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proud feelings of an Indian must be well understood to judge of the force of this self-accusation,) and to the moment of his death the remembrance of this fatal act preyed like a canker-worm upon his spirits. I ought to add, that from the time of his conversion he lived the life of a Christian, and died as such.
“ The Indians are cruel to their enemies ! In some cases they are, but perhaps not more so than white men have sometimes shown themselves. There have been instances of white men flaying or taking off the skin of Indians who had fallen into their hands, then tanning those skins or cutting them in pieces, making them up into razor-straps, and exposing those for sale as was done at or near Pittsburg sometime during the revolutionary war. Those things are abominations in the eyes of the Indians, who, indeed, when strongly excited, inflict torments on their prisoners and put them to death by cruel tortures, but never are guilty of acts of barbarity in cold blood. Neither do the Delawares and some other Indian nations, ever on any account disturb the ashes of the dead. 49." The custom of torturing prisoners is of ancient date, and was first introduced as a trial of courage. I have been told, however, that among some tribes it has never been in use ; but it must be added that those tribes gave no quarter.
The Delawares accuse the Iroquois of having been the inventers of this piece of cruelty, and charge them further with eating the flesh of their prisoners after the torture
Be this as it may, there are now but few instances of prisoners being put to death in this manner.
" Rare as these barbarous executions now are, I have reason to believe that they would be still less frequent, if proper pains were taken to turn the Indians away
from this heathenish custom. Instead of this, it is but too true that they have been excited to cruelty by unprincipled white men, who have joined
in their war-feasts and even added to the barbarity of the scene.
Can there be a more brutal act than, after furnishing those savages, as they are called, with implements of war and destruction, to give them an ox to kill and to roast whole, to dance the war dance with them round the slaughtered animal, strike at bim, stab bim, telling the Indians at the same time, Strike, stab! thus you must do to your enemy! Then taking a piece of the meat and tearing it with their teeth, So you must eat his flesh !' and sucking up the juices, ' Thus you must drink his blood;' and at last devour the whole as wolves do a carcass. This is what is known to have been done by some of those Indian agents that I have mentioned.
"Is this possible ? the reader will naturally exclaim. Yes, it is possible, and every Indian warrior will tell you that it is true. It has come to me from so many credible sources that I am forced to believe it. How can the Indians now be reproached with acts of cruelty to which they have been excited by those who pretended to be Christians and civilized men, but who were worse savages than those whom, no doubt, they were ready to brand with that.
“When hostile governments give directions to employ the Indians against their enemies, they surely do not know that such is the manner in which their orders are to be executed; but let me tell them and every government who will descend to employing these auxiliaries, that this is the only way in which their subaltern agents will and can proceed to make their aid effectual. The Indians are not fond of interfering in quarrels not their own, and will not fight with spirit for the mere sake of a livelihood which they can obtain in a more agreeable manner by hunting and their other ordinary occupations. Their pas-sions must be excited, and that is not easily done when they themselves have not received any injury
from those against whom they are desired to fight. Behold, then, the abominable course which must unavoidably be resorted to—to induce them to do what? -10 lay waste the dwelling of the peaceable cultivator of the land, and to murder his innocent wife and his helpless children! I cannot pursue this subject farther, although I am far from having exhausted it. I have said enough to enable the impartial reader to decide which of the two classes of men, the Indians and the whites, are the most justly entitled to the epithets of brutes, barbarians, and savages. It is not for me to anticipate his decision."*
* See Heckewelder, chap. 44.
VANITY AS TO DRESS, AND OTHER PERSONAL
The warriors and chiefs are distinguished by their ornaments. The present dress of the Indians is well known to consist in blankets, plain or ruffled shirts and leggins for the men, and cloth petticoats for the women, generally red, blue, or black. The blankets are sometimes made of feathers.
This manufacture requires great patience, being a very tedious kind of work; yet the Indians do it in a most ingenious manner. The feathers (generally those of the turkey and goose) are curiously arranged and interwoven together with a sort of thread or twine, which they prepare from the rind or bark of the wild hemp and nettle. The wealthy adorn themselves with ribands or gartering of various colours, beads, and silver broaches. They wear, moreover, broad rings or bands on their arms, fingers, and round their hats ; these ornaments are highly valued if of silver, but if only plated they are despised, and would hardly be worn. I have seen in young children, three rings in
These decorations are arranged by the women, who, as well as the men, know how to dress themselves in style. Those of the men consist in the painting of themselves (their head and face principally,) wearing gaudy garments, with silver arm spangles and breast-plates, and a belt or two of wampum hanging to their necks. The women, at the expense of their husbands or lovers, line their petticoat and blanket with choice ribands of various colours, or with gartering, on which they fix a number of silver broaches or small round buckles. They adorn their
leggings in the same manner; their mockasens are neatly embroidered with coloured porcupine quills, and are besides, almost entirely covered with various trinkets; they have also a number of little bells and brass thimbles fixed round their ankles, which, when they walk, make a tinkling noise, which is heard at some distance; this is intended to draw the attention of those who pass by, that they may look at, and admire them.
The women make use of vermilion in painting themselves for dances; but they are very careful and circumspect in applying the paint, so that it does not offend or create suspicion in their husbands; there is a mode of painting which is left entirely to loose women and prostitutes.
The following diverting anecdote is told by my old friend the Moravian missionary :
5 As I was once resting in my travels at the house of a trader who lived at some distance from an Indian town, I went in the morning to visit an Indian acquaintance and friend of mine. I found him engaged in plucking out his beard, preparatory to painting himself for a dance which was to take place the ensuing evening. Having finished his head-dress, about an bour before sunset, he came up, as he said, to see me, but I and my companions judged that he came to be seen. To my utter astonishment, I saw three different paintings or figures on one and the same face. He had, by his great ingenuity and judgment in laying on and shading the different colours, made his nose appear, when we stood directly in front of him, as if it were very long and narrow, with a round nob at the end, much like the upper part of a pair of tongs. On one cheek there was a red round spot, about the size of an apple, and the other was done in the same manner with black. The eye-lids, both the upper and lower ones, were reversed in the colouring. When we viewed him in profile on çne side, his nose repre: