« ПретходнаНастави »
ginia, by whose supplies the first settlers were kept from starvation for a considerable time. Yet little advance was made in agriculture or any other branch of industry. There were two reasons for this, besides the natural aversion of the Indian to labor. First, he was dependent entirely on himself, having never tamed the animals around him or taught them to labor in his behalf. In this he was behind the rudest nations of the old world. The Tartar had his horse, the Arabian his camel, the Laplander his reindeer; but the native American had no domestic animals, and was obliged to rely entirely on his own strength. Moreover, the Indians knew little of the useful metals. Gold, silver, and copper, circulated among them to a certain extent, but of iron they were totally ignorant. With their awkward tools, the simplest tasks were peformed with great difficulty. To fell a tree with their stone hatchets would cost a month; and to
the ground with blunt and heavy hoes of the same material, was a labor from which it is not strange that they shrunk.
47. Hospitality.—The hospitality of the Indian was one of his greatest virtues. Among all the tribes, a stranger on his arrival was treated with the utmost respect and attention. The best the wigwam afforded was always placed before him, and his hosts were displeased if he did not eat, whether he needed food or not. However scanty their supply, they withheld nothing from their guest.
48. Marriage Customs.—Even among the rudest tribes, a regular union between husband and wife was universal. In districts where food was scarce, and it was difficult to maintain a family, the warrior confined himself to one wife; he was at liberty, however, to take as many as he could support. The marriage tie generally lasted till death, but among some tribes divorces were common.
The marriage ceremony was extremely simple. A young
was the general :state of agriculture ? What two reasons are assigned for this? What metals were the only ones that circulated among the Indians ? What kind of tools had they? 47. What was one of the Indian's greatest virtues ? How did he treat a stranger? 48. What was universal even among the rudest tribes ? How many wives did a warrior have? How long did the marriage tie last?
man would often let his friends select a wife for him. He or his relations then made presents to the parents of the intended bride, which were accepted if the offer was approved; otherwise they were returned.
In the former case, the parents dressed their daughter in her best clothes, and conducted her to the bridegroom's residence. The ceremony. was then complete.
49. Family Relations.—The Indian wife, or squaw, had a hard lot. Besides being compelled to do all the drudgery, she was generally treated by her husband with indifference, and often with cruelty. For his children, particularly during infancy, the warrior entertained a stronger affection. He could endure pain without a groan; but, when misfortune overtook his offspring, he gave way to the most violent grief. The loss of a promising son was regarded as the greatest possible calamity; and often, to redeem a child from the enemy, a father has surrendered himself, and been burned at the stake in his stead. 50. Education. The education of the
Indian sisted chiefly of athletic exercises and such training as would enable him to endure hunger and fatigue. At the age of eight years, he was required from time to time to fast half a day, and at twelve often passed a whole day without food or drink, his face being blackened during the fast. At eighteen, he underwent his final trial. His face was now blackened for the last time, and he was led far into the woods, where he was left without food as long as life could be so supported. His guardians then came for him, praised his endurance, took him home, and after various ceremonies informed him that he was now a man. No instance has ever been known of an Indian boy's eating or drinking while undergoing the trial of the blackened face. In some tribes and families, the
young were instructed in the history and institutions of their people. This task de
Describe the marriage ceremony. 49. How was the Indian wife treated ? How did the warrior feel towards his children? What has a father often done? 50. Of what did the young Indian's education consist ? At the age of eight, what was he required to do ? Describe his final trial. In some tribes, what were the young taught? On whom did this task devolve? What did a venerable warrior
volved on the old, who had themselves received their knowledge from chiefs that had preceded them. A venerable warrior once said that his father had labored day and night to teach him the laws, ceremonies, and history of his nation, " that he might one day benefit his people by his counsel”. . The necessity of fortitude and self-restraint was also impressed upon the mind from an early period.
51. Wars.-Indian wars usually consisted of expeditions carried on by small parties, whose object was to surprise the enemy, to kill as many as possible, and to return home in safety with the scalps of their victims. To be complete in their eyes, a victory had to be obtained by stratagem, and without any loss of their own number. There was little glory in gaining a battle by open force; and to fall on the field, instead of being thought honorable, was rather regarded as a proof of rashness or unskilfulness. In large bodies, from a
. want of discipline, they could not act with much success.
