History of the Pacific Northwest
Oregon and Washington 1889
Volume II
Page 80-95

Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
 This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP


80                                HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST—OREGON AND WASHINGTON

COYOTE AND EAGLE ATTEMPT TO BRING THE DEAD BACK FROM
   SPIRIT LAND.

     The Indian did not fail to notice the phenomena of nature. He saw the leaves born and dead come rattling down in autumn, and the trees stripped of verdure stand bleak, desolate and dead. He beheld the earth wrapped in slumber in winter, covered with a mantle of snow; and then in the springtime he saw the growing grass, the opening buds and expanding flowers. There was a renewal of life, a return of warmth and gladness. Early he beheld in the annual reclothing of the earth in verdure and the springing  forth of life in the vegetable world a sort of prophecy or promise of a resurrection and renewed life to mortal man. The observance of these phenomena, together with that longing for immortality somewhere, somehow, common to humanity, naturally gave rise to myths recounting the attempts of the gods to bring the dead to life again. In the dim distant past, when the wonderful ancients lived, Coyote saw that the people were dying and going away to the spirit country. The land was filled with mourning for departed friends. The people’s sorrows filed him with grief; and he meditated long how he could bring the dead back to the land of the living. He had seen some of his own friends die, among them a sister. The eagle had also lost his wife, and wa mourning on account of his loss. Eagle was a god of great power, second only to Coyote. Speelyai said to him, to comfort him: “The
dead shall not forever remain in the land of the dead. They are like the leaves that fall brown and dead in the autumn. They shall come back again. When the buds open and flowers bloom, when the grass grows, the dead shall come back again.” Eagle was impatient and unwilling to await the return of spring, and insisted that the dead should be brought back at once without delay.

     Coyote consented to this arrangement; and the two, Eagle and Coyote, set out together towards the land of the dead, Eagle flying along over Coyote’s head as they traveled. After they had been journeying a long time, they came to a lake or ocean; and, looking across, they could see a great many houses on the other side. Coyote called long and loud for someone to bring a boat and take them across. All was still as death, there being no sound nor sight indicating life. Eagle said to Coyote: “We have come all the way for nothing; there is no one there.” “No,” said Coyote, “they are asleep. The dead sleep in the daytime, and at night they come out. Let us wait here until dark.” In the evening, when the sun
went down and it began to grow dusk, Coyote began to sing. He had sung but a short time when four spirit men came out of the houses, got into a canoe and started towards the shore. Coyote kept singing, and the spirits began to sing, keeping time with their oars. They did not row the boat, however, for it skimmed over the water of its own accord. Having landed, they took the weary travelers, Eagle and Coyote, aboard, and began their return to the island of the dead. When they drew near they heard the sound of music, drumming and dancing. After landing they were cautioned by the spirits not to go into the houses, nor to look at the things about them. It was a sacred place; they must keep their
eyes shut. The newly arrived visitors begged permission to go in, for, said they,” We are both hungry and cold.” Finally they were permitted to go into a large mat-house near by, where there was dancing and music going on. When inside they found everything very grand and beautiful; and all were very  happy. To satisfy the hunger of the visitors, an old woman brought some seal oil in an Indian basket bottle, and dipping a feather into it gave each of them what the feather brought up one time. This completely satisfied their hunger; and they now busied themselves looking around.

     They found a great many spirit people there; and all were dressed with the most beautiful Indian costume, with red paint, feathers, shells, beads, fringed buckskins and every kind of Indian ornaments. The great lodge was lighted up with the moon, which was suspended inside; and the frog was there to watch and attend it; for the frog jumped into the moon a long time ago, and has ruled over it ever since. The moon shone brilliantly on the dazzling scene of joy and beauty. Coyote and Eagle saw many of their former friends in the throng; but these friends did not seem to notice nor recognize them. The Eagle had brought along a receptacle somewhat like a white man’s box, in which to carry the sprits
back to the land of the living. The dead people were very happy, much more than the living, and kept up their dancing all night long; but early in the morning their songs began to grow fainter, and the singers to depart to sleep. During the day, while the spirit people were sleeping, Coyote killed the frog, and took his clothing and put them on himself. With the gathering of the evening shadows, the spirits resumed their pleasures. Coyote, rigged out in the frog’s clothing, took the place it had previously occupied by the moon. While the festivities and pleasures were going on in the happiest manner imaginable, Coyote all of a sudden swallowed the moon, leaving the spirit people in the dark. They were soon all in commotion, flying about in the darkness against the walls and each other. Eagle them proceeded to catch them all, and put them into his box and closed it up tightly. He and Coyote then started on their return to the land of the living, Coyote bearing the box with its contents. After traveling a great distance, he heard a noise in the box and stopped, pricing up his ears to listen again. Again he heard a noise inside, and said to Eagle, “The people are beginning to come to life!”

     Soon they heard the sound of voices talking. The people were complaining of being bumped and banged about. One said he was cramped, and another that his leg was being hurt; and all were clamoring  to be let out. The box was growing heavy, as the contents were changing from imponderable spirit to substantial flesh and blood. Coyote began to grow weary of his burden and proposed to let the people out. Eagle objected, saying “No” to all of Coyote’s importunities. Poor Coyote was growing weary,



                                          LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS               81

god that he was, and set down his basket of precious freight, determined to lighten his burden. Said he: “We may as well let them out; they will not return to the spirit land now, they are too far away.”  Whereupon he opened the box or basket, and the people resumed their spirit forms and vanished like the wind, going to the land of the dead. Eagle chided him for his folly, but comforted himself by saying: “It is autumn. The leaves now falling, like the people, die. Let us wait until the buds expand  and the flowers open, when the leaves begin to come; then we shall succeed.” No,” said Coyote, “I am tired. Let the dead stay in the land of the dead and never return.” Thus Coyote made the law that man once dead should never come to life again. Had it not been for the folly of Coyote, in opening the box, and letting out the spirits, the dead would have come to life every spring when the buds opened and the leaves came. This legend, though rude and unpolished, contains in it a beautiful sentiment, and gives expression to that instinctive longing of the human soul in all lands and every age to penetrate the mysteries of the future state.

  ISLE OF THE DEAD (Wisham Indian Legend).

     The Columbia river Indians near the fishery at The Dalles used to relate a legend as follows: A great while ago there was a young chief that was enamored of a beautiful young Indian girl. they loved each other very sincerely and truly, and were very happy, wandering about fishing, boat-riding, and traveling over the green, grassy hills and broad plains. In the midst of their felicity the young chief, who was noble and rich, sickened and died, and went to the land of spirits. The Indian girl mourned for him on earth; and he mourned for her in the spirit land. Though surrounded by everything that the Indian heaven could offer, he still was not happy. He mourned the absence of his betrothed.  A few nights after his death, a spirit from the land of the dead came to her in the night in a dream or vision, telling her that her lover was in heaven, where there was everything his heart could wish, but that his grief and longing for her was inconsolable, and that he could not be happy unless she came to him. This apparition or vision weighed upon her mind; and she told it to her parents. The were puzzled and in doubt as to what to
do. The next night the spirit spoke to her again. The vision was repeated three times, when the parents thought they ought to send the young girl to her lover, fearing some dreadful visitation from the death land if they failed to comply.

     Accordingly they prepared a canoe and put the girl into it and started with her across the water to the island where all the Indian dead are gathered in the happy spirit land. On and over the waters they glided; and as the curtain of night began to fall, and everything had a shadowy, misty appearance, while their weary oars plied the deep, silent waters, a light came gleaming over from the island. They then heard the sound of music of the Indian drum, with singing and dancing. They pulled on up to the shore and landed, where they were met by four spirit people, who took the Indian girl and bade her friends return to the living and not gratify their curiosity by prying into the scenes around them. The earth people returned; and the bride was conducted to a great “dance house,” a large lodge built of mats made of tules. When inside this great place she met the young man. If he was noble and beautiful among the living, how much more beautiful was he here, - young, fair, grand and immortal, and bedecked with all the splendor that heaven could bestow. Their bliss was complete. All night long they spent in mazy, delirious bliss; and, when it began to grow light and the birds of heaven began to sing, the spirit folk began to diminish their festivities, their song began to die away, and the singers and dancers began to retire to sleep. The young couple like the others repaired to their bed and fell asleep. As the peaceful, dreamless sleep of the spirit world came upon them, and she closed her eyes, it was upon a scene of joy and heavenly splendor.

     She being of the living, did not sleep soundly like the spirits. When the sun was far up in the heavens, she awoke and looked about her. When she fell asleep she was in the midst of indescribable bliss, locked in the arms of one clad in immortal beauty. She now saw her lover a hideous skeleton. His skull, with its hollow sunken eyes and horrid, grinning teeth, were turned towards her. Around her waist were the bony arms and long, skeleton fingers. Looking about she saw withering mouldering corpses; and the air was filled with stench. With a wild scream of terror, she sprang from her couch, which she saw was in the burial place of the dead. She ran, filled with the most horrid feelings, outside and began to look about for means to convey her back to the land of the living. After some search she found an old woman with a canoe. Procuring this boat she found her way back to her home and friends among the living. She related her wonderful experience to them; and they were much surprised and fearful that the spirits would be offended, and that some great calamity would befall them on account of the girl’s return. The
spirit lover had paid for her according to Indian custom, and had a legal claim upon her. The friends reproved the girl, telling her that she had treated the spirit people wrongfully, and explained that she should have slept all day until evening and she would not have found herself among mouldering corpses when she awoke, but would have been happy. Fearing to keep the girl from her lover, they sent her back in a boat. When she landed on the happy isle, she was escorted to the great house of festivities and found her lover there, bright, beautiful and happy as ever. She enjoyed with him the pleasures of the night; and they retired to slumber for the day. This time and always afterwards she slept through all the day; and when darkness came on she came forth with all the other spirits to be happy during the night.

