Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mississippi

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1920 - Cemeteries - 160 pages

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Page 126 - But on whatever occasion they may have been made, they are of considerable notoriety among the Indians : for a party passing, about thirty years ago, through the part of the country where this barrow is, went through the woods directly to it, without any instructions or inquiry ; and having staid about it some time, with expressions which were construed to be those of sorrow, they returned to the high road, which they had left about half a dozen miles to pay this visit, and pursued their journey.
Page 125 - I proceeded then to make a perpendicular cut through the body of the barrow, that I might examine its internal structure. This passed about three feet from its centre, was opened to the former surface of the earth, and was wide enough for a man to walk through and examine its sides. At the bottom, that is, on the level of the circumjacent plain, I found bones; above these a few stones brought from a cliff a quarter of a mile off...
Page 14 - We opened the greater and found in it a great quantity of fine and perfect red powder and in it the bones and skull of a man.
Page 94 - ... lightly covered with a mantle : here it is suffered to remain, visited and protected by the friends and relations, until the flesh becomes putrid, so as easily to part from the bones ; then undertakers, who make it their business, carefully strip the flesh from the bones, wash and cleanse them...
Page 124 - There being one of these in my neighborhood, I wished to satisfy myself whether any, and which of these opinions were just. For this purpose I determined to open and examine it thoroughly. It was situated on the low grounds of the Rivanna, about two miles above its principal fork, and opposite to some hills, on which had been an Indian town.
Page 125 - The processes, by which it was articulated to the temporal bones, was entire ; and the bone itself firm to where it had been broken off, which, as nearly as I could judge, was about the place of the eye-tooth. Its upper edge, wherein would have been the sockets of the teeth, was perfectly smooth. Measuring it with that of an adult, by placing their hinder processes together, its broken end extended to the penultimate grinder of the adult. This bone was white, all the others of a sand colour.
Page 33 - I endeavoured to console her, by offering the usual arguments; that the child was happy in being released from the miseries of this present life, and that she should forbear to grieve, because it would be restored to her in another world, happy and everlasting. She answered, that she knew it, and that by the lock of hair she should discover her daughter ; for she would take it with her. In this she alluded to the day, when some pious hand would place in her own grave, along with the carrying-belt...
Page 110 - The Muscogulges bury their deceased in the earth. They dig a four-square deep pit under the cabin or couch which the deceased lay on, in his house, lining the grave with cypress bark, where they place the corpse in a sitting posture, as if it were alive; depositing with him his gun, tomahawk, pipe, and such other matters as he had the greatest value for in his life-time. His eldest wife, or the queen dowager, has the second choice of his possessions, and the remaining effects are divided amongst...
Page 32 - ... Several sacrifices were also offered ; among which were dogs, killed and hung upon the tops of poles, with the addition of stroud blankets and other articles. These also were given to the Great Spirit, in humble hope that he would give efficacy to the medicines employed. The child died. To preserve the body from the wolves, it was placed upon a scaffold, where it remained till we went to the lake, on the border of which was the burial-ground of the family.
Page 33 - Indians in regard to futurity, and always found that they were somewhat different in different individuals. Some suppose their souls to remain in this world, although invisible to human eyes ; and capable, themselves, of seeing and hearing their friends, and also of assisting them, in moments of distress and danger. Others dismiss from the mortal scene the unembodied spirit, and send it to a distant world or country, in which it receives reward or punishment, according to the life which it has led...

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