Their armies were not encumbered with baggage or military stores, but depended, for the small amount of food they needed, on the game they might meet with in the forest. To provide against emergencies, however, each warrior carried a bag of pounded maize; and, this with his arms being his only burden, he marched with great rapidity. On a warlike expedition, the chief led the way, and each of his followers trod noiselessly in his tracks, leaving as small a trail as possible. When there was danger of pursuit, the last warrior concealed the footsteps of the party by covering them with leaves and branches. The senses of the Indian were wonderfully acute, and great ingenuity was often shown in discovering the trail of a cunning enemy who had left little or no clew to his course.
52. In ancient times the weapons of the Indians were very rude, consisting principally of war-clubs, and hatchets, or
once say? What was early impressed on their minds ? 51. Of what did Indian wars consist? What was essential to the completeness of a victory? vented their success, when acting in large bodies? With what were their armies not encumbered ? On what did they depend for food? What did each warrior carry ?
On a warlike expedition, how did they march? When there was danger of pursuit, what did the last warrior do? In what did the Indian display great
TREATMENT OF CAPTIVES,
Bow. 2 ft 10in.
Arrow's 2 At bin
Wur Srears. 6 or 6ft.lmy.
Fish Shear, I0ft long
tom'-a-hawks. The latter were
originally of stone, but after the arrival of Europeans they were made of iron and more perfectly shaped. In
hunting, they used bows and arrows. These, with spears, are still the chief weapons of the prairie Indians, who have so far departed from their ancient customs as to make their attacks on horseback. Guns are generally used by the forest tribes.
A captive taken in war was conducted to the village of his conquerors. Here he was obliged
to run the gantlet” between two long lines
of men, women, and children, who beat him as he passed. The prisoner's fate was then decided by a council. He was either adopted by the tribe and received into some family in the place of a lost husband, son, or brother, or else was sentenced to be burned alive. In the latter case, he was immediately fastened to the
stake; and amid the heart-rending tortures that followed, if he wished to maintain the fame of his fathers, he was obliged to repress all signs of suffering. Neither sigh nor groan escaped him. While the flames blazed around him, he sung his war-song in tones of exultation, or boasted of his exploits in carrying death and desolation into the villages of his enemies. He repeated the names of their rela
ingenuity? 52. Formerly, what weapons did the Indians use? What did they use in hunting? Describe the weapons represented in the engraving. With what is the prairie Indian now armed ? With what, the forest Indian ? What was done with a captive taken in war? If not adopted, what fate awaited him ? To maintain the fame of his fathers, what was he obliged to do? Describe the
tives whom he had slain. He reminded his persecutors of the terrible vengeance his people would inflict. He excited their fury by calling them cowards and women, and even derided them for their ignorance of the art of torturing, telling how on such occasions he had made the flesh of their kinsmen quiver at the stake.
At last his taunts provoked some furious enemy to inflict the death-blow, or else the flames did their work, and the unsubdued spirit of the warrior was free forever.
53. Government. The Indians were divided into different tribes, each of which had its sa'-chem, or chief, though in most cases his power was little more than nominal. Whenever a chief obtained a high degree of authority, it was because he excelled in eloquence, cunning, or bravery. When a tribe was called into the field, it was of course necessary that there should be some leader; but both on the march and in the engagement much more freedom was allowed to individuals than among civilized nations. There were no laws, and in time of peace the chief exercised little or no authority. If a wrong was committed, its punishment was left to those who suffered it. To settle important matters, councils were held, at which all who had killed an enemy in war were present. After smoking round the council-fire a long time in silence, the chief or the oldest warrior present delivered his opinion, and then the other old men in succession. Perfect order reigned in these assemblies, and every speaker was listened to in silence. The chief, being generally the most sagacious and eloquent of his tribe, had little trouble in convincing the others and deciding the matter according to his own views. Among some of the southern nations, the chiefs are said to have possessed greater power, to have been distinguished by a peculiar dress, and at death to have transmitted their authority to their sons.
54. Modes of Burial.—Different modes of burial pre
scene of torture. 53. How were the Indians divided ? What did each tribe have? What is said of the authority of the chiefs ? When was it more strictly exercised ? To whom was the punishment of a wrong left? How were important matters settled ? Describe the proceedings at these councils. Whose views generally prevailed? What is said of the chiefs among the southern tribes? 54. Describe