    In the process of time a wonderful child was born in spirit land, half spirit and half of the earthly or living. It was of remarkable beauty. The young man was anxious that his mother on earth should



82                                      HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST—OREGON AND WASHINGTON

see the little stranger, and told his spouse they would send for baby’s grandmother to come, and that the baby and its mother should then return to the land of the living, and that the father would afterwards follow and bring with him all the dead people to live on earth again. A spirit messenger was sent, who told the grandparents how the young people were happy in the spirit land, and that they had a wonderful
baby, and desired the grandmother to come to the happy isle and accompany the mother and child back to the land of the living again, and that the father was going to bring back all the dead people to live among them again. This was good news to the old people, who had heard nothing from their daughter for a long time. Agreeably to this arrangement, the grandmother went to the land of the dead, and was received by her children. She was cautioned, however, that she must not look upon the baby yet. There was to be a penance of ten days. The old grandmother was very anxious to see the baby; and the longer she waited the greater grew her anxiety. She finally concluded she would lift up the cloth that covered the baby board, and just peep in once. One little look could do no harm; and no one would be the worse for it. Her curiosity and anxiety thus overcame her prudence, and she peeped in and saw the sleeping  beauty. In consequence of this stolen look, the baby sickened and died. This very much displeased the sprit people; and they decreed that, because of this sin, the dead should never return to the living again. The grandmother was sent back, and they never heard of the young couple any more.

     We find in this legend, and in the one where Coyote and Eagle try to bring back the dead, that the project was spoiled through curiosity or over-anxiety. We are thus reminded of the old charge of curiosity brought against Eve in eating the forbidden fruit. A legend or myth often told among some of the tribes represents Coyote as going after the dead people, and having them in a basket on his back. He was cautioned to not look back on any account whatever, no matter what noises he heard or what happened. He heard the spirits talking and rustling about, and was very curious to see what they were doing. His curiosity became so great that he could stand it no longer; and he looked back over his should into the basket, whereupon the spirit people flew off in every direction and vanished, leaving Coyote foolishly standing with an empty receptacle.

     The Wisham legend about the isle of the dead is a fine illustration of the fact that though the people of all nations have believed there was a place where the dead were far happier and better than the living, yet they had no desire to go there. Though the young warrior was happy and dwelling in splendor greater than he could expect among the living, yet he would have the dead all return to the living. There is a certain mistiness, unsubstantiality and uncertainty about the future spirit land; so that an Indian of ordinary flesh and blood would prefer to take his chances among the material, sensual people of this world. Thought the Indian heaven is a very grand place according to his view, he is not in any special hurry to shuffle off this mortal coil and claim his possessions in the shadowy world.

     Among the river Indians about the Cascades, Dalles, Celilo and other points there is a belief, that during the daytime the spirits of the dead remain in the “dead-houses” or graves among the bones and corpses; that during the hours of sunlight they are in a state of entire unconsciousness, - a dreamless, dead sleep, as if for the time being they were annihilated; but that, when it grows dusk, and darkness
creeps on, the spirits arouse and come forth and go abroad over the world. they hold spirit dances at the cemeteries; and the Indians claim to have seen strange lights at the burial-places at night, and to have even heard the sound of the Indian drum and weirdly singing. Nearer the coast, where they in years  gone by sometimes placed the dead in shallow water where there were decaying leaves and vegetation, it
is quite probable that they may have seen the phosphorescent ignis-fatuus, the Jack o’lantern of the Whites; and their heated and excited imaginations could easily create almost any sound or sight to complete the apparition.

     DANCES.

     Dancing with the Indians was an exercise of a religious or medicinal or conjuring character, and sometimes was apparently only a social pastime. Some tribes ad dances that were not practiced by others. Those west of the cascades probably had a greater number of dances than those living east of the mountains. They traveled about less; and the long, rainy, winter days and nights gave them more time in which they were compelled to stay indoors. Much of this time was spent in gambling, dancing, and other Indian amusements. Many if not all the dances were more or less mixed up with tamanowash or witchcraft; and the doctors or shamans had generally leading roles in the performances. They had regular autumnal religious dances, in which all—men, women and even little children-took part. This was particularly true among the Klikitats, Yakimas, Cayuses and other Eastern Washington tribes. These dances were generally held in long lodges made of tule mats.

     Sometimes mat houses were made expressly for dancing purposes. When preparing for  a dance, the lodge was swept clean. The men were arranged in a row on one side, and the women on the other. Sometimes the parties in the rows were arranged according to height, the highest being at the back end and gradually tapering to the shortest at the front and nearest the entrance. I the back end and between the rows were from one to three men with drums made by stretching raw hide over a rim of wood three or four inches wide. In addition there was sometimes another person with a small bell. The master of ceremonies in this dance was an old, gray-haired man often partially or wholly blind, a sort of
prophet or orator. When all was ready, the drums sounded. A monotonous chant or song was taken



                      LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS                     83

up by all, and the dancers began. The dancing was merely bending the knees slightly, and then straightening the limbs and raising up on the ball of the foot and toes, and then dropping the heel back again, repeating the same movements over and over, all keeping time together in both the singing and dancing. While dancing the arms were bent at right angles, the hands being out in front and slightly moving to the time of the music. When this performance had gone on for some time, there was a pause; and all stood perfectly silent and still while the old prophet gave a short talk in a rather loud, monotonous tone between preaching and chanting. All listened with the greatest deference, and at it's close gave audible assent in what seemed to be a sort of amen. At this dance the greatest decorum, solemnity and order prevailed. No one ever smiled or gave any sign of levity or mirth.

     The old prophet's exhortations were reminders of what the god Coyote had taught the Indians as to their duties in life. They were called upon to remember how they had food and raiment, and were enjoined to live good lives and have glad hearts over what good things they had. Sometimes really good and almost eloquent things were said; and then there would be references to their most miserable superstitions. A few years ago a noted prophet (Smoholla) and doctor among a branch of the Spokanes created quite a stir among the Indians of the Northwest. He held religious dances and harangued the Indians, telling them that he had a revelation from the spirits, a vision in which he had been told that very soon all the Indians who had died or been killed for year were going to rise suddenly from their graves and take on physical bodies, and that the Whites were going to be overpowered and utterly rooted out of all the Northwest. All the Indians that formerly lived in the Atlantic and Western states were going also to rise up and exterminate the Whites there; and this country would all belong to the Indians again, and they would have undisturbed possession. The result of this drumming, dancing and preaching spread everywhere; and, but for the better judgment and authority of Chief Moses, all the Northern tribes would have joined in the Nez Perce Joseph war.

     The Chinook wind dance was held when the snow stayed on long, and the Indian ponies began to grow poor and die, and there was a prospect of a general destruction of their herds. the tamanowash men were appealed to, and a dance arranged. This dance was usually largely attended. The general arrangement was much the same as in the ordinary religious dance. The doctors or shamans took a more important part, in fact were the centers of attraction. While the drumming and dancing went on, the shamans grew excited, and gyrated about frantically. Finally the more bold bared their arms, and with  a butcher knife cut deep gashes across the fleshy part of the arm. Sometimes several were cut about
half an inch or more apart. Blood flowed profusely; and the demoniac conjuror sucked it out and drank it, or even ripped out the strips of flesh with his teeth and devoured them like a ravenous beast. These extravagant performances were thought by the common people to indicate great bravery and manhood; and the performer showed the scars afterwards with evident pride. During this orgy, the old prophets or tamanowash men called upon the spirit of the wind to come and drive away the snow and save their perishing stock. If the warm wind did not come sooner, the dancing and drumming was kept up at intervals for days. When finally it did come it was always considered that the doctors or shamans had brought it. No argument would have any influence in changing the Indian mind. If one attempted to reason on the subject, he would be asked: “Don’t you see the snow going off? Isn’t the wind blowing? Can’t you see and understand?” The snow was on the ground; the doctors drummed and danced; the snow melted; the doctors did it. This was the method of reasoning.

     In the scalp dance, the women did the dancing inside of a ring formed by the other members of the clan sitting around. the dancers were half naked, hideously bedaubed with paint, and with loose, flowing hair. They danced about while those sitting around sang a wild, monotonous song, and beat on boards or poles with short clubs. The Indians of the extreme Northwest of Washington had a seal dance, in which men only took part. The dance or lodge was near or over water; and the naked performers plunged into the water, and then came up out upon the floor of the lodge upon their bellies, to imitate the actions of a school of sportive seals. The dance, probably, was at first a sort of thanksgiving for the seal, similar to the salmon dance among the Columbia river Indians. There was a  death dance, a very solemn and impressive performance, and numerous other dances. Enough has been given, however to show the general character of them all. It was difficult for an observer to tell whether some of their dances were of a religious or sportive character, as solemnity and levity were so blended.

    MARRIAGE.

     The young Indian spends no long time in wooing and winning his bride. Marriage among the  aborigines was largely a commercial transaction. Fathers frequently bought wives for their sons while they were almost infants, - long before puberty. It was thought they would most likely live more amicably and happily together if brought up together. In many instances girls were bought who were a number
of years older than the bridegrooms; and, before the boy had grown up to maturity, the girl took a notion to some other young brave, and then there was a liability of a family row. If under such circumstances the girl decided to leave her legal boy husband, and could not be prevailed to wait for him to come to years of



84                                            HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST—OREGON AND WASHINGTON

maturity, it was considered a very disgraceful affair; and the girl’s father must return to the boy’s father the purchase price of the damsel. If the price paid was considerable, the girl’s parents were interested in having her remain loyal to the boy husband.

