Skip to main content

Full text of "Annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution"

See other formats



IP.^O-B I 










J. ^V. PO^VELX. 


/ /-^L 






• -'^'-'- ., U'''^ / 

Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, 

Washington, D. C, September 9, 1882. 
Prof. Spencer F. Baird, 

Secretary Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. : 

Sir : I have the honor to transmit herewith my second an- 
nual report as Director of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

The first part of the volume consists of a brief account of 
the operations of the Bureau for the fiscal year ; the second, 
of a series of papers by my assistants, illustrating the methods 
and results of the researches prosecuted under the direction of 
the Bureau. 

It will be seen that investigations have been pursued in the 
four great departments of objective human activities, viz, arts, 
institutions, languages, and opinions; the design being to pros- 
ecute research in a systematic manner. It is believed that the 
facts in each field of research throw such light upon each other 
field that one cannot be neglected without injury to the others. 

The study of the arts is but the collection of curiosities 
unless the relations between arts, institutions, languages, and 
opinions are discovered. The study of institutions leads but 
to the discovery of curious habits and customs unless the 
deeper meaning thereof is discovered from arts, languages, and 
opinions. In like manner the study of language is but the 
study of words unless philologic research is based upon a 
knowledge of arts, institutions, and opinions. So also the 
study of opinions is but the collection of mythic stories if 
their true meaning is not ascertained in the history of arts^ 




institutions, and languages. For this reason the four great 
departments of objective activities have been the subject of 
systematic investigation. 

Permit me to express my thanks to yourself for your hearty 
co-operation in the prosecution of the work and for the wise 
counsel and direction you have given. 

I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 





Introductory. xv 

Publications xvi 

Introduction to the study of Indian languages, by J. W. Powell x\T 

Houses and house-life of the American aborigines, by Lewis H. Morgan. xvui 

Linguistic work xx 

The (^egUia language, by J. 0. Dorsey xx 

The Klamath language, by A. S. Gatschet xxi 

The Dakota language, by S. R. Riggs xxi 

Bibliography of North American philology, by J. C. Pilling xxi 

Ethnologic work xx ii 

Sign language and pictographs, by Garrick Mallery xxu 

Mortuary customs, by H. C. Yarrow xxui 

Indian cessions of land, by C. C. Royce xxiii 

Field work xxiv 

Papers accompanying this report xxvi 

Zuiii fetiches, by F. H. Gushing xx\T 

Myths of the Iroquois, by E. A. Smith xxix 

Animal carvings from Mounds of the Mississippi Valley, by H. W. Hen- 

shaw XXX 

Navajo Silversmiths, by Washington Matthews xxxm 

Art in Shell of the ancient Amerians, by William H. Holmes xxxi v 

Illustrated catalogue of the collections obtained from the Indians of New 
Mexico and Arizona, in 1879 and 1880, by James Stevenson xxx\T 

Classification of expenditures xxxvii 



Znnl philosophy 9 

Worship of animals H 

Origin of Zuui fetichism 12 

The Zuni Iliad 12 

Power of the fetiches 15 

Prey gods of the six regions 16 

Their origin 16 

Their power as mediators 18 

Their worship 19 

Prey gods of the hunt 20 

Their relation to the others 20 

Their origin 20 

Their varieties • 24 

Their relative values 30 

Their custodian 31 

The rites of their worship 32 

Their power 39 




Prey gods of the Priesthoofl of the Bow 40 

The knife-feathered monster, the mountain lion, and the great white bear. 40 

Their resemblance to the prey gods of the hunt 41 

The rites of their worship 41 

Other fetiches 44 

Fetiches of Navajo origin 44 

Amulets and charms 44 


Chapter I. — Gods and other supernatural beings .51 

II. — Pigmies 65 

III. — Practice of sorcery 68 

IV. — Mythologic explanation of jihenoraena 75 

v.— Tales 83 

VL— Eeliglou 112 



Introductory 123 

Manatee 125 

Toucan 135 

Paroquet 139 

Knowledge of tropical animals by Mound-Builders 142 

Other errors of identiiication 144 

Skill in sculpture of the Mound-Builders 148 

iGeueralizatiou not designed 149 

Probable totemic origin 150 

Animal mounds 152 

The elephant mound 152 

The alligator mound 158 

Human sculptures 160 

Indian and mound-builders' art compared 164 

General conclusions 166 


Navajo Silversmiths 171 


Introductory 185 

Imjtlemeuts and utensils 189 

Unworked shells 189 

Vessels 192 

Spoons 198 

Knives 201 

Celts 203 

Scrapers 205 

Agricultural implements 207 

Fishing ajipliances ■ 207 

Weapons 210 

Tweezers 211 

Ornaments 213 

Pins 213 

Beads 219 

Pendants 255 

Perforated plates 264 

Engraved gorgets 267 





Letter of transmittal 311 

Introdaction 319 

Articles of stone 320 

Articles of clay '^^'i 

Vegetal substances 334 

Collection from Zuui 337 

Articles of stone 337 

Articles of clay 343 

Vegetal substances 368 

Animal substances 373 

Collection from Wolpi 375 

Articles of stone 375 

Articles of clay 378 

Vegetal substances - 3f 9 

Animal substances 396 

Collection from Laguna 399 

Articles of clay 399 

Collection from Acoma 404 

Articles of clay 404 

Collection from Cochiti 405 

Articles of clay 405 

Collection from Santo Domingo 409 

Articles of clay 409 

Collection from Tesuke 410 

Articles of stone 410 

Articles of clay 410 

Vegetal substances 414 

Collection from Sauta Clara 415 

Articles of clay 415 

Collection from San Juan 416 

Articles of clay 416 

Collection from Jemez 4 17 

Articles of clay 417 

Collection from the JicariUa Apaches 417 

Articles of clay 4 17 

Collection from Old Pecos 418 

Articles of stone 418 

Articles of clay 418 

Articles of wood 419 

Collection from the Canon de Chelly 419 

Articles of clay 4 19 

Collection from Pictograph Rocks 420 

Articles of clay 420 

Collection from other localities 421 

Articles of clay 421 


Introduction 429 

Collection from Cuyamuuque 435 

Articles of stone 435 

Articles of clay 436 



Collection from Namb^ 436 

Articles of stone 436 

Articles of clay 437 

Collection from Pojuaque 438 

Articles of stone 438 

Articles of clay 439 

Articles of bone and horn 440 

Collection from Old Poj uaque 44 1 

Articles of stone 441 

Articles of clay 441 

Collection from Santa Clara 441 

Articles of stone 441 

Articles of clay 443 

Vegetal substances 449 

Collection from Tesuque 450 

Articles of stone 450 

Articles of clay 450 

Collection from Turquoise Mme 450 

Collection from Santo Domingo 450 

Articles of stone 450 

Articles of clay 451 

Collection from Jemez 452 

Articles of stone 452 

Articles of clay 452 

Miscellaneous articles 454 

Collection from Silla 454 

Articles of stone 454 

Articles of clay 454 

Miscellaneous '. 455 

Collection from San Juan 456 

Articles of stone 456 

Articles of clay 456 

Miscellaneous articles 458 

Collection from Santa Ana 458 

Articles of stone 458 

Articles of clay 458 

Collection from Saudia, N. Mex 458 

Collection from Cochiti 459 

Articles of stone 459 

Articles of clay 459 

Miscellaneous articles 460 

Collection from San Ildefonso 460 

Articles of stone 4G0 

Articles of clay 461 

Miscellaneous articles 464 

Collection from Taos 464 

Articles of stone 464 

Articles of clay 464 



Plate I.— Prey god fotiches 12 

II. — Prey god fetiches of the six regions 16 

III. — Prey god fetiches of the hunt 20 

IV. — Mountain lion fetiches of the chase 24 

V. — Coyote fetiches of the chase 26 

VI. — Wild cat fetiches of the chase 27 

VII.— Wolf fetiches of the chase 28 

VIII. — Eagle fetiches of the chase 29 

IX. — Mole and ground owl fetiches 30 

X. — Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 

XI. — Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 

XII. — Returning thanks to the Great Spirit 52 

XIII. — Stone giant or cannibal 56 

XIV.— Atotarho, war chief 60 

XV.— The Flying Head put to flight 64 

XVI.— Objects in .silver : 172 

XVII. — Workshop of Navajo silversmith 175 

XVIII.— Crucible, and sandstone molds for shaping silver objects .. 175 

XIX. — Objects in silver 177 

XX. — Navajo with silver ornaments 178 

XXI.— Shell vessels 192 

XXII.— Vessels 194 

XXIII.— Engraved vessel 196 

XXIV.— Shell spoons 200 

XXV.— Shell celts 204 

XXVI.— Shell implements 206 

XXVII.— Shell implements 208 

XXVIII.— Shell fishing appliances 210 

XXIX. — Manufacture of implements and ornaments 214 

XXX.— Pins, eastern forms 216 

XXXI. — Pins, Pacific coast forms 218 

XXXII.— Perforated shell beads 220 

XXXIII. — Discoidal beads 222 

XXXIV. — Massive beads and pearls 224 

XXXV.— Beads 226 

XXXVI.— Runtee beads 228 

XXXVII. — Use of wampum belts in Indian council 240 

XXXVIII.— Wampum belts 242 

XXXIX.— Wampum belts, belonging to the Onondagas 244 

XL. — Wampum belt, belonging to the Onondagas 246 

XLI. — Wampum belt, belonging to the Onondagas 248 

XLII. — Wampum belt, belonging to the Onondagas 252 

XLIII.— The Penn belt 252 

XLIV. — Strings of wampum 254 

XLV. — Ancient pendants , 256 

XLVI. — Pendant ornaments, eastern forms 258 

XLVII. — Plain pendants. Pacific coast forms 260 




Plate XLVIII. — Pendant ornaments of the Pacific coast 262 

XLIX. — Plain pendants, Pacific coast forms 264 

L. — Perforated plates 266 

Ll.^Shell gorgets, the cross 26S 

LII. — The cross of the Mound-BuiUlers 270 

LIII.— The cross 272 

LIV.— Scalloped shell disk 274 

LV.— Shell disks 276 

LVL— Scalloped shell disks 278 

LVIL— Scalloped disks 280 

LVIII.— Shell gorget— the bird 282 

LIX.— The bird 3S4 

LX.— Tbebird 286 

LXL— Spider gorgets 288 

LXII.— Rattlesnake gorgets 200 

LXIII.— Rattlesnake gorgets 290 

LXIV.— Rattlesnake gorgets 292 

LXV. — Rattlesnake gorgets 292 

LXVI.— The serpent 292 

LXVII.— The human face 294 

LXVIII.— Shell mask 294 

LXIX.— The human face 296 

LXX.— The human face 296 

LXXI. — Shell gorget, the human figure 298 

LXXIL— Shell gorget, the human figure 298 

LXXIII. — Shell gorget, the human figure 300 

LXXIV, — Engraved gorget, fighting figures 300 

LXXV.— The human figure 302 

LXXVI.— Composite figures 302 

LXXVII.— Frogs, Arizona 304 

Fig. 1. — Concretion 45 

2.— Mineral fetich 45 

3.— Fossil fetich 45 

4. — Otter. From ancient monuments 128 

5. — Otter from Squier and Davis 128 

6. — Otter of Rau. Manatee of Stevens 129 

7. — Manatee from Stevens 129 

8. — Lamantin or sea-cow from Squier and Davis 130 

9. — Lamantin or sea-cow from Squier 130 

10. — Manatee {Manatus Americanus, Cuv.), side view 132 

11. — Jtlanatee {Manatus Aniericanus, Cuv.), front view 132 

12. — Cincinnati Tablet— back. From Squier and Davis 133 

13. — Cincinnati Tablet — back. From Short 134 

14. — Toucan of Squier and Davis 135 

15. — Toucan of Squier and Davis 135 

16. — Toucan of Squier and Davis 136 

17.- — Toucan as figured by Stevens 137 

18. — Keel-billed toucan of Southern Mexico 139 

19. — Paroquet of Squier and Davis 140 

20. — Owl from Squier and Davis 144 

21. — Grouse from Squier and Davis 144 

22. — Turkey-buzzard from Squier and Davis 145 

23.— Cherry-bird from Squier and Davis 145 

24. — Woodpecker from Squier and Davis 146 



Fig. 25.— Eagle from Squier and Davis 146 

26. — Rattlesnake from Squier and Davis 147 

27. — Big Elephant Moimd in Grant County, Wisconsin 153 

28. — Elephant pipe. Iowa 155 

29. — Elephant pipe. Iowa 156 

30.— The "Alligator" Mound near Granville, Ohio 159 

31. — Human carvings from the mounds 162 

32. — Human carvings from the mounds 162 

33. — Human carvings from the mounds 16i 

34. — Human carvings from the mounds 163 

35. — Human carvings from the mounds 163 

Figs. 347-352. - Zuui grooved axes 338 

353-358. — Zuui stone imiilements 340 

359-360.— Zuui water vases 342 

361-362. — Zuni water vases 343 

363-370. — Zuui water vases 344 

371-374. — Zuui water vases 345 

375-378.^Zuui water vases 346 

Fig. 379. — Zuui canteeu. 347 

380.— Zuni eating bo%vl 347 

381. — ZuDi water vase 347 

382. — Zuni eating bowl 347 

Figs. 383-384.— Zuni water vases 347 

385-391.— Zuui canteens 348 

392-397.— Zuui canteens 349 

■ Fig. 398.— Zuni canteen 350 

399. — Zuni water vase 350 

400.— Zuili canteen 350 

401. — Zuni eating bowl 350 

402. — Zuui canteen 350 

Figs. 403-406.— Zuui water pitchers 350 

Fig. 407.— Zuui water pitcher 350 

Figs. 408-409.— Zuui cups 350 

410-412. — Zuui eating bowls 350 

413-415. — Zuiii eating bowls 352 

416-418. — Zuui eating bo wis 354 

419-424. — Zuui eating bowls 356 

425-427. — Zuili eating bowls 357 

428-430.— Zuni eating bo wis 358 

431-436. — Zuui cooking vessels 359 

437-441.— Zuui ladles 360 

442-453.— Zuni clay baskets 361 

454^57. — Zuni paint cups 364 

4.58-459. — Zuni condiment cups 364 

460-471.— Zuui effigies 365 

472-480.— Zuui effigies 366 

481-463. — Zuni moccasins 367 

484-485.— Zuui basketry 370 

Fig. 486.— Zuui pad 370 

487.— Zuui toy cradle 370 

488.— Zuui basketry 370 

489.— Zuui toy cradle 370 

490.— Zuui ladle 370 

491.— Zuni war-club 372 

Figs. 493-493. — Zuni dance ornaments 372 



Fig. 494.— ZuBi rotary drill 372 

495. — Zufii wooden spade 372 

496. — Zufii ■svooden digger 372 

497.— ZuSi rattle 371 

498.— ZuHi rattle 373 

499.— Zuiii bopple 373 

Figs. 500-502. — Zufii woven sasbes 373 

Fig. 503.— Zufii head dress 374 

Figs. 504-507.— Wolpi axes 375 

Fig. 508.— Wolpi metate 375 

509. — Wolpi ancient pipe 378 

510.— Wolpi stone effigy 378 

511. — Wolpi neck ornament 378 

Figs. 512-513.— Wolpi effigies 378 

Fig. 514. — Wolpi water vase 379 

Figs. 515-516.— Wolpi pots 379 

517-519.— Wolpi vessels 381 

520-522,— Wolpi water j.ars 382 

Fig. 523.— Wolpi eating bowl 385 

524. — Wolpi cooking vessel 385 

525.— Wolpi ladle 385 

Figs. 526-529.— Wolpi ladles 386 

Fig. 530.— Wolpi basket 386 

531.— Wolpi basin 388 

532.— Wolpi vase and bowl attached 388 

Figs. 533-534.— Wolpi clay statuettes 388 

535-536.— Wolpi baskets 389 

537-539.— AVolpi baskets 390 

Fig. 540.— Wolpi floor mat 390 

Figs. 541-542.— Wolpi baskets 390 

543-545.— Wolpi baskets 391 

Fig. 546. — Wolpi weaving stick 392 

547. — Wolpi spindle whorl 392 

Figs. 548-549.— Wolpi rabbit sticks '■■ 392 

Fig. 550.— Wolpi rake 393 

551.— Wolpi drumstick 393 

552. — Wolpi treasure-box 393 

5.53. — Wolpi dauce gourd 393 

554. — Wolpi treasure-box 393 

Figs. 555-55S. — Wolpi dance ornaments 393 

Fig. 559.— Wolpi head-dress 394 

560.— W olpi gourd rattle 394 

561. — Wolpi musical instrument 394 

562.— Wolpi gourd rattle 394 

Figs. 563-565.— Wolpi ornaments 394 

566-569.— Wolpi effigies 395 

570-572.— Wolpi effigies 396 

Fig. 573.— Wolpi horn ladle 397 

574.— Wolpi horn rattle 397 

575. — Wolpi perforator 397 

576. — Wolpi arrow straightencr 397 

577.— Wolpi wristlet 398 

578. — Wolpi moccasin 398 

579.— Wolpi wristlet 398 

580.— Wolpi riding whip 398 



Fig. 581.— Wolri drum 398 

Figs. 582-583.— Wolpi blanket 399 

Fig. 584.— Wolpi auklets 399 

Figs. 585-591. — Laguua water vases 400 

Fig. 592. — Laguua water pitcher 400 

Figs. 593-59C. — Laguua water jars 401 

597-609.- Laguua effigies 402 

610-612. — Laguua water vases 4011 

613-617.— Laguua eatiug bowls 403 

618-622. — Acoma water vases .' 404 

623-G26.— Cochit i water vessels 406 

627-634.— CocLiti water vessels 407 

635-644.— Cochiti water vessels 408 

645-647.— Cocbiti efBgies 409 

648-649. — Santo Domingo drinking vessels 410 

Fig. 650. — Tesuke mortar and pestle 41o 

Figs. 651-654.— Tesuke water vases 412 

Fig. 655. — Tesuke water jar 414 

656.— Tesuke effigy 414 

657. — Tesuke cookiug vessel 414 

658.— Tesuke effigy 414 

659. — Tesuke cooking vessel 414 

Figs. 660-66-'.— Santa Clara water vases 416 

663-664.— Santa Clara eating bowls 416 

665-666.— Santa Clara effigies 416 

Fig. 667. — Santa Clara eating bowl 416 

668.— Santa Clara platter 416 

669. — Santa Clara eating bowl 416 

Figs. 670-672.— Santa Clara water jars 416 

673-675. — San Juan eating bowls 416 

Fig. 676. — Jemez water vessel 417 

Figs. 677-680.- Water vessels from Canon De Chelly 418 

681-683.— Water vessels from Canon de Chelly 420 

684-686. - Bowls from Caiion do Chelly 420 

687-692.— Pitchers from Canon de Chelly 420 

693-696.— Cooking vessels from Cauou de Chelly 420 

Fig. 697. — Corrugated vessel from Pictograph Rocks 420 

693. — Pojuaque pitcher 440 

699. — Santa Clara polished black ware 443 

700. — Santa Clara polished black ware 444 

701 .—San t a Clara bowl 445 

702. — Santa Clara image 445 

703. — Santa Clara meal basket 446 

704. — Santa Clara pipe ^. . 446 

705. — Santa Clara canteen 447 

706. — Santa Clara canteen 449 

707. — Santo Domingo tinaja 451 

708. — Jemez water vase 453 

709. — Silla water vessel 455 

710. — The blanket weaver 455 

711. — San Juan water vessel 457 

712.^ — San Udefonso water vessel 461 

713. — Taos polishing stone 464 

714. — Taos vessel 465 

Map showing location of the pueblos of Arizona and New Mexico 319 

Map of ancient Tusayan - 429 





Researches among the North American Indians, as directed 
by act of Congress, have been dihgently prosecuted during 
the fiscal year 1880-81. The plan of operations has consisted 
in — 

First. The direct employment of scholars and specialists 
to conduct investigations and prepare the results for publica- 

Second. In inciting and guiding research immediately con- 
ducted by collaborators not directly connected with the 
Bureau of Ethnology. This branch of effort has been success- 
ful not only in this but in distant lands. The contributions 
already received from many parts of the world relating to the 
lower stages of culture among other peoples have been of 
great value in elucidating tlie problems presented in North 
America. This collaboration has been obtained, first, by the 
wide circulation of the First Annual Report of the Bureau and 
of the three publications which preceded it, viz, "Introduction 
to the Study of Indian Languages," "Introduction to the 
Study of Mortuary Customs," and "Introduction to the Study 
of Sign Language," also by the similar circulation of subse- 
quent publications hereinafter mentioned; second, by corre- 
spondence with persons wliose ascertained abilities and oppor- 
tunities afforded a reasonable hope of their useful co-oj^eration. 


By these agencies it has become generally known that contri- 
butions of the character explamecl were invited and would be 
published speedily with due credit. The numerous and im- 
portant responses to requests for assistance have been and will 
continue to be thankfully acknowledged in the several publi- 
cations to which they are germane. The objects of savage 
and barbaric art contributed through the agencies mentioned 
have been deposited in the National Museum and receive ap- 
propriate public acknowledgment therefrom. 



In the year 1877 the Director of the Bureau published an 
"Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages," which was 
widely distributed for the purpose of giving the direction and 
explanation necessary for the proper collection of linguistic 
material. More thorough knowledge on the subject and the 
experience of difficulties encountered demanded the prepara- 
tion of a new edition much enlarged and improved, with re- 
vised schedules of words, phrases, and sentences to be collected, 
which was issued by the Bureau in 1880. It now consists 
mainly in those explanations of characteristics which have 
been found to best meet the wants of persons practically at 
work in the field on languages with which they are not familiar. 
Besides the explanations of a strictly philologic character, such 
relating to other branches of anthropology were added (em- 
bracing arts, habits, customs, institutions, and opinions — in 
fact, the subject-matter of thought embodied in the several 
languages) as would assist in the full comprehension of the 
latter. A language, when mastered in this manner, affords in 
turn the key to most intei'esting and otherwise undiscoverable 
anthropologic facts. The scope of the attention given to such 
subjects, as they are connected with language, is exhibited by 
the list of the schedules of words and phrases other than tliose 
used for grammatic purposes, viz. Persons, Parts of the Body, 


Dress and Ornaments, Dwellings, Implements and Utensils, 
Food, Colors, Numerals, Measures, Divisions of Time, Stand- 
ards of Value, Animals, Plants, &c., Geographic Terms, the 
Firmament, Meteorologic and other Physical Phenomena and 
Objects, Kinship, Social Organization, Government, Religion, 
Mortuary Customs, Medicine, Amusements. 

In each of the schedules above mentioned an explanation 
was given of certain anthropologic facts necessary to the proper 
understanding of the subjects, so that the student might as far 
as possible be put in possession of the thoughts of the Indian 
whose language he was endeavoring to compile. 

As the study of an unwritten language must commence by 
committing it to writing, and as no alphabet used by a civilized 
people will represent distinctly all the sounds of Indian lan- 
guages, the adoption of a proper alphabet became of prime 
importance. For many reasons the Roman alphabet was se- 
lected for use, with numerous modifications, the following fun- 
damental rules being observed: 

I. The Roman alphabet must be used without additions, and 
with only such diacritical marks as are found in ordinary fonts 
of type. 

II. Each sound must have a letter of its own. 

III. Each character must be used to represent but one 

IV. The Roman alphabet must be used for sounds in the 
Indian tongue the same as or kindred to the sounds for which 
the letters are used in the English and other civilized lan- 

This alphabetic scheme with copious illustrations by ex- 
amples has proved so successful in operation that collectors 
accustomed to former schemes have voluntarily, though at great 
labor, copied their manuscripts into that possessing such mani- 
fest advantages. 

Instruction specially adapted to Indian languages was also 
introduced upon the topics of new words, number and gender 
of nouns, demonstrative and adjective pronouns, personal and 
article pronouns, transitive verbs, possession, intransitive verbs, 
adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and nouns used as verbs, and 

II— E 


voice, mode, and tense. Further sections were devoted to the 
suggestion of additional investigations, to the best mode of 
stud3'ing materials collected, and to the rank of Indian lan- 
guages as instruments for the expression of thought. The work 
therefore was designed^ first, to briefly describe Indian lan- 
guages in those characteristics commonly found and more 
necessary to the student yet uninitiated; second, to lead the 
investigation by natural steps from that which is easily at- 
tained to that which is more difficult; third, to put the student 
in possession of such general anthropologic facts as are neces- 
sary to the intelligent prosecution of his work; and, fourth, to 
provide a practicable method of reducing an unknown lan- 
guage to writing. 


In the year 1881 the comprehensive and important work of 
Hon. Lewis H. Morgan, " Houses and House-Life of the Ameri- 
can Aborigines," was issued as Volume IV of Contributions to 
North American Ethnology. Its distinguished and lamented 
author, the pioneer of American anthropology, and recognized 
throughout the world as a leader in that science, has died 
since the publication of this his last scientific production, con- 
taining the matured results of the studies of his long and in- 
dustrious life. 

The main purpose of the work was to set forth the house- 
life and domestic institutions of the North American Indians 
as explaining the chai-acteristics of Indian life. Earlier writers, 
with greater opportunities, have been markedly and unfortu- 
nately inattentive to this inquiry. These institutions appear 
to be more highly developed and firmly established than had 
been previously supposed, and faithfully portray the condition 
of mankind in two well-marked ethnic periods, viz, the Older 
Period and the Middle Period of barbarism, as they are called 
by Mr. Morgan, the first being well represented by the Iro- 
quois and several other tribes, and the second by the Aztecs, 
or ancient Mexicans, and the Indians of Yucatan and Central 
America. In no part of the earth now understood through 


history or exploration were these two stages of human prog- 
ress so well exemplified as by the Indian tribes of North 
America, with such diversities as varying- degrees of advance- 
ment and varying degrees of environment of the several tribes 
would naturally produce. From the ascertained laws govern- 
ing that advance, from the uniformity of their operation, and 
from the necessary limitations of the development of intelli- 
gence, it may be inferred that our own remote ancestors passed 
through a similar experience and possessed corresponding in- 
stitutions. By this study, therefore, some portion of the lost 
history of our own race may be recovered, the Aryan family 
having preserved but to a limited extent, and that uncon- 
sciously, the data of its history prior to the closing period of 

Mr. Morgan concludes from his researches that the family, 
during the above-mentioned stages of progress, was too weak 
an organization to face alone the struggle of life, and sought a 
shelter for itself in large households composed of several fami- 
lies. The house for a single family was exceptional through- 
out aboriginal America, while the house large enough to 
accommodate several families was the rule. Moreover, the 
habitations were occupied as joint tenement houses. There 
was also a tendency to form the households on the principle 
of gentile kin, the mothers with their children being of the 
same gens or clan. 

The contents of the volume, which is illustrated by many 
plans and sketclies, include: social and governmental organiza- 
tion; the law of hospitality and its general practice; com- 
munism in living; usages and customs with respect to land 
and food ; and descriptions of the houses of Indians, classed as, 
1st, those north of New Mexico ; 2d, those of the sedentary 
Indians of New Mexico; 3d, houses in ruins of the sedentary 
Indians of the San Juan river and its tributaries; 4th, houses 
of the mound-builders; 5th, of the Aztecs, or ancient Mexi- 
cans; and, 6th, of the sedentary Indians of Yucatan and Cen- 
tral America. 

