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Constitution of the Indian Mind

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


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266. CONSTITUTION AND CHARACTER

course, for a handle by which the trophy could be borne in a conspicuous and triumphant manner.

There were certain ceremonies to be performed with the fresh scalps as soon as the party taking them had reached home, by way of public recognition of them as warlike trophies. These ceremonies consisted of feastings and rejoicings, accompanied with songs and dances—that is, if such wailing and unearthly succession of sounds as they made could be called songs, or their horrid contortions and gesticulation dances. When these ceremonies were completed the scalps were considered as duly consecrated, and were thenceforth preserved with great care in the wigwam, or worn upon the person,, as badges of the highest distinc- tion and honor.

TREATMENT OF WOMEN.

The Indians have been accused of treating their women as slaves, and there is no doubt that the women were always held by them in a state of very complete and absolute subordination to the men. They were employed all the time in arduous labors, but this was a matter of necessity, for the continual toil of both men and women was in most cases necessary for the maintenance of the family. The woman had the house to put up and take



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