     The more common mode of procedure was this: A young man or boy saw some girl whom he fancied he would like for his wife; and the subject was mentioned to his mother or father. They conferred with the girl’s parents, and agreed upon a price. The price of a wife was almost always paid in horses among the Eastern tribes, the price being from five to fifty horses. From ten to twenty was a fair average among
the Eastern Washington Indians. It was always understood that a good, round price would insure a better article, as in other merchandise. It was a prevalent idea that a woman who had cost a good many ponies would prove more faithful and be a more desirable bride; besides, it was considered a mark of dignity and honor to pay good price for a wife. Such young men were looked up to, and were on the way to tribal distinction. When an agreement was reached, word was immediately sent to the young man, informing him of the success of the negotiations. He was soon on the way to the lodge of his bride’s parents, some of his relatives driving the stipulated horses. Buffalo, elk or deer skins and beadwork or articles of apparel were taken also as “exchange gifts.” arrived at the lodge, a crier announced that such and such parties were to be married. The friends gathered in, and the ceremonies began. The Indian wedding ceremony was something considerably longer than the ordinary operation by the justice of the peace. Two robes were spread down side by side in the lodge; and the bride was carried to the spot
on the back of female relatives and seated on one of the robes. The young man was then escorted to the other robe and seated by his affianced. The young man’s relatives then combed the bride’s hair; and, while coming, some of the friends poured over her head out of a basket a lot of small beads or shells, which were sportively called lice. The hair was combed and braided, and the beads gathered up; and then began an “exchanging” of gifts over the heads of the bride and groom.

     The bride’s relatives placed on her head dresses of buckskin, beadwork and other trinkets; and the groom’s friends took these and placed on her head other articles instead, which her friends took away. This same ceremony was performed over the young man’s head. It was customary to exchange articles of female use or wear over the bride’s head, and articles used by males over the head of the groom. During all this time, great interest was taken and much merriment indulged in by all the party. The girl’s father and mother usually go t a good deal the best of the bargain in the exchanges; this was expected. If the groom was pretty liberal in his offer, and paid a good many horses, the old man usually
took a few from his own band and presented the couple. This exchanging went on until it seemed that the young man was marrying the whole clan, and that all the property down to pots and kettles was being married. Before the marriage ceremony ended, the bride’s friends took her on one of her own horses to the groom’s lodge; and all her things were taken along. At the groom’s lodge further exchanges were made; and the young man was fortunate if he was not stripped of nearly everything. It was considered beggarly in a man to not almost rob himself when getting married; and remarks were made indicating that he was little and mean. His mother-in-law was likely to mar the harmony between the couple. The Indian mother-in-law is mother-in-law to the full extent, with the Indian part extra.

     With the Indian girl, getting married was often not much different from going into penal servitude for life, as the young woman was expected to be almost a slave for her husband’s family. If there were a mother-in-law on both sides, it was a felicitous thing sometimes, as the young folks could live in peace while the old mothers-in-law quarreled it out. More often than not, however, all parties got along very amicably. The relationships growing out of marriage are much stronger among Indians that the Whites. Once married into a clan, a man is a relative to each and every member. When a man married into a clan, he had a tribal right to another woman of the same clan if his wife died. If he took another woman, she must be of the same clan or family as his first wife. If a man’s married brother died, the surviving brother took the wife, or he had the right of giving her in marriage, receiving the pay for her. If she would not marry into his family or clan, then by tribal law all her property could be taken from her. It seemed to be a principle among them that the family and property all belonged to the tribe. If the woman went out of the clan, her property remained.

   MANNER OF NAMING CHILDREN.

     The Indians frequently gave their young children the name of some animal. One little fellow in a family might be called coyote, another badger, and another bear or some other beast or bird. This name was born during youth, possibly during life, but was frequently changed. A young man had the right and privilege of changing his name, and choosing one that suited him better. When a young man had done some act of valor in war or in hunting, and felt himself to be entitled to distinction, he chose a new name. This new name was such generally that if rendered into English would be a whole sentence or a phrase. It might be some kind of animal or bird, but generally was represented in some act, or in having some qualifying adjective, as “White Horse,” “Fighting Eagle,” “The man who killed the lightning,” etc. A child frequently took the name of its father, but not while the father was living, and usually not until some time after his death. Distinguished chiefs’ names were not conferred upon sons until the sons were of mature years usually. Some tribes permitted a son to take his father’s name when the widow



                                  LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS.                         85

went out of mourning; while others disliked conferring a father’s name on a young child. The Chinooks would not permit a son to assume the name of the father until it was supposed his body had crumbled to dust.

     There was a singular superstition among all the Northwest tribes in regard to pronouncing the names of persons recently dead. No Indian could be induced to speak the name of such a deceased person. In conversation, if the dead person had to be mentioned, he would be spoken of as the “son or relative” of so and so, or they would say “the man who died” at such a time and place. they believed that if the name of a deceased person were spoken he might hear it and come to the one using it, or might be offended. The deferring for a long time to give the father’s name to the son may have been connected with this superstition. When the son was about to assume the name of his father, some of the tribes, if not all, had a little ceremony connected with the occasion. A time was set; and, when it had come, a feast or dinner was given. It was expected that the very old people would have presents given them at such times. Some old man was designated to confer the name. when the time had come he stood up and said, “O, our brother  has come back to us again,” calling the name that was about to be given. He
then looked at the boy and addressed him just as if he really were his father come back again, congratulating him and expressing joy at meeting him. The old man wound up his speech by saying “What is going to be given me on this happy occasion?” some gift was then given; and some other old man or woman would get up and, after congratulating the one receiving the name, would ask for a present. Sometimes a number of old people received presents at these ceremonies. After this feast and ceremony everyone was expected to cal the individual by the newly adopted name. Some Indians changed names several times during life; and this was considered entirely right and proper.

     The Indians of most tribes were very much averse to telling their names to the Whites, and generally avoided doing so. They had a superstition that the name was in some way mysteriously connected with the soul or spirit of the person, and that if the Whites learned the name harm would come of it. Some seemed to have an idea that the name itself had a sort of soul or counter existence. With the Indian,
earth, air, water and every place in the universe was full of spirits, and everything had a spirit. Indians often, if not generally, gave fictitious names when enumerations were being made of their tribes; and such lists were wholly unreliable in many instances on this account.

   LAWS RELATING TO MURDER.

     In case of murder among the Indians, the family or clan of the murdered person went in a body to the family or clan of the murderer; and, standing outside some distance away, they demanded redress. They generally sent some old or prominent member of the tribe to act as spokesman. this ambassador conferred with the murderers friends, and returned reporting the results of his negotiations. If the terms
suggested for a settlement were agreeable to all, the blood price was paid over the aggrieved. Murder was generally compounded by the payment of horses, buffalo or elk skins. Whatever price was agreed upon., tribal law required the murderer or his friends to pay. Besides the payment of the stipulated price, there were other ceremonies and formalities. The murderer was not permitted t come into a lodge nor to
sit down with others. He was to stay outside and to sit with his back to the fire when the cooking of food was going on. If any person or persons were eating food when a murderer came around, the food was always hid away under a blanket or clothing, or put out of sight of the guilty one. they feared that food looked upon by a murderer would cause disease or death. He was to pain his face black or brown, and
dress in old, shabby clothes. He was to wear the badge of his “tah” or patron spirit. Everyone was supposed to have a patron or guardian spirit. If his “tah” was the coyote, he was to wear a piece of coyote skin on his head. His badge might be an eagle’s feather, rattlesnake skin or rattles or a part of  some inanimate object.

     Thus equipped, he must take his bow and arrows, and the instrument or weapon with which he did the murder, and go away into the mountains or some lonely place and there stay all night and not sleep, but wave the weapon in the air and thrust it into the ground, and then shoot an arrow off from him, then go and get it and shoot again in some other direction. The murderous weapon was to be waved in the
air five times and then thrust into the ground as often. He was to yell loudly also, and at the same time to put his hand rapidly to and away from his mouth, making a noise something like the warwhoop. This was to be kept up all night without rest or intermission, and repeated for five nights without food or sleep. During the five nights, he was to climb a pine or fir tree and trim it down, leaving a tuft of limbs at the top for a sign of murder. If afterwards the tree withered and died, it was an ill omen, for so should the murderer pine away and die. During these five nights it was the criminal’s duty to drink water and then produce vomiting by trusting a twig or stick of some kind down hi throat. This operation was to be repeated again and again, as a kind of washing from the blood of the murdered man. After the five days’
or nights’ performance, he was permitted to  eat food, but to take it sparingly and with closed eyes. During the continuation of this ceremony, he was to go to the sweathouse and seat himself and bathe during the hours of daylight.

     If the murderer saw the food he was eating, the Indians said it would not pass on naturally, but would remain in the stomach,and the man would waste away and die. generally a kind of doctor or witch



86                                HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST-OREGON AND WASHINGTON.

woman called by the Klikitats pamiss-pamissitla whispered some kind of incantation jargon over the murderer’s food, and fed it to him. This performance of the old hag would prevent any evil effects arising from taking the food improperly. The murderer’s hair was tied together back of his neck and kept so that he might not touch it with his hands. Whatever his hands touched was contaminated; for they were polluted with blood. For this reason he was not to touch his face or any part of his body with the hand; and, if he wanted to scratch, he must use a stick or something else. He was not to comb or dress his hair under any consideration. While out during the five nights shooting arrows, whooping,
thrusting his night into the ground, though he was to drink, he was not to drink the cup or vessel empty, but was to throw part of the water out on the ground. At the end of the five nights, this cup or vessel was to be  fastened to the top of the tree trimmed on the occasion.