The work is of the highest value in correcting errors and 
exaggerations still prevalent, in removing the misconceptions- 


and erroneous interpretations encumbering the original records 
made by incompetent observers, and in directing further re- 
search on philosophic principles. 


As was explained in the First Annual Report, prime impor- 
tance is attached to linguistic researches. Without fundamental 
knowledge of those languages which can still be successfully 
studied, all other anthropologic peculiarities of the tribes speak- 
ing them will be imperfectly understood. The early publication 
of grammars and dictionaries connected with which are texts, or 
a body of literature obtained from Indian authorities, to illus- 
ti'ate the facts and principles of the language, while also re- 
cording the genuine aboriginal philosophy and traditions, has, 
therefore, been regarded as essential. Interest in the Indians, 
which hitherto has been vague and ill-directed, even when 
most active, will by this means be gratified with an abundance 
of authentic material, and the models furnished will be imitated 
and doubtless improved by scientific workers not connected 
with the Bureau. 

Three important contributions to Indian linguistics have been 
partly prepared and in part printed during the year, but on 
account of the slow progress through the press of publications 
of this character, requiring minute attention and many re- 
visions, they have not yet been issued. 


The ^egiha language, spoken by that linguistic group of 
the great Siouan stock which is composed of the Ponka, 
Omaha, Kansas, Osage, and Kwapa tribes, has for a number 
of years been studied by Mr. Dorsey, who was long resident 
among those Indians, and has since revisited them for this 
special purpose. His Dictionary and Grammar, accompanied 
with myths, histoi-ical accounts and dictated papers, will be a 
more thorough presentation of an Indian language than has 
yet been published. 



This Oregonian language, spoken by the Modocs and the 
Indians of Klamath Lake, shows many important character- 
istics. Its comprehensive and intelligent discussion by Mr. 
Gatschet, with a copious dictionary and texts on the general 
plan before mentioned, is the result of his personal visits to the 
tribes, with the advantage of high linguistic attainments of a 
general character, by which the prosecution of the special 
study was rendered more expeditious and more accurate. His 
work is in press. 


The constant study of the Dakota language by Rev. S. E.. 
Riggs, during his life passed among the Indians of that stock, 
has shown that his Dictionary and Grammar, published in 1 852 
by the Smithsonian Institution, though of high and deserved 
repute, required correction, revision, and enlargement. This 
undertaking he commenced during the 5'ear 1880-81, and 66.5 
quarto pages of it ai'e nov/ in type. The dialects embraced 
are those spoken by the body of Indians popularly known as 
Sioux, and designated by the Bureau as the Dakota division of 
the Sioiian linguistic family. 


The work of most general linguistic utility, which relates 
to all the languages of North America, is by Mr J. C Pilling, 
being a Bibliography of North American Linguistics. It is 
an attempt to give, in alphabetic arrangement by authors, the 
full titles, in chronologic order, of all editions of works written 
in or upon any of the languages of North America. This re- 
pertory for the first time affords to students the essential infor- 
mation of all that has been done by their predecessors in the 
several directions toward which their studies may be turned. 
It will save in many cases duplication of labor, and bring into 
prominent notice material indispensable to thorough knowledge 


which otherwise would be unknown. In the preparation of 
this volume Mr. Pilling has, in addition to extensive corre- 
spondence, been compelled to visit distant parts of the country 
for personal examination of libraries and collections. 

Other linguistic volumes were in course of preparation dur- 
ing the year, no part of which was printed therein. Among 
these it is proper to mention the work of Mrs. Erminnie A. 
Smith, of Jersey City, on several of the Iroquoian dialects, and 
of Prof Otis T. Mason on the Chata language. 


The First Annual Report of the Bureau, for the fiscal year 
1879-80, was printed during the year 1881, forming a volume, 
in large octavo, of 638 pages. In addition to the papers in 
that Report, which it is not deemed necessary now to recapit- 
ulate, work upon other j^apers was continued or commenced 
dui-ing the year as follows: 


The researches continued by Col. Garrick Mallery, upon 
gesture speech and pictographs, are connected on the one hand 
with philology and on the other with many points of anthropo- 
logic interest. These studies elucidate the attempts of the 
human mind in the expression of ideas independent of, whether 
or not prior to, the use of oral language. They show that di- 
rect visible expression of ideas, as distinct from their audible 
expression, has not been confined to the North American In- 
dians, though its systematic and general use by them is the 
most instructive exhibition of it now remaining among speak- 
ing men, and that a thorough comprehension of it as practiced 
by them is indisjjensable to any full discussion of the subject. 
Sufficient examples of it have been collected from many other 
bodies of men, ancient and modern, to suggest important rela- 
tions, not only between all the modes of expression, but be- 


tween the particular visible forms produced by different peo- 
ples for the several ideas. Colonel Mallery's paper on sign- 
language in the First Annual Report of the Bureau has been 
copied and noticed in scientific publications to such an extent 
as to awaken correspondence and collaboration of great value 
in the completion of the monograph on the subject in which he 
has been engaged. In addition, he has commenced an Intro- 
duction to the Study of Pictographs, with the hope of obtain- 
ing similar assistance in that study, so closely connected with 
the one last mentioned — sign language being the transient direct 
expression, and pictographs the permanent direct expression, 
of ideas to the eye. The latter became the indirect expression 
when applied in the shape of writing to record oral speech. 
To the forms of pictographs, therefore, may probably be traced 
the structure of all the characters of writing used by man. 
The subject includes, besides ideographs, the interpretation of 
conventionalized or symbolic designs and the evolution of 
graphic art. Interesting results are expected from the com- 
parison of the large amount of material collected from Noi'th 
America with that known to exist in other parts of the world. 


Dr. Yarrow has continued researches into the mortuary cus- 
toms of the North American Indians, with discussion of com- 
parisons with them and parallels to them taken from history 
and all authorities in print or otherwise attainable. The large 
correspondence conducted and the fund of information accu- 
mulated for the monograph on this subject, in preparation by 
him, will render it exhaustive, while the correlation of facts 
collected increases its importance in relation to the philosophy 
and psychology of the whole human family. The scope of 
this work, the interest in which is popular as well as scientific, 
has been already explained in the First Annual Report. 


Mr. C. C. Ro3"ce was engaged during the year in the prep- 
aration of a Historical Atlas of Indian affairs, designed to show 


by a series of charts the boundaries of the different cessions 
of land made to the United States from time to time by the 
various Indian tribes from the organization of the Federal 
Government to the present date. This work will also include 
within its scope a historical text, giving the date of each treaty, 
name of tribe or tribes with which concluded, an abstract of 
the principal provisions thereof, together with a narrative of 
the incidents connected with its negotiation and the causes 
leading thereto. The atlas will also contain a list of the prin- 
cipal mountain chains, rivers, lakes, and other natural objects, 
with a schedule of the different names by which each has been 
known from its earliest discovery to the present day, giving 
reference to authorities and dates. In the progress of this 
work much laborious research has been made among the maps 
and plats in the Library of Congress and the General Land 
Office. Original diagrams and reports have also been exam- 
ined and an extended correspondence conducted with individ- 
uals and historical societies in the several States. 

The necessary data for indicating the cessions of land within 
the present limits of the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Ten- 
nessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Michigan have been 
almost wholly obtained. Much progress has also been made 
in a like manner with the States of Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, 
Arkansas, Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska. 

This paper, when completed, will not only exhibit with 
authoritative detail many particulars now only vaguely known 
concerning the habitat and migrations of the several tribes, 
but will be of special convenience to lawyers and officials con- 
cerned in the investigation of original titles to land in the 
larger part of the United States. 

The difficult and tedious undertaking of classifying on a lin- 
guistic basis all the tribes, remaining and extinct, of North 
America has been continued by the Director, and progress has 
been made in their synonomy, or the reference to a correct 
standard of their multiplied and confusing titles as shown in 
literature and in common usage. The system of nomenclature 


decided upon, together with a series of charts displaying the 
habitat of all tiibes when discovered and at subsequent periods, 
will be published as the most acceptable aid to working stu- 
dents of Indian history. 

Prof Otis T. Mason was engaged during the year in a 
presentation of the important subject of education among the 
Indians, embracing historically all the attempts made in that 
direction and their several results, together with the present 
condition of advance in literacy and general culture. 

The subject of the education and advance of the tribes in 
civilized industries, with an exhaustive account of their pristine 
industries and means of subsistence, was commenced by Mr. 
H. W. Henshaw. 

The following papers are in preparation: 

Introduction to the study of Sociology, as suggested by the 
tribal governments of North Auierica; 

Introduction to the study of North American Mythology ; 

Introduction to the study of North American Technology; 

Introduction to the study of the Medicine Practices of the 
North American Indians. 


Mr. H. W. Henshaw spent a large part of the year in per- 
sonal examination of the tribes on the Pacific slope, including 
those of Washington Territory. Rev. S. D. Hinman visited 
the Dakotas, and Rev. Clay MacCauley, besides reporting upon 
the Ojibwas, made the first ethnologic exploration of the Semi- 
noles of Florida ever successfully attempted. The copious 
notes of these gentlemen will be utilized in future. 

The large amount of field work performed by Mrs. Ermin- 
nie A. Smith, Mr. Frank H. Gushing, and Mr. James Stevenson 
is hereinafter mentioned in connection with papers presented 
by them. 



It has been before promised that the effort of this Bureau 
will be to prosecute work in the various branches of North 
American anthropology on a systematic plan, so that every 
important field may be cultivated, limited only by the amount 
appropriated by Congress. Each of the papers appended to 
this repoi't has its proper place in the general scheme, the scope 
of which they, together with the other publications before 
noted, serve to indicate, and each Avas prepared with a special 
object. The line of research pursued by the several papers, 
with the circumstances attending their preparation, may be 
conveniently designated by some introductory remarks upon 
each of them in the order which they follow in this volume. 


Mention was made in the First Annual Report that Mr. 
Frank H. Gushing, of the Smithsonian Institution, liad proceeded 
to and was at the time residing at the pueblo of Zuni, New 
Mexico, to study the language, mythology, sociology, and art 
of its inhabitants. During the winter of 1879-80 he had by 
diligent study acquired a conversational knowledge of the lan- 
guage of the Zuiiis, and had made numerous sketches and 
notes on their sacred dances and on the meetings of some of 
their secret societies, which he succeeded in observing. 

During the succeeding summer and autumn he continued 
his investigations into the mytholog}', traditions, and sacerdotal 
as well as governmental institutions of the Indians, and ex- 
plored many of the traditional ruins within a radius of 50 
miles of Zuni. Before the end of the year he had so far ac- 
quired knowledge of the Zuni language as to take an important 
position in councils, and was made chief councilor of the nation. 

This increased knowledge also enabled him to learn tradi- 
tions bearing on historic matters. 

Among these was one concerning the ruin of Ke'ia-ki-me, 
at the base of Ta-ai-y411on-ue (Thunder Mountain), a mesa 
stronghold three miles east of Zuni, which related to the death 


of "The Black Mexican with thick lips," in whom he recog- 
nized the "Barbary Negro Estevanico," of Cabe^a da Vaca 
and Marco de Ni^a, known to have been killed about the year 
1639 in the neighborhood. Inquiries instituted by this recog- 
nition led to the specific determination of the sites of nearly 
all the "Seven Cities of Cibola," the principal of which — A-ha- 
cus, in Spanish (Ha-wi-kulis, in Zuni) — was situated at Ojo 
Caliente. He conjectured, also, that Cibola was derived from 
the Zuni name of their country, She-wo-na or Shi-wi-na, which 
led to the belief, ultimately confirmed by old Spanish records, 
that tliere was no one city of Cibola, but that all together were 
known by that name. 

During the month of January, 1881, he made a trip with 
one companion along the line of ruins marking the sites of the 
pueblos referred to in the Zuni ritualistic recitals, as f;ir west 
as the valley of the Colorado Chiquito. He not only dis- 
covered a series of monuments, but also verified the correct- 
ness of the recitals above referred to by a study of the mj^th- 
ologic pictographs with which many of them and the surround- 
ing rocks were covered. 

Some 15 miles south from the town of San Juan, or Bar- 
deto, he found in the same valley a remarkable line of conical 
hills, containing craters, the caverns of which had been used 
by the ancestors of the Zuiiis as sacrificial depositories. In 
these he had the good fortune to discover numerous well-pre- 
served sacrificial plumed sticks, and many conventionally dec- 
orated prayer-slats or altar-tablets, bows, arrows, basket-work, 
and fabrics of the ancient inhabitants of the valley. One of 
his discoveries was that of ancient cigarettes of cane and corn- 
leaves, proving that the cigarette, as well as the pipe, was of 
American origin. 

During the succeeding spring, with one soldier and a citizen, 
he again set out for the cave country, re-exploring not only 
the caverns before visited but also other important grottoes on 
the Rio Concho, and the caves still used as sacrificial deposito- 
ries by the Zunis, near La Laguna del Colorado Chiquito, 
north of San Juan. The collections, the greater portions of 
which were cached, aggregated over two thousand specimens. 


On this expedition he examined also numerous important 
ruins, many of which were perfectly preserved. One, situated 
on a mesa 30 miles south of San Juan, proved to be unin- 
terruptedly over 3 miles in length, an example, doubtless, of 
successive occupation and abandonment. 

The results obtained by Mr. Cushing's explorations in Zuni, 
where he still remains, have been wortliy of the industry and 
ability, the courage and self-denial, with which they have been 
prosecuted. Important facts of the most varied character have 
been brought to light, many of them substantiated or illus- 
trated by objects discovered and transmitted. Copious notes 
on the several branches of study have been made by him, and 
on some of them he has commenced to write treatises, which 
he has withheld from publication only to insure their complete- 
ness and accuracy. The paper now presented, on Zuni Fe- 
tiches, is a specimen of the novel and curious information which 
his researches furnish. 

The philosophy of the Zunis is an admirable example of that 
stage in savagery where a transition is shown from zootheism 
into physitheism, with survivals of hekastotheism. In this 
stage fetichism is the chief religious means of obtaining success 
and protection. The fetiches most valued by the Zunis are 
natural concretions or eroded rock-forms, having an obvious 
or fancied resemblance to certain animals, or objects of that 
nature in which the evident original resemblance has been 
heightened by artificial means. It is supposed that these fe- 
tiches are actual petrifactions of the animals represented by 
them, which retain their vital forces for certain magic powers 
and religious purposes. This belief is explained in a remarka- 
ble epic, metrical and sometimes rhythmical, and filled with 
archaic expressions, which is in part translated by Mr. Gushing 

A noticeable point in the paper is the elaborate and system- 
atized relationships shown among and between the animals, 
the animal gods, and other supernatural beings having animal 
or combined animal and human personalities. Tills consti- 
tutes a theistic society with an elaborate hierarchy and regu- 
lated domains, powers, and obligations. Such minuteness in 
multiformity, as well as the precision of the beliefs and cere- 


menials stated, will be surprising, not only to persons who 
have been taught the old fiction of the Indian's monotheism, 
but to those who have regarded his religious philosophy to be 
vague and chaotic. The facts are presented with the same 
corroboration of etymologies in language used so successfully 
by scholars in the study of Eurasian myths, and with further 
verification by objects in the National Museum, figured in the 


The myths, mythic tales, and folk-lore of a savage or bar- 
barian people correspond with the literature of civilization. In 
them, with proper attention to the archaeology embraced in 
the language, scientifically studied, in which they are ex- 
pressed, may be found all of its philosophy and all of its his- 
tory and jjrehistoric customs that can ever be known. 

These myths and tales are constantly repeated, often with 
publicity and ceremony, and the audiences having heard them 
many times, with the precise verbal memory characteristic of 
intelligent tribes to whom writing is unknown, are critical as 
to accuracy of rendition. Furthermore, certain words, espe- 
cially names and titles preserved in the narratives, are some- 
times archaic, requiring better etymologists than the modern 
Indians to ascertain their true meaning, and are only undei'- 
stood when the language has been reduced to writing by lin- 
guistic scholars. The narrators do not understand or pretend 
to exj^lain what they have received as handed down to them, 
but simply produce what they have memorized. When col- 
lected with thorough understanding of the language, and with 
collation of the several versions, these oral traditions may be 
presented in substantial purity with intrinsic evidence of their 

Many tales have been jiublished of the sayings and doings 
of the Indian gods and heroes, and some relating to their home- 
life, institutions, and customs, but few of these have been free 
from blunder or perversion. Generally the dubious medium 
of interpreters was necessary, and the disposition to poetize or 


coloi" with European sentiment was often apparent, even when 
distortion in support of favorite theories did not destroy the 
spirit and real significance of the original. 

It has been before mentioned that, by the plan of the Bu- 
reau, the myths and folk-lore of the several tribes are pre- 
served and recorded in their own languages, with interlinear 
translation, and without foreign coloring or addition, in con- 
nection with the several dictionaries of those languages. The 
paper of Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith, though not at this time pre- 
senting the original language, is written after her reductions 
of the original to writing, in the course of her linguistic work, 
and after prolonged residence among the Iroquois tribes, into 
one of which, the Tuscarora, she was adopted. It is, there- 
fore, an authoritative rendering of some of the Iroquoian myths, 
both in their letter and spirit. Such of them as have appeared 
in other forms will be favorably contrasted with those versions 
in European languages, and others have been for the first time 
collected by her. Sj^ecial interest will be awakened by the 
purely aboriginal character of the Great Heads, the Stone 
Giants, and the Echo God as now disclosed. 


While industry is required to rescue from oblivion the lan- 
guages, institutions, and all anthropologic peculiarities of the 
Indians, so fast disappearing by absorption, no less care is 
needed to correct, by careful analysis, the many false state- 
ments which corrupt the mass of literature concerning them, 
upon which prevalent theories have been based. Even after 
facts have been established and errors eliminated, the science 
of anthropology must call in the aid of other sciences to deter- 
mine the value and application of the data comprised in its field 
of study. The discreditable fact that until v/ithin a few years 
past no real advance has been made in the ethnology of North 
America is by no means owing to the paucity of published 
material, but rather to its enormous quantity, confused by its 
unordered bulk and filled with contradictions and absurdities. 
Of the costly libraries devoted to collections on this special 


subject, the catalogues of which are ponderous tomes, but few- 
pages are of actual value except to a trained scholar who can 
discern the germ of truth even in a blundering statement, and 
whose own knowledge is a touchstone for the detection of spu- 
rious productions. 

The most active cause in the distortion and fabrication now 
easily exposed by scientific methods of examination, but once 
accepted as verity, was the general resolve to designate as 
before and above all other points of interest the particular 
body of men in the eastern hemisphere to which the Indians 
belonged and from which they made their exodus. That they 
did come from the "old'" world, the one known to history, Avas 
postulated, and as all the so-called "races of mankind" were 
more confidently enumerated in past generations than by the 
most recent authorities, it was deemed essential to fix the place 
of the Americans in the then undoubted though now rejected 
classification. As a secondary but closely connected obliga- 
tion, their lines of migration within this continent were to be 
defined. With the unscrujiulous zeal common to polemics, 
all observations were made through the medium adapted to a 
preconceived theory, while the garbling and perversion of the 
lower class of writers supplemented the phantasies of those 
better intentioned. 

Upon the discovery and partial exploration of the numerous 
mounds in the great basin of the Mississippi, a new field was 
opened to enthusiastic theorists. Ignoring the fact that many 
of the histonc Indians have practised the building of mounds, 
indeed that some are still building them, it was assumed that 
these works were the vestiges of a dense and extinct popula- 
tion whose advance in civilization was much superior to that 
of the known American Indians. From the size and forms of 
the mounds, their location, and the objects contained in them, 
writers have set forth the origin, migration, numbers, institu- 
tions, art, and religions of their builders. This attempt was 
not illegitimate nor impracticable of execution if made after 
complete exploration and comparison in a scientific spirit, by 
experts possessing the requisite special training. It will be the 
duty of the Bureau of Ethnology to devote careful attention 


to this interesting field of arcliseology. But those who have 
hitherto conducted the researches have betrayed a predetermi- 
nation to find something inexphcable on the simple hypothesis 
of a continuous Indian population, and were swept by blind 
zeal into serious errors even when they were not imposed upon 
by frauds and forgeries. Some of the latter, consisting of ob- 
jects manufactured for sale to supply the manifested craving 
afterthe marvelous, and even inscribed tablets suggesting aljjha- 
betic or phonetic systems, have recently been exjDosed by the 
agency of this Bureau. 

Some of the most deservedly respected of the writers on 
the branch of research indicated have deduced important in- 
ferences from the asserted high degree of excellence in the 
animal carvings taken from the mounds, and their apparent 
poi"trayal of the forms of certain animals not now found in 
the same region Mr. H. W. Heushaw, skilled as a naturalist, 
esj^ecially as an ornithologist, and familiar by personal ex- 
ploration with a large part of our national territory, was led 
to examine into the truth of these statements, repeated from 
author to author without question or criticism, and used as 
data in all discussions relating to the mounds. The result is 
in the important paper now published. His conclusions, 
which, from the evidence adduced, seem to be incontroverti- 
ble, are of such material consequence that they are here 
repeated, as follows : 

"First. That, of the carvings from the mounds which can 
be identified, there are no representations of birds or animals 
not indigenous to the Mississippi Valley; and consequently, 
that the theories of origin for the Mound Builders suggested 
by the presence in the mounds of carvings of supposed for- 
eign animals are without basis. 

"Second. That a large majority of the carvings, instead of 
being, as assumed, exact likenesses from nature, possess in 
reality only the most general resemblance to the birds and 
animals of the region which they were doubtless intended to 

"Third. That there is no reason for believing that the 


masks and sculptures of human faces are more correct like- 
nesses than are the animal carvings. 

"Fourth. That the state of art-culture reached by the 
Mound Builders, as illustrated by their carvings, has been 
greatly overestimated." 

Mr. Henshaw's paper, while of high value as a successful 
destructive ciiticism, liberating an extensive field of research 
from much error and fraud, also furnishes an instructive com- 
parison of the art shown in the mounds with that of the 
modern Indians, and exhibits the relations of conventionalism 
to imitation in the evolution of graphic art. 


THEWS. U. S. A. 

Dr. Washington Matthews, assistant surgeon in the United 
States Army, distinguished in anthropology from his "Eth- 
nography and Philology of the Hidatsa Indians" and other 
works, has spared time from his official duties at Fort Win- 
gate to continue his studies of the Indian tribes accessible 
from his post. With his persevering industry he has brought 
into notice the peculiar appliances and processes of the silver- 
smiths among the Navajos. Some interest connected with 
prehistoric inquiries is attached to this exhibition of aboriginal 
art. It is known that at the period of the Spanish invasion 
the Mexican tribes had attained some skill in metallurgy, and 
inference has been made that the sedentary Indians of New 
Mexico used the forge. The Navajos, from their proximity, 
may have learned the art from these sources, and their adap- 
tation to it is suggested by the expertness of other tribes in the 
same linguistic stock — the Athabaskan, though far distant in 
habitat, whose gold ornaments made in British Columbia and 
Alaska are remarkable for beauty. 

However the art may have become known to the Navajos, 
their productions in it have improved of late years by their 
notice of European appliances, especially their voluntary em- 
ployment of the fine files and emery paper now procurable. 
The paper of Dr. Matthews is a valuable chapter to the study 
of Indian industries, and presents additional evidence that the 

lU— E 


aboriginal mind is not incapable of arriving at success in 
civilized industries without violent compulsion or intermin- 
able training, provided that judgment be exercised in the 
work at first required. 


This paper is an example of the proper mode of conducting 
research into the archaeology of America, especially as it is 
to be studied from the mounds — one of the main respositories 
of all that may be learned of precolumbian human life. This 
mode is the correct classification of accurately observed facts, 
within such limits as to be practically exhaustive of the field 
selected, and by an observer especially adapted by talent and 
training to that selected field. 

The range of art in shell, though having well-defined limits, 
is more extensive than has hitherto been generally known. 
The shells of mollusks were doubtless used at a very early 
period as vessels for food and water, and were commonly 
known to pristine men who, attracted by the food products of 
the great waters, resorted to the sea shore or the banks of 
estuaries for residence or annual migrations. In time it was 
found that modifications of the natural shell would increase 
its usefulness, and the breaking away of useless parts and 
sharpening of edges were readily suggested. As transporta- 
tion became desirable, changes were made for that object, 
one obvious device being the artificial repetition of perfo- 
rations natural to certain shells, through which they were 
strung on vines or cords of fiber and suspended about the 
neck — 2^1'obably originating the use of pendants as mere 
personal ornaments. The farther the objects became trans- 
ported from the source of supply, in the course of migrations 
or in barter, the higher became the value attached to them, 
the greater the varieties in their forms, and the more diverse 
the uses to which they were applied. As is known to travel- 
ers among far inland tribes, the shell of the sea has often be- 
come connected with their superstitions, and are consequently 
highly prized. 


Shells, and the objects made from them, are so destructible 
that they have not often been jDreserved from antiquity to tell 
the stories of a prehistoric world more enduringly impressed 
in stone. Had not the practice prevailed of burying them 
with the dead in the repose of protected graves or tumuli, they 
would rarely appear as articles of archgeologic instruction. 
But in the great region in North America which is filled with 
artificial mounds, exploration discloses deposits of shells of 
so great a number and in such a variety as to form an impor- 
tant division supplementary to the age of stone. It is shown 
from these discoveries that the nature of the material has g-iven 
a bias to artificial products, and has impressed its forms and 
functions upon art products in other materials. The shell art 
of the people who built the mounds records a noteworthy and 
unwonted effort of the human mind, distinctive in the forms 
developed as in the material, and so unprecedented in some 
of the ideas represented as not yet to be fully comprehended. 
What is already ascertained, however, constitutes an essential 
chapter in the evolution of human culture. 

Although Mr. Holmes enjoys high repute as an artist, his 
pursuits have also been scientific, by which combination of 
training he is exceptionally fitted for the work undertaken. 
The artist appreciates beauty of execution and idea, can detect 
resemblances and ruling motives in art, and can provide the 
requisite graphic illustrations, in which the paper now pub- 
lished excels. The examination and discussion of the objects, 
with relegation to categories, demanded scientific methods. 
Severe study was also devoted to the comparison and applica- 
tion of all that can be gleaned from literature bearing upon 
the subject. 

With equal caution and modesty Mr. Holmes, while offering 
suggestions with force and penetration, has announced no the- 
ories. In the most original and individual part of his work — 
that discussing the engravings upon gorgets — he simply con- 
tends for their significance and for their elevation from the 
category of trinkets into a serious art, leaving for others the 
interpretation. A deduction not made by the author may per- 
haps be suggested by the comparisons from art and literature 


furnished by bim, to the effect that the artistic methods of the 
Mound Builders are traceable among the historic tribes of 
North America, tending to show that, contrary to the once 
current belief based exclusively on the same evidence, there is 
no marked racial distinction between them. 


