American Egyptomania Search

Constitution of the Indian Mind

American History, Volume I: Aboriginal America (New York: Sheldon, 1860)

Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture


them up in his hall. That seems to be the chief difference between barbarism and civilization in this respect.

The Indians made their dresses of the skins of animals that they had killed ; and the fiercer and more furious the beast that furnished the material, the more distinguished and glorious was the attire.

There were many parts of the bodies of these animals that were used in this way. Skins were made into quivers, moccasin, leggins and robes. Horns were used in head-dresses; bones were worked into beads and ornaments of every kind; and long hair, dyed of various colors, was formed into fringes to decorate the borders of garments There was a particular species of eagle called the war-eagle, on account of his strength and fierce- ness, whose feathers were prized above, all others for purposes of dress and decoration.

From this practice of taking the skin, the horns, the hair, or the feathers of animals slain in the chase as trophies to be used as articles of dressor ornament, it is but a single step to that of preserv- ing a portion of the long hair of an enemy slain in battle for the same purpose ;' and when the man was dead there was no special cruelty in taking a portion of the skin with the hair. Not that we are to suppose that the Indians could have any feeling

Page 14