     The Indians thus explain the meaning of these ceremonies. The thrusting of the knife or other instrument of murder into the ground was the wiping away of the blood of the victim, and washing out the offense. The arrows shot off in the darkness carried away the sin and responsibility for crime. The water that was thrown out would go into the earth and thence into the rivers and flow on forever; and, as it thus lived, so the murderer would live and be purified. The criminal was expected to sleep on his face for some time. If he did not, the blood of the murdered man would run down his mouth and throat, and he would die. If the stipulated blood price were paid, and all the ceremonies of the Indian law were gone through with, it was considered that the crime was wholly wiped out; and it was the duty of the victim’s friends to consider everything settled, and receive the murderer as a friend the same as if nothing had happened.

   TAMANOWASH OR SPIRIT POWER.

     Among the Indians of the Northwest, religion, sorcery and medicine were all mixed up together. The term doctor is a misnomer to the Indian medicine man. Shaman, conjuror or witch would come nearer expressing the truth. The Indian idea of disease was not that it caused by anything wrong in the workings of the physical organism, but by some unseen power or spirit which they call “tamanowash.” They acknowledge the existence of disease as we understand it, when the disease is visible and causes changes of structure, such as boils, skin diseases, cuts, bruises, etc. If such cases even prove rebellious or fatal, it is attributed to tamanowash. Usually such cases are considered amenable to material
remedies, that may be taken internally or applied externally. when asked what “tamanowash” is, an Indian never can tell except by way of giving illustrative cases of the supposed tamanowash power. It is the great something invisible and mysterious that bewitches or cats its blighting influence over men’s  lives and fortunes.

     The “doctor” or medicine man is one who is in collusion with this dreadful power or spirit, and can  in some way control it so as to avert its baleful influence. By virtue of his relation to the tamanowash spirits, the doctor is almost invincible. His withering gaze is more deadly that the fabled upas; the pointing of his finger, an exertion of his will, sends the speedy arrow of death. It is not even necessary that he should be present. He may cause absent ones to sicken and die. Each “doctor” has his patron spirit or spirits. This spirit may be that of a dead person, or of an animal, or even of a mountain cave, stone, a bird or reptile. The old Indian idea is that everything in existence, animate or inanimate, has,
besides it corporeal substance, an invisible spirit essence, a kind of ghost-like existence independent of the material thing itself. This invisible essence may be communicated to a person; and be in him, and act in collusion with him, or even dominate his actions. Either sex may have the tamanowash power. Those who become doctors or get the big-medicine power always get it in a mysterious, supernatural way. Tamanowash is a general term for the invisible witch power; while “tah” is a special manifestation of it in a particular form in the person or individual. The Indians say that those who become medicine men have the fact revealed to them while young. “Boys who have never known women,” or “girls who have not known men” are the terms they use in describing the age. The great medicine power never comes to those who have been contaminated by the opposite sex.

     The tamanowash-doctor power is nearly always communicated in the night-time. A boy of the right age going out at night in some lonely place sees or hears a coyote, owl or some other animal or object, and hears a voice speaking. The coyote will howl, or the owl may screech or hoot; but in some strange, mysterious manner it conveys to the excited youth the message he is expecting; which may be in the form of a command to do something. Whatever the words spoken may be, they are to be remembered. If this communication be remembered until the candidate reaches maturity, he will be a medicine man. Sometimes the tamanowash power is communicated in a more terrible and impressive manner. The person is met in some dark, lonely place by a fiery, shining animal, or a walking human skeleton of huge proportions illuminated within by a mysterious light. The eye sockets of this strange being gleam and flash like burning fire. Within the chest between the ribs is seen a great heart swinging and beating from side to side; while thunders roll and lightnings flash in the face of the terrified beholder, who falls to the earth unconscious. While he remains in a trance-like condition, the wonderful apparition speaks to him in  a dream, telling him what to do. He is commissioned to heal, destroy or prophesy. When he comes out of his trance, the strange being is gone; and he is alone in silence and darkness. He now has the “big medicine” or tamanowash power, and never during life can he get rid of it. In many of the tribes, the



                             LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS                  87

candidate, before entering upon his business, went off into some lonely mountain cave or unfrequented place and then fasted until lank and haggard, and filled with superstitious frenzy. He then came from his place of retirement emaciated and with glittering, diabolic eyes, wild with excitement, hideously painted and almost naked. Raving and yelling like a maniac, he rushed among his friends. Seizing the flesh of their arms in his teeth, he bit out a mouthful and devoured it like a ravening beast. Strange to say, among some tribes it was considered a matter of honor to be able to show the scars made by these frantic human devils.

     Among some tribes north of Puget Sound in British Columbia, these shamans or conjurors actually ate human dead bodies or attacked and devoured dogs. The Clallams and Nisquallies came nearer following the practices of the Indians farther north in these respects. A young person was not expected to exercise tamanowash powers until the age of maturity. it was seldom that anyone under forty entered the ranks of the medicine men. The Columbia river Indians, Klikitats, Okanagan and others used to send their children out at night to the “houses of the dead” to listen to what the dead might say. If a man had a son whom he wished to grow up a doctor, he would send him out to some lonely place, with
instructions to look out for “tah.” Filled with horrid fears, and with an excited imagination, the young fellow would hear or imagine he heard a voice from some object or being; and he thus would get his “big medicine” diploma in short order and with little cost except the shock to his nervous system. Those who went often and never received a call were considered to be for some cause unfitted for the mysteries and dignities of the “big medicine.” The Indians idea is that the spirit of the animal, bird or thing becomes the shaman’s or conjuror’s patron spirit. The kind of animal or object from which the tamanowash is received indicates to some extent the scope or power of the doctor. A man inspired by the
rattlesnake is a “snake doctor,” can handle rattlesnakes without danger, and can cure snake bites. Should a snake bite him, he would not die. A doctor receiving his tamanowash from the tichachie (ghosts) can handle corpses or go into the “dead-houses” or grave, and can communicate with the dead; and the spirits of the dead will hold converse with him; all of which things are impossible to ordinary persons. Some “medicine men” can bring the Chinook wind; others cause the salmon to come up the river; and others still can influence the huckleberry crops. A very “strong doctor” may have a variety of powers, and be capable of doing many wonderful things. Some have claimed to be able to eat fire,
drink boiling water, or wash in scalding water, because they had the “fire spirit.” Any real “tawatie”  could cause a person to sicken and die. The death might be lingering or sudden.

     Indian doctors often admitted they had killed certain persons and threatened to kill others. Threats of this kind were made to extort favors or frighten others into doing what the “medicine man” desired done. Not very unfrequently marriages were broken up and business transactions interfered with in this way. In some few cases it was said the medicine man could not help killing or causing others to sicken. The big medicine overpowered him and dominated his actions against his will. The tamanowash was offended; and the life of the victim was the penalty, the doctor being the unfortunate medium of this direful calamity. Usually the “tawatie” was held to be fully accountable and even charged with the
most extravagant absurdities. Sickness caused by the doctors was called “tamanowash sick;” and no material medicine could ever have any influence in curing ailments of this class. The evil spirit must be  exorcised or killed or “pulled out.” The disease is considered to be  a living entity that has entered the person; and often the old tamanowash man makes a diagnosis of a “bug in the stomach or heart;” or a “worm or worms in the heart” or limbs. These astute doctors or conjurors even go on to give the size of the insect or animal, tell its color and describe its malevolent antics in the system. The superstitious bystanders, with protuberant eyes and mouths agap, swallow the whole thing as fact indisputable. Frequently the person sick claims to have no pain anywhere; there is no fever, no observable disorder of any of the functions. He is sick though; he feels that the tamanowash has entered him, and that he is going to die. He has the “Indian sickness,” tamanowash sickness, - in short, is bewitched. In such a case, it is the spirit or soul that is sick. We would say it was a case of imagination. There must be a big
pow-wow to exorcise the demoniac influence.

     The medicine man cannot exercise his tamanowash powers over a white person, though they can bewitch a half  breed if the half breed has the Indian heart. If he has the “Boston tum-tum” then the tamanowash will not operate; which is equal to saying that the Indian doctor can influence anyone who is superstitious and credulous enough to imagine he has this wonderful tamanowash power. The big medicine is called, by the most of the tribes of the Northwest, “tow-ten-ook.” This towtenook has no special properties of healing. It is a sort of power working according to the will of the person from whom it may emanate; and the same towtenook may kill or cure as the shaman wills it to do. The
Indians had really very little knowledge of the effects of disease on the internal organism. They believed recovery would surely follow if only the offending tamanowash could be expelled. The wasted form of the consumptive, or the poisoned blood and exhausted vitality of the typhoid-fever patient, formed no bar to recovery, provided the bad medicine was eliminated some way. In case of the death of a patient, the doctor always attempted to screen himself by charging the death upon some other doctor. This was the only occasion when the medicine man was willing to acknowledge any other doctor was stronger; and it was then a matter of self-protection. If some other doctor had been conjuring about the patient, and had made a failure to cure, the next doctor called would likely as not say the first one was causing the sickness; and a good deal of friction would ensue.



88                                            HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST—OREGON AND WASHINGTON

     It was firmly believed that just before death the dying person would have it revealed to him who the offending tamanowash man was that was causing the sickness and death. Such a statement was implicitly believed, and was regarded something as “dying statements” have been by civilized courts, that is, received without oath or questioning.. In prolonged cases, frequently several conjurors were called; and
they usually managed to agree upon throwing the blame on some distant doctor; which poor medico, being out of seeing or hearing distance, the load of the great crime was not very afflicting; and this very convenient arrangement enabled the medical conclave to get off with the honors and emoluments of the occasion, and escape the responsibility for a failure. If the patient died, however, no matter what the disease or condition, the verdict of the friends was “wake skookum tocta;” which classical Chinook almost any old pioneer would understand to be equivalent to saying that the doctors for the occasion were rather small fry. As in the days of witchcraft, so among the Indians, persons who disavowed all claim of being “doctor” were accused of giving tamanowash, or bewitching people. Unfortunately the accused had no power to prove their innocence, as protestations on their part were of no avail. Such person were in a bad predicament. The Indians believed that, as they had caused the sickness, they could cure it, and they were urged to do so, and even threatened. If to save themselves they yielded and engaged in pow-wowing, then of course the name of being doctor was fixed irrevocably. The glory of the “medicine man” was far from being unalloyed; and he always stood a chance of getting a speedy passport to the country where there was no field for the exercise of his powers. The medicine man was much more dreaded than loved; and the respect he commanded arose much more from fear than genuine regard; and often the tamanowash man was spoken of (in his absence) as a rattlesnake or wolf.

     There were many kinds of doctors. Some operated in one specialty, and some in another; while some of the big-medicine men claimed to be equal to almost any emergency, and often were reported to have resuscitated dead persons. Among these conjurors were those who were not considered to have the “big medicine.” The Klikitats and Yakimas called one class of these the “pamiss-pamiss” doctors, that is, those who have the power to charm or control the minds or feelings of others. They were supposed to have the power to cast a spell over others so as to soften anger, change purposes or will, or even compel a certain course of action. These were often old women or old men. Their power was
invoked to charm away the spirits that linger about and poison the food of those in mourning, or who have committed murder. They of this class pretend to tell the fortunes of the chase or of war. Lying down upon the earth listening and whispering unintelligible gibberish, they claimed to divine what was going on in the distant chase or battle. They also mumbled over those fallen into a faint or fit to divine whether the sickness would be fatal, and to otherwise exercise a benign influence upon the sufferer.

     A very singular superstition among all the Northwestern Indians was that their dogs and little infants could converse together before the child learned the Indian language; after this time it lost or forgot the dog language. The Indian babies understand the dogs, and the dogs understand the babies. This may partly explain the great love the Indian has for his dogs; for it is a fact that often the Indian would consider the striking or kicking of his dog to be a worse insult than to be struck himself. There are certain “small doctors” who claim to be “baby understanders” and “dog understanders;” and, strange to say, the services of these functionaries are or were not infrequently brought into requisition. How these dog and baby linguistics acquire the faculty of interpreting canine and infant whinings is variously explained; but there is always mystery about it. Sometimes it is through inspiration by the dog spirit; or, once in a while, a talented baby fails to forget the dog language at the time he acquires the Indian tongue; and of course he would be a suitable person for interpreter to unfold dog and baby
lore. Though white people do not know it, the whinings of dogs, and the infant da, da, babbling, all mean something, - are attempts to make known their wants. These dog and baby understanders can interpret all this for the enlightenment and edification of Indian humanity.

     A common notion among these tribes is that a baby sickens or dies of its own accord, or because something has been done or said that is displeasing to it. Under these circumstances the wonderful dog or baby “understander” has an opportunity to show his skill. If a child cries or frets and is cross, and jabbers and mumbles a great deal and seems to be about half sick, as babies often do, the Indian people imagine the baby is trying to say something; and that, unless its language is interpreted, it will die. When these pretentious interpreters undertake a case, the baby is taken into their arms; and some kind of medicine song is sung, the body being swayed backward and forward; and the little one is asked such questions as, “What troubles you?” “Have you not been fed enough?” “Have you not warm clothes?” “Has any one spoken ill of you?” “Does someone want the property you would inherit?”  “Are the spirits trying to get you away from us?” etc. After various performances, the “doctor” rendered the interpretation. Whatever was troubling the baby must be removed and its wishes obeyed; and it would recover, otherwise it would die. It was commonly believed that a dog belonging to one of these linguistic conjurors would, if left at the camp of its owner, report on his or her return what had transpired during the  owner’s absence. If anyone entered the hut, took anything away, or meddled about the premises, the faithful canine would in his own language relate all to the owner on his return. Remarkable stories have been told by the Indians proving most positively the existence of this dog language, provided the “yarns” could be believed.



                                     LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS                          89

   TREATMENT OF THE SICK.

     The treatment of the sick among the Indians was and is only a sort of conjuring. The “tawaties” or “big medicines” use no material remedies whatever. Among some of the tribes in Southern Oregon the shaman used to cut a small bit of buckskin, and slit the skin of the body and work the bit gradually under. This was done under cover of blankets or skins, so that the operator’s hands were out of sight of patient and surrounding spectators. This bit of buckskin was charmed or had some mysterious magic power of sinking down into the body and destroying the disease. When in case of sickness the medicine man is sent for, the price is agreed upon beforehand; and in nearly all cases a cure is promised before the patient is seen. Often the doctor announces the diagnosis before going to the patient. Of course he could cure anything; otherwise why should he be a big medicine man at all; and, besides, an expression of distrust as to his ability would brand him with the name of being no good. The Indian wants a sure thing or nothing; and though the theory is no cure no pay, the doctor generally was smart enough to get his pay, kill or cure. The expectation is that recovery is to be speedy. The doctor has been known to promise perfect recovery in one day of the patient far gone in consumption, and who had not a ghost of a  chance of ever being any better. Sometimes, however their pow-wows are kept up for days or at intervals for a long time.

     The medicine man, when called, is supposed to wear his official badge, generally his medicine hat. If his patron spirit is from the bear, he will have a bearskin cap, - perhaps the skin of the bear’s head, with ears, nose and eyes all attached; and he may have a bear’s foot hung somewhere about his dress. His official badge may be from the owl, beaver, or any animal or thing by virtue of whose spirit he performs his exorcisms. The terms for the cure being settled, the conjuror sets out to see his patient, and performs his exorcisms. The terms for the cure being settled, the conjuror sets out to see his patient, and enters the lodge invested with all the dignity and solemnity, and mystery as well, that he can bring to the occasion. His movements are all very deliberate, as should be the case on momentous occasions. Going in, he seats himself by the side of the patient. He is not expected to ask the location of pain or discomfort; for, as a matter of course, he knows all about that better than the patient himself. He places his hands on the body, presses down and retains his hands in position some time. Often he heats them by the fire and replaces them, and goes through various strokings or cabalistic maneuvers. After a time he probably announces his diagnosis to the gaping bystanders. With a solemn visage, he may state that the man has a spider in his heart. The spider spirit is big medicine. Some of the tribes say that the grand sachem tamanowash, is in the shape of a giant spider. The doctor not only tells what the animal is, but gives the size, color, shape and everything in such a circumstantial manner that the common Indians believe it. How could he describe it so minutely if he did not see it? He is careful to explain that he can extract the insect, secundem artem tamanowashem. In many instances a fly or maggot is said
to be the cause of the sickness, particularly if there be some kind of ulcer. Whatever the medicine man may diagnosticate, the patient has tamanowash sickness, and generally it is caused by some evil-disposed doctor; and nothing will work a cure but to “make medicine” or go through their pow-wows and conjuring.

     When there is to be a doctoring ceremony gone through with, a lot of the near neighbors are generally on hand to assist. The assistants are either seated around the tent or camp inside, or in two rows, one on either side. Often they operate on the outside. Before the persons so seated there are poles or boards upon which to drum; and each individual is armed with two small clubs from one to two feet long to drum with. The patient is generally between the two rows of drummers, and the shaman sits near him. The medicine man begins his incantations, and all join in. He generally sits cross-legged, “tailor fashion,” and sways his body backward and forward; and, with his arms bent at right angles, he swings them backward and forward or in and out. With their clattering, drumming and lugubrious singing, they make about as ear-splitting and hideous a medley of sounds as could be imagined. The medicine man often takes a mouthful of water and blows it in fine spray over the patient’s body, and often in his excitement becomes violent, kneading or thumping the victim’s body. He often grasps the flesh of the chest or abdomen in his ample mouth, and begins sucking to draw out the offending disease, or probably to impress the mind of the sick man and his friends. A common occurrence towards the close, when the  excitement has got wrought up to a high pitch, is for the conjuror to go through motions of extracting something from the patient's body, twisting, grunting and sweating, as if the effort were tremendous. He then pretends he has the thing or animal in his hands, and perhaps takes a butcher knife and goes through the motions of hacking it into bits, and then, holding it up, blows it away. A sigh of relief escapes from the  friends; the doctor has the demon devil or whatever it is by the heels or by some other secure grasp, and the patient is saved. The Indians look on this with profound awe, if not admiration; the doctor  is a  genius, a conjuror of spirits, a worker of wonders!

     If, however, the patient should die next day or soon, they would want to knock him on the head with a hatchet. Thus fickle is fame; - the man who is a hero and demigod to-day may be a slaughtered devil to-morrow. The ceremony is not always the same. It varies a great deal in different tribes; but the drumming and hideous “singing” have been everywhere practiced. No mater what the state of the patient’s nervous system, or how low in disease, the head-splitting Plutonian racket must go on. Many a pour soul has been thumped and drummed out of time into eternity who perhaps if let alone would have recovered. The shaman often worked himself into almost a frenzy of excitement, so that he fell into a



90                                                            HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST—OREGON AND WASHINGTON

sort of cataleptic state, or had convulsions. The doctors say that in some instances the tamanowash, when exorcised and coming out of the patient, enters into the doctor like the devils of old went into the swine; and he becomes crazy and raves around like a demon, and falls as if dead or insensible. In other cases he will groan as if about to die, so as to be heard a great way off. Of course when he ceases groaning and gets up, he has triumphed over the tamanowash spirit and conquered the disease.