During the field seasons of the years 1879 and 1 880, extend- 
ing into 1881, Mr. James Stevenson was in charge of a party 
to make explorations in and obtain collections from the country 
occupied in part by the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. 
The most important and most fruitful field was the pueblo of 
Zuni, but valuable specimens were also secured from Wolpi, 
Laguna, Acoma, Cochiti, San Domingo, Tesuque, Santa Clara, 
San Juan, Jemez, Old Pecos, the Canon de Chelley, and from 
the Jicarillas. The objects procured by these expeditions, 
now deposited in the National Museum and enumerated, to- 
gether with sufficient description, in the catalogue published, 
amount to three thousand nine hundred and five, the most in- 
teresting and typical of them being illustrated, for the benefit of 
students unable to examine the originals, in three hundred and 
sixty-eight figures. The specimens consist of implements of 
war and hunting, articles used in domestic manufacture, cloth- 
ing and personal ornaments, basketry, horse trappings, images, 
toys, stone tools, musical instruments, objects used in religious 
ceremonies and in games, fabrics, paints, dye stuffs, medicines, 
and many other articles. The most precious part of the collec- 
tion, however, is the pottery, which Mr. Stevenson divides into 
six classes: 1, the red or uncolored; 2, the brown ware; 3, the 
black ware; 4, the cream white decorated in colors; 5, the red 
ware decorated; and 6, the ancient pottery. 

Mr. Stevenson's remarkable success has been accomplished, 
not only by great energy, but by tact and skill in winning 
the confidence of Indian tribes, resulting from his experience 
in former expeditions. His catalogue is by no means a mere 
enumeration, but is accompanied by a judicious amount of dis- 



cussion and comparison which render the paper in itself of sub- 
stantial value. He is engaged upon a further and more minute 
presentation of industries and technical processes. 

These expeditions have secured only just in time, and de- 
posited for permanent study, the materials necessary to under- 
stand the life and history of a most interesting body of people. 
While it will always be regretted that similar exhaustive ex- 
plorations, shown now to be feasible, had not been applied to 
many other tribes whose original possessions have been lost, 
some yet remain to reward well-directed effort, which it is the 
purpose of this Bureau to continue. 



A. — Services 

B. — Traveling expenses 

C— Transportation of property 

D.— Field subsistence 

E. — Field supplies and expenses 

F. — Field mateiial 

G.— Instruments 

H —Laboratory material 

I — rhotoKrapliic material 

K. — Books and maps 

L.— Stationery and drawing material. .. 

M. — Illustratious for reports 

N.— Office rents 

O.— Office furniture 

P. — Office supplies and repairs 

Q. — Storage 

K. — Correspondence 

S — Articles for distribution to Indians. 
T. — Specimens 

$3, 322 40 


2 50 

17 50 

5 00 

29 76 
69 10 

25 00 

4 00 
26 80 

4,299 73 


$4, 686 92 

852 80 

72 50 

156 54 

93 22 

55 60 

344 75 

5 00 
12 50 
391 00 

4 90 
1 00 

5 55 

364 62 

365 05 

7,391 95 

$J, 860 32 

91 65 

80 87 

324 46 

129 62 
20 26 
87 51 

110 55 

1,831 30 
322 82 

21 19 
161 50 

7, 042 05 

a 2 

$1. 136 19 
44 25 

62 08 

24 95 

1, 266 27 


$12, 985 83 

988 70 

1.55 87 

498 50 

98 22 

55 60 

1,272 04 
25 26 
191 85 
670 65 

1, 879 25 

328 52 

1 00 

30 74 

652 92 

365 05 

20, 000 00 








Zufii philosophy 9 

Worship of animals 11 

Origin of Znui Fetichism 12 

TheZnSi Iliad .. 12 

The Drying of the WcrM 13 

Power of the Fetiches 15 

Prey Gods of the Six Regions 16 

Their origin 16 

P(5-shai-aij-k'ia 16 

Their power as mediators 18 

Mi-tsi 18 

Their worship 19 

Prey Gods of the Hnnt 20 

Their relation to the others 20 

Their origin 20 

The distrlhution of the animals 21 

Their varieties 24 

The Mountain Lion- - Hunter God of the North 25 

The Coyote— Hunter God of the West 26 

The Wild Cat— Hunter God of the South 27 

The Wolf— Hunter God of the East 28 

The Eagle — Hunter God of the Upper Regions 29 

The Mole— Hunter God of the Lower Regions 30 

The Ground Owl and the Falcon 30 

Their relative values 30 

Their custodian 31 

The rites of their worship " 32 

The Day of the Council of the Fetiches 32 

Ceremonials of the hunt 33 

Their power 39 

Prey Gods of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 

The Knife-Feathered Monster, the Mountain Lion, and the Great White 

Bear 40 

Their resemblance to the Prey Gods of the Hunt 41 

The rites of their worship 41 

Other Fetiches 44 

Fetiches of Navajo origin 44 

The pony 44 

The sheep 44 

Amulets and charms 44 



To face page. 

Plate I.— Prey God fetiches 12 

II. — Prey God feticheaof the Six Regions 16 

III.— Prey God fetiches of the hunt 20 

IV. — Mountain Lion fetiches of the cbaae 34 

V. — Coyote fetiches of the chase 26 

VI.— Wild Cat fetiches of the chase 27 

VII.— Wolf fetiches of the chase 28 

VIII. — Eagle fetiches of the chase 29 

IX. — Mole and Ground Owl fetiches 30 

X. — Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the How 40 

XI. — Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 


Fig. 1. — Concretion 45 

2. — Mineral fetich 45 

3.-Fossil fetich 45 



By Frank H. Gushing. 


TLe A-shi-wi, or Zunls, suppose the suu, moon, and stars, the sky, 
earth, and sea, in all their phenomena and elements; and all inanimate 
objects, as well as plants, animals, and men, to belong to one great sys- 
tem of all-conscious and interrelated life, in which the degrees of rela- 
tionship seem to be determined largely, if not wholly, by the degrees 
of resemblance. In this system of life the starting point is man, the 
most finished, yet the lowest organism; at least, the lowest because 
most dependent and least mysterious. In just so far as an organism, 
actual or imaginary, resembles his, is it believed to be related to him 
and correspondingly mortal; in just so far as it is mysterious, is it 
considered removed from him, further advanced, powerful, and immortal. 
It thus happens that the animals, because alike mortal and endowed 
with similar physical functions and organs, are considered more nearly 
related to man than are the gods ; more nearly related to the gods than 
is man, because more mysterious, and characterized by specific instincts 
and powers which man does not of himself possess. Again, the elements 
and phenomena of nature, because more mysterious, powerful and im- 
mortal, seem more closely related to the higher gods than are the ani- 
mals; more closely related to the animals than are the higher gods, be- 
cause their manifestations often resemble the operations of the former. 

In consequence of this, and through the confusion of the subjective 
with the objective, any element or phenomenon in nature, which is be- 
lieved to possess a personal existence, is endowed with a personality 
analogous to that of the animal whose operations most resemble its 
manifestation. For instance, lightning is often given the form of a 
serpent, with or without an arrow-pointed tongue, because its course 
through the sky is serpentine, its stroke instantaneous and destructive; 
yet it is named Wi-lo-lo-a-ne, a word derived not from the name of the 
serpent itself, but from that of its most obvious trait, its gliding, 
zigzag motion. For this reason, the serpent is supposed to be more 
nearly related to lightning than to man; more nearly related toman 
than is lightning, because mortal and less mysterious. As further 



illustrative of the interminable relationships which are established on 
resemblances fancied or actual, the flint arrow-point may be cited. 
Although fashioned by man, it is regarded as originally the gift or " flesh" 
of lightning, as made by the power of lightning, and rendered more 
effective by these connections with the dread element; pursuant of which 
idea, the zigzag or lightning marks are added to the shafts of arrows. 
A chapter might be written concerning this idea, which may possibly 
help to explain the Celtic, Scandinavian, and Japanese beliefs concern- 
ing "elf shafts," and "thunder-stones," and "bolts." 

In like manner, the supernatural beings of man's fancy — the "master 
existences" — are supposed to be more nearly related to the personalities 
with which the elements and phenomena of nature are endowed than to 
either animals or men ; because, like those elements and phenomena, 
and unlike men and animals, they are connected with remote tradition 
in a manner identical with their supposed existence to-day, and there- 
fore are considered immortal. 

To the above descriptions of the supernatural beings of Zuni Theology 
should be added the statement that all of these beings are given the 
forms either of animals, of monsters compounded of man and beast, or 
of man. The animal gods comprise by far the largest class. 

In the Zuni, no general name is equivalent to " the gods," unless it be 
the two expressions which relate only to the higher or creating and con- 
trolling beings — the "causes," Creators and Masters, "Pf-kwain=a-ha-i" 
(Surpassing Beings), and " A-ta-tchu" (All-fathers), the beings superior 
to all others in wonder and power, and the "Makers" as well as the 
" Finishers " of existence. These last are classed with the supernatural 
beings, personalities of nature, object beings, etc., under one term — 

a. l-shothl-ti-mon = d.-ha-i, from ishothl-ti-mo-na=eveT recurring, im- 
mortal, and a-/i(x-i=beings. 

Likewise, the animals and animal gods, and sometimes even the super- 
natural beings, having animal or combined animal and human person- 
a.lities, are designated by one term only— 

b. K'ia-pin=4 ha-i, from hHapin-na=Ta,\f, and <f-Aa-i=beings. Of these, 
however, three divisions are made : 

(1.) K'ia-pin-d-ha-i=game animals, specifically applied to those animals 
furnishing flesh to man. 

(2.) K'iashem-A-ha-i, from fc'ia-we= water, sAe-JwaM=wanting, and d- 
Aa-i=beiugs, the water animals, specially applied not only to them, 
but also to all animals and animal gods supposed to be associated sa- 
credly with water, and through which water is supplicated. 

(3.) W6-ma-dhai, from ire-jna=prey, and «i-7ia-t = beings, "Prey 
Beings," applied alike to the prey animals and their representatives 
among the gods. Finally we have the terms — 

c. Ak-na=^-ha-i, from dfc-na=done, cooked, or baked, ripe, and a-/j4-i= 
beings, the "Done Beings," referring to mankind; and 

cusHiKG.] ANIMAL GODS. 11 

d. Ash-i-k'ia=d -hai, from a's/t-Fta =macle, finished, and <i-Aa-t=beings, 
"Finished Beings," including the dead of mankind. 

That very little distinction is made between these orders of life, or 
that they are at least closely related, seems to be indicated by the ab- 
sence from the entire language of any general term for God. True, there 
are many beings in ZuBi Mythology godlike in attributes, anthropomor- 
phic, monstrous, and elemental, which are known as the "Finishers or 
makers of the paths of life," while the most superior of all is called the 
"Holder of the paths (of our lives)," Ha'-no-o-na wi-la-po-na. Not only 
these gods, but all supernatural beings, men, animals, plants, and many 
objects in nature, are regarded as personal existences, and are included 
in the one term d-hdi, from d, the plural particle signifying "all," and 
hd-i, being or life,=" Life," "the Beings." This again leads lis to the 
important and interesting conclusion that all beings, whether deistic 
and supernatural, or animistic and mortal, are regarded as belonging to 
one system; and that they are likewise believed to be related by blood 
seems to be indicated by the fact that human beings are spoken of as 
the " children of men," while all other beings are referred to as " the 
Fathers," the "All-fathers," and "Our Fathers." 


It naturally follows from the Zuni's philosophy of life, that his wor- 
ship, while directed to the more mysterious and remote powers of na- 
ture, or, as he regards them, existences, should relate more especially 
to the animals; that, in fact, the animals, as more nearly related to him- 
self than are these existences, more nearly related to these existences 
than to himself, should be frequently made to serve as mediators be- 
tween them and him. We find this to be the case. It follows likewise 
that in his inability to differentiate the objective from the subjective, 
he should establish relationships between natural objects which resem- 
ble animals and the animals themselves; that he should even ultimately 
imitate these animals for the sake of establishing such relationships, 
using such accidental resemblances as his motives, and thus developing 
a conventionality in all art connected with his worship. It follows that 
the special requirements of his Ufe or of the life of his ancestors should 
influence him to select as his favored mediators or aids those animals 
which seemed best fitted, through peculiar characteristics and powers, 
to meet these requirements. This, too, we find to be the case, for, pre- 
eminently a man of war and the chase, like all savages, the Zuni has 
chosen above all other animals those which supply him with food and 
useful material, together with the animals which prey on them, giving 
preference to the latter. Hence, while the name of the former class is 
applied preferably as a general term to all animals and animal gods, as 


previously explained, the name of the latter is used with equal prefer- 
ence as a term for all fetiches (W6-ma-we), whether of the prey auimals 
themselves or of other animals and beings. Of course it is equally nat- 
ural, since they are connected with man both in the scale of being and in 
the power to supply his physical wants more nearly than are the higher 
gods, that the animals or animal gods should greatly outnumber and 
even give character to all others. We find that the Fetiches of the Zufiis 
relate mostly to the animal gods, and principally to the prey gods. 


This fetichism seems to have arisen from the relationships heretofore 
alluded to, and to be founded on the myths which have been invented 
to account for those relationships. It is therefore not surprising that 
those fetiches most valued by the ZuQls should be either natural con- 
cretions (Plate I, Fig. G), or objects in which the evident original re- 
semblance to animals has been only heightened by artificial means (Plate 
IV, Fig. 7; Plate V, Fig. 4; Plate VI, Figs. 3, 6, 8; Plate VIII, Figs. 1, 
3, 4, 5; Plate IX, Fig. 1). 

Another highly prized class of fetiches are, on the contrary, those 
which are elaborately carved, but show evidence, in their polish and 
dark patina, of great antiquity. They are either such as have been 
found by the ZuQis about pueblos formerly inhabited by their ancestors 
or are tribal possessions which have been handed down from generation 
to generation, until their makers, and even the fact that they were made 
by any member of the tribe, have been forgotten. It is supposed by 
the priests (A-shi-wa-ni) of Zuni that not only these, but all true fetiches, 
are either actual petrifactions of the animals they represent, or were 
such originally. Upon this supposition is founded the following tradi- 
tion, taken, as are others to follow, from a remarkable mythologic epic, 
which I have entitled the Zuiii Iliad. 


Although oral, this epic is of great length, metrical, rythmical even 
in parts, and filled with archaic expressions nowhere to be found in the 
modern Zuni. It is to be regretted that the original diction cannot here 
be preserved. I have been unable, however, to record literally even 
portions of this piece of aboriginal literature, as it is jealously guarded 
by the priests, who are its keepers, and is publicly repeated by them only 
once in four years, and then only in the presence of the priests of the 
various orders. As a member of one of the latter, I was enabled to 



T Suuiair S. Sinjuh ,PKib 



listen 10 one-fourth of it during the last recitation, which occurred in 
February, 1881. I therefore give mere abstracts, mostly furnished from 
memory, and greatly condensed, but pronounced correct, so far as they 
go, by one of the above-mentioned i)riests. 


In the days when all was new, men lived in the four caverns of the 
lower regions (A-wi-ten t(5-huthlna-kwin=the "Four Wombs of the 
World"). In the lowermost one of these men first came to know of their 
existence. It was dark, and as men increased they began to crowd one 
another and were very unhappy. Wise men came into existence among 
them, whose children supplicated them that they should obtain deliver- 
ance from such a condition of life. 

It was then that the "Holder of the Paths of Life," the Sun-father, 
created from his own being two children, who fell to earth for the good 
of all beings (tj-a-nam dtch-pi-ah-k'oa). The Sun-father endowed these 
children with immortal youth, with power even as his own power, and 
created for them a bow (A-mi-to-lan-ne,= the liain Bow) and an arrow 
(Wi lo-lo-a-ne, = Lightning). For them he made also a shield like unto 
his own, of magic power, and a knife of flint, the great magic war knife 
(SAwa-ui-k'ia ti'-tchi-eue). The shield (Pi-al-lan-ne) was a mere net- 
work of sacred cords (Pi-tsau-pi-wi, = cotton) on a hoop of wood, and to 
the center of this net-shield was attached the magic knife. 

These children cut the face of the world with their magic knife, and 
were borne down upon their shield into the caverns in which all men 
dwelt. There, as the leaders of men, they lived with their children, 

They listened to the supplications of the priests. They built a ladder 
to the roof of the first cave and widened with their flint knife and shield 
the aperture through which they had entered. Then they led men forth 
into the second cavern, which was larger and not quite so dark. 

Ere long men multiplied and bemoaned their condition as before. 
Again they besought their j)riests, whose supplications were once more 
listened to by the divine children. As before, thej- led all mankind into 
the third world. Here it was still larger and like twilight, for the light 
of the Sun himself sifted down through the opening. To these poor 
creatures (children) of the dark the opening itself seemed a blazing sun. 

But as time went on men multiplied even as they had before, and at 
last, as at first, bemoaned their condition. Again the two children 
listened to their supplications, and it was then that the children of men 
first saw the light of their father, the Sun. 

The world had been covered with water. It was damp and unstable. 
Earthquakes disturbed its surface. Strange beings rose up through it, 
monsters and animals of prey. As upon an island in the middle of a 
great water, the children of men were led forth into the light of their 
father, the Sun. It blinded and heated them so that they cried to one 


another in anguish, and fell down, and covered their eyes with their 
bare hands and arms, for men were black then, like the caves they came 
from, and naked, save for a covering at the loins of rush, like yucca 
fiber, and sandals of the same, and their eyes, like the owl's, were unused 
to the daylight. 

Eastward the two children began to lead them, toward the Home of 
the Sun-father. 

Now, it happened that the two children saw that the earth must be 
dried and hardened, for wherever the foot touched the soil water 
gathered — as may be seen even in the rocks to-day — and the monsters 
which rose forth from the deep devoured the children of men. There- 
fore they consulted together and sought the adxnce of their creator, the 
Sun-father. By his directions, they placed their magic shield upon the 
wet earth. They drew four lines a step apart upon the soft sands. 
Then the older brother said to the youuger, "Wilt thou, or shall I, take 
the lead 1 " 

" I will take the lead," said the younger. 

" Stand thou upon the last line," said the older. 

And when they had laid upon the magic shield the rainbow, and 
across it the arrows of lightning, toward all the quarters of the woi'ld, 
the younger brother took his station facing toward the right. The older 
brother took his station facing toward the left. When all was ready, 
both braced themselves to run. The older brother drew his arrow to 
the head, let fly, and struck the rainbow and the lightning arrows mid- 
way, where they crossed. Instantly, thlu-tchu ! shot the arrows of light- 
ning in every direction, and fire rolled over the face of the earth, and 
the two gods followed the courses of their arrows of lightning. 

Now that the surface of the earth was hardened, even the animals 
of prey, powerful and like the fathers (gods) themselves, would have 
devoured the children of men ; and the Two thought it was not well that 
they should all be permitted to live, " for," said they, " alike will the 
children of men and the children of the animals of prey multiply them- 
selves. The animals of prey are provided with talons and teeth ; men 
are but poor, the finished beings of earth, therefore the weaker." 

Whenever they came across the pathway of one of these animals, were 
he great mountain lion or but a mere mole, they struck him with the 
fire of lightning which they carried in their magic shield. Tlilu! and 
instantly he was shriveled and burnt into stone. 

Then said they to the animals that they had thus changed to stone, 
»' That ye may not be evil unto men, but that ye may be a great good 
unto them, have we changed you into rock everlasting. By the magic 
breath of prey, by the heart that shall endure forever within you, shall 
ye be made to serve instead of to devour mankind." 

Thus was the surface of the earth hardened and scorched and many 
of all kinds of beings changed to stone. Thus, too, it happens that we 
find, here and there throughout the world, their forms, sometimes large 


like the beings tbemselvos, sometimes shriveled and distorted. And 
we often see among the rocks the forms of many beings that live no 
longer, which shows us that all was difterent in the " days of the new." 
Of these petrifactions, which are of course mere concretions orstrangely 
eroded rock-forms, the Zuiiis say, " Whomsoever of us may be met with 
the light of such great good fortune may see (discover, find) them 
and should treasure them for the sake of the sacred (magic) power which 
was given them in the days of the new. For the spirits of the We-ma- 
d-ha-i still live, and are pleased to receive from us the Sacred Plume 
(of the heart — Lii shoa ni), and sacred necklace of treasure (Thlathle-a) ; 
hence thej' turn their ears and the ears of their brothers in our direction 
that they may hearken to oar prayers (sacred talks) and know our 


This tradition cot only furnishes additional evidence relative to the 
preceding statements, but also, taken in connection with the following 
belief, shows quite clearly to the native wherein lies the power of his 
fetiches. It is supposed that the hearts of the great animals of prey 
are infused with a spirit or medicine of magic influence over the hearts 
of the animals they prey upon, or the game animals (K'ia-pin-d-ha-i); 
thattheir breaths (the " Breath of Life" — Ha-i-an-pi-nan-ne — and soul are 
synonymous in Zuiii Mythology), derived from their hearts, and breathed 
upon their prey, whether near or far, never fail to overcome them, pierc- 
ing their hearts and causing their limbs to stiffen, and the animals them- 
selves to lose their strength. Moreover, the roar or cry of a beast of 
prey is accounted its Sd-wa-ni-k'ia, or magic medicine of destruction, 
which, heard by the game animals, is fatal to them, because it charms 
their senses, as does the breath their hearts. Since the mountain lion, 
for example, lives by the blood ("life fluid") and flesh of the game ani- 
mals, and by these alone, he is endowed not only with the above powers, 
but with peculiar powers in the senses of sight and smell. Moreover, 
these powers, as derived from his heart, are preserved in his fetich, 
since his heart still lives, even though his person be changed to stone. 



Therefore it happens that the use of these fetiches is chiefly connected 
■with the chase. To this, however, there are some exceptions. One of 
these may be partly explained by the following myth concerning P6- 
shai-aijk'ia, the God (Father) of the Medicine societies or sacred esoteric 
orders, of ■which there are twelve in ZuQi, and others among the differ- 
ent pueblo tribes. He is supposed to have appeared in human form, 
poorly clad, and therefore reviled by men; to have taught the ancestors 
of the ZuQi, Taos, Oraibi, and Cogonino Indians their agricultural and 
other arts, their systems of worship by means of plumed and painted 
prayer- sticks; to have organized their medicine societies; and then to 
have disappeared toward his home in Shi-pa-im-lima (from shi-pi-a= 
mist, vapor; M-iiw=surrounding; and t-?no-Ma=sittiug place of — "The 
mist-enveloped city "), and to have vanished beneath the world, whence 
he is said to have departed for the home of the Sun. He is still the 
conscious auditor of the prayers of his children, the invisible ruler of 
the spiritual Shi-pa-pu-li-ma, and of the lesser gods of the medicine or- 
ders, the principal " Finisher of the Paths of our Lives." He is, so far 
as any identity can be established, the "Montezuma" of popular and 
usually erroneous Mexican tradition. 


In ancient times, while yet all beings belonged to one family, P6. 
shai-ag-k'ia, the father of our sacred bands, lived with his children (dis- 
ciples) in the City of the Mists, the middle jilace (center) of the Medicine 
societies of the world. There he was guarded on all sides by his six 
■warriors, A-pi-thlan shi-wa-ni (pt-</t/an=bow, shi-wa-ni= priests), the prey 
gods ; toward the North by the Mountain Lion (Long Tail) ; toward the 
West by the Bear (Clumsy Foot) ; toward the South by the Badger (Black 
Mark Face) ; toward the East by the "Wolf (Hang Tail) ; above by the 
Eagle (White Cap) ; and below by the Mole. When he ■was about to go 
forth into the world, he divided the universe into six regions, namely, 
the North (Pi'sh-lan-kwin t^h-ua=Direction of the Swept or Barren 
place) ; the West (K'ia'-li-shi-m-kwin tilh-na=Direction of the Home 
of the Waters) ; the South (A-la-ho in-kwin t4hua= Direction of the 
Place of the Beautiful Red); the East(Te-lu-a-in-k^win tdh-na=Direction 
of the Home of Day) ; the Upper Eegions (I-ya ma-'in-kwin t4h-na= 
Direction of the Home of the High) ; and the Lower Eegions (Ma-ne- 

lam-in-kwin ttib-na^Direction of the Home of the Low)." 






All, save the first of these terms, are archaic. The modern names for 
the West, South, East, Upper and Lower Kegions signifying respect- 
ively—" The Place of Evening," " The Place of the Salt Lake" (Las Sali- 
nas), "The Place whence comes the Day," "The Above," and "The 

In the center of the great sea of each of these regions stood a very 

ancient sacred place (T^-thla-shi-na-kwin), a great mountain peak. Li 

' the North was the Mountain Yellow, in the West the Mountain Blue, in 

the South the Mountain Red, in the East the Mountain White, above 

the Mountain All-color, and below the Mountain Black. 

We do not fail to see in this clear reference to the natural colors of 
the regions referred to — to the barren north and its auroral hues, the 
west with its blue Pacific, the rosy south, the white daylight of the 
east, the many hues of the clouded sky, and the black darkness of the 
"caves and boles of earth." Indeed, these colors are used in the picto- 
graphs and in all the mythic symbolism of the Zuiiis, to indicate the 
directions or regions respectively referred to as connected with them. 

Then said P6-shai-ag-k'ia to the Mountain Lion (Plate II, Fig. 1), " Long 
Tail, thou art stout of heart and strong of will. Therefore give I unto 
thee and unto thy children forever the mastership of the gods of prey, 
and the guardianship of the great Northern World (for thy coat is of 
yellow), that thou guard from that quarter the coming of e\il upon my 
children of men, that thou receive in that quarter their messages to me, 
that thou become the father in the North of the sacred medicine orders 
all, that thou become a Maker of the Paths (of men's lives)." 

Thither went the Mountain Lion. Then said P6-shai-aij-k'ia to the 
Bear (Plate II, Fig. 2), "Black Bear, thou art stout of heart and strong 
of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Mountain 
Lion, the guardian and master of the West, for thy coat is of the color 
of the land of night," etc. 

To the Badger (Plate II, Fig. 3), "Thou art stout of heart but not 
strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Bear, 
the guardian and master of the South, for thy coat is ruddy and marked 
with black and white equally, the colors of the land of summer, which 
is red, and stands between the day and the night, and thy homes are 
on the sunny sides of the hUls," etc. 

To the White Wolf (Plate II, Fig. 4), "Thou art stout of heart and 
strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Bad- 
ger, the guardian and master of the East, for thy coat is white and gray, 
the color of the day and dawn," etc. 

And to the Eagle (Plate II, Fig. 5), he said: "White Cap (Bald Eagle), 
thou art passing stout of heart and strong of wUl. Therefore make I 
thee the younger brother of the Wolf, the guardian and master of the 
Upper regions, for thou fliest through the skies without tiring, and thy 
coat is sjieckled like the clouds," etc. 

"Prey Mole (Plate II, Fig. 6), thou art stout of heart and strong of 


will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Eagle, the 
guardian and master of the Lower regions, for thou burrowest through 
the earth without tiring, and thy coat is of black, the color of the holes 
and caves of earth," etc. 


Thus it may be seen that all these animals are supposed to possess 
not only the guardianship of the six regions, but also the mastership, 
not merely geographic, but of the medicine powers, etc., which are 
supposed to emanate from them; that they are the mediators between 
men and P6-shai-ag-ki'a, and conversely, between the latter and men. 

As further illustrative of this relationship it may not be amiss to add 
that, aside from representing the wishes of men to P6-shai-ai)-k'ia, by 
means of the spirits of the prayer plumes, which, it is supposed, the 
prey gods take into his presence, and which are, as it were, memoranda 
(like quippus) to him and other high gods of the prayers of men, they 
are also made to bear messages to men from him and his associated 

For instance, it is believed that any member of the medicine orders 
who neglects his religious duties as such is rendered liable to punish- 
ment (Ha'-ti-a-k'iana-k'ia=reprehension) by Po-shaiag-k'ia through 
some one of his warriors. 

