1, p. 475,
_et seq_.]

[Footnote 70: The writer is informed by Mr. John Henry Boner that the
custom still prevails not only in Pennsylvania, but at the Moravian
settlement of Salem, N.C.]

[Footnote 71: Rep Smithsonian Inst., 1806, p.319]

[Footnote 72: Uncivilized Races of the World, 1874, v. II, p. 774, _et

[Footnote 73: Hist. of Florida, 1775, p. 88.]

[Footnote 74: Antiquities of the Southern Indians, 1873, p. 105.]

[Footnote 75: Bartram's Travels, 1791, p. 516.]

[Footnote 76: "Some ingenious men whom I have conversed with have given
it as their opinion that all those pyramidal artificial hills, usually
called Indian mounds, were raised on this occasion, and are generally
sepulchers. However, I am of different opinion."]

[Footnote 77: League of the Iroquois, 1851, p. 173.]

[Footnote 78: Myths of the New World, 1868, p. 255.]

[Footnote 79: Hist. N.A. Indians, 1844, i, p. 90.]

[Footnote 80: Northwest Coast, 1857, p. 185.]

[Footnote 81: Cont. N.A. Ethnol., 1877, i., p.200.]

[Footnote 82: Uncivilized Races of the World, 1870, vol. i, p. 483.]

[Footnote 83: Exploration Great Salt Lake Valley, Utah, 1859, p. 48]

[Footnote 84: Hist. North American Indians, 1844, vol. ii, p. 141.]

[Footnote 85: Moeurs des Sauvages, 1724, tome ii, p. 406.]

[Footnote 86: Autobiography of James Beckwourth, 1856, p. 269.]

[Footnote 87: Tour to the Lakes, 1827, p. 292.]

[Footnote 88: Nat. Races of Pacific States, 1874, vol. i, pp. 731, 744.]

[Footnote 89: Life Among the Choctaws, 1860, p. 294.]

[Footnote 90: Bossu's Travels (Forster's translation), 1771, p. 38.]

[Footnote 91: At the hour intended for the ceremony, they made the
victims swallow little balls or pills of tobacco, in order to make them
giddy, and as it were to take the sensation of pain from them; after
that they were all strangled and put upon mats, the favorite on the
right, the other wife on the left, and the others according to their

[Footnote 92: The established distinctions among these Indians were as
follows: The Suns, relatives of the Great Sun, held the highest rank;
next come the Nobles; after them the Honorables; and last of all the
common people, who were very much despised. As the nobility was
propagated by the women, this contributed much to multiply it.]

[Footnote 93: The Great Sun had given orders to put out all the fires,
which is only done at the death of the sovereign.]

[Footnote 94: Ten Years in Oregon, 1850, p. 261.]

[Footnote 95: Nat. Races of Pacif. States, 1875, vol iii, p. 513.]

[Footnote 96: Pilgrimage, 1828, vol. ii, p. 443.]

[Footnote 97: Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition, 1860, ii, p.

[Footnote 98: League of the Iroquois, 1851, p. 287.]

[Footnote 99: Cont. to North American Ethnol., 1878, iii, p. 164.]

[Footnote 100: Am. Antiq., April, May, June, 1879, p. 251.]

[Footnote 101: Pilgrimage, 1828, ii, p. 308.]

[Footnote 102: Hist. Indian Tribes of the United States, 1851, part i,
p. 356.]

[Footnote 103: Cont. to N.A. Ethnol., 1877, vol. ii., p. 58.]

[Footnote 104: Ethnol. and Philol. of the Hidatsa Indians. U.S. Geol.
Surv. of Terr., 1877, p. 409.]

[Footnote 105: Long's Exped., 1824, vol. ii, p. 158.]

[Footnote 106: Northwest Coast, 1857, p. 212.]

[Footnote 107: Nat. Races Pacif. States, 1875, vol. iii, p. 512.]

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