     There are a few doctors who profess to have a mysterious patron spirit which they call Skaiap. This patron spirit or influence always comes to the medicine man as a voice, and is never seen. It is the prince of all the spirits of evil. The commands of Skaiap must be obeyed. This Skaiap tamanowash causes insanity, and all forms of madness and epileptic fits. To disobey the voice of Skaiap will bring death. It may be sudden, or lingering and painful. The person they say usually becomes frenzied and wild. Indians have no doubt become crazed through the belief that they were affected by this demoniac power. Skaiap sometimes commands the most painful and distressing things to be done. One was to swallow alive a great quantity of black water beetles, and another to sing tamanowash songs day and night for five years. If a medicine man has the Skaiap tamanowash, and it forsakes and leaves him, he dies a raving maniac and persists in jumping into the fire until roasted to death. This is a true picture, and shows how dark and dreadful was the cloud of superstition that darkened the lives of the aborigines of this country.

     Besides the tamanowash doctors or conjurors, there were a class of medicos who administered remedies internally. Decoctions of herbs, roots and barks were given for fevers, colds, coughs and other ailments. These doctors were mostly women. The big-medicine power was mostly exercised by men. The two had a different name. Those who gave material remedies or “pluh” were “pluhitla;” while the “big-medicine”
power was exercised by the “tawaty.” These “pluhitla” often attempted to magnify their calling and increase their importance by creating as much mystery as possible about their business. It was a common notion among the Indians that bad blood or too much blood was the cause of much sickness. One of the offices of these “small doctors” was to bleed by opening a vein or by sucking the blood out through the skin. Frequently the scalp was cut to allow blood to flow to relieve headache. In many diseases they believed there was blood collected at a part which caused pain or distress. The actual cauterizing or burning with a hot iron was a favorite remedy for rheumatism and stiffened joints. I have seen the scars from these procedures covering the joints and all along the spine. When an Indian takes medicine, he wants visible results, and the more sudden and violent the better. Medicines to produce vomiting were much sought; and powerful purgatives were much thought of. Some of the doctors acquired considerable popularity on account of their skill in sucking blood from the bodies of patients. As this performance was a source of revenue, they of course managed to make business whenever they could; and they generally succeeded in discovering that there was too much blood or bad blood in every case, and that recovery could  not possibly occur unless it was drawn out.

     Some of these doctors practiced a good deal of chicanery in their manipulations. To equip themselves more fully for their sanguinary operations, and enable them to bring copious supplies of blood on short notice, these medical lights gathered dried blood where animals had been slaughtered. With a good supply of this desiccated gore on hand, the doctor could make a bloody showing in short order, and could
perform the reputed impossibility of drawing “blood from a turnip.” Before beginning to suck blood from the patient’s body, a small bit of this dried blood was put into the mouth. A profuse flow of saliva soon dissolved it; when the doctor could spit out mouthful after mouthful of blood to the admiration and astonishment of the beholders. We thus see how brains and genius triumph over ignorance even among savages!

     Worms, beetles, bugs, etc., were frequently drawn from the patient’s body. Before beginning his operations, the doctor managed to adroitly slip wood-worms, maggots, beetles or even a small frog into his or her mouth; and after a brief effort and some mysterious strokings the animals were spit out, living, wriggling proofs of the doctor’s skill; whereupon the patient could breath easily, confident that the cause of his sufferings were removed. To vermin-eating savages, this nasty operation was doubtless less offensive than it would be to civilized people. The vision of “pay” had no doubt much effect in rendering the operation less odious and disgusting. One thing may be said to the credit of the Indians in their management of the sick. They made frequent changes in their position; and, instead of starving the sick, insisted upon feeding them. When an Indian’s appetite failed, and he could not take “muck-a-muck,” he was considered to be in a bad way; and the opinion was generally well founded, for an Indian’s appetite usually holds out as long as Lo himself; and, if die he must, it is a great consolation to go with a full
stomach.

    SPIRITUALISM.

     There seems to have been something among the Indians similar to spiritualism or mesmerism known and practiced for ages. Instead of table tippings and rappings, the mediums, who were always big-medicine men, practiced what was known as “dancing the stick.” I never witnessed the performance, but have heard it described frequently by eye-witnesses who were present and observed the practice years ago on the Columbia river among the Cascade Indians and also among the Puget Sound tribes. There were aid to be very few who had the skill or power to practice this kind of “tamanowash” doings. In some of the dances, these sticks were rapidly passed form one dancer to another while the singing and



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dancing was going on. From long usage, and being passed from hand to hand, the part that was grasped was worn smooth, and in some instances half worn in two. They were used in a perpendicular position, being grasped near the upper end and thus passed about.

     An old doctor at or near the Cascades many years ago was quite famous for his exploits in “dancing the stick,” five of which he kept for his seances. They were called tamanowash sticks, and were from two to three feet long. All being gathered into the lodge and ready for the performance, the master of ceremonies began to sing his tamanowash song. After singing four times, any person present was invited
to take hold of the sticks. As the old man sang and kept time by swinging his arms, the person holding  the stick was jumped around b the stick, which began hopping about. As the tamanowash man warmed up and sung and gyrated more vehemently, the violence of the dancing increased. The dancer was instructed to hold the stick still; but the more he tried the more violently he was jumped up and down and around the lodge. Finally the stick raised up violently, uplifting the man’s arms. At last, being overcome, he fell over in a state of cataleptic rigidity still clinging with a deathgrip to the stick. The old tamanowash man then stopped his singing, and went to the dancer and stroked him or made passes over him, when the rigidity relaxed and the man awoke as from a sleep. Indians familiar with the performance describe the sensations experienced while holding the sticks as being like that produced by the interrupted electric current. Their muscles were thrown into a state of tonic spasms, so that they found it impossible to let go.

     Very amusing accounts are given of some of the incidents occurring at these seances. Sometimes these tamanowash sticks were used in the medicine pow-wows. During the drumming and singing, the stick was laid across the bed in the hands of the patient. If a cure was to be effected, the stick, while the pow-wow was going on, would raise the sick person up in bed or even pull him up on his feet. In those cases where the imagination plays the greater part in the sickness, and the will power is paralyzed, the power of faith and an excited imagination may do great things towards recovery. A great number of eye-witnesses have testified that, after being danced about for a time at the will of the sorcerer, these sticks would stand or dance about alone, and even remain suspended in the air, nothing touching them. this all sounds very much like the operations of the so-called spiritualists of modern times.

   MOURNING CUSTOMS.

     In case of the death of an Indian woman’s husband, it was the custom for the deceased man’s mother to bring the widow a present of a buffalo or elk skin, and seat the bereft daughter-in-law upon it, and then cut her hair off a little below the ears. A small bunch of hair was tied together on each side with a buckskin string just above each ear. This was known as the “widow string,” and was a badge signifying
that the woman was in mourning. The mother-in-law kept the woman’s hair during the period of  mourning, and when it was over returned it to her. If the husband’s mother or some of his clan did not make this present and cut the hair, it was equivalent to telling the daughter-in-law that her marriage into the family again was not desirable. The widow was required to wear the widow strings a whole year without combing her hair. At the end of that time it might be combed out and the strings replaced.  Two years was the ordinary period of mourning, during which the strings must be worn; some tribes required three years. She was expected during this time to wear constantly a tight-fitting basket cap
woven from grasses, and to paint her face black. At the expiration of the mourning period, the strings were removed, and the woman was a candidate for marriage. While the “widow strings” were worn, no man could show the woman any gallantry; or, if he did, the woman was expected to resent it; and the man was subject to the censure of the chiefs.

     Another curious custom that prevailed among the Northwestern Indians was that when a man died his horses were driven up, and their mane and tails were cropped. They said the dead man’s hands had stroked the mane and touched the tail. This hair was unclean, and was removed to avert evil consequences from the spirit. This cropping of manes and tails was a kind of badge, also showing to every one that the owner was dead. Horses belonging to women or children were treated the same way. When a man’s wife died, his wife’s relatives cut his hair and gave him a present of a horse or buffalo robe. This signified their willingness for him to marry into the clan again. As it was an established rule, that when a man married into a clan all subsequent wives were to be taken from that clan, it was a  disgraceful affair if the friends failed to cut the hair and make presents as just related. When one of a  clan died all other members, particularly near relatives, were to go through a period of five days’
purification by sweating and bathing. During these five days, a widow or widower would not see food prepared. A kind of broth was made and brought; and the mourner was to eat with closed eyes. They were to eat sparingly; and some fasted the whole five days. At the end of this period they ate as usual. The husband’s term of mourning was one year; but the mourning of husbands was not so rigidly enforced as that of wives. The Indians explained the five days’ sweating and washing to be a purification. The person who had died had looked upon them; they had touched his hands or person; his gaze and touch had contaminated them; and they must get rid of this contamination. In the spring or summer months, they gathered fresh rose leaves and bushes, and bruised them with stones and rubbed them on their bodies, and put the rosebushes upon hot stones in their sweathouses, pouring water on so as to make a strong



92                                    HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST—OREGON AND WASHINGTON.

odor of the rosebush, which was considered cleansing, and had the property of keeping away the spirits of the dead. They had a superstition that newly deceased persons had a desire to return and frequent the old familiar places or touch the living friends.

     There was a deathly dread of the spirits of the dead. Immediately after a death, the lodge was swept  clean. The Chinooks used to flame burning torches all about the lodge as if driving out flies. These operations would drive out the spirits. To keep away the spirits of the dead, they cast ashes or dust in the air. They said the tichachie (spirits of the dead) do not like dust or ashes. For this reason they strewed ashes along the way the corpse was carried from the lodge; the tichachie would not walk through the ashes.