As illustrative of this, the story of an adventure of Mi-tsi, an Indian 
who "still lives, but limps," is told by the priests with great emphasis 
to any backsliding member. 


Mi-tsi was long a faithful member of the Little Fire order (Ma-ke-ts4- 
na-kwe), but he grew careless, neglected his sacrifices, and resigned his 
rank as "Keeper of the Medicines," from mere laziness. In vain his 
fathers warned him. He only grew hot with anger. One day Mi-tsi 
went up on the mesas to cut corral posts. He sat down to eat his 
dinner. A great black bear walked out of the thicket near at hand and 
leisurely approached him. Mi-tsi dropped his dinner and climbed a 
neighboring little dead pine tree. The bear followed him and climbed 
it, too. Mi tsi began to have sad thoughts of the words of his fathers. 

"Alas," hecried, "pity me, my father from the West-land!" In vain 
he promised to be a good Ma-ke-tsd-nakwe. Had not Po-shaiaij-k'ia 

So the black bear seized him by the foot and pulled until Mi-tsi 
screamed from pain; but, cling as he would to the tree, the bear pulled 
him to the ground. Then he lay down on Mitsi and pressed the wind 
out of him so that he forgot. The black bear started to go; but eyed 


Mi-tsi. Mi-tsi kicked. Black bear came and pressed his wind out again. 
It burt Mi-tsi, and be said to himself, "Oh dear me! what shall I do? 
The father thinks I am not punished enough." So he kept very still. 
Black bear started again, then stopped and looked atMl-tsi, started and 
stopped again, growled and moved off, for Mi-tsi kept very still. Then 
the black bear went slowly away, looking at Mi-tsi all the while, until 
he passed a little knoll. Mitsi crawled away and hid under a log. 
Then, when he thought himself man enough, he started for Zuni. He 
was long sick, for the black bear had eaten his foot. He " still lives and 
limps," but he is a good Ma-ke-tsd-na kwe. Who shall say that Pd-shai- 
ag-k'ia did not command t 


The prey god8,throngh their relationship to P6-shai-ai)-k'ia, as " Makers 
of the Paths of Life," are given high rank among the gods. With this 
belief, their fetiches are held "as in captivity" by the priests of the 
various medicine orders, and greatly venerated by them as mediators 
between themselves and the animals they represent. In this character 
they are exhorted with elaborate prayers, rituals, and ceremonials. 
Grand sacrifices of plumed and painted prayer sticks (T^tbl na-we) are 
made annually by the "Prey Brother Priesthood" (W^-ma d-pa-pa 
^ shi-wa-ni) of these medicine societies, and at the full moon of each 
month lesser sacrifices of the same kind by the male members of the 
"Prey gentes" (W6-ma ^no-ti-we) of the tribe. 



The fetich worship of the Zunis naturally reaches its highest and 
most interesting development in its relationship to the chase, for the 
We-ma-d-ha i are considered par excellence the gods of the hunt. Of 
this class of fetiches, the special priests are the members of the "Great 
Coyote People" (Sd-ni-a-k'ia-kwe, or the Hunting Order), their keepers, 
the chosen members of the Eagle and Coyote gentes and of the Prey 
Brother priesthood. 

The fetiches in question (Plate III) represent, with two exceptions, 
the same species of prey animals as those supposed to guard the six 
regions. These exceptions are, the Coyote (S6s-ki, Plate III, Fig. 2), 
which replaces the Black Bear of the West, and the Wild Cat (T6-pi, 
Plate III, Fig. 3), which takes the place of the Badger of the South. 

In the prayer-songs of the Sd-ni-a-kia-kwe, the names of all of these 
prey gods are, with two exceptions, given in the language of the Eio 
Grande Indians. This is probably one of the many devices for securing 
greater secrecy, and rendering the ceremonials of the Hunter Society 
mysterious to other than members. The exceptions are, the Coyote, or 
Hunter god of the West, known by the archaic name of Thla'-k'iatchu, 
instead of by its ordinary name of Stis-ki, and the Prey Mole or god of 
the Lower regions (Plate III, Fig. 6), which is named Mai-tu-pu, also 
archaic, instead of K'ia'-lu-tsi. Yet in most of the prayer and ritualis- 
tic recitals of this order all of these gods are spoken of by the names 
which distinguish them in the other orders of the tribe. 


While all the prey gods of the hunt are supposed to have functions 
differing both from thuse of the six regions and those of the Priesthood 
of the Bow, spoken of further on, they are yet referred, like those of 
the first class, to special divisions of the world. In explanation of 
this, however, quite another myth is given. This myth, like the first, 
is derived from the epic before referred to, and occurs in the latter third 
of the long recital, where it pictures the tribes of the Zunis, under the 
guidance of the Two Children, and the Ka'-ka at K6-thlu-el-lon-ne, 
now a marsh-bordered lagune situated on the eastern shore of the Col- 
orado Chiquito, about fifteen miles north and west from the pueblo of 



ANNUAL liEl'OHT 18S1 PL. Ill 



San Juan, Arizona, and nearly opposite the mouth of the Eio Concho. 
This lagune is probably formed in the basin or crater of some extinct 
geyser or volcanic spring, as the two high and wonderfully similar 
mountains on either side are identical in formation with those in which 
occur the cave-craters farther south on the same river. It has, how- 
ever, been largely filled in by the dSbris brought down by the Zuni 
Eiver, which here joins the Colorado Chiquito. Ko-thlu-el-lon signi- 
fies the "standing place (city) of the Ka'-kft" (from Kd=a contraction 
of Ka'-ka, the sacred dance, and thlu-el-lon=stan(lmg place). 


Men began their journey from the Eed River, and the Ka'-ka still 
lived, as it does now, at K6-thlu-el-lon-ne, when the wonderful Snail 
People (not snails, as may be inferred, but a tribe of that name), who 
lived in the "Place of the Snails" (K'id-ma-k'ia-kwin), far south of 
where Zuiii now is, caused, by means of their magic power, all the game 
animals in the whole world round about to gather together in the great 
forked canon-valley under their town, and there to be hidden. 

The walls of this caiion were high and insurmountable, and the whole 
valley although large was filled full of the game animals, so that their 
feet rumbled and rattled together like the sound of distant thunder, and 
their horns crackled like the sound of a storm in a dry forest. All 
round about the canon these passing wonderful Snail People made a 
road (line) of magic medicine and sacred meal, which road, even as a 
corral, no game animal, even though great Elk or strong Buck Deer, 
could pass. 

Now, it rained many days, and thus the tracks of all these animals 
tending thither were washed away. Kowhere could the Ka'-ka or the 
children of men, although they hunted day after day over the plains and 
mountains, on the mesas and along the canon-valleys, find prey or trace 
of prey. 

Thus it happened that after many days they grew hungry, almost 
famished. Even the great strong Sh4'-lak'o and the swift Sa-la-mo-pi-a 
walked zigzag in their trails, from the weakness of hunger. At first 
the mighty Ka'-ka and men alike were compelled to eat the bones they 
had before cast away, and at last to devour the soles of their moccasins 
and even the deer-tail ornaments of their dresses for want of the flesh 
of K'iap-in-d-ha-i, Game animals. 

Still, day after day, though weak and disheartened, men and the Ka'- 
ka sought game in the mountains. At last a great Elk was given lib- 
erty. His sides shook with tallow, his dewlap hung like a bag, so 
fleshy was it, his horns spread out like branches of a dead tree, and his 
crackling hoofs cut the sands and even the rocks as he ran westward. 
He circled far off toward the Eed Eiver, passed through the Eound 
Valley, and into the northern canons. The Shd'-la-k'o was out hunting. 


He espied the deep tracks of the elk and fleetly followed him. Passing 
Bwift and strong was he, though weak from hunger, and ere long he 
came in sight of the great Elk. The sight gladdened and strengthened 
him ; but alas ! the Elk kejit his distance as he turned again toward 
the hiding-place of his brother animals. On and on the Sha'-la-k'o fol- 
lowed him, until he came to the edge of a great canon, and peering over 
the brink discovered the hiding-place of all the game animals of the 

"Aha! so here you all are," said he. "I'll hasten back to my father, 
Pd-uti-wa,* who hungers for flesh, alasl and grows weak." And like 
the wind the Sh^' la k'o returned to K6-thlu-el-lon-ne. Entering, he in- 
formed the Ka'ka, and word was sent out by the swift S^-la-mo-pi-at 
to all the \Ve-nia-4-ha-i for counsel and assistance, for the We ma-4-ha-i 
were now the Fathers of men and the Ka'-ka. The Mountain Lion, 
the Coyote, the Wild Cat, the Wolf, the Eagle, the Falcon, the Ground 
Owl, and the Mole were summoned, all hungry and lean, as were the 
Ka'-ka and the children of men, from want of the flesh of the game 
animals. Nevertheless, they were anxious lor the hunt and moved them- 
selves quickly among one another in their anxiety. Then the passing 
swift runners, the SA-la-mo pia, of all colors, the yellow, the blue, the 
red, the white, the many colored, and the black, were summoned to 
accompany the We-ma-d-ha-i to the cafion-valley of the Snail People. 
Well they knew that passing wonderful were the Snail People, and that 
no easy matter would it be to overcome their medicine and their magic. 
But they hastened forth until they came near to the caiion. Then the 
Sh4'-]a-k'o,| who guided them, gave directions that they should make 
themselves ready for the hunt. 

When all were prepared, he opened by his sacred power the magic 
corral on the northern side, and forth rushed a great buck Deer. 

"Long Tail, the corral has been opened for thee. Forth comes thy 
game, seize him ! " With great leaps the Mountain Lion overtook and 
threw the Deer to the ground, and fastened his teeth in his throat. 

The corral was opened on the western side. Forth rushed a Mountain 

" Coyote, the corral has been opened for thee. Forth comes thy game, 
seize him!" The Coyote dashed swiftly forward. The Mountain Sheep 
dodged him and ran off toward the west. The Coyote crazily ran about 

•The rliief god of the Kd'-kA, now represented hy masks, and the richest costum- 
ing known to the Zufiis, which are worn during the winter ceremonials of the tribe. 

tThe Sd-la-mo-pi-a are monsters with round heads, long snouts, huge feathered 
necks, and human bodies. They are supposed to live beneath the waters, to come 
forth or enter snout foremost. They also play an important part in the Kd'-ka or 
sacred dances of winter. 

t Monster human bird forms, the warrior chiefs of P^u-ti-wa, the representatives 
of which visit Zufii, from their supposed western homes in certain springs, each New 
Year. They are more than twelve feet high, and are carried swiftly about by per- 
sons concealed under their dresses. 


yelpiug and barking after his game, but the Mountain Sheep bounded 
from rock to rock and was soon far away. Still the Coyote rushed crazily 
about, until the Mountain Lion commanded him to be quiet. But the 
Coyote smelled the blood of the Deer and was beside himself with hun- 
ger. Then the Mountain Lion said to him disdainfully, "Satisfy thy 
hunger on the blood that I have spilled, for today thou hast missed thy 
game ; and thus ever will thy descendants like thee blunder in the chase. 
As thou this day satisfiest thy hunger, so also by the blood that the hun- 
ter spills or the flesh that he throws away shall thj- descendants forever 
have being." 

The corral was opened on the southern side. An Antelope sprang 
forth. "With bounds less strong than those of the Mountain Lion, but 
nimbler, the Wild Cat seized him and threw him to the ground. 

The corral was opened on the eastern side. Forth ran the (3-ho-li (or 
albino antelope). The Wolf seized and threw him. The Jack Eabbit 
was let out. The Eagle poised himself for a moment, then swooped 
upon him. The Cotton Tail came forth. The Prey Mole waited in his 
hole and seized him ; the Wood Eat, and the Falcon made him his prey ; 
the Mouse, and the Ground Owl quickly caught him. 

While the We-ma-^ha-i were thus satisfying their hunger, the game 
animals began to escape through thebreaks in the corral. Forth through 
the northern door rushed the Bufl'alo, the great Elk, and the Deer, and 
toward thenorth the Mountain Lion, and the yellow SA-la-mo-pi-a swiftly 
followed and herded them, to the world where stands the yellow mount- 
ain, below the great northern ocean. 

Out through the western gap rushed the Mountain Sheep, herded and 
driven by the Coyote and the blue Sd-la-mo-pi a, toward the great west- 
ern ocean, where stands the ancient blue mountain. 

Out through the southern gap rushed the Antelope, herded and driven 
by the Wild Cat and the red S^-la-raopi-a, toward the great land of 
summer, where stands the ancient red mountain. 

Out through the eastern gap rushed the 0-ho-li, herded and driven 
by the Wolf and the white Sd-la-mo-pi-a, toward where "they say" is 
the eastern ocean, the " Ocean of day", wherein stands the ancient white 

Forth rushed in all directions the Jack Rabbit, the Cotton Tail, the 
Eats, and the Mice, and the Eagle, the Falcon, and the Ground Owl cir- 
cled high above, toward the great "Sky ocean," above which stands the 
ancient mountain of many colors, and they drove them over all the 
earth, that from their homes in the air they could watch them in all 
places ; and the Sd-la-mo-pi-a of many colors rose and assisted them. 

Into the earth burrowed the Eabbits, the Eats, and the Mice, from 
the sight of the Eagle, the Falcon, and the Ground Owl, but the Prey 
Mole and the black S4-la-mo-pi-a thither followed them toward the 
four caverns (wombs) of earth, beneath which stands the ancient black 


Then the earth and winds were filled with rumbling from the feet of 
the departing animals, and the Snail People saw that their game was 
escaping ; hence the world was filled with the wars of the Ka'-ka, the 
Snail People, and the children of men. 

Thus were let loose the game animals of the world. Hence the Buffalo, 
the Great Elk, and the largest Deer are found mostly in the north, 
where they are ever pursued by the great Mountain Lion ; but with 
them escaped other animals, and so not alone in the north are the Buffalo, 
the Great Elk, and the Deer found. 

Among the mountains and the canons of the west are found the 
Mountain Sheep, pursued by the Coyote; but with them escaped many 
other animals; hence not alone in the west are the Mountain Sheep 

Toward the south escaped the Antelopes, pursued by the Wild Cat. 
Yet with them escaped many other animals; hence not alone in the 
south are the Antelopes found. 

Toward the east escaped the 0-ho-li, pursued by the Wolf; but with 
them escaped many other animals ; hence not alone in the east are the 
0-ho-li-we found. 

Forth in all directions escaped the Jack Eabbits, Cotton Tails, Eats, 
and Mice ; hence over all the earth are they found. Above them in the 
skies circle the Eagle, the Falcon, and the Ground Owl ; yet into the 
earth escaped many of them, followed by the Prey Mole; hence beneath 
the earth burrow many. 

Thus, also, it came to be that the Yellow Mountain Lion is the mas- 
ter Prey Being of the north, but his younger brothers, the blue, the 
red, the white, the spotted, and the black Mountain Lions wander over 
the other regions of earth. Does not the spotted Mountain Lion (evi- 
dently the Ocelot) live among the high mountains of the south ! 

Thus, too, was it with the Coyote, who is the master of the West, but 
whose younger brothers wander over all the regions ; and thus, too, 
with the Wild Cat and the Wolf. 

In this tradition there is an attempt, not only to explain the special 
distribution throughout the six regions, of the Prey animals and their 
prey, but also to account for the occurrence of animals in regions other 
than those to which, according to this classification, they properly 


We find, therefore, that each one of the six species of Prey animals 
is again divided into six varieties, according to color, which deter- 
mines the location of each variety in that one or other of the regions 
with which its color agrees, yet it is supposed to owe allegiance to its 


representative, whatsoever this may be or wheresoever placed. For 
instance, the Mountain Lion is primarily god of the llTorth, but he is 
supposed to have a representative (younger brother) in the West (the 
blue Mountain Lion), another in the South (the Eed), in the East (the 
White), iu the Upper regions (the Spotted), and in the Lower regions 
(the black Mountain Lion). 

Hence, also, there are six varieties of the fetich representing any 
one of these divisions, the variety being determined by the color, as 
expressed either by the material of which the fetich is formed, or the 
pigment with which it is painted, or otherwise, as, for example, by 
inlaj-ing. (Plate III, Fig. 4, and Plate YII, Fig. 2.) 


According to this classification, which is native, the fetiches of the 
Mountain Lions are represented on Plate IV. They are invariably dis- 
tinguished by the tail, which is represented very long, and laid length- 
wise of the back from the rump uearly or quite to the shoulders, as 
well as by the ears, which are quite as uniformly rounded and not 

The fetich of the yellow Mountain Lion (Ha'k-ti ta'sh-a-na thliip-tsi- 
na), or God of the North (Plate IV, Fig. 1), is of yellow limestone.* It 
has been smoothly carved, and is evidently of great antiquity, as shown 
by its polish and patina, the latter partly of blood. The anus and 
eyes are quite marked holes made by drilling. An arrow-point of flint 
is bound to the back with cordage of cotton, which latter, however, 
from its newness, seems to have been recently added. 

The fetich of the blue Mountain Lion, of the West (Ha'k-ti ta'sh-a- 
na thli-a-na), is represented in Plate IV, Fig. 2. The original is com- 
posed of finely veined azurite or carbonate of copper, which, although 
specked Ayith harder serpentinous nodules, is almost entirely blue. It 
has been carefully finished, and the ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, tail, 
anus, and legs are clearly cut. 

The fetich of the white Mountain Lion, of the East (Ha'k-ti tii'sh-a 
na k'dha-na), is represented by several specimens, two of which are re- 
produced in Plate IV, Figs. 3 and 4. The former is very small and 
composed of compact white limestone, the details being pronounced, 
and the whole specimen finished with more than usual elaboration. 
The latter is unusually large, of compact gypsum or alabaster, and quite 
carefully carved. The eyes have been inlaid with turkoises, and there 
is cut around its neck a groove by which the beads of shell, coral, &c., 
were originally fastened. A large arrow head of chalcedony has been 
bound with cords of cotton flatwise along one side of the body. 

The only fetich representing the red Mountain Lion, of the South 
(Ha'k-ti ta'sh-a-na ^-ho-na), in the collection was too imperfect for repro- 

*I am indebted to Mr. S. F. Emmons, of the Geological Survey, for assisting me to 
determine approximately the mineralogjcal character of these specimens. 


The fetich of the spotted or many-colored Mountain Lion (Ha'k-ti 
ta'sh-a ua stipa-uo-pa or i-to-pa-uah-ua-na), of the Upper regions, is also 
represented by two specimens (Plate JV, Figs. 6 and 6), both of fibrous 
aragonite in alternating thin and thick laminae, or bands of grayish yel- 
low, white, and blue. Fig. 5 is by far the more elaborate of the two, 
and is, indeed, the most perfect fetich in the collection. The legs, ears, 
eyes, nostrils, mouth, tail, anus, and genital organs (of the male) are care- 
fully carved, the eyes being further elaborated by mosaics of minute 
turkoises. To the right side of the body, " over the heart," is bound 
with blood-blackened cotton cords a delicate flint arrow-point, together 
with white shell and coral beads, and, at the breast, a small triangular 
figure of au arrow in haliotus, or abalone. 

The fetich of the black Mountain Lion ( Ua'k-ti ta'sh-a-na shik'ia-na) 
(PI. IV, Fig. 7) is of gypsum, or white limestone, but has been painted 
black by pigment, traces of which are still lodged on portions of ita 


The fetiches of the Coyote, or God of the West, and his younger 
brothers, represented on Plate V, are called T6thlpo-k'ia, an archaic 
form of the modern word Sus-k'i w6-ma-we (Coyote fetiches), from UM- 
nan, = a sacred prayer-plume, auApd-an, = an object or locality on or to- 
ward which anything is placed, a depository, and fc'(a = the active 
participle. They are usually distinguished by horizontal or slightly 
drooping tails, pointed or small snouts, and erect ears. Although the 
Coyote of the West is regarded as the master of the Coyotes of the 
other five regions, yet, in the prayers, songs, and recitations of the 
S&ni a-k'iakwe, and Prey Brother Priesthood, the Coyote of the North 
is mentioned first. I therefore preserve the same sequence observed in 
describing the Mountain Lion fetiches. 

The fetich of the yellow Coyote (Sus-k'i thluptsina), of the North, is 
represented in Plate V, Fig. 1. The original is of compact white lime- 
stone stained yellow. The attitude is that of a coyote about to pursue 
his prey (Id-hi-na i-mo-na), which has reference to tiie intemperate haste 
on the part of this animal, which usually, as in the foregoing tradition, 
results in failure. 

The fetich of the blue Coyote, of the West (Sus-k'i 16-k'ia-na — signify- 
ing in reality blue gray, the color of the coyote, instead of blue=thli-a- 
na), is shown in Plate V, Fig. 2. This fetich is also of compact white 
limestone, of a yellowish gray color, although traces of blue paint and 
large turkois eyes indicate that it was intended, like Plate III, Fig. 3, 
to represent the God of the West. 

The fetich of the red Coyote (Slis-k'i A-ho na), of the South, is repre- 
sented by Plate V, Fig. 4, which, although of white semi-translucent 
calcitc, has been deeply stained with red paint. 

Two examples of the fetich of the white Coyote (Sus-k'i k'6-ha-na), of 
the East, are shown in Plate V, Figs. 4 and 5. They are both of com. 


pact white limestone. The first is evidently a natural fragment, the 
feet being but slightly indicated by grinding, the mouth by a deep cut 
straight across the snout, and the eyes by deeply drilled depressions, 
the deep groove around the ne^k being designed merely to receive the 
necklace. The second, however, is more elabonite, the pointed chin, 
horizontal tail, and pricked-up ears being distinctly carded, and yet in 
form the specimen resembles more a weasel than a coyote. 

The fetich of the many-colored Coyote (Sus-k'i i-to-pa-nah-na-na), of 
the Upper regions, is reproduced in Plate V, Fig. 6, which represents 
the male and female together, the latter being indicated merely bj^ the 
smaller size and the shorter tail. They are both of aragouite. This 
conjoined form of the male and female fetiches is rare, and is significant 
of other iiowers than those of the hunt. 

The black Coyote (Susk'i shi-k'ia-na), of the Lower regions, is repre- 
sented by Plate V, Fig. 7, the original of which is of compact white 
limestone or yellowish-gray marble, and shows traces of black paint or 


The fetiches of the Wild Cat, the principal of which is God of the 
South, are represented on Plate VI. They are characterized by short 
horizontal tails and in most cases by vertical faces and short ears, less 
erect than in the fetiches of the Coyote. 

Plate VI, Fig. 1, represents the fetich of the yellow Wild Cat (T6-pi 
thlup-tsina) of the North. Although of yellow limestone, it is stained 
nearly black with blood. A long, clearly-chipped arrow-point of chal- 
cedony is bound with blood-stained cotton cordage along the right side 
of the figure, and a necklace of white shell beads (K6ha-kwa), with one 
of black stone (Kewi-na-kwa) among them, encircles the neck. 

Plate VI, Fig. 2, represents the fetich of the blue Wild Oat (T6-pi 
thli-a-na), of the West. It is formed from basaltic clay of a grayish-blue 
color, and is furnished with an arrow-point of jasper (jasp vernis), upon 
which is laid a small fragment of tiu-kois, both secured to the back 
of the specimen with sinew taken from the animal represented. Plate 
VI, Fig. 3, likewise represents the fetich of the Wild Cat of the West. 
It is a fragment from a thin veiu of malachite and azurite, or green 
and blue carbonate of copper, and has been but little changed from its 
original condition. 

Plate VI, Fig. 4, represents the red Wild Cat (T6 pi ^-ho-na), of the 
South. Although formed from gypsum or yellow limestone, its color 
has been changed by the application of paint. It is supplied with the 
usual necklace and arrow-point of the perfect fetich, secured by bands 
of sinew and cotton. 

Both Figs. 5 and 6 of Plate VI represent the fetich of the white Wild 
Cat (T6 pi k'6-ha-na), of the East, and are of compact white limestone 
carefully fashioned and polished, the one to represent the perfect animal, 


the otber the foetus. This specimen, like Plate V, Fig. 6, has a signifi- 
cance other than that of a mere fetich of the chase, a significance con- 
nected with the Phallic worship of the Zuiiis, on which subject I hope 
ere many years to produce interesting evidence. 

Plate VI, Fig. 7, represents the fetich of the many-colored "Wild Cat 
(T6-pi su-pa-no-pa), of the Upper regions, which is made of basaltic 
clay, stained black with pitch and pigment, and furnished with a flake 
of flint and a small fragment of chrysocoUa, both of which are attached 
to the back of the figure with a binding of sinew. 

Plate VI, Fig. 8, represents, according to the Zuiiis, a very ancient 
and valued fetich of the black Wild Cat (T^-pi shi-k'ia-na), of the Lower 
regions. It is little more than a concretion of compact basaltic rock, 
with slight traces of art. Its natural form, however, is suggestive of 
an animal. Long use has polished its originally black surface to the 
hue of lustrous jet. 


The fetiches of the Wolf, God of the East, and of his younger brothers 
(Ifi-na-wi-ko w6-ma-we) are represented on Plate VII. They are char- 
acterized by erect attitudes, usually oblique faces, pricked-up ears, and 
"hanging tails." 

Plate VII, Fig. 1, is a representation of the fetich of the yellow Wolf 
(luna-wiko thlup-tsi-na), of the North. It is of yellow indurated clay- 
stone. In this example the legs are much longer than in most speci- 
mens, for nearly all these figures are either natural fragments or con- 
cretions slightly improved on by art, or are figures which have been 
suggested by and derived from such fi'agments or concretions. More- 
over, the ceremonials to be described further on require that they should 
be " able to stand alone" ; therefore they are usually furnished with 
only rudimentary legs. The tail is only indicated, while in nearly all 
other Wolf fetiches it is clearly cut down the rump, nearly to the gam- 
bol joint. 

Plate VII, Fig. 2, represents a fetich of the blue Wolf (lu-na wi-ko 
thll-ana), of the West. It is of gray sandstone, stained first red, then 
blue, the latter color being further indicated by settings of green tur- 
kois on either side and along the back, as well as in the eyes. 

Plate VII, Fig. 3, represents the fetich of the red Wolf (luna-wi-ko 
4-ho-na), of the South. It is but crudely formed from a fragment of 
siliceous limestone, the feet, ears, and tail being represented only by 
mere protuberances. Although the material is naturally of a yellowish- 
gray color, it has been stained red. 

Plate VII, Fig. 4, represents the fetich of the white Wolf (Id-na- wi-ko 
k'6-ha-na), of the East. It is of very white, compact limestone. The 
hanging tail, erect ears, attitude, &c., are better shown in this than 
perhaps in any other specimen of the class in the collection. It has, 
however, been broken through the body and mended with black pitch. 








Plate VII, Fig. 5, represents the fetich of tbe many-colored Wolf 
(Ifi-na-wi-ko i to-pa-nahna-na), of the Upper regions. The original is 
of fine-grained sandstone of a gray color, stained in some places faintly 
with red and other tints. The mouth, eyes, ear tips, and tail have been 
touched with black to make them appear more prominent. 

