OF THE INDIAN MIND. 263
mother and of the children, and then gave himself
up to be burnt to death by a process protracted as
long as possible, while his enemies feasted and
danced around the fire.
THE PRACTICE OF SCALPING.
The practice which prevailed among all the
native- tribes of North America of taking off the
scalps of enemies slain in battle, and preserving
them as trophies of victory, has generally been
considered a special token of the barbarous cruelty
of the Indian character. The practice, it is true,
presents a most shocking image to our imaginations,
yet, when we reflect upon it, it does not seem to
denote any special and peculiar cruelty. It is
barbarous, without doubt, yet still perhaps not
pecially and peculiarly so.
ORIGIN OF THE PRACTICE.
The practice arose very naturally from the custom
that prevails universally among all hunting
savages, and indeed among all hunting men,
whether savage or civilized, of obtaining from the
body of the animal slain something to be preserved
as a trophy of the prowess of the hunter in killing
him. A barbarous hunter wears the trophies thus
itained upon his person. A civilized one bangs