     Immediately after the breath had left the body, a loud wail went up from the friends, the women in particular. In fact, the mourning was mostly done by the women. There was not set formula for the wailing. The expressions were such as, Alas! Alas! "O my dear sister!" "O my father!" I shall never see you again," etc. The mourning was most commonly done early in the morning, just as the sun was coming up. Sometimes almost the whole clan would go out towards the place of sepulture, wailing in the most doleful manner. Generally the old women were the chief mourners. These often volunteered their services at mourning, and usually expected a gift for their performances; and sometimes in order to make the gift as large as possible, they claimed to have lamented very vehemently and piteously. It often happened that sometime after a death, and when there had been no mourning for a long time, a near friend would break out suddenly in piteous wailing at the sight of a garment or other article of deceased. The Umpquas formerly put pitch and ashes or pitch and powdered charcoal on their hair while mourning; and, in all the tribes, a woman mourning for a husband deceased was not expected to wash or comb. The more ragged, dirty and slovenly she went, the greater regard she was showing the departed. To wear good clothes, laugh or be cheerful was an insult to the dead, and a certain indication that the person was lacking in respect for the deceased. Widows who did not howl vehemently or constantly enough were considered voluptuous and anxious to marry, and were regarded with contempt. Superstitious fears prevented the tribes east of the mountains from mourning at night.

     The Manner of Sepulture of the Indians varied. Those east of the Cascades buried the dead. Those on Puget Sound in many places deposited corpses in canoes, putting the body in one canoe and turning another over it, the upper canoe being the smaller. The canoes were propped up two or three feet from the ground. On the Columbia river the Indians deposited their dead in houses built of bark r cedar boards of their own making. The corpse was lashed to a post or board and placed in an inclined position until the fluids had drained away; and finally it was placed horizontally. The "dead-houses" were covered over and shut in with care. Islands in the Columbia were favorite burial places, being more out of the reach of coyotes and other wild animals. Some of the Chinooks used to put dead infants in quiet, still pools of water.

     Among all the Indians, whatever mode of sepulture was chosen, much of the deceased person's personal property was placed with or about the body. Pots, kettles, cups, guns, knives, bows and arrows, pipes, articles of clothing and ornament, and money, were buried with the dead man or placed about the grave. All utensils had holes punched in them; guns were broken or rendered useless to the living. Clothing was wrapped about the corpse with blankets and robes, and not damaged. The object of breaking or marring property was to prevent theft. The Columbia river Indians were more punctilious in their burial customs than any other of the Oregon or Washington Indians. On the death of chiefs, slaves were formerly killed that they might go into the spirit world to wait upon the master. They were strangled with a cord drawn tightly about the neck, or sometimes tightly bound and lashed to the corpse face to face, thouching and left thus to die. Horses and dogs were killed also on these occasions. The notion was that the spirit of the dead man mounted the spirit of the horse; and that thus equipped the soul of the deceased rode to the spirit land.

     A few years ago among the Yakimas, a certain Indian died; and one of his horses was killed, according to the usual custom. A little while afterwards there was a religious dance held; and a certain old tamanowash prophet claimed to have been permitted to look into the other world. He said the dead man had never reached the happy country. His people had committed a grave error because they killed a stallion for the dead man. Instead of bearing his spirit to the Indian heaven, he was roaming around over the earth with poor Shullaway, and would forever wander in quest of animals of the opposite sex! This was taken as divine revelation.

     A custom that prevailed more or less among all the tribes east of the mountains was that, if a person of a traveling party died, they placed his body upon a scaffold in the air and afterwards removed it to a place of burial. It was the usage of all the tribes to take up the bones of the dead, and clean them and wrap them in new blankets or robes, and rebury them. Sometimes this rehabilimenting was done several times. The river tribes had regular ossuaries where they stowed away the bones of the dead. At the Cascades there formerly was one extensive ossuary. It had been there doubtless for many hundreds of years. Lewis and Clark noticed it when they were on their expedition nearly ninety years ago; and it was then in much better condition than it was sixty years later. It was mostly destroyed when the Oregon Steam Navigation Company built their portage railway at the Cascades. Some of the Indians in the extreme southern part of Oregon about Klamath Lake formerly burned their dead, and burned slaves on the death of a chief.



                                             LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS                        93

     There is a prevailing idea among the Indians of the Northwest that there is some mystic power or influence connected with the wild rosebush, and that the perfume, though so pleasant to the living, is offensive to the dead. When a person was very sick they generally stuck up rosebushes all around the head of the bed to keep away the spirits. Some of the Indians say the spirits do not like the thorns. The ghosts gather about a sick and dying man, and are beckoning him and trying to steal him away from the living. Ghosts and spirits of the dead hang about graveyards; and Indians have a superstitious dread of such places.  It is a prevalent notion that the spirits are particularly active at night. Women will not carry a baby near a graveyard; or, if they do, they put rosebushes all around the pappoose board to keep away the ghosts. Spirits of the dead are supposed to have a peculiar love or affinity for little infants, and are always watching an opportunity to snatch the little souls away.

     To eat salmon or berries after touching a corpse, without being purified by the five days' sweating, would be the height of imprudence. The offended salmon would cease to run, the berries would not grow. Food so handled would never digest, would be poison and cause the body to wither away. If a sick person dies, anything he might have happened to spit upon must be burned. The dead are handled by persons who have been inspired by the ghosts, or persons who have the tichachie, (ghost) tamanowash. If the eyes of a corpse remain open, the spirit is looking back on some member of the family, who will soon follow it in death. After death in a lodge, that lodge is always torn down and removed; because the spirit of the dead person will naturally linger about where the body last lay. If a campfire by accident or otherwise be built over a grave, or where a human corpse has lain or blood was spilled in murder, the ghost of the deceased will appear in the flame, and his shadow be seen on the ground near the fire.

     At a funeral, all are careful not to drop anything they may have about the person, even a hair; the person dropping it will sicken and die. Leaving a graveyard they never look back, and never point a finger at a grave. These are insults to the dead that will surely be resented. If anyone should by accident sleep where someone was buried, or where someone died, the ghosts of the dead will draw that person's eye or mouth to one side. The distorted mouth and dropped eye caused by facial paralysis the Indians believe was always the work of spirits of the dead. The name of this disease in the Klikitat language was about the same as saying "ghost disease." those who walk over graves or where human blood was spilled and death resulted will have crooked anchylosed knee joints; the spirit of the deceased will inflict this punishment as a mark of his displeasure. Those who smell the stench of putrid corpses, the Indians believed were very liable to shrivel up, waste away and die.

     Superstition lingers long and dies hard, and is the last relic of barbarism to fall before the march of mental progress. No nation and perhaps even no individual exists to-day who is wholly free from this clog to reason. The mythic ideas of the ancient Grecians, Romans and many other nations of antiquity are emblazoned all over our literature. The days of our weeks and months are but the names of mythic heroes that lived only in the imagination of races long since dead. Astronomy, the sublimest science known to man, has crowned the stars with names once borne by hero gods and mythic personages conjured into existence by the imagination of barbarians. The people of our own blood and race are not far enough out of the fogs of superstition to divide the credulity or ridicule the myths of the savages about them. We have only to look back a few centuries to find our own ancestors living in wigwams, clad in the undressed skins of beasts, and as unlettered and superstitious as the North American Indian.

REHABILIMENT OF THE DEAD.

     Reclothing the dead was an almost universal custom of the tribes of Oregon and Washington, more especially of those along the Columbia and east of the Cascade Mountains. The Indians about the Cascades, and down towards Vancouver, formerly went in the fall, when the fishing season was over, to the islands up the Columbia, where their cemeteries and "dead-houses" were, and rehabilimented their dead. They went in boats, taking along blankets, buffalo and elk skins, moccasins, beadwork, and whatever fancy or affection might dictate, to put with the bones of their deceased friends. If they arrived at the place in the evening, bringing a corpse to put away in their places of sepulture, or bringing garments to reclothe the dead, they never stopped on the island, but camped on the shore of the river a little distance away. It was their rule to do all handling of corpses in burial, or redressing, in the forenoon, as they believed that at that time the spirits were more quiet, and not moving so freely around in the world. Along towards evening, they believed the ghosts were out around and were more active in exerting their malevolent influences. If they had along a corpse, it was taken some distance from camp, and put up out of the reach of wild beasts during the night. When thus camping near the islands containing their cemeteries, they were very superstitious and dreaded some kind of injury from the spirits of the dead. They had stories of seeing lights in the night-time about the dead-houses, and of hearing the spirits of the dead Indians beating drums and dancing. This was taken as an omen of evil. The spirits were dancing in prospect of meeting someone of the campers, who was soon to die.

     On arriving, in the morning, at the place of sepulture, the Indians sat off at a little distance, and gave directions as to the reclothing of their dead friends. The work of handling the corpses or bones was done by one man, who had received the tamanowash spirit or power from the ghosts. He was called, "thchách-au koot-koot-tla," worker with the dead, or "klaky-klé-kle," turner of the bones of the dead. This old man, for he usually was past middle life, was well paid for these services. While working about



94                                                HISTORY OF PACIFIC NORTHWEST - OREGON AND WASHINGTON.

the graves or corpses, he pretended to hold communications with the dead, and was heard talking, apparently asking or answering questions. Sometimes he would report that the spirits were offended at the presence of some person or persons of the company, in which case these persons always went away without a second warning, losing no time in their going. The old klaky-klé-kle's communications were various; and, whatever they were, they were received by the Indians as almost divine revelation. The custom was to scrape off all the decayed animal matter from the bones of the dead, and then to wrap them in blankets or robes made of the skins of wild animals, putting in such articles as moccasins, knives, beads, pipes, and red pigments for painting the face, etc. The bones, with these articles, were well wrapped up, and carefully placed on platforms elevated about two feet in their houses of sepulture. The remains of families were placed side by side, with heads to the west.

     The tribes east of the Cascade Mountains, in the bunch-grass country, generally buried their dead. these tribes also rehabilimented their dead, digging the earth out of the graves, and cleaning everything away, and wrapping the bones up in blankets or skins of animals, the same as the river tribes. In some cases the reclothing of the deceased was kept up for years; some kept it up every year, others at intervals of from two to four years.  Frequently the death of someone in the tribe would be made the occasion of reclothing a relative of the deceased, who had died years previously. Often, in such a case, the old grave was dug out; and the bones of the first were buried with the corpse in the old grave. It was generally believed that putting clothes upon the bones of deceased friends, and articles of use and ornaments in the graves, long after their burial, was greatly appreciated by the spirits of the departed, and that these blankets, clothing and trinkets in some way added to the comfort, happiness and respectability of the spirits in the other world. Somehow the spirit of the material blanket, moccasin, pipe, etc., would go and attach itself to the spirit of the dead. I do not know of any of these tribes that put food in the graves, though this may have been practiced. It was very common idea that the spirits or ghosts were always hungry; and, while the Indians did not leave food at the graves, as the Chinese do, they, when passing graves, carrying any article of food, always threw a little towards the place of burial. An omission to reclothe the dead was considered a mark of the brutish, unfeeling heart; and the neglect was liable to some dire visitation from the spirits.

    The old klaky-klé-kles, or persons who work among the bones of the dead, say they can hear very distinctly the voices of those recently buried. After some time, the sounds are less distinct; and the voices sound as if the spirits were talking "through their noses." Later on, when the body has nearly crumbled to dust, the tones get down to faint whispers; and, when the last vestige of the bones and body are gone, the voices cease entirely. Many years ago there was a famous ossuary at the Cascades, where bones had been accumulating for ages perhaps. The ruthless hand of civilization has almost obliterated these old landmarks of ancient superstition. However much we may boast of our freedom from superstition, and ridicule the ideas of the indians, there are yet many Whites who, like the "Yankee boy," feel constrained to whistle to keep up courage while passing a graveyard at night.

THE INDIANS' IDEA OF THE SOUL AND A FUTURE STATE.

     As has been mentioned, the Indians believe that all objects are of a dual nature, having a soul or spirit-like existence independent of the material form. It is said that some of the Oregon tribes formerly held that the various organs of the body were each endowed with separate souls. Among all the tribes the idea seemed to be that there were really two persons, the spirit or soul and the body with its animal life, and that the body could exist for some time while the soul was absent. This ghostlike self had the same form and visage as the body. While they believed in a spirit or soul, they di not appear to have thought it was as much a reality as the body. There was a vague, misty unsubstantiality about it that must have been very unsatisfying to their minds. The soul could leave the body and go away in dreams and trances, and could appear as an apparition in places far from the body, with form and features recognizable. In their languages, life and breath or spirit and breath meant the same thing.

     A good many if not all of the Indians believed that there were certain shamans or conjurors that could rob them of their souls, and that the body would continue to live on for a longer or shorter time, but that it must soon die. In their so-called doctoring, pow-wows, the doctors professed to restore the absent soul to its owner, and thus making his recovery to health possible. Another idea quite prevalent among the tribes in Northern Oregon and Washington was that the soul could come back and inhabit some other body. The most northerly tribes bordering upon and reaching into British columbia thought the soul came back and entered certain birds, fish, or the deer or elk. Others held that the soul came back in the body of infants born to near relatives. It entered the body of a female and appeared in her child. If the child strongly resembled the deceased, then there was no doubt but that he had appeared again; and his name was sooner or later conferred upon it. Some of the tribes in the Northwest held that the deceased could choose in what family he would be born again; and, among the poor and sick or suffering, life was laid down with little regret, believing they might after a while be born into wealthy or honorable families. It was generally believed that the spirits of the dead are out around the world very active and busy during the night, but that in the daytime they stay about graveyards and lonely, dark places. Some held that the dead go into a state of insensibility as soon as the light of day comes on; and that, when darkness broods over the world, their spirits come forth rehabilimented and happy, dancing, feasting, and engaging in all kinds of pleasure during the hours of darkness.



                                                LEGENDS, MYTHS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INDIANS                        95

     Whatever happiness or bliss was attributed to those in the spirit land, there seems to have been a sort of vague dread and much misgiving in regard to it; and their legends show clearly enough that it was the general belief that it would be desirable to have the souls of the deceased return to earth; and that the existence here is really more substantial and desirable than that in the spirit land. Everything goes to show that for some cause there had been a great deal of change going on in the belief of the tribes for some time before the advent of the Whites. Their traditions indicate that the Indians had been traveling and mixing more together than formerly. There is every indication that, at some period back only a few hundred years, the tribes had no horses; and their excursions were limited, and there were greater provincialisms in customs and beliefs than in later times. Formerly each little tribe had its own grounds, lived and died near their birthplaces, and seldom traveled to any extent. Under those circumstances, each had its own legends and myths, and its own particular belief as to the future. Now and for some years back there are found traces of several beliefs mixed in with all the tribes. There was much more independence in though and difference in religious belief than we have been prone to imagine. There was much more skepticism and tendency to unbelief than we have been taught to look for. Many individuals, when asked about the future state, will say, "I don't know." Some express a doubt as to the immortality of the soul; and some utterly deny it.

     Among most of the tribes, there seems to have been a pretty distinct idea of rewards and punishments based on the Indian's idea of right and wrong. In nearly all cases, there was hope held out for relief and final entrance into the happy land. generally, after an uncertain length of time spent in banishment, the sins of the offender were expiated, and he was permitted to pass in among the good, or was even assisted in. Among no tribes do we find anything like the orthodox fire and brimstone hell; but there are very close representations to the condition of the ancient Tantains forever tortured with images of everything pleasing to the senses, but which he was utterly unable to grasp. The Chinooks and Klikitats believed in a bright, happy land not very definitely located, where the good were permitted to enjoy themselves in hunting, fishing and every pleasure conceivable to the Indian mind; while the wicked were condemned to wander away in a land of cold and darkness to starve and freeze unceasingly. Some of the Northern tribes say that in the other world there is a dark, mysterious lake or ocean; and that out of this lake there flow two rivers. Up one on the shores there is a beautiful country filled with all manner of berries and games, while the stream abounds in fish. Here the good Indian lives in happiness and comfort forever. Up the other river there is a land of frost, darkness, a stony, barren waste, a land of briers and brambles, where the sunlight never comes and where the wicked wander forever in cold, hunger and despair.

     The Okanagans have an Indian heaven, and a peculiar kind of a hell. Instead of the orthodox cloven-footed, barbed-tailed devil, there is a being in human form with ears and tail of a horse. This fantastic being lives in the pine trees, and jumps about from tree to tree, and with a stick beats and prods the pour souls consigned to his dominions. If among the tribes of the Northwest there is any idea of a heaven in the sky or in some elevated spot in space, it probably was derived from priests or missionaries. In the extreme southern part of Oregon, the Indians represent the happy hunting-grounds as beyond a deep, dark gulf or chasm across which all must pas, - some say on a slippery pole. The good manage to get over, but the evil fall in and reappear upon earth in the forms of beasts, insects or birds. One of the most common ideas among the interior tribes was that the spirit land is situated far away towards the south or west. On its journey the soul meets far out on the way a spirit being who understands his life, and weighs all his conduct and actions. if he has been bad, he is sent on to a crooked, wandering road that leads to a land of misty darkness where the soul, forlorn, cold and hungry, forever wanders in despair; while the good are directed along a straight road leading to a country that is bright and beautiful, and abounding in everything the Indian can desire.

     These various shades of belief all give expression to that unutterable longing, characteristic of humanity in all ages, to look into the future to unravel the mystery of death, and to solve the problem of man's destiny after he quits this mortal body. In his vain attempts to satisfy the yearnings of his soul after immortality and happiness beyond the grave, men in all lands have invented mythic stories. Death, silence and darkness fill the savage mind with superstitious dread. The most profound and philosophical stand silent in the presence of death. Each tribe or nation of people has its own ideas of heaven; and each pictures what from its standpoint would seem the most happy and desirable condition. No people can picture a heaven superior to the powers of their conception to originate. The Indian's heavenly mansion was a mat-house; - because he had never seen nor thought of anything superior or better. Drumming, dancing, gaming and feasting were the highest conceptions of felicity possible to the Indian mind. Hence he pictured for himself a heaven in which these are the chief pleasures. The river and coast tribes, being accustomed to water and boats, located their heaven on a faraway island; and the spirits were conveyed tot he Indian paradise in boats. The prairie tribes, being accustomed to horses as the speediest and best mode of conveyance, sent their dead to heaven on horseback.

     We thus see that the habits of life and the surroundings of a people had much to do in their heaven building. The Indian prophet harangues the children of the prairie and forest about a heaven where drumming, dancing and various plays and sports are conducted in a great mat-house. The Mohammedan priest tells the followers of Islam of a land of palaces, fountains and delicate perfumes, where beautiful houris and genii are found; and where the soul revels in sensual pleasure. The early Christian fathers preached about a heaven with golden streets, jasper walls, seas of glass and fountains and rivers of life. A higher authority says, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive," what heaven is like; and this is in consonance with reason and philosphy.



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