Plate VII, Fig. 6, represents the fetich of the black Wolf (I6-na-wi-ko 
shi-k'ia-na), of the Lower regions. Although uncommonly large and 
greatly resembling in form the bear, it possesses the oblique face, up- 
right ears, hanging tail, and other accepted characteristics of the Wolf. 


The fetiches of the Eagle, God of the Upper regions, and his younger 
brothers of the other regions (K'ia'-k'iii-li w6-ma-we) are represented 
on Plate VIII. They are characterized merely by rude bird forms, 
with wings either naturally or very conventionally carved (Figs. 3 and 
6). Further details are rarely attempted, from the fact that all the 
other principal prey animals are quadrupeds, and the simi)le suggestion 
of the bird form is sufficient to identify the eagle among any of them. 

Plate VIII, Fig. 1, represents the fetich of the yellow Eagle (K'ia'- 
k'ia-li thlup-tsi-na), of the Northern skies. It consists merely of the 
head and shoulders, very rudely formed of white limestone and painted 
with yellow ocher. This specimen is doubtless a natural fragment 
very little altered by art. 

Plate VIII, Fig. 2, represents the fetich of the blue Eagle (K'ia'- 
k'ia-li 16-k'ia-na), of the Western skies. It is quite elaborately carved, 
supplied with a pedestal, and pierced through the body to facilitate 
suspension. For during ceremonials, to be described further on, the fet- 
iches of the Eagle are usually suspended, although sometimes, like 
those of the quadrupeds, they are placed on the floor, as indicated by 
the pedestal furnished to this specimen. Although of compact white 
limestone, this fetich is made to represent the blue Eagle by means of 
turkois eyes and a green stain over the body. A small pink chal- 
cedony arrow-point is attached to the back between the wings by 
means of a single sinew band passed around the tips of the latter and 
the tail and under the wings over the shoulders. 

Plate VIII, Fig. 3, represents the fetich of the red Eagle (K'ia'-k'ia-li 
d-ho-na), of the Southern skies. Like Fig. 42, this is doubtless a nearly 
natural fragment of very fine-grained red sandstone, the wings being 
indicated by deep lines which cross over the back, and the rump grooved 
to receive the cord with which to secure to the back an arrow-ijoint. 
The breast is perforated. 

Plate VIII, Fig. 4, is a nearly natural fragment of compact white 
limestone, representing the white Eagle (K'ia'k'ia-li k'6ha-na), of the 
Eastern skies. No artificial details, save the eyes, which are faintly 
indicated, have been attempted on this specimen. 

Plate VIII, Fig. 5, represents, in compact yellow limestone, the speckled 


Eagle (K'ia'-k'iii-li sii-tchu-tchon-ne) of the Upper regions, the drab 
color of the body being varied by frag<uents of pure turkois inserted 
into the eyes, breast, and back. A notch in the top and front of the 
head probably indicates that the specimen was once supplied with a 
beak, either of turkois or of white shell. It is perforated lengthwise 
through the breast. 

Plate VIII, Fig. 6, is a representation of a thoroughly typical conven- 
tional fetich of the black Eagle (K'iii'-k'ia li kwin-ne) of the Lower re- 
gions. It is of calcite, stained lustrous black. A cotton cord around 
the neck supplies the place of the original "necklace." 


The fetiches of the Mole, or God of the Lower regions (K'ia'-lu-tsl 
w6-ma-we, in the sacred orders; Mai-tu-pu w6-ma-we, in the order of the 
Hunt), are represented in the collection by only two specimens, Plate 
II, Fig. 6, and Plate IX, Fig. 1. The figure of a third specimen, taken 
from one of my sketches of the original in Zuiii, is given on Plate III, 
Fig. 5. 

These fetiches being unpopular, because considered less powerful than 
those of the larger gods of prey, are very rare, and are either rude con- 
cretions with no definite form (Plate II, Fig. 6), or almost equally rude 
examples of art, as in Plate IX, Fig. 1, which represents the fetich of 
the white Mole (Mai-tu-pu ko ha-na) of the Eastern Lower regions. 
It consists merely of a natural slab of fin^.white limestone. 

Nevertheless, value is sometimes attach* uto the Mole, from the fact 
that it is able by burrowing to lay traps for the largest game of earth, 
which it is supposed to do consciously. For this reason it is sometimes 
represented with surprising fidelity, as in Plate III, Fig. 5. 


The fetiches of the Ground Owl (the Prairie Dog variety — ThlA-po- 
po-ke'-a' w6-ma-we) of all regions, are still more rarely represented and 
even less prized than those of the Mole. The only example in the col- 
lection is reproduced in Plate IX, Fig. 2. The original is quite care- 
fully formed of soft white limestone, and is perforated to facilitate sus- 

The Falcon fetiches (Pi-pi w4-ma-we) are included in the Eagle species, 
as they are called the younger brothers of the Eagle, and supply the 
place of the red Eagle which variety is met with very rarely. 


The relative value of these varieties of fetiches depends largely upon 
the rank of the Animal god they represent. For instance, the Moun- 
tain Lion is not only master of the North, which takes precedence over 







all the other " ancieut sacred spaces" (T6-thlii-shi-Da-we) or regions, 
but is also the master of all the other Prey gods, if not of all other 
terrestrial animals, j^otwithstauding the fact that the Coyote, in the 
Order of the Hunt (the Coyote society or the Sd-nia-k'ia-kwe), is given 
for traditional reasons higher sacred rank than the Mountain Lion, he 
is, as a Prey Being, one degree lower, being god of the West, which fol- 
lows the North in order of importpnce. Hence we find the Mountain 
Lion and Coyote fetiches far more prized than any of the others, and 
correspondingly more numerous. The Coyote in rank is younger 
brother of the Mountain Lion, just as the Wild Cat is younger brother 
of the Coyote, the Wolf of the Wild Cat, and so on to the Mole, and 
less important Ground Owl. In relationship by blood, however, the 
yellow Mountain Lion is accounted older brother of the blue, red, white, 
spotted, and black Mountain Lions ; the blueCoj'ote,olderbrother of the 
red, white, yellow, mottled or spotted, and black Coyotes. So the Wild 
Cat of the South is regarded as the older brother of the Wild Cats of all 
the other five regions. And thus it is respectively with the Wolf, the 
Eagle, and the Mole. We find, therefore, that In the North all the 
gods of Prey are represented, as well as the Mountain Lion, only they 
are yellow. In the West all are represented, as well as the Coyote, only 
they are blue; and thus throughout the remaining four regions. 

The Mountain Lion is further believed to be the special hunter of the 
Elk, Deer, and Bison (no longer an inhabitant of New Mexico). His 
fetich is, therefore, preferred by the hunter of these animals. So, also, 
is the fetich of the Coyote preferred by the hunter of the Mountain 
Sheep ; that of the Wild Cat, by the hunter of the Antelope ; that of the 
Wolf, by the hunter of the rare and highly- valued Oho-li ; those of the 
Eagle and Falcon, by the hunter of Rabbits ; and that of the Mole, by 
the hunter of other small game. 

The exception to this rule is individual, and founded upon the belief 
thatany oneofthegods of Prey hunts to some extent the special game of 
all the other gods of Prey. Hence, any person who may discover either 
a concretion or natural object or an ancient fetich calling to mind or re- 
presenting any one of the Prey gods will regard it as his special fetich, 
and almost invariably prefer it, since he believes it to have been "meted 
to" him (afiik-tchi-ak'ia) by the gods. 


Although these fetiches are thus often individual property, members 
of the Sdnia-k'ia-kwe, and of the Eagle and Coyote gentes, as well as 
priests included in the Prey God Brotherhood, are required to deposit 
their fetiches, when not in use, with the " Keeper of the Medicine of the 
Deer" (Ndl-e-ton ilo-na), who is usually, if not always, the head member 
of the Eagle genn. 


It rests with these memberships and these alone to perfect the fetiches 
when found, and to carry on at stated intervals the ceremonials and 
worship connected with them. 

When not in use, either for such ceremonials or for the hunt, these 
tribal fetiches are kept in a very ancient vessel of wicker-work, in 
the House of the Deer Medicine (Ndl-e-ton in-kwin), which is usually 
the dwelling place of the keeper. 


The principal ceremonial connected with the worship of the Prey 
Beings takes place either a little before or after the winter solstice or 
national New Year. 

This is due to the fact that many of the members of the above-men- 
tioned associations also belong to other societies, and are required on 
the exact night of the New Year to perform other religious duties than 
those connected with the fetich worship. Hence, the fetiches or gods 
of prey have their special New Year's day, called W6-ma-a-wa 6-pu k'ia 
t6-wa-ne ("The day of the council of the fetiches"). 

On this occasion is held the grand council of the fetiches. They are 
all taken from their place of deposit and arranged, according to species 
and color, in front of a symbolic slat altar on the floor of the council 
chamber in a way I have attempted to indicate, as far as possible, by 
the arrangement of the figures on the plates, the quadrupeds being 
placed upright, while the Eagles and other winged fetiches are suspended 
from the rafters by means of cotton Cords. Busily engaged in observing 
other ceremonials and debarred from actual entrance, until my recent 
initiation into the Priesthood of the Bow, I have unfortunately never 
witnessed any part of this ceremonial save by stealth, and cannot describe 
it as a whole. I reserve the right, therefore, to correct any details of 
the following at some future day. 

The ceremonials last throughout the latter two-thirds of a night. 
Each member on entering approaches the altar, and with prayer-meal 
in hand addresses a long prayer to the assembly of fetiches, at the close 
of which he scatters the prayer-meal over them, breathes on and from 
his hand, and takes his place in the council. An opening prayer-chant, 
lasting from one to three hours, is then sung at intervals, in which various 
members dance to the sound of the constant rattles, imitating at the 
close of each stanza the cries of the beasts represented by the fetiches. 

At the conclusion of the song, the "Keeper of the Deer Medicine," 
who is master priest of the occasion, leads off in the recitation of a long 
metrical ritual, in which he is followed by the two warrior priests with 
shorter recitations, and by a prayer from another priest (of uncertain 


rank). Diu-iug these recitations, responses like those of the litany in 
the Church of En;;land may be heard from the whole assembly, and at 
their close, at or after sunrise, all members flock around the altar and re- 
peat, prayer-meal in hand, a concluding invocation. This is followed by a 
liberal feast, principally of game, which is brought in and served by the 
women, with additional recitations and ceremonials. At this feast, por- 
tions of each kind of food are taken out by every member for the Prey 
gods, which portions are sacrificed by the priests, together with the 
prayer plume-sticks, several of which are supplied by each member. 


Similar midnight ceremonials, but briefer, are observed on the occa- 
sion of the great midwinter tribal hunts, the times for which are fixed 
by the Keeper of the Deer Medicine, the master and warrior priests of 
the S;i-ni-a-k'ia-kwe ; and the religious observances accompanying and 
following which would form one of the most interesting chapters con- 
nected with the fetich worship of the Zuiiis. 

These ceremonials and tribal hunts are more and more rarely ob- 
served, on account of the scarcity of game and of the death a few years 
since of the warrior priest above mentioned, without whose assistance 
they cannot be performed. This position has been recently refilled, and 
I hope during the coming winter to be enabled, not only to witness one 
of these observances, but also to join in it; a privilege which will be 
granted to me on account of my membership in the order of the Priest- 
hood of the Bow. 

Any hunter, provided he be one privileged to participate in the above 
described ceremonials — namely, a Prey brother — supplies himself, when 
preparing for the chase, not only with his weapons, &c., but also with 
a favorite or appropriate prey fetich. In order to procure the latter he 
proceeds, sooner or later before starting, to the House of the Deer 
Medicine (Ndl-e-ton i'n-kwin), where the vessel containing the fetiches 
is brought forth by the Keeper or some substitute, and placed before 
him. Facing in the direction of the region to which belongs the par- 
ticular fetich which he designs to wse, he sprinkles into and over the 
vessel sacred prayer or medicine meal. Then holding a small quantity 
of the meal in his left hand, over the region of his heart, be removes 
his head-band and utters the following jirayer : 

Ma: Lu-k'ia yiit-ton-nd, hom tiitchii, hom tsi-tA, tom lithl ha t6- 

Whyl Tbia day, my father, my motber, (to) thee here I un- 

kwin-te t(S-a-tip, onii ijl-le-te-k'id. Hothl yam ^-tii-tchu Ka-ka A' shi- 

espectedly have trail overtaken. Soever for my Fathers eacred dauco priest- 

{by) road 

wa-ni, w(5-ma d-shi-wa-ni, K'iapina-ha-i awen ha lithl yam 

(gods). Prey priest.{god8), the animal pods theirs I here my 

beiuiia for them 

te-li-ki-nd yel-le-te-u-k'o-n4 te-li-ki-nd i-thle-a-ndn tom lithl ha o na 

earrod things made ready (which) sacred things with (me) bringing unto here I road 
(plnnios, etc., thee by trail 

literally rela- 
tives of the 

3 E 


el-le-te-k'ia; torn litbl ha hiil-lo-wa-ti-ndn thle-a-u torn an t6ap-k'o nan 

overtaken (have); unto here I gooil fortune (ad)dre88 thy own wherewith (then 

thee hast being) 

a'n-ti-.sliem-dn ak'id yam 4-wi-te-Ua tsi-t4, La litbl t6-u-su a-k'i^ 

wishing for hence, to my all earth mother I here (with prayer) hence, 

(-from), prayer 

6ne yiitbl kwai-k'ia-na. 

trail over go out shall. 

L6-we u-lokb iiau tbla-u^ torn te-ap-k'ou^n sbo-hit4 torn i>i nan 

Thus much (of the) great thy wherewith (thou (the) deer thy wind 

world hast being) breath (of 


alv'ia a-u-la-sbo. Awen sbinAn, awen k'idb-kwin botbl Aa-ti-sbe-m4a 

by encircle about Their tiesh their Life fluid soever wanting 

heuco wander around. (blood) 

ak'iii le-bok t6-n-su a k'id. ba one yiitbl kwai k'ia-nd. 

hcnco vonder prayer hence I trail over go out (shall), 
(from mo) with 

Kwa-1-no-ti-nain botbl yam t6-ap-k'o-udn a-k'i4 bom ta ke-tsa-ti- 

"Without fail (anfailingly) where- thy wherewith (thou hence (by) tome thou happy 
soever forme hast being) 

k'ia-na. Horn ta t6-k'o-ba-ua an-ik tcbi-a-tu. 

(make, do). Unto me thou (the) light meet with (do). 


Wby (of course) — 

Tbis day, my fatber (or, my motber), here I, (as if) unexpectedly, 
meet tbee witb wbatsoever I bave made ready of tbe sacred tbings of 
my fathers, tbe priest gods of tbe sacred dances, tbe priest gods of the 
Prey ( beings ). These sacred things bringing I bave here overtaken 
tbee, and witb their good fortune I here address thee. Wishing for 
that whereby thou bast being, 1 shall go forth from here prayerfully 
ujjon tbe trails of my earth-mother. 

Throughout tbe whole of tbis great country, they whereby thou hast 
being, the deer, by the command of thy wind of life (breath), wauder 
about. It is wishing for their flesh and blood that I shall go forth yon- 
der prayerfully out over the trails. 

Let it be without fail that thou shall make me happy with that 
whereby thou bast being. Grant unto me the light of thy favor. 

Then scattering forth tbe i)rayer-meal in tbe direction he proposes to 
take ou tbe hunt, be chooses from the vessel tbe fetich, and pressing it 
to or toward his lips breaths from it and exclaims: 

na! ^-Iab-kw4, bom tii-tcbii (bom tsi-tii), lu-k'ia yiit-ton-n^ on6 

Ah! Thanks, my father, (my mother), this day trails 

yatbl eh-kw(5 ta-pan ha t6-u-su ak'ia, on6 yiitbl kwaik'ia-n^, 

over ahead taking I prayer with trails over go out shall. 


Ah! Thanks, my father (or, my motber), this day I shall follow (thee) 
forth over tbe trails. Prayerfully over the trails I shall go out. 

Sbould a party be going to the bunt together, all repair to the House 
of tbe Deer Medicine, repeating, one by one, the above prayers and 
ceremonial as the fetiches are drawn. 

Tbe fetich is then i)laced in a little crescent-shaped bag of buckskin 

cueniNG.J THE HUNT. 35 

which the hunter wears suspended over the left breast (or heart) by a 
buckskin thong, which is tied above the right shoulder. With it he 
returns home, where he hangs it up in his room and awaits a favorable 
rain or snow storm, meanwhile, if but a few days elapse, retaining the 
fetich in his own house. If a hunter be not a member of the orders 
above mentioned, while he must ask a member to secure a fetich for 
him, in the manner described, still he is quite as privileged to use it as 
is the member himself, although his chances for success are not sup- 
posed to be so good as those of the proper owner. 

During his journey out the hunter picks ft-om the heart of the yucca, 
or Spanish bayonet, a few thin leaves, and, on reaching the point where 
an animal which he wishes to capture has rested, or whence it has 
newly taken flight, he deposits, together with sacrifices hereinafter to 
be mentioned, a spider knot (ho-tsa-na mu kwi-ton-ne;, made of four 
strands of these yucca leaves. This knot must be tied like the ordinaiy 
cat-knot, but invariably from right to left, so that the ends of the four 
strands shall spread out from the center as the legs of a spider from its 
body. The knot is further characterized by being tied quite awkwardly, 
as if by a mere child. It is deposited on the spot over which the heart 
of the animal is supposed to have rested or passed. Then a forked 
twig of cedar is cut and stuck very obliquely into the ground, so that 
the prongs stand in a direction opposite to that of the course taken by 
the animal, and immediately in front, as it were, of the fore part of its 
heart, which is represented as entangled in the knot. 

This process, in conjunction with the roar of the animal, which the 
fetich represents, and which is imitated by the hunter on the conclu- 
sion of these various ceremonials, is supposed to limit the power of 
flight of the animal sought, to confine him within a narrow circle, and, 
together with an additional ceremonial which is invariably performed, 
even without the other, is supposed to render it a sure prey. This is 
performed only after the track has been followed until either the animal 
is in sight, or a place is discovered where it has lain down. Then, in 
exactly the spot over which the heart of the animal is supposed to have 
rested, he deposits a sacrifice of corn pollen (ta-6n-ia), sacred black war 
paint (tsu-ha-pa) — a kind of plumbago, containing shining particles, 
and procured by barter from the Ha-va-su-pai (Cogoniuos), and from 
sacred miues toward the west — and prayer or sacred meal, made from 
white seed-corn (emblematic of terrestrial life or of the foods of man- 
kind), fragments of shell, sand from the ocean, and sometimes turkois 
or green-stone, ground very fine, and invariably carried in pouches by 
all members of the sacred societies of Zufii. To this mixture sacred 
shell beads or coral are sometimes added. Then, taking out the fetich, 
he breathes on it and from it, and exclaims "Si!", which signifies "the 
time has come," or tbat everything is in readiness. The exact meaning 
may, perhaps, be made clearer by an example. When all preparations 
have been made complete for a ceremonial, the word "Si!", uttered by 


tlie master priest of the occasion, is a signal for tlie commencement of 
the ceremonials. It is therefore substituted for "Ma!", used in the 
foregoing prayer, whenever any preparations, like sacrifices and cere- 
monials, precede the prayer. 

With this introduction he utters the accompanying prayer: 

Lii-k'ia ytit ton-n^, hom tiitchu k'ia-pin ha-i, to-pin-t6 yiit-ton-n6, to- 

Thia day my father game being, one day 


pin-t6 teh-thli-na-n^, torn an o-n6 yiithl u-lap-napt6. Hothl yam a-wi- 

one night thy own trail over round about (even) However to me earth 

though. your 

te-liu tsi-tau-4n to-pin-t6 i-te-tchu-na hom ta an k'o-ha-ti-n4. Tom an 

mother (with) one step to me thou ehalt grant (favor). Thy own 

k'iahkw'in an-ti-shi-ma-nd, tom an shi-i-nAn du-ti-shi-m4n a-k'i4 torn 

blood wanting, thy own flesh wanting, hence to thee, 


lithl ha hiil-lo-wati-ndn d-thle-a-6 thla d-thle-a-u. L6-we td-kuthl po-ti' 

here I good fortunea (ad)dre8a, treasure (ad)dreaa. Thus much woods round filled 

all ihe about 

hom an tom yii't-ti-na tsu-ma-k'iend. Ilom d-tii-tchu, hom ton 4n-k'o- 

to me mine you grasping strong shall. My all-fathers, to me you favor 

hati-na-w4. Hom ton t(5-k'o-ha-na dn-ik-tchi-a-nap-tu. 

do (all). To me you light (favor) meet with do. 


Si! This day, my father, thou game animal, even though thy trail 
one day and one night hast (been made) round about; however, grant 
unto mc one step of my earth-mother. Wanting thy life-blood, want- 
ing thy flesh, hence I here address to thee good fortune, address to thee 

All ye woods that fill (the country) round about me, (do) grasp for 
me strongly. [This expression beseeches that the logs, sticks, branches, 
brambles, and vines shall impede the progress of the chased animal.] 
My fathers, favor me. Grant unto me the light of your favor, do. 

The hunter then takes out his fetich, places its nostrils near his lips, 
breaths deeply from them, as though to inhale the supposed magic 
breath of the God of Prey, and puffs long and quite loudly in the gen- 
eral direction whither the tracks tend. He then utters three or four 
times a long low cry of, "IIu-u-u-u!" It is su])posed that the breath 
of the god, breathed in temporarily by the hunter, and breathed out- 
ward toward the heart of the pursued animal, will overcome the latter 
and stiffen his limbs, so that he will fall an easy prey ; and that the low 
roar, as of the beast of prey, will enter his consciousness and frighten 
him so as to conceal from him the knowledge of any approach. 

The hunter then rises, replaces his fetich, and pursues the trail with 
all i^ossible ardor, until he either strikes the animal down by means of 
his weapons, or so worries it by long-continued chase that it becomes an 
easy capture. Before the " breath of life" has left the fallen deer (if it 
be such), he places its fore feet back of its horns and, grasping its 

ccsHiNG.l THE CAPTURE. 37 

mouth, holds it firmly closed, while he applies his lips to its nostrils and 
breathes as much wind into them as possible, again inhaling from the 
lungs of the dying animal into his own. Then letting go he exclaims: 

Ha! dlah-kwA! hom tii-tchu, hom tcha-16. Hom ta ta-8ho-na-n6, 

Ah I Thanks! my father. my child. Tome thou seeda {of earth) 

k'ia-she-ma dn-ik-tchi-anap-ti'i. Hom ta t6-k'o-haua, o-n^>, yiithl k'ok- 

water (want) meet (grant) do. To me thou light traU over good 


shi, Anik-tchi-a-nap-tti. 

meet (grant) do. 


Ah! Thanks, my father, my child. Grant unto me the seeds of earth 
("daily bread") and the gift of water. Grant unto me the light of thy 
favor, do. 

As soon as the animal is dead he lays open its viscera, cuts through 
the diaphragm, and makes an incision in the aorta, or in the sac which 
incloses the heart. He then takes out the prey fetich, breathes on it, 
and addresses it thus: 

Si! Hom tii-tchu, lu-k'ia yat tonn6, lithl k'ia-pin-ha-i an k'idh-kwin 

Si ! My father this day here Game animal ita life-fluid (blood) 

a-k'id tas i-k'iah-kAvi-nd, tas i'-ke-i-nan a-k'i& i'-te-li a-u-nd: 

hence thou shalt dampen thyself, thon shalt (thy) hence add unto: 

with, heart with 


Si ! My father, this day of the blood of a game being thou shalt drink 
(water thyself). With it thou shalt enlarge (add unto) thy heart: 

He then dips the fetich into the blood which the sac stiU contains, 
continuing meanwhile the prayer, as follows: 

les tik-14-a ak'n' ha-i', k'ia-pin-ha-i an k'idh-kwin, an shi-i-nan 

likewise cooked being, game being its fluid (of life) its flesh 

done raw 

a-k'iA ha's lithl yam i-ke-i-nan i-te-li-au-nfi. 

hence I shall here my heart add unto (enlarge). 



likewise, I, a "done" being, with the blood, the flesh of a raw 

being (game animal), shall enlarge (add unto) my heart. 

Which finished, he scoops up, with his hand, some of the blood and 
sips it; then, tearing forth the liver, ravenously devours a part of it, 
and exclaims, "fi-lah-kwA!" (Thanks). 

While skinning and quartering the game he takes care to cut out the 
tragus or little inner lobe of its ear, the clot of blood within the heart 
(ii'-te mul il-li-k'o-na), and to preserve some of the hair. Before leav- 
ing, he forms of these and of the black paint, com pollen, beads of tur- 
kois or turkois dust, and sacred shell or broken shell and coral beads 
before mentioned, a ball, and on the spot where the animal ceased to 


breathe he digs a grave, as it were, and deposits therein, with prayer- 
meal, this strange mixture, meanwhile saying the following prayer: 

Si! Lu-k'ia yat-tonn6, k'ia-pin-ha-1, to-pinta yat-ton-n6 t6-pin-ta 

Si I This day game being, one day, one 


teh-thli-na n4, 16- we torn o-n<5 yiithl u-lap-na-k'ia tap-t6 lii-k'ia yat-tou-n6 

night, thus mnch thy trail over circled about though tlus day 


te-kwin-t6 te-a-ti-pd, torn lithl ha. anah-u'-thla-k'iA. Tom lithl bahti'l-lo- 

(as if) unex- was it thou here I upward pulling To thee here, I good 

pectedly embraced. 

a-ti-ndn thle-a-ii. Tom lithl ha 6-nean tble-a-u. Tom lithl ha tMa 

fortune address To thee here I com pollen address. To thee here I treaa- 

tbe yellow ure 

thle-a-u. Tam an-i-kwan a-k'id hii'1-lo-wa-ti-nan, 6-ne an, thla i-thle-a-u- 

address. By thy knowledge-hence good fortune, the yellow, treas- (thyself) shall 


nd. ta thli-mon ha-i i-ya-k'ia-nan hom an t6 usu:p6-nan a k'ia tS, 

dress thou new being making shall be my own prayer-speech hence thou 

(thyself) with, 

ya'-shu-a i-tu loh k'ia-nA. K'ia-pin-ii-ha i Ate-kwi a k'id. Kwa hom 

conversing come and go (shall). Game beings relative to with. Not mine 

raw .animals in the di- 
rection of 

i'-no ti-nam tun a-k'id. torn lithl ha hii'l-lo-wa-ti-nan, 6-ne-an, thla, d thle- 

fail to hence, to thee here I good fortune, the yellow, treas- (have) all 


a-k'id. Hom ta t6-k'o-ha-na an'-ik-tchi-a-nap-tu. 0-n6 yiithl k'ok-shi 

addressed. To me thou light % grant (meet) do. Trail over good 

hom ta tchdw' il lii'p 6-na yd k'ia-naptii. 

to me thou children together with, finish, do. 



Si! This day, game animal, even though, for a day and a night, thy 
trail above (the earth) circled about — this day it has come to pass that 
I have embraced thee upward ( from it ). To thee here I address good 
fortune. To thee here I address the (sacred) pollen. To thee here I ad- 
dress treasure. By thy (magic) knowledge dressing thyself with this 
good fortune, with this yellow, with this treasure, do thou, in becoming 
a new being, converse with (or, of) my prayer as you wander to and fro. 

That I may become unfailing toward the Game animals all, I have 
here addressed unto thee good fortune, the yellow and treasure. 

Grant unto me the light of thy favor. 

Grant unto me a good (journey) over the trail of life, and, together 
with children, make the of my existence, do. 

During the performance of these ceremonials the fetich is usually 
placed in a convenient spot to dry, and at their conclusion, with a bless- 
ing, it is replaced in the pouch. The hunter either seeks further for 
game, or, making a pack of his game in its own skin by tying the legs 
together and crossing them over his forehead like a burden strap, re- 
turns home and deposits it either at the door or just within. The wo- 
men then come, and, breathing from the nostrils, take the dead animal 
to the center of the room, where, placing its head toward the East, they 
lay on either side of its body next to the heart an ear of corn (signifi- 


cant of renewed life), and say prayers, which, though short, are not less 
interesting and illustrative of the subject than those already given, but 
which, unfortunately, I cannot produce word for word. 

The fetich is returned to the Keeper of the Deer Medicine with 
thanksgiving and a prayer, not unlike that uttered on taking it forth, but 
which also I am unable to reproduce. It contains a sentence consign- 
ing the fetich to its house with its relatives, speaking of its quenched 
tliirst, satisfied hunger, and the prospects of future conquests, etc. 


It is believed that without recourse to these fetiches or to prayers and 
other inducements toward the game animals, especially the deer tribe, 
it would be useless to attempt the chase. TJntrammeled by the Medi- 
cine of the Deer, the powers of the fetiches, or the animals of prey 
represented, the larger game is unconquerable; aud no man, however 
great his endurance, is accounted able to overtake or to weary them. 
It thus happens that few hunters venture forth without a fetich, even 
though they belong to uoue of the memberships heretofore mentioned. 
Indeed, the wearing of these fetiches becomes almost as universal as is 
the wearing of amulets and "Medicines" among other nations and In- 
dian tribes; since they are supposed to bring to their rightful jiosses- 
sors or holders, not only success in the chase and in war (in the case of 
the Warriors or Priests of the Bow), but also good fortune in other 

The successful hunter is typical of possession, since the products of 
his chase yield him food, apparel, ornament, aud distinction. It is there- 
fore argued with strange logic that, even though one may not be a hun- 
ter, there must exist a connection between the possessions of the hun- 
ter and the possessions of that one, and that principally through the fe- 
tiches. A man therefore counts it the greatest of good fortune when he 
happens to find either a natural or artificial object resembling one of the 
animals of prey. He presents it to a proper member of the Prey 
Brotherhood, together with the appropriate flint arrow-point and the 
desirable amount of ornaments (thla-a) for dressing (thl6-a-k'ia-na) and 
finishing (i-ya-k'iaua), as soon as possible. 




The Priesthood of the Bow possesses three fetiches, two of which are 
of the We-iua-4-ha-i, (Plate X, Fig. 2, and Plate XI, Fig. 2.) The other 
is sometimes classed with these, sometimes with the higher beings, and 
may be safely said to form a connecting link between the idolatry proper 
of the Ziiiiis and their fetichism. These three beings are, the Mount- 
ain Lion (Plate X, Fig. 2), the great White Bear (Plate XI, Fig. 2), 
(Aiij-shi k'ohana— the god of the scalp-taking ceremonials), and the 
Knife-feathered Monster (A-tchi-a lii-to-pa), (Plate X, Fig. 1). 

This curious god is the hero of hundreds of folklore tales, and the tu- 
telar deity of several of the societies of Zuiii. He is represented as pos- 
sessing a human form, furnished with flint knife-feathered pinions, and 
tail. His dress consists of the conventional terraced caj) ( representa- 
tive of his dwelling-place among the clouds), and the ornaments, badge, 
and garments of the Ka'-ka. His weapons are the Great Flint-Knife 
of War, the Bow of the Skies (the Eain-bow), and the Arrow of Light- 
ning, and his guardians or warriors are the Great Mountain Lion of the 
North and that of the Upper regions. 

He was doubtless the original War God of the Zuiiis, although now 
secondary, in the order of war, to the two children of the Sun mentioned 
at the outset. 

Anciently he was inimical to man, stealing and carrying away to his 
city in the skies the women of all nations, until subdued by other gods 
and men of magic powers. At present he is friendly to them, rather in 
the sense of an animal whose food temporarily satisfies him than in the 
beneficent character of most of the gods of Zuui. 

Both the Great White Bear and the Mountain Lion of the War Priest- 
hood are, as well as the Knife-feathered Demon, beings of the skies. 
For this reason the fetich of the Mountain Lion of the skies (of aiago- 
nite) is preferred by a Priest of the Bow above all other kinds or colors. 
Unfortunately, none of the fetiches of this priesthood are to be found 
in the collections of the Bureau, and but one, with its pouch, has been 
reproduced from the original, which is in my possession. It was not 
presented to me with my other paraphernalia on the night of the final 
ceremonials of my initiation into the Priesthood of the Bow, but some 
months afterward when I was about to start on a dangerous expedition. 
At this time I was charged with carefully preser\nng it during life as 

my special fetich, and instructed in the various usages connected with 




OF ETKKl.:, 


T S-.r.ciair v Son.I-iTh 



it. The other was drawn from a sketch made by myself of a fetich in 

These fetiches — more usaally of the Mountain Lion than of the 
others; very rarely of the Knife-feathered Demon — are constantly car- 
ried by the warriors when abroad in pouches like those of the Hunters, 
and in a similar manner. They are, however, not returned to the head- 
quarters of the society when not in use, but, being regarded, with the 
other paraphernalia of their possessor, as parts of his S4-wa-ui-k'ia, are 
always kept near him. 


The perfect fetich of this order differs but little from those of the 
Hunters, save that it is more elaborate and is sometimes supplied with 
a minute heart of turkois bound to the side of the figure with sinew of 
the Mountain Lion, with which, also, the arrow-point is invariably at- 
tached, usually to the back or belly. The precious beads of shell, tur- 
kois, coral, or black stone, varied occasionally with small univalves 
from the ocean, are bound over all with a cotton cord. These univalves, 
the oliva (tsu-i-ke-i-nan-ne=heart shell), are, above all other shells, sacred ; 
and each is emblematic of a god of the order. The wrist badges of the 
members are also made of these shells, strung on a thong of buckskin 
taken from the enemy. The arrow-point, when placed on the back of 
the fetich, is emblematic of the Knife of War (S4-wa-ni-k'ia ii'-tchi- 
en-n6), arid is supposed, through the power of Sd-wa-ni-k'ia or the 
" magic medicine of war"(?) to protect the wearer from the enemy from 
behind or from other unexpected quarters. When placed "under the 
feet" or belly, it is, through the same power, considered capable of 
effacing the tracks of the wearer, that his trail may not be followed by 
the enemy. 


The ceremonial observed by a Priest of the Bow, when traveling alone 
in a country where danger is to be apprehended from the enemy, may 
be taken as most illustrative of the regard in which the fetiches of his 
order are held. 

Under such circumstances the warrior takes out his fetich from the 
poueh, and, scattering a pinch or two of sacred flour toward each of 
the four quarters with his right hand, holds it in his left hand over 


his breast, and kneels or squats on the ground while uttering the ac 
company ing prayer: 

Si! Lu-k'ia yat-ton-nd, horn a-ta-tchu K'ia-pin-d-hai 16-we ina-kwe 

Si I This day, my Fathers, Animal Beings, (all) (by) enemies 


p6-ti-tap-t6 hom ton t6-bi-ana-w6. Ethl tel-ikwen-te thlothl tchu-a 

filled through me ye precious render Not that (in any) way soever whom (of the) 

(all do). nnexpocted 

1-na-kwe hom kwa' hothl a-k'id a-tsu-ma-na-wam-i-k'ia nd. Lfl-k'ia yat- 

enemy my whatsoever with daring (existence) (pi.) shall. This day 

ton-iid bom to le'-na 

to me ye thus 

[At this point, while still continuing the prayer, he scratches or cuts 
in the earth or sands with the edge of the arrow-point, which is lashed 
to the back or feet of the fetich, a line about five or six inches in length]. 

ai'-yal-la-na-wd. Ethl thlothl-tchu-^ i-na-kwe i-pi-kwai-nam-tun a-k'i4 

shelter (pi.) shall give. Not that whomsoever (of the) enemy pass themselves through to hence 

hom ton ai-yiil-la-na-wd. [Here he scratches a second line.] Hak-ti- 

to me ye shelter shield (pi.) Tail-long 

shall (give), 

tii'sh-a-nd, [scratches a third line.J A-tchi-a-la'-to-p&, [scratches a fourth 

(Mountain Lion), Knife-feathered, 

line] hom ton i-ke-i-nan ai-yal-la-na-wd. 

my ye heart shelter shield (pL) 

shall give. 

[These lines, although made immediately in front of the speaker, re- 
late to the four points of the compass, the other two regions not being 
taken into account, since it is impossible for the enemy to bring harm 
from either above or below the i)lane on which the subject moves. It 
may be well to add, also, that four (the number of the true fingers) is 
the sacred numeral of the Zuiiis, as with most all Indian tribes and 
many other lower races.] 


Si! This day, my fathers, ye animal gods, although this country be 
filled with eueiuies, render me precious. That my existence may not be 
in any way so ever une;5:pectedly dared by the enemy, thus, O ! shelter 
give ye to me (from them). (In order) that none of the enemy may 
pass through (this line) hence, O ! shelter give ye to me (from them). 
Long Tail [Mountain Lion], Knife-feathered [God of the Knife Wings], 
O! give ye shelter of my heart from them. 

On the conclusion of this prayer the fetich is breathed upon and re- 
placed, or sometimes withheld until after the comi)letion of the war- 
song and other chants in which the three gods mentioned above are, 
with others, named and exhorted, thereby, in the native belief, render- 
ing protection doubly certain. I am of course thoroughly familiar with 


these war chants, rituals, etc. They abound in archaic terms and are 
fraught with great interest, but belong more properly to another de- 
partment of Zuui worship than that of the mere fetlchism ; as, indeed, do 
most other recitations, chants, etc., of the War society, in any way con- 
nected with this worship. 

Before following the trail of an enemy, on finding his camp, or on 
overtaking and destroying him, many ceremonials are performed, many 
prayers are uttered, much the same as those described relative to the 
chase, save that they are more elaborate and more irrelevant to the 
subject ia hand. As with the Hunter, so with the Warrior, the fetich 
is fed on the life-blood of the slain. 



Among other specimens in the collection to which these notes relate 
are several pieces representing the horse and domesticated sheep, of 
which Plate IX, Figs. 3 and 4, are the best examples. Both are of 'Na- 
vajo importation, by which tribe they are much prized and used. The 
original of Fig. 3 represents a saddled pony, and has been carefully 
carved from a small block of compact white limestone veined like Italian 
marble. This kind of fetich, according to the ZuQis, is manufactured 
at will by privileged members of the Navajo nation, and carried about 
during hunting and war excursions in "medicine bags," to insure the 
strength, safety, and endurance of the animals they represent. 


Plate IX, Fig. 4, represents a superb large sheep fetich of purplish- 
pink fluorspar, the eyes being inlaid with small turkoises. Such are 
either carried about by the shepherds or kept in their huts, and, together 
with certain ceremonials, are supposed not only to secure fecundity of 
the flocks, but also to guard them against disease, the animals of prey, 
or death by accident. 


In addition to the animal fetiches heretofore described, many others 
are found among the ZuEiis as implements of their worship, and as amu- 
lets or charms for a variety of purposes. The painted and plumed 
prayer-sticks are of this character. 

The amulets proper may be roughly divided into three classes: 

1. Concretions and other strange rock formations, which, on account 
of their forms, are thought to have been portions of the gods, of their 
weapons, implements, and ornaments, their t^-ap-ku-na-we (the where- 
withals of Being). 

2. The sacred relics of the gods, which are supposed to have been 
given to man directly by their possessors, in the " days of the new," 
and include the " Gifts of the Gods" (y61-le-te-li-we). 

3. The magic "medicines" which are used as protective, curative, and 
productive agencies, and are known as the 6 ta we and d-kwa-we (the 
"contained" and the "medicines"). 




Fig. 1. — Concretion. 

Oue object, a mere concretion, will have something about it suggest- 
ing an organ of the human body. (See, for example, Fig. 1.) It will 
then be regarded as the genital organ of some ancient being, and will be 
highly jirized, not only as a means of approaching 
the spirit of the god to whom it is sujjposed to have 
once belonged, but also as a valuable aid to the I 
young man in his conquests with the women, to the 
young woman in her hope to bear male children. 

Again, certain minerals (Fig. 2), or fossils, etc. 
(Fig. 3), will be regarded as belonging to, or parts 
of, the gods, yet will be used as medicines ofwar or 
the chase, or by means of which water may be produced or crops stim- 
ulated, to say nothing of their efdcacy as cures, or sources of strength, 
etc. For instance. Fig. 2 is of aragouite, hence referred to the Upper 

regions, and there- 
fore valuable to 
give ethcacy to the 
paint with which 
Fig. 2.-Mineral fetich. j, , ,j ,„ g-sticks of 

rain prayers are decorated ; while Fig. 3, from its shape, is supposed 
to represent the relic of the weapon or tooth of a god, and therefore en- 
dowed with the jjower of Sil-wani-k'ia, and hence is preserved for gen- 
erations — with an interminable vari- 
ety of other things — in the Order of 
the Warriors, as the "protective 
medicine of war" (Shom-i-ta-k'ia). 
A little of it, rubbed on a stone and 
mixed with much water, is a power- 
ful medicine for protection, with which the warrior fails not to anoint 
his whole body before entering battle. 

These amulets and imi)lemeiits of worship are well illustrated in the 
National Museum, and the subject merits extensive treatment. The 
facts connected with them will throw much light upon the mental char- 
acteristics and beliefs of the Zuuis. At some future time 1 hope to set 
this matter forth more fully. 

Note. — It is to be regretted that the haste in which this paper was prepared by tho 
author, before his departure for New Mexico, to resume his researches among thi) 
Zuiiis, made it impossible for him to discuss further this interesting subject. Tho 
abundant material in his possession, gained from actual membership in the order or 
society under discussion, would have rendered this comparatively easy under other 
circumstances. — Ed. 

Fig. 3. — Fossil fetich. 








Chaptek I. — Gods and other superxatural beings 51 

Hi-uu"" destroying the giaut animals 54 

A Seneca legend of Hi-un" and Niagara 54 

The Thunderers 55 

Echo God 58 

Extermination of the Stone Giants 59 

The North Wind 59 

Great Head 59 

Cusiek's story of the dispersion of the Great Heads 62 

The Stone Giant's wife 62 

The Stone Giant's challenge 63 

Hiawatha and the Iroquois wamjiiim 64 

Chapter II.— Pigmies 65 

Tlie warrior saved by pigmies 65 

Tilt! pigmies and the greedy hunters 66 

Tlie pigni J 's mission 67 

Chapter 111. — Practice of sorcery 68 

The origin of witches and witch charms 69 

Origin of the Seneca medicine 70 

A " true" witch story 71 

A case of witchcraft 72 

An incantation to bring rain 72 

A cure for all bodily injuries 73 

A witch in the shape of a dog 73 

A man who assumed the shape of a hog 73 

Witch transformations 74 

A superstition about flies 74 

Chapter 1 Y. — Mtthologic explaxatios of phenomexa 75 

Origin of the human race 76 

Formation of the Turtle Clan 77 

How the bear lost his tail 77 

Origin of medicine 78 

Origin of wampum 76 

Origin of tobacco 79 

Origin of plumage 79 

Why the chipmunk has the black stripe on his back 80 

Origin of the constellations 80 

The Pole Star 81 

Chapter V. — Tales 83 

Boy rescued by a bear 83 

Infant nursed by bears 84 

The man and his step-son 85 

The boy and his grandmother 86 

The dead hunter 87 

A hunter's adventures 88 

The old man's lesson to his nephew 89 

The hunter and his faithless wife 90 

4 E 49 


Chapter V. — Tales— Continued. Page. 

The charmed suit 92 

The boy and the com 96 

The lad and the chestnuts 97 

The guilty hunters 99 

Mrs. Logan's story 100 

The hunter and his dead wife 103 

A sure revenge 104 

Traveler's jokes 107 

Kingfisher and his nephew 108 

The wild-eat and the white rahbit 110 

Chapteu VI. — Religion 112 

New Year's festival 112 

Tapping the maple trees 115 

Planting corn 115 

Strawberry festival 115 

Green-corn festival 115 

Gathering the corn 115 


Plate XII. — Returning thanks to the Great Spirit 52 

XIII. — Stone giant or cannibal 56 

XIV. — Atotarha, war chief 60 

XV.— The Flying Head put to flight 64 


By Erminnie A. Smith. 



The principal monuments of the once powerful Iroquois are their 
myths and folk lore, with the language in which they are embodied. As 
these monuments are fast crumbling away, through their contact with 
European civilization, the ethnologist must hasten his search among 
them in urder to trace the history of their laws of mind and the records 
of their customs, ideas, laws, and beliefs. Most of these have been long 
forgotten by the people, who continue to repeat traditions as they have 
been banded down through their fathers and fathers' fathers, from gen- 
eration to generation, for many centuries. 

The pagan Iroquois of to-day (and there are still many) will tell you 
that his ancestors worshiped, as he continues to do, the "Great Spirit," 
and, like himself, held feasts and dances in his honor; but a careful 
study of the mythology of these tribes proves very clearly that in the 
place of one prevailing great spirit (the Indian's earliest conception of 
the white man's God) the Iroquois gods were numerous. All the mys- 
terious in nature, all that which inspired them with reverence, awe, 
terror, or gratitude, became deities, or beings like themselves endowed 
with supernatural attributes, beings whose vengeance must be propiti- 
ated, mercy implored, or goodness recompensed by thank-offerings. 
The latter were in the form of feasts, dances, or incense. 

Among the most ancient of these deities, and regarding which the 
traditions are the most obscure, were their most remote ancestors — cer- 
tain animals who later were transformed into human shape, the names 
of the animals being preserved by their descendants, who have used 
them to designate their gentes or clans. 

Many races in that particular stage of savagery when the human 
intellect is still in its child-like state, being impressed by the awful and 
incomprehensible power of Thunder, have classed it foremost among 



tlieir deities, with attributes proportioned to the disposition or status of 
the worshiper. 

Hiiui", the beueficent Thunder God of the Iroquois, compares most 
favorably with the same god as worshiped by other races. Ever ac- 
companied by his equally powerful assistants, his mission was under- 
stood to be only to promote the welfare of that favored people, though 
isolated personal offenses might demand from him a just retribution. 
It was therefore safe to make unto him, on his near approach to earth, 
his most acceptable offering, the burning tobacco, and so iirudy rooted 
has become that ancient custom, that the aged superstitious Iroquois 
of to-day can often be seen making this little offering on the near ap- 
proach of every thunder storm. It is not ditficult to follow the crude 
reasoning by which was ascribed to Hi-nu" the goodness and glory of 
having destroyed the giant monsters which either ])oisoned the waters 
or infested the land. That such had existed was evident from the bones 
often discovered, and what power other than the crashing bolt of 
Hi-nu" could have accomplished their destruction ? The similarity dis- 
coverable in the myths of many peoples regarding the Thunder God 
and his mission of destruction to giant animals, making this an almost 
nuiversal myth, is probably traceable to this simjile and natural expla- 
nation, and presents no argument that the myth itself has traveled. It 
may, then, be safely assumed that Hi-uu» was an indigenous god of the 
Iroquois, the product of their own ci'ude reasoning powers. 

Brother of the great Hi-nu" was the West Wind, Mho, with him, 
brought from the clouds the vivifying rain, and who finally assisted the 
Iroquois in the extermination of the powerful stone giants. Therefore, 
the West Wind ranks as a beneficent deity or spirit. 

The North Wind brought only calamity in its train, often killing the 
unripe corn and freezing the rivers, thus depriving the people of their 
needed sustenance, and from the mere touch of his icy fingers the be- 
nighted hunter became stiff in death. This ranked as an evil deity 
ever to be feared and propitiated. 

Echo, the Mars of the Iroquois, only exercised his power dui'iug their 
wars with other tribes, in which, by repeating among the hills their 
cries of Go-weh, he insured their almost certain victory. He was ever 
honored with special thanksgiving. 

Of Ta-rhu°-hyia-wah-ku° (who bore the important oflice of Holder of 
the Heavens) there is little more known than that he brought out from 
their mother earth the six tribes composing the Iroquois. 

These are some of the Iroquois gods, a knowledge of whose existence 
is contained only in myths, for they belong to the charmed " mythologic 
age." As, however, the Iroquois tribes have not entirely passed the 
boundaries of that age, it is proper to mention some of their more mod- 
ern divinities, in whose worship are intermingled many of their ancient 

The "Great Spirit," so popularly and poetically known as the god of 


the red man, and the " Happy Hunting-ground," generally reported to be 
the Indian's idea of a future state, are both of them but their ready 
conception of the white man's God and Heaven. This is evident from a 
careful study of their past as gleaned from the numerous myths of their 
prehistoric existence. 

It may be true that many of the first missionaries found them in pos- 
session of such ideas, but the Indians had long been in contact with 
white men from whom those ideas were obtained, and there was no in- 
congruity in simply adding them to their former beliefs, as no funda- 
mental change was I'eqnired. They accepted the Great Spirit, but re- 
tained in many instances their former gods as his attributes, consider- 
ing the thunder as his voice and the ■winds as his breath, and at the 
same time they introduced into their pagan worship a form of the trinity 
which is still preserved, consisting of the Great Spirit, the Sun, and 
Mother Earth. 

Good and evil spirits also play an important role in Iroquoian mythol- 
ogy. Among the good spirits are the three sisters who still continue to 
l^reside over the favorite vegetables — corn, beans, and squashes. They 
are represented as loving each other very dearly and dwelling together 
in peace and unity. The vines of the vegetables grow upon the same 
soil and cling lovingly around each other. The spirit of corn is sup- 
posed to be draped with its long leaves and silken tassels. The sister 
who guards the bean has a wreath of its velvety pods with garments of 
the delicate tendrils, while the spirit of squashes is clothed with the bril- 
liant blossoms under her care. In bright nights the sisters can be seen 
flitting about or heard rustling among the tall corn. To this day yearly 
festivals are held in their honor, and they are appealed to as " Our life, 
our supporters.'' 

Among the supernatural beings corresponding to good and evil genii 
were the Great Heads, with ever watchful eyes, and long hair which served 
them as wings to bear them on missions of mercy or of destruction. 
This pure product of the Indian imagination ligures largely in the un- 
written literature of the Ii-oquois. There were also in those days stone 
giants, always the mortal enemy of man, but whose final extermination 
furnished the theme for wonderful stories of daring deeds performed 
oftentimes under the influence of charms or magic, but never in too 
marvelous a manner to disturb the credulity of the eager listener. 

Although Atotarho and Hiawatha were contemporary personages, 
whose names are still continued in the list of chiefs of the present day, 
the myths which have accumulated around their history are so many 
and varied that it is impossible to define the vague boundary line sep- 
arating fact from fiction. They may, therefore, be properly classed as 
demigods. The name of the former, which signifies " the entangled," 
together with his skill, cunning, and cruelty in war, soon resulted in his 
becoming invested with the title of a wizard. The origin of his name 
is attributed to his marvelous hair, which consisted of living snakes, 


aud thus be is represented by the pictographers of his time. He is still 
regarded by his tribe as having been a being with supernatural endow- 

Among the same tribe, the Ouondagas, are found what may be termed 
the "Hiawatha legends." So numerous and yet different are these 
stories, that they may be regarded as the histories of a long line of 
Hiawathas, the Hiawatha being the official name of one of the most 
important functionaries iu the tribal government. These stories, in 
their relation through many generations, have at last become applied to 
one person, who is thus most marvelously endowed, as far surpassing 
all in goodness as did Atotarho in the opposite attributes. To him is 
ascribed the honor of having established the Great Confederacy of the 
Iroquois which so long rendered them invincible in war. His name, 
which signifies "He who seeks the wampum belt,"* probably led to the 
superstition of his having invented wampum. To accomplish his won- 
derful feats, he was provided with a magic canoe which obeyed his bid- 
ding. The legendary apotheosis accorded him, in which be is repre- 
sented as ascending to Heaven in a white canoe, appears to be of 
modern origin. 


A hunter in the woods was once caught in a thunder-shower, when 
be heard a voice calling upon him to follow. This be did until be found 
himself in the clouds, the height of many trees from the ground. Beings 
which seemed to be men surrounded him, with one among them who 
seemed to be their chief. He was told to look below and tell whether 
he could see a huge water- serpent. Replying that be could not, the 
old man anointed his eyes, after which he could see the monster iu 
the depths below him. They then ordered one of their number to try 
aud kill this enemy to the human race. Upon bis failing, the hunter 
was told to accomplish the feat. He accordingly drew his bow and 
killed the foe. He was then conducted back to the place where be bad 
sought shelter from the storm, which bad now ceased. 

This was man's first acquaintance with the Thunder God and his 
assistants, and by it he learned that they were friendly toward the hu- 
man race, and i)roteoted it from dragons, serpents, and other enemies. 


A beautiful Indian maiden was about to be compelled by her family 
to marry a hideous old Indian. 

* This is the interpretation given by the tribe, the real meaning, as P^re Cuoq sug- 
gests, being a "river maker," which implies alliance between nations, and as wam- 
pum was used for treaties, the original idea seems to have been retained after the 
word itself has become denotive. 


Despair was iu her heart. She knew that there was uo escape for 
her, so in desperation she leaped into her canoe and pushed it from 
shore on the roaring waters of Niagara. She heeded not that she was 
going to her death, preferring the angry waters to the arms of her de- 
tested lover. 

Now, the God of Cloud and Eain, the great deity Hi-nu°, who watches 
over the harvest, dwelt iu a cave behind the rushing waters. From his 
home he saw the desperate launching of the maiden's canoe ; saw her 
going to almost certain destruction. He spread out his wings andflew 
to her rescue, and caught her just as her frail bark was dashing on the 
rocks below. 

The grateful Indian girl lived for many weeks in Hinu°'s cave. He 
taught her many new things. She learned from him why her people died 
so often — why sickness was always busy among them. He told her how 
a snake lay coiled up under the ground beneath the village, and how he 
crept out and poisoned the springs, because he lived upon human be- 
ings and craved their flesh more and more, so that he could never get 
enough if they died from natural causes. 

Hi-nu" kept the maiden in till he learned that the ugly old suitor was 
dead. Then he bade her return and tell her tribe what she had learned 
of the great Hi nu". 

She taught them all he had told her and begged them to break up 
their settlement and travel nearer to the lake; and her words pre- 
vailed. For a while sickness ceased, but it broke out again, for the ser- 
pent was far too cunning to be so easily outwitted. He dragged him- 
self slowly but surely after the people, and but for Hinu°'s influence 
would have undermined the new settlement as he had the former one. 
Hinu" watched him until he neared the creek, then he launched a 
thunderbolt at him. A terrible noise awoke all the dwellers by the 
lake, but the snake was only injured, not killed. Hi-nu" was forced to 
launch another thunderbolt, and another and another, before, finally, the 
poisoner was slain. 

The great dead snake was so enormous that when the Indians laid 
his body out iu death it stretched over more than twenty arrow flights, 
and as he floated down the waters of Niagara it was as if a mountain 
appeared above them. His corpse was too large to pass the rocks, so it 
became wedged iu between them and the waters rose over it mountains 
high. As the weight of the monster jiressed on the rocks they gave 
way and thus the horseshoe form, that remains to this day, was fash- 
ioned. But the Indians had no more fever in their settlement. 


The following story, as related to me by Horatio Hale, who received 
it from an Indian chief, shows that sustained imaginative power which 
seems to distinguish the myths of the Iroquoian family. 


On one occasion in the ancient time three warriors set out on an ex- 
pedition. When they were far distant from their own land, one of them 
had the misfortune to break his leg. By the Indian law it became tlio 
duty of the others to convey their injured comrade back to his home. 
They formed a rude litter, and, laying him upon it, bore him for some 

At length they came to a ridge of mountains. The way was hard and 
the exertion severe. To rest themselves, they placed their burden on 
the ground. They withdrew to a little distance and took evil counsel 
together. There was a deep hole, or pit, opening into the ridge of the 
mountain at a little distance from the place .where they were sitting. 
Eeturning to the litter, they took up their helpless load, carried him 
near the brink of the pit, and suddenly hurled him in. Then they set 
off rapidly for their own country. When they arrived they reported 
that he had died of wounds received in fight. Great was the grief of 
his mother, a widow, whose only support he had been. To soothe her 
feelings they told her that her son had not fallen into the enemy's hands. 
They had rescued him, they said, from that fate, had carefully tended 
him in his last hours, and had given his remains a becoming burial. 

They little imagined that he was still alive. When he was thrown down 
by his treacherous comrades he lay for some time insensible at the bot- 
tom of the pit. When he recovered his senses, he observed an old gray- 
headed man seated near him, crouching into a cavitj- on one side of the 
pit. " Ah, my son," said the old man, " what have your friends done to 
you 1 " " They have thrown me here to die, I suppose," he replied, with 
true Indian stoicism. "You shall not die," said the old man, "if you 
will promise to do what I require of you in return for saving yon." 
" What is that?" asked the youth. " Only that when you recover you 
will remain here and hunt for me and bring me the game yon kill." The 
young warrior readily promised, and the old man applied herbs to his 
wound and attended him skillfully until he recovered. This happened 
in the autumn. All through the winter the youth hunted in the service of 
the old man, who told him that whenever he killed anj' game too large 
for one man to carry, he would come himself and help to convey it to 
the pit, in which they continued to reside. When the spring arrived, 
bringing melting snows and frequent showers, he continued his pursuit 
of the game, though with more difficulty. One day Le encountered an 
enormous bear, which he was lucky enough to kill. As he stooped to 
feel its fatness and judge of its weight, he heard a murmur of voices 
behind him. He had not imagined that any human beings would find 
their way to that lonely region at that time of the year. Astonished, 
he turned and saw tbree men, or figures in the shape of men, clad in 
strange cloud-like garments, standing near him. " Who are you ? " he 
asked. In reply they informed him that they were the Thunderers 
(Hi-nn°). They told him that their mission was to keep the earth and 
everything upon it in good order for the benefit of the human race. If 


there was a ilroiiglat, it was their duty to bring rain ; if there were ser- 
pents or other noxious creatures, they were commissioned to destroy 
them, and, in short, to do awaj- with everything injurious to mankind. 
They told him that their present object was to destroy the old man to 
whom he had bound himself, and who, as they would show him, was a 
very different sort of being from what he pretended to be. For this 
they required his aid. If he would assist them he would do a good act, 
and they would convey him back to his home, where he would see his 
mother and be able to take care of her. This proposal and their assur- 
ances overcame any reluctance the young man might have felt to sacri- 
fice his seeming benefactor. He went to him and told him that he had 
killed a bear and needed his help to bring it home. The old man was 
anxious and uneasy. He bade the youth examine the sky carefullj- and 
see if there was the smallest speck of cloud visible. The young man 
replied that the sky was perfectlj" clear. The old man then came out of 
the hollow and followed the young hunter, urging him constantly to 
make haste, and looking upward with great anxiety. When they reached 
the bear they cut it up hurriedly with their knives, and the eld man 
directed the youth to place it all on his shoulders. The youth complied, 
though much astonished at his companion's strength. The old man set 
off hastily for the pit, but just then a cloud appeared and the thunder 
rumbled in the distance. The old man threw down his load and started 
to run. The thunder rumbled nearer, and the old man assumed his 
proper form of an enormous porcupine, which fled through the bushes, 
discharging its quills like arrows backward as it ran. But the thunder 
followed him, with burst upon burst, and finally a bolt struck the huge 
animal, which fell lifeless into its den. 

Then the Thunderers said to the young man, "Now, that we have 
done our work here, we will take you to your home and your mother, 
who is grieving for you all the time." 

They gave him a dress like that which they wore, a cloud-like robe, 
having wings on its shoulders, and told him how these were to be moved. 
Then he rose with them in the air, and soon found himself in his mother's 
cornfield. It was night. He went to her cabin, and drew aside the mat 
which covered the opening. The widow started up and gazed at him 
in the moonlight with terror, thinking that she saw her sou's ghost. 
He guessed her thoughts. "Do not be alarmed, mother," he said ; "it 
is no ghost. It is your son come back to take care of you." As may 
be suiijiosed, the poor woman was overjoyed, and welcomed her long- 
lost son with delight. He remained with her, fidfiUing his duties as 
a son, for the rest of the year. What was done to his treacherous 
comrades is not recorded. They were too insignificant to be fuither 
noticed in the story, which now assumes a more decided mythological 

When the Thunderers bade farewell to the young man they said to 
him, "We will leave the cloud-dress with jou. Every spring, when we 


return, you cau put it on and fly -with us to be witness to what we do for 
the good of man." Accordingly, the youth hid the dress in the woods, 
that no one might see it, and waited until the spring. Then the Thun- 
derers returned, and he resumed the robe, and floated with them in the 
clouds over the earth. As they passed above a mountain he became 
thirsty, and seeing below him a pool he descended to drink of it. When 
he rejoined his companions they looked at him, and saw that the water 
with which his lips were moist had caused them to shine as if smeared 
with oil. "Where have you been drinking?" they asked him eagerly. 
" In yonder pool," he answered, pointing to where it lay still in sight. 
They said, " There is something in that pool which we must destroy. 
We have sought it for years, and now you have happily found it for us." 
Then they cast a mighty thunderbolt into the pool, which presently be- 
came dry. At the bottom of it, blasted by the thunder, was an immense 
grub, of the kind which destroys the corn and beans and other products 
of the fields and gardens; but this was a vast creature ("as big as a 
house," said the chief), the special patron and representative of all 
grubs. After accompanying his spirit friends to some distance, and 
seeing more of their good deeds of the like sort, the youth returned 
home and told his friends that the Thunder was tbeir divine protector, 
and narrated the proofs which he had witnessed of this benignant char- 
acter. Thence originated the honor in which the Thunder is held among 
the Indians. Many Iroquois still call Hi-uu° their grandfather. 


When engaged in wars with different nations the voice of the Echo 
God served for signals, as it would only respond to the calls of Iroquois. 
At the coming of evening it was used by them to call in those who 
■were out on the war-path. When the warrior would whoop the Echo 
God would take it up and carry it on through the air, the enemy not 
being able to hear it, as this was the special god of the Six Nations. 
Therefore when they had gained a great victory a dance was held to 
give praise to this god. When enemies were killed their victors called 
out as many times as there were persons killed, the cry being " Goh- 
weh ! Goh-weh!" " I'm telling you ! " These words the Echo God took 
up and repeated. But if one of their own tribe was killed they called 
out, "Ohweh! Oh-weh!" meaning "Our own!" 

After any of these signals were given all assembled together to hold 
council and make arrangements for an attack or pursuit. Then were 
sent out runners, who also proclaimed. If no response was made by 
the Echo God it was an omen that they should not start, but they 
continued calling, and if the god still remained silent, a service was held 
to ask the cause of his auger. 


When a warfare was ended victoriously a dance was held to the Echo 
God and the nations assembled to rejoice — but first to mourn for the 
dead and decide on the fate of the captives. As the Echo God was 
never called upon except in emergencies during warfare, now since 
wars are over the feast and dance to the Echo God have ceased to be a 
part of the Iroquois ceremonies. 

Related by Mr. O'BEILLE BEILLE, grandson of Cornrlanter. 

The stone giants, who principally inhabited the far "West, resolved to 
come East and exterminate the Indians. A party of Senecas, just start- 
ing out on the war-path, were wai-ned of their impentling danger and 
were bidden to accept the challenge to fight the stone giants and appoint 
a time and place. This they did. At the appointed time the giants 
appeared at the place, which was near a great gulf. Then there came 
a mighty wind from the west which precipitated the whole race of giants 
down into the abyss, from which they were never able to extricate them- 
selves, and the God of the West Wind was ever after held in reverence 
by the Senecas. 


It was the custom at a certain season for the medicine men to go about 
demanding gifts of the peoi)le; but an icy figure had also appeared, de- 
manding a man as a sacrifice ; whereupon the Thunder God was appealed 
to, aud he came to the rescue with his assistants and chased the figure 
far into the north, where tbey doomed the icy demon to remain. To 
this day his howling aud blustering are heard, and when any ven- 
turesome mortal dares to intrude too far towards his abode his frosty 
children soon punish the offender. He is termed KatSsh-hiiaht, or 
North Wind, and ranks as an evil spirit. 


It was a common belief among Indians that there was a strange, hu- 
man-like creature, consisting simply of a head made terrific with large 
eyes and covered with long hair. His home was upon a huge rock, a 
rifted promontory, over which his long hair streamed in shaggy fierce- 


Seen or unseen, if he saw anything that had the breath of life he 
growled: "Kii°ri"-ku°, Kn'Ti"-ku'", wri"-htcn'ha"ih"; that is, "I see 
thee, I. sec thee, thou shalt die," or "thou shalt suffer." 

lu a distant wilderness there lived a man and his wife with ten chil- 
dren, all boys. In the course of events the father died, and was soou 
followed by the mother of the boys, who were now left alone with 
their uncle. They were greatly afiiicted by the loss of both parents 
but after a while resumed their hunting for support. 

As was customary, the older brothers went to their hunting grounds 
and the younger ones staid at Lome. One day they looked for the re- 
turn of their elder brother in vain; they also looked in vain for the 
second brother's return. Then the oldest of those at home said, "I 
will go to look them up"; and he went off, but did not return that night. 
The next brother then went to hunt for his lost brothers. He also did 
not return, and thus it was with all until the youngest brother was left 
alone with his aged uncle. 

The youngest brother was forbidden to go away from home lest he too 
should be lost. One day the two were out in the woods, when the 
younger one, stejiping over a log, heard a noise like a groan, which 
seemed to come from the earth. The groan being repeated, they con- 
cluded to dig into the earth, where they discovered a man covered with 
mould, and taking him and setting him up they saw some signs of life 
and were convinced that he was alive. Then the old man said to the 
lad, "Run for the bear's oil." When brought, they rubbed it over him, 
and at last were well pleased to see returning consciousness. 

In caring for him they at first fed him on oil until he began to move 
bis eyes and talk. The strange man then told them that he did not 
know how long he had been there, that all he knew was that the last 
time he went out was to hunt. They persuaded him to stay with them, 
whereupon he related the story of the nine brothers who had so myste- 
riously disappeared. They theu discovered that the stranger was some- 
what supernatural, for he told them v^ery strange things. 

One night he said, "I cannot sleep; hearken to the great noise in this 
direction. I know what it is — it is my brother, the Great Head, who 
is howling through this hurricane. He is an awful being, for he 
destroys those who go near him." "Is he your brother!" "Yes, owu 
brother." "If you sent for him would he come heref "No," he re- 
plied ; " but iierhaps I might entice him to come here. I will try ; but if 
he comes you must make great provision for him ; you must cut a huge 
maple tree into blocks, for that is what he eats." The stranger inquired 
how far he would be obliged to go to find the home of the "Head." The 
uncle replied, " You would get there about noon." Earlj- the next morn- 
ing he took his bow and started. When he came to a hickory tree he 
pulled it up, and from its roots he made arrows, and then ran onward 
until he came to a place answering the description given him, near 
which he was to find the end of his journey. Remembering that he was 

sMinil GREAT HEAD. 61 

warned to look out for the "Great Eyes," wliicb would be sure to see 
Liui, be called for a mole, to which he said, "I am going in this direc- 
tion and I Avant you to creep down under the grass where you will not 
be seen." Having gone into the mole, he at last saw the Great Head 
through the blades of grass. Ever watchful, the head cried out " Ku°D- 
ku"," "I see thee." The man in the mole saw that the "Head" was 
watching an owl, then drawing his bow, he shot an arrow into the 
Great Head, crying, "I came after you." The arrow as it flew to its 
mark became very large, but as it was returning became as small as 
when it left the bow. Thereupon, taking the arrow, he ran swiftly 
toward home; but he bad not gone far when he heard a great noise 
like the coming of a storm. It was the Great Head riding on a tempest. 
Unshaken by this, he continued to run until he saw that the Great Head 
was coming down to the spot where he was, when he drew his bow 
again, and as the arrow left the bow it became larger as it sped, and it 
drove the Great Head away as before it had done. These maneuvers 
were repeated many times. In the meanwhile the uncle had prepared 
a mallet, and now he heard the rush and roar of the coming hurricane 
and said, "The stranger has allured him home." He now went to the 
door and said, "We must hammer him ; here, take this mallet." As the 
Great Head came bursting through the door, the two men industriously 
plied their mallets to it. At this proceeding, the Great Head began to 
laugh, thus: "Si-h si h si-h," for he was pleased to see his brother. 
When the tumult had subsided, the uncle asked the Great Head to re- 
main, and gave him to eat the blocks which had been prepai'ed for him. 
Then the two men told the Great Head about the brothers who were 
lost and about the stranger. Then the Gi-eat Head said, " I know where 
they have gone; they have gone to a place where lives a woman who is 
a witch and who sings continually." 

Now, the Great Head said, " I have been here long enough ; I want to go 
home ; this young man is pretty bright, and if he wishes, to go to see this 
witch, I will show him her abode and all the bones of his brothers." The 
young man consenting, he and the Great Head started on the morrow, 
and finally came to a place where they heard this song: "Dy-giiiuya-de, 
he"-ori-we, he'-on-weni"-a-h gi-di oQ-ni-ilh," which the witch was singing. 
At length she spoke and said " Schis-tki-ail" ; this was the magical word 
at which, when heard, all turned to dry bones. Upon hearing this the 
Great Head said, "I will ask the question, 'How long have you been 
here?' and the hair will fall from my head and you must replace it, and 
it will grow fast, and then I will bite her flesh and pull it from her, and 
as it comes off you must take it from my mouth and throw it ofi', saying 
'Be a fox, a bird, or anything else,' and it will then run oft' never to 

They did as they had planned, and when the witch begged for mercy 
the Great Head said, "You had no mercy ; see the dry bones; you must 
die": and so they killed her, and her flesh was turned into animals, and 
birds, and fish. 


When she had died, the Head said, " Let us burn her to ashes." When 
this was done, the Head said, "Let us search for the year-old bones and 
cause them to lie in rows," and they worked together selecting those 
they thought were bones of the nine brothers, and placed them together. 
When this was done, the Great Head said, " I am going to my old home 
in the great mountain, and when I fly over here on a tempest then you 
say to these bones, 'All arise,' and they all will rise and you may go 
home with them." Great Head departed, and then arose a storm and a 
terrific hurricane, and the Great Head out of the wind called to the nine 
brothers to awake, and they all arose to life, shouting for joy at seeing 
each other and their youngest brother again. 

cusick's story of the dispersion of the great heads. 

An old squaw who resided at Onondaga was alone in her wigwam oue 
evening. While sitting by the fire parching some acorns one of the 
monstrous heads made its appearance at the door. Thinking that the 
woman was eating coals of fire, by which these monsters were put to 
flight, it suddenly disappeared, and none of its kind have been seen 
since that day. 


In the olden days the hunters always took their wives with them on 
their expeditions. It was a wife's duty to fetch home the game that 
was killed and i^repare and cook it. 

A great hunter set forth upon a hunting excursion and took his wife 
with him. He found so much game that finally he built a wigwam and 
settled down. One day he had gone hunting in one direction while his 
wife was sent in another to collect the game he had killed the pre- 
vious day. 

When she returned towards home one evening, laden with game, she 
was surprised at hearing a woman's voice, and as she entered her sur- 
prise changed to fear, for she saw a stone giant woman nursing the 
chief's child. "Do not be afraid," said the giantess; "come in." And 
as the wife obeyed she told her that she had run away from her cruel 
husband, who wanted to kill her, and that she wished to stay a while 
with the hunter's family. She had come from very far, from the land of 
the Stone Giants, and was very tired, and added that they must be care- 
ful what food they gave her. She could not eat raw food, but it must 
be weU cooked, so thoroughly cooked, indeed, that she could not taste 
the blood, for if she once tasted blood .she might wish to kill them and 

BMiiH,] STONE giant's WIFE, ETC. 63 

the child and eat them. She knew that the woman's husband was a 
mighty hunter, and she knew that his wife brought in the game, bnt 
now she would do it instead ; then she said that she knew where to find 
it and would start after it at once. 

After a while she returned, bringing in one hand a load which four 
ordinary men could not have carried. The woman cooked it, and they 
dined together. 

As evening came on the Stone Giantess bade the woman go out and 
meet her husband and tell him of her visit; so she started, and the 
hunter was much pleased to hear of the help she had given. 

In the morning, after he had gone on his hunting expedition, the 
giantess said, "Now I have a secret for you: My husband is after me. 
In three days he will be here. We shall have a terrible fight when he 
comes, and you and your husband must help me to kill him." 

In two days afterwards she said, "Now your husband must remain 
at home, for mine is coming. But do uot be afraid ; we shall kill him, 
only you must help catch and hold him. I will show you where to strike 
him so that the blow will go right through to his heart." The hunter 
and his wife were both frightened at this, but she reassured them, 
and they all three awaited the coming of the giant. So she placed her- 
self in the entrance, and as he came in sight she was ready. She seized 
him and threw him on the ground. " Now," she said, " strike him on the 
arms, now on the back of the neck"; and so he was finally killed. Then 
said she, "I will take him out and bury him," which she did. 

She staid a while quietly with the hunter and his wife, fetching in 
the game and being useful until, they were ready to leave and return to 
the settlement. Then she said, "Now I must go home to my people, 
for I need fear nothing." So she bade them farewell. 

And this is the end of the story of the Stone Giantess. 


A Stone Giant challenged a Seneca chief to a race. The challenge 
was accepted, and the time for the start appointed two days later. 

The hunter employed the time in making a pair of moccasins, and in 
due time the race began. The hunter was in advance; he led the way 
over cornfields and through bushes, over and around brooks, and went 
a weary distance until he was very tired and his moccasins were nearly 
worn off his feet. At last he began to climb rocks. Now, the Stone 
Giant had no power to raise his head and could uot tell where the 
hunter was when once he was above him, and in this dilemma he had 
recourse to a charm, and took from his pocket a human finger. He 
placed it upright upon his hand, and it immediately pointed the way for 
him to go. 


Now, the liuuter bad turned aud seen him do it, so he stooped and 
snatched the charm from him, whereupon the giant commenced crying 
and said: "You have won. You have taken my charm, and now you 
can always find game and all you want, for the finger will direct you to 


In one of his missions into the. country of the Mohawks, Hiawatha 
once came upon the borders of a lake. While deliberating in what man- 
ner he should cross it, the whole sky became filled with wild ducks, all 
of which finally alighted u2)on the surface of the water. After quench- 
ing their thirst and soaking their plumage they ascended again into 
the air in one great mass, aud lo! the lake had become dry, while its 
bed was filled with shells. 

From these the wise chief aud counselor i)roceeded to make the wam- 
pum which afterward so firmly cemented the union of the six tribes, 
thereby forming the great Iroquois Confederacy. 



Another creation of tbe fertile Indian fancy consists of the race of 
pigmies, Lilliputian in size, but mighty in skill and deed. They carved 
out the beauties of rock, cliff, and cave, but also, like Hinu", they were 
endowed with the mightier power of destroying the monster animals 
which endangered the life of man. Cliff, rock, and grotto attested the 
skill of that departed race, and the exhumed bones of giant animals 
bore as perfect witness to the truth of their existence as did the " Homo 
diluvisB testis" of a century ago to the truth of the story of the deluge. 


It was customary for the Iroquois tribes to make raids upon the 
Cherokees while the latter inhabited the swamps of Florida. 

One of these raiding parties had been away from home about two 
years, and on the very evening of the journey homeward one of its 
number was taken quite ill. After a long consultation {the man con- 
tinuing to grow worse), the party concluded to leave him, and when 
they had reached one of the rivers of the Alleghany Mountains they 
abandoned him on the shore. After their arrival at home the warriors 
were questioned in regard to the missing war-chief. In reply, they 
said that they did not exactly know what had become of him, and 
that he must have been lost or killed in the "Southern country." 

During the night the sick chief lying on the bank heard the soft 
sounds of a canoe's approach, and saw three male pigmies landing hur- 
riedly. Fiuding him, they bade him to lie there until they returned, 
as they were going to a neighboring "salt-lick" where many strange 
animals watered, and where they were to watch for some of them to 
come up out of the earth. 

Beaching the place the pigmies found that the animals had not come 
out fi'om the ground. They hid themselves and soon saw a male 
bufialo approach. The beast looked around and began to drink, and 
immediately two buffalo cows arose out of the lick. 

The three animals, after quenching their thirst, lay down upon the 

The pigmies seeing that the animals were becoming restless and 
uneasy, concluded wisely to shoot them, and succeeded in killing the 
two buffalo cows. 

They returned to the man and told him that they would care for him. 
5 b ti5 


This they did, and brought him to his friends, who from his story 
learned that the returned warriors were false, and they were accord- 
ingly punished. 

From a strong desire to see the "lick," a large party searched for it 
and found it surrounded with boues of various large animals killed by 
the pigmies 


The following story is told as having actually occurred: 

Mr. Johnson and others of the Seneca Reservation went out on a hunt- 
ing expedition to a region quite remote from their homes. Upon their 
arrival at the hunting grounds they found game so plentiful that they 
were obliged to throw away large quantities of meat to enable them to 
preserve and carry the skins of the many animals thej- had slain. 

Several months after their arrival they moved farther into the wil- 
derness, and found, to their sorrow, that game was growing scarcer each 
day until they could find none. As a consequence of their prodigality 
they were soon in want of that very meat which they had so wantonly 
thrown away, and were finally pushed to the verge of starvatiou. 

At length a pigmy appeared to the hapless hunters, and said that 
their present condition was a just puuishment to them for their waste- 
fulness and greed for gain. In despair the hunters inquired of the pigmy 
what they must do to obtain food. The pigmy said that they must 
either starve or give up all the skins and furs which they had collected 
and prepared for use. The hunters asked how long they would be 
permitted to consider the proposition. The pigmy replied that when 
they had decided they could call one of his race by simply tapping on 
a rock, and then they could tell their decision. 

Not agreeing upon any answer after a long consultation, they called 
one of the pigmies to ask for better terms. The hunters said they would 
rather die than submit, if the amount of food were small, since, with a 
small su])ply and being in a strange, unknown country, they could not 
possibly find their way home. They further asked him to show them 
their homeward journey. The pigmy said that he could not grant their 
request without the full concurrence of his race, but that he would give 
them food enough to satisfy them in their present distress. He then 
showed them into a capacious and furnished cavern, in which they were 
to await the auswer of the pigmies. 

On the following day the pigmy returned and said they had been 
forgiven for their wastefulness, and that they would be furnished with 
provisions without parting with their furs. He said that the hunters 
must remain in the cavern, and that some time in the night they would 
be called for. 

BMiTn.) THE pigmy's mission. 67 

About miduight they were uwakened and found themselves in their 
first camping-ground. 

The Senecas were informed that they were brought there by their 
ever-vigilant pigmy friends. 


There was once a pigmy living in a little cave. Near him dwelt a 
hunter in a wigwam. The pigmy sent to him aud bade him visit him. 
The hunter went accordingly, and saw many wonderful things ; the little 
people themselves in great numbers, and the corn and huckleberries 
and other berries which they had in plenty to eat. And the pigmy 
said : " This is our home, and all we have is given to us free, and al- 
though I am small I am stronger than you." Then he showed him the 
games, and the bows and arrows and the dances, even the war dances 
and the hunter said when he had seen it all, "Let me go." But the 
pigmy said, "Stay! Do you know my name? I am called Go Ga-Ah 
(little fellow). I had my choice of name. I will let you out when I 
have told you our mission. We are to help yoii, and we have never in- 
jured you, but now we are going to move away from here. We are go- 
ing where there is more danger from the giant animals, that we may 
help those who need our aid." Then having finished his speech, he 
opened the door and let the hunter go on his way. 


The early history of the races of mankind, now civilized, is marked 
in all its course known to us by a belief in mysterious powers and 
influences. Sorcerers, men believed to be skilled in occult arts, have 
been known among them all. An examination into the actual practice of 
sorcery or magical arts among savage and barbaric tribes is therefore of 
peculiar interest. 

lu none of the myths of the Iroquois which I have reason to believe 
antedate the appearance of Eurojieans do I find anything indicating a 
belief in Heaven or a separate spiritual world, although some of their 
customs indicate that they may have had such a notion. The only 
word for Heaven in the different dialects is evidently a literal transla- 
tion of the Christian idea, and siguilies " in the sky." It would seem 
that after the i)ossession of that idea came the desire for intermediaries 
between living men and a sijiritual world, indicating the first step to- 
ward a higher philosophy. 

Among the highly civilized Chaldeans, Egyptians, and Greeks, the 
success of magic depended upon the ignorance of the masses and the 
comijarative learning of the few who i)racticed it. Among the Indians 
the knowledge of the medicine man and the more expert sorceress is 
little above that of the body of the tribe. Their success depends en- 
tirely upon their own belief in being superuaturally gifted, and upon 
the faith and fear of their followers. I do not believe that the Iroquois 
lives to-day who is not a believer in sorcery or who would not in the 
night time quail at seeing a bright light the nature of which he did not 
understand. The most intelligent, the wisest, and the best Christian 
whom I ever met among them told me of the wonderful marvels he 
himself had wrought. He had stayed the flames of a burning church 
by holding forth his right hand. He had lamed for life a man who was 
stealing cherries by pointing his finger at him. Few bad Indians came 
into his presence without begging him not to "bewitch" them. This 
good Tuscarora ranks as one of the leading Christians of his tribe and 
lives up to all the moral precepts of the Bible, from which he can quote 
a text considered by himself to be appropriate for each of the supersti- 
tions in which he so firmly believes. 

A few Tuscarora names with their definitions will serve to illustrate 
some of the practices and beliefs of the Iroquois. 

Ydhu-wi-sdt : A person possessing within himself a live crystal which 
he could call from his mouth or nose. The crystal placed in a gourd of 
water, rendered visible the apparition of a person who had bewitched 



another. By applying this crystal to one bewitched, hairs, straws, 
leaves, pebbles, &c., could be drawn forth. 

Bhu'^H-fa-yd : A medicine man who by the use of a small kettle boiled 
roots or herbs, and by covering the head with a blanket and holding 
it over the kettle could see the image of an enemy who had bewitched 
either some one else or himself. 

Yd-tyu^nyu'^n : One who performed miraculous feats by drawing out 
with alder tubes, hairs, pieces of skin, leaves, &c., from people who had 
been bewitched with these things. 

Rdnu^kicd-tcrhayu'^-nd-rhi : Superior medicine man. 

Usku^-rhd-rhih : A carnivorous ghost bodied forth in a skeleton. 

U-h nd"-icdk: A departing ghost who will revisit its dead body. 

TJ-t-lcU^tcrhW-ls^n: An evil spirit, from whom all witches received 
their power. 

U-ht-lcu''-su rhu^: One who could .assume a partly animal shape. 

ra-sM°-«M°wa ; The ghost of a living person. 

¥a tcW^Jhuh-lcicd-lcwd: An apparition which could emit flames of 

U-h-t-ku" : A natural-born witch or ghost. 

Nd-yu" h-ndnyd-rhu'^nnya^-a : A witch under the influence or power 
of a superior witch. 

Stories abound in which these personages or spii'its are introduced. 

The belief in Yd-s'ku'^nnu°-nd, or that the spirit of a person could 
be in one locality and its body exist at the same time in another, explains 
much of the phenomena of witchcraft, and accounts for the strange con- 
fessions oftentimes made by those who were known to have been unjustly 

Many customs still existing show that spirits are supposed to con- 
tinue to experience the wants of humanity after leaving the body. For 
some time after the death of an adult his accustomed portion of food is 
often dealt out for the supposed hungry spirit, and on the death of a 
nursing child two pieces of cloth are saturated with the mother's milk 
and placed in the hands of the dead child so that its spirit may not re- 
turn to haunt the bereaved mother. 

When a living nursing child is taken out at night the mother takes a 
pinch of white ashes and rubs it on the face of the child so that the 
spirits will not trouble it, because they say that a child still continues to 
hold intercourse with the spirit world whence it so recently came. 


A great many years ago boys were instructed to go out and hunt 
birds and other game for the support of their respective families and 
to learn from practice how to hunt. A certain boy while out hunting 


came across a beautiful suake. Taking a great fancy to it, he caught it 
and cared for it, feeding it on birds, &c., and made a bark bowl in which 
he kept it. He put fibers, down, and small feathers into the water with 
the snake, and soon found that these things had become living beings. 
From this fact he naturally conjectured that the snake was endowed 
with supernatural powers. He then continued his exijerimeuts, and dis- 
covered that whatever he put into this water became alive ; so he went 
to another swamp and got other snakes, which he put into the bowl. 
While experimenting he saw other Indians putting things on their eyes 
to see sharp, so he rubbed some of this suake- water on his eyes, and 
climbing a tree he found that he could see things even if they were 

Finding that this snake liquid was powerful enough to improve his 
eight, he concluded that the more snakes he put into the waters the 
more powerful would be the liquid. He therefore hung a large number 
of snakes so that their oil dropped into the water, increasing its power 
and making more lively its strange inhabitants. 

He then learned that by simply putting one of his fingers into the 
liquid and pointing it at any person that person would immediately be- 
come bewitched. 

After placing some roots (which were not poisonous) into the snake 
liquid, he put some of the mixture into his mouth and found that it pro 
duced a i)eculiar sensation. By blowing it from his mouth it would give 
a great light; by placing some in his eyes he could see in the dark and 
could go through all kinds of impassable places; he could become like 
a snake; he could even become invisible, and could travel faster than 
any other mortal. An arrow dipped into this liquid and shot at any 
living being, even if it did not hit its object, would nevertheless kill it. 
A feather dipped into this snake water and then pointed at any wished- 
for game, would immediately start for the desired thing and would al- 
ways kill it, and when the game was dissected the feather was always 
found in it. Having discovered the great power of this snake extract, 
he took into consideration the finding of counteracting agents. To ac- 
comi)lisli this end, he diligently searched for roots and herbs having the 
required qualities, and finally he was rewarded by obtaining antidotes 
which would work upon objects which he had bewilched or wounded. 


Nearly two hundred years ago a man went into the woods on a hunt- 
ing expedition. He was quite alone. He camped out in a field and was 
wakened in the night by the sound of singing a:id a noise like the beat- 
ing of a drum. He could not sleep any more, so he rose and went in 
the direction of the sound. To his surprise the place had all the aj*- 


pearauce of beiug inhabited. On the one baud was a bill of corn, on 
the otber a large squasb vine witb tbree squasbes on it, and tbree ears 
of corn grew apart from all tbe others. He was unable to guess what 
it meant, but started ofi' on bis hnnting once more, determined to re- 
turn some evening, being both curious and uneasy. In tbe he 
slept near by, he again heard a noise, and awakening, saw a man look- 
ing at him, who said, "Beware! I am after youj what you saw was 
sacred ; you deserve to die." But the people who now gathered 
around said they would pardon it, and would tell him the secret they 
possessed: "The great medicine for wounds," said the man who had 
awakened him, " is squash aud corn ; come with me and I will teach 

He led him to the spot where the people were assembled, and there 
he saw a fire aud a laurel bush which looked like iron. The crowds 
danced around it singing, and rattling gourd shells, aud he begged 
them to tell him what they did it for. 

Then one of them heated a stick and thrust it right through his cheek, 
and then applied some of the medicine to prove to him how quickly it 
could heal the wound. Then they did the same to his leg. All the 
time they sang a tune; they called it the "medicine song," and taught 
it to him. 

Then he turned to go home, aud all at once he peiceived that they 
were not human beings, as he had thought, but animals, bears, bea\ ers, 
and foxes, which all tiew oft' as he looked. They had given him direc- 
tions to take one stalk of corn and dry the cob and pound it very fine, 
aud to take one sqnash, cut it up aud pound that, aud they then showed 
him how much for a dose. He was to take water from a running spring, 
and always from up the stream, never down. 

He made up the prescription and used it with very great success, and 
made enough before he died to last over one hundred years. 

This was tbe origin of the great medicine of the Senecas. The people 
sing over its preparation every time the deer changes his coat, and 
when it is administered to a patient they sing tbe medicine song, while 
they rattle a gourd-shell as accompaniment, and burn tobacco. Burn- 
ing tobacco is the same as praying. In times of trouble or fear, after 
a bad dream, or any event which frightens them, they say, " My mother 
went out and burned tobacco." 

The medicine is jirepared now with the addition of meat. 


Among the Senecas dwelt an old woman who was very stingy. All 
at once she began to suffer great pain in her eye. She consulted a con- 
jurer, who went out to a bush and covered it with a tent and then began 


to sing, keeping time with liis band. After a while he returned to her 
and said : " You are bewitched. You refused to give milk to a poor 
woman who came to beg of you, and she has bewitched you. I have 
had her house revealed to me, and I saw her, but she was combing her 
hair over her face, so I could not see her features. I would not recognize 
her again." 

Next day he tried again; then he said: "Now I know who she is." 
So they sent for a chief and told him all about it, and he brought the 
woman before them. She was a Chippewa and a witch. The chief had 
her brought to the old woman's cabin. She owned that she had be- 
witched her, and said, " Fetch me the thigh-bone of a beaver from a 
man who is the child of Molly Brant, the child of Governor W. Johnson." 
The bone was brought, and by the time it arrived she had scoured a brass 
kettle, and had clean water poured into it. As soon as she received 
the bone, which was hollow, she placed it against the eye that was not 
painful and spat through it. After a while she ceased spitting, and 
looked in the water. A spider was running around in the kettle. She 
covered it over with her handkerchief, then removed it, and a feather 
lay there instead of the spider. The pain left the old woman but the 
sight was not restored. 


The victim in this case was a Mary Jemison, who, having severe pains 
in her chest, concluded that she was bewitched, and consulted the witch- 
doctors, who applied their extractive bandages, which greatly relieved 
her. She saw a dog as an apparition coming toward her, and directed 
her friends to shoot it, but they did not succeed in killing it. In like 
manner a cat, which was invisible to other people, was seen by her. 
She finally recovered, but Andrew John, who was pronounced her be- 
witcher, and who was outwitched, is now dying from consumption. 


In a dry season, the horizon being filled with distant thunder heads, 
it was customary to burn what is called by the Indians real tobacco as 
an offering to bring rain. 

On occasions of this nature the people were notified by swift-footed 
heralds that the children, or sons, of Thunder were in the horizon, and 
that tobacco must be burned in order to get some rain. Every family 
was supposed to have a private altar upon which its offerings were 
secretly made; after which said family must repair, bearing its tithe, 


to the council-house, where the gathered tithes of tobacco were burned in 
the council- fire. While the tobacco was burning, the agile and athletic 
danced the rain-dance. 

When this was done, Hi-nu", pleased with the incense of the burning 
tobacco, called forth huge dark banks of rain clouds and took personal 
charge of the gathering storm to guide it to wet the dry and parched 
earth. Hi-nii° was considered a great lover of tobacco, but always in 
want of it. 


This was made from the dried and pulverized flesh of every known 
bird, beast, and fish. Equal portions of this flesh were mixed into a 
compound, which was divided among all true medicine-men. 


Witches could and did assume animal shapes.^ 

On theBuffalo Reservation a man saw a "witch-woman" coming, with 
iire streaming from her mouth. Crossing a creek and obtaining his gun 
the man returned and saw a dog at no great distance resting its fore- 
feet upon a log, and it had fire streaming from its mouth and nostrils. 

The man fired at it and saw it fall, but as it was very dark he dared 
not go near it; but on the following morning he went to the spot and 
saw where it had fallen, by the marks of blood from its wound. Track- 
ing it by this means he followed its path until it had reached a bridge, 
where the woman's tracks took the place of the dog's tracks in the path. 
He followed the bloody trail to the Tonawanda Eeservation, where he 
found the woman. She had died from the effect of the shot. 


On the Tonawanda Eeservation three boys were coming down a hill, 
when they saw a large hog, which they concluded to follow to find its 
home. As they pursued the hog they continually kicked it, and it 
retaliated by biting at them at times. It retreated toward the bank of 
a small creek, reaching which it suddenly disappeared. They saw no 
reason to suppose that it had drowned itself in the stream ; but while 
searching for it they found on one of the banks an old man, who 
laughed and said, " What do you seek?" They answered, "A hog." 


After some moments the old man said that it was he, himself, whom 
they had been chasing, and by this the boys knew that he was a witch. 


A Canadian Indian says he saw, one evening, on the road, a white bull 
with fire streaming from its nostrils, which, after it had passed him, he 
pursued. He had never seen so large a bull, or in fact any white bull, 
upon the reservation. As it passed in front of a house it was transformed 
into a man with a large white blanket, who was ever afterward known 
as a witch. 


There was once a species of fly so poisonous that sometimes merely the 
smell of them would eat the nose from a man's face. A certaiu species 
of woodpecker was the only thing that could destroy them. Their 
homes were iu trees, on which their poisonous tracks could be traced. 
They often entered the horns of a deer; hence, the Indian hunter's first 
move after shooting a deer was to examine its horns, and if they were 
infected, the hunter would run away, since he knew that tlie moment 
the animal died the fatal insect would emerge from the liorn. 

Around the trees in which they lived deer ever congregated, seem- 
ingly bewitched by these fierce and noxious little flies. 

Buckskin and deerskin were used to catch them. The bird that killed 
them for food was colored black and yellow. In the evening it came 
forth from its home in a hollow tree and scoured the forests for them. 

These birds were caught with buckskin traps and their feathers were 
used as charms, being fastened to the arrows of the hunter. An arrow 
thus made potent would surely bring down the deer. 


The instinctive desire in man to fathom the mystery of human liie, to 
solve the enigma of whence he came and whither he goes, and to ac- 
count for the marvels ever presented to his senses, has in all times ex- 
cited the imagination and originated speculation. 

To explain the phenomena of life and nature the untutored mind has 
seized upon every analogy suggesting the slightest clew, and imagina- 
tion has aided the crude reasoning faculties. 

In the numerous Iroquois myths relating to the origin of both ani- 
mate and inanimate objects in nature there appears a reflex of the 
Indian's mind as he solves, to his entire satisfaction, mysteries, many of 
which are the " burning questions" of this enlightened age. 

These tales only vary with the temperament of the narrator or the 
exigencies of the locality. Where oft repeated they have in time been 
recorded on the hearts and minds of the people either as myths or folk- 
lore, embodying the fossilized knowledge and ideas of a previous age, 
misinterpreted, perhaps, by those who have inherited tliem. 

For the ethnologist who would trace in mythology the growth of the 
human mind, nowhere is the harvest more rich than among the abor- 
igines of our own country; and prominent among these, in this lore 
of "faded metaphors", are the Iroquois. To what dignity their folk- 
lore might have attained had they been left to reach a lettered ci\nl- 
izatiou for themselves we cannot know; but, judging from the history of 
other peoples, their first chroniclers would have accepted many of these 
oral traditions as facts. 

To many from whom the writer received these myths they were reali- 
ties, for there remain among these forest children those who still cling 
to their oft-told tales as the only link binding them to a happier past. 
Nor should they be considered as idle tales by the civilized mau, who 
has not yet rid himself of the shackles of superstition in a thousand 
forms, and who sees daily his household gods torn down before him 
by comparative mythology and its allied sciences. Let him rather 
accept them reverently as the striving of the infant human mind in its 
search after the unknowable, revealing that inherent something in man 
which presupposes the existence of hidden forces, powers, or beings in 
nature. At first, perhaps, this is a mere blind feeling, but as man de- 
velops, it becomes an idea, then a recognized possibility; later, an ar- 
ticle of religious faith. 




The Iroquois legend of au origin of the human race, which includes 
the creation of the spirits of good and evil, is undoubtedly of modern 

In the great past, deep water covered all the earth. The air was 
filled with birds, and great monsters were in possession of the waters, 
when a beautiful woman was seen by them falling from the sky. Then 
huge ducks gathered in council and resolved to meet this wouderfui 
creature and break the force of her fall. So they arose, and, with pinion 
overlapping pinion, unitedly received the dusky burden. Then the 
monsters of the deep also gathered in council to decide which should 
hold this celestial being and protect her from the terrors of the water, 
but none was able except a giant tortoise, who volunteered to endure 
this lasting weight upon his back. There she was gently placed, while 
he, constantly increasing in size, soon became a large island. Twin 
boys were after a time brought forth by the woman — one the spirit of 
good, who made all good things, and caused the maize, fruit, and tobacco 
to grow ; the other the spirit of evil, who created the weeds and all ver- 
min. Ever the world was increasing in size, although occasional quak- 
ings were felt, caused by the efforts of the monster tortoise to stretch 
out, or by the contraction of his muscles. 

After the lapse of ages from the time of his general creation Ta-rhu°. 
hia-wah-ku", the Sky Holder, resolveil upon a special creation of a race 
which should surpass all others in beauty, strength, and bravery; so 
from the bosom of the great island, where they had previously subsisted 
upon moles, Ta-rhu°-hiti-wJih-ku'' brought out the six pairs, which were 
destined to become the greatest of all people. 

The Tuscaroras tell us that the first pair were left near a great river, 
now called the Mohawk. The second family were directed to make their 
home by the side of a big stone. Their descendants have been termed 
the Oneidas. Another pair were left ou a high hill, and have ever been 
called the Onoudagas. Thus each pair was left with careful instructions 
iu different parts of what is' now known as the State of New York, ex- 
cept the Tuscaroras, who were taken up the Eoanoke Eiver into Xorth 
Carolina, where Tarhu"-hia-wah-ku° also took up his abode, teaching 
them many useful arts before his departure. This, say they, accounts 
for the superiority of the Tuscaroras. But each of the six tribes will 
tell you that his own was the favored one with whom Sky Holder made 
his terrestrial home, while the Onoudagas claim that their jiossession of 
the council fire prove them to have been the chosen people. 

Later, as the numerous families became scattered over the State, some 
lived in localities where the bear was the principal game, and were 
called from that circumstance the clan of the Bear. Others lived where 
the beavers were trapped, and they were called the Beaver clan. For 
similar reasons the Snipe, Deer, Wolf, Tortoise, and Eel clans received 
their appellations. 



The Turtle clau origiuated in a simple and straightforward fashion. 
There were in early times many tortoises of the kind familiarly known 
as mud turtles, inhabiting a small lake or pool. During a very hot 
summer this pool became dry. The turtles thereupon set out on theii- 
travels over the country to look for a new habitation. One of them, 
who was particularly fat, suffered a good deal from this unaccustomed 
exercise. After a time his shoulders became blistered under his shell 
from the effect of his exertions in walking, and he, finally, by an extraor- 
dinary effort, threw oft' his shell altogether. The process of transfor- 
mation and development, thus commenced, went ou, and in a short time 
this fat and lazy turtle became a man, who was the progenitor of the 
Turtle clan. 


The following was recounted to me on the "Six Nations Reserve" in 
Canada, by Ka-an-er-wah, one of the few surviving grandchildren of 
Brant, the Mohawk, and might be termed a modern Indian story. It 
accounts for the tailless condition of the bear. 

A cunning fox saw a wagon load of fish and resorted to the following 
ruse to obtain some of the coveted delicacy: Feigning to be dead, he 
laid himself in the road by which the fisherman must pass, who, think- 
ing the skin of the fox worth preserving, tossed him into his wagon 
and drove ou. After throwing out several fish, the fox slyly crawled 
out himself. Soon he met a wolf who was informed of his good luck, 
and advised to try the same experiment. The fisherman had, in the 
mean time, discovered the trick, and the wolf received a good thrashing 
instead of a fish dinner. 

The fox next met a bear who was also anxious to procure some fish. 
" WeU," replied the fox, "down at the river you will find an air-hole in 
the ice; just put your tail down iuto it as I did and you can draw out 
the fish as fast as you wish." The bear followed the directions carefully, 
but, the weather being cold, instead of securing a fish his tail was frozen 

The bear was very angry and proposed to fight a duel with the fox. 
The fox chose as his seconds a dog and a cat; the bear chose a hog, and 
awaited the fox at the appointed hour. As the latter was late in ap- 
pearing the bear clambered into a tree to prospect, and reported that 
the fox was approaching with two men armed with guns. Thereupon 
the hog, greatly frightened, begged to be covered with leaves. 

Having accomplished this, the bear returned to his post in the tree. 


The fox soon made his appearance, but instead of men his companions 
proved to be a dog and a lame cat. While awaiting in their turn, the 
cat, perceiving the slight motion of one of the uncovered ears of the hog, 
sprang upon it, whereupon the squeals of the invisible pig put the whole 
company to flight, and the bear never had the satisfaction of avenging 
the loss of his tail. 


Chief Mt. Pleasant, one of the Bear clan, relates that once on a time a 
sickly old man, covered with sores, entered an Indian village where over 
each wigwam was placed the sign of the clan of its possessor; for in- 
stance, the beaver skin denoting the Beaver clan, the deer skin the Deer 
clan. At each of these wigwams the old man applied for food and a 
night's lodging, but his repulsive appearance rendered him an object of 
scorn, and the Wolf, the Tortoise, and the Heron had bidden the abject 
old man to pass on. At length, tired and weary, he arrived at a wig- 
wam where a bear skin betokened the clansbip of its owner. This he 
found inhabited by a kind-hearted woman who immediately refreshed 
him with food and spread out skins for his bed. Then she was in- 
structed by the old man to go in search of certain herbs, which she pre- 
pared according to his directions, and through their efficacy he was 
soon healed. Then he commanded that she should treasure up this se- 
cret. A few days after, he sickened with a fever and again commanded 
a search for other herbs and was again healed. This being many times 
repeated he at last told his benefactress that his mission was accom- 
plished, and that she was now endowed with all the secrets for curing 
disease in all its forms, and that before her wigwam should grow a hem- 
lock tree whose branches should reach high into the air above all others, 
to signify that the Bear should take precedence of all other clans, and 
that she and her clan should increase and multiply. 


A man while walking in a forest saw an unusually large bird covered 
with a heavily clustered coating of wampum. He immediately informed 
his people and chiefs, whereupon the head chief offered as a prize his 
beautiful daughter to one who would capture the bird, dead or alive, 
which apparently had come from another world. Whereupon the war- 
riors, with bows and arrows, went to the "tree of promise," and as each 
lucky one barely hit the bird it would throw off a large quantity of the 
coveted coating, which, like the Lernjean hydra's heads, multiplied by 


being cropped. At last, when the warriors were despairing of success, 
a little boy from a neighboriDg tribe came to satisfy his curiosity by 
seeing the wonderful bird of which he had heard, but as his people were 
at war with this tribe he was not permitted by the warriors to try his 
skill at archery, and was even threatened with death. But the head 
chief said, "He is a mere boy; let him shoot on equal terms with you 
who are brave and fearless warriors." His decision being final, the boy, 
with unequaled skill, brought the coveted bird to the ground. 

Having received the daughter of the head chief iu marriage, he 
divided the oh-ko-ah between his own tribe and that into which he had 
married, and peace was declared between them. Then the boy husband 
decreed that wampum should be the price of peace and blood, which 
was adopted by all nations. Hence arose the custom of giving belts of 
wampum to satisfy violated honor, hospitality, or national privilege. 


A boat filled with medicine men passed near a river bank, where a 
loud voice had proclaimed to all the inhabitants to remain indoors; but 
some, disobeying, died immediately. The next day the boat was sought 
for and found, containing a strange being at each end, both fast asleep. 
A loud voice was then heard saying that the destroying of these crea- 
tures would result in a great blessing to the Indian. 

So they were decoyed into a neighboring council-house, where they 
were put to death and burned, and from their ashes rose the tobacco 


In the beginning the birds, having been created naked, remained hid- 
den, being ashamed of their nakedness. But at last they assembled in 
a great council and petitioned the gods to give them some kind of cov- 
ering. They were told that their coverings were all ready, but were a 
long way off, and they must either go or send for them. Accordingly, 
another council was held to induce some bird to go in search of the 
plumage, but each had some excuse for not going. At last a turkey- 
buzzard volunteered to go and bring the feathery uniforms. It being 
a long journey to the place whence he must bring them, he (who had 
been a clean bird heretofore) was obliged to eat carrion and filth of all 
kinds; hence his present nature. At length, directed by the gods, he 
found the coverings, and selfishly appropriated to himself the most 
beautifully colored one, but finding he could not fly in this, he continued 


trying them on until he selected his present suit, in which, although 
it is the least beautiful of any, he can so gracefully ride through the 
air. The good turkey-buzzard then returned, bearing the feathery gar- 
ments, from which each bird chose his present colored suit. 


Once upon a time the porcupine was appointed to be the leader of all 
the animals. Soou after his appointment he called them all together 
and presented the question, " Shall we have night all the time and 
darkness, or daylight with its sunshine?" This was a very important 
question, and a violent discussion arose, some wishing for daylight and 
the sun to rule, and others for continual night. 

The chipmunk wished for night and day, weeks and months, and night 
to be separate from the days, so he began singing, "The light will 
come ; we must have light," which he continued to repeat. Meanwhile 
the bear began singing, " Night is best ; we must have darkness." 

While the chipmunk was singing, the day began to dawn. Then the 
other party saw that the chipmunk was prevailing, and were very angry ; 
and their leader, the bear, pursued the chipmunk, who managed to 
escape uninjured, the huge paw of the bear simply grazing his back as 
he entered his hole in a hollow tree, leaving its black imprint, which 
the chipmunk has ever since retained. But night and day have ever 
continued to alternate. 


Iroquois tradition tells us that the sun and moon existed before the 
creation of the earth, but the stars had all been mortals or favored ani- 
mals and birds. 

Seven little Indian boys were once accustomed to bring at eve their 
corn and beaus to a little mound, upon the top of which, after their 
feast, the sweetest of their singers would sit and sing for his mates who 
danced arouud the mound. On one occasion they resolved on a more 
sumptuous feast, and each was to contribute towards a savory soup. 
But the parents refused them the needed supplies, and they met for a 
feastless dance. Their heads and hearts grew lighter as they flew around 
the mound, until suddenly the whole company whirled ofi" into the air. 
The inconsolable parents called iu vain for them to return, but it was 
too late. Higher and higher they arose, whirling around their singer, 
until, transformed into bright stars, they took their places in the firma- 
ment, where, as the Pleiades, they are. dancing still, the brightness of 


the singer having been climined, however, on account of his desire to 
return to earth. 

A party of hunters were once in pursuit of a bear, when they were 
attacked by a monster stone giant, and all but three destroyed. The 
three together, with the bear, were carried by invisible spirits up into 
the sky, where the bear can still be seen, pursued by the first hunter 
with his bow, the second with the kettle, and the third, who, farther be- 
hind, is gathering sticks. Only in fall do the arrows of the hunters 
pierce the bear, when his dripping blood tinges the autumn foliage. 
Then for a time he is invisible, but afterwards reappears. 

An old man, desjiised and rejected by his people, took Iiis bundle and 
staff and went up into a high mountain, where he began singing the 
death chant. Those below, who were watching him, saw him slowly 
rise into the air, his chant ever growing fainter and fainter, until it 
finally ceased as he took his place in the heavens, where his stooping 
figure, stafi", and bundle have ever since been visible, and are pointed 
out as N5 ge-tci (the old man). 

An old woman, gifted with the power of divination, was unhappy 
because she could not also foretell when the world would come to an 
end. For this she was transported to the moon, where to this day she 
is clearly to be seen weaving a forehead-strap. Once a mouth she stirs 
the boiling kettle of hominy before her, during which occupation the 
cat, ever by her side, unravels her net, and so sbe must continue until 
the end of time, for never until then will her work be finished. 

As the pole star was ever the Indian's guide, so the northern lights 
were ever to him the indication of coming events. Were they white, 
frosty weather would follow ; if yellow, disease and pestilence ; while red 
predicted war and bloodshed : and a mottled sky in the springtime was 
ever the harbinger of a good corn season. 


A large party of Indians, while moving in search of new hunting 
grounds, wandered on for many moons, finding but little game. At last 
they arrived at the banks of a great river, entirely unknown to them, 
where they had to stop, not having the material to build boats. Lost 
and nearly famished with hunger, the head chief was taken very ill, and 
it was decided to hold a council to devise means for returning to their 
old homes. During the dance, and while the tobacco was burning, a 
little being like a child came up, saying she was sent to be their guide. 
Accordingly they broke up their camp and started with her that night. 
Preceding them, with only a gi-wah, or small war-club, she led them on 
until dayJight and then commanded them to rest while she prepared 
their food. This they did, and when awakened by her they found a 


great feast in readiness for them. Then she bade them farewell, with 
the assurance of returning to them again in the evening. 

True to her word, at evening she reappeared, bringing with her a skin 
jag, from which she poured out some liquid into a horn cup, and bade 
them each to taste of it. At first they feared to do so, biit at last yield- 
ing they began to feel very strong. She then informed them that they 
had a long journey to make that night. Again they followed her, and in 
the early morn arrived at a great plain, where she bade them rest again 
for the day, with the exception of a few warriors who were to be shown 
where they could fine ])lenty of game. Two of the warriors had accom- 
panied her but a short distance when they encountered a herd of deer, 
of which she bade them kill all they wished in her absence, and then, again 
promising to return at night, she took leave of them. At night-fall she 
returned, saj'ing her own chief would soon follow her to explain to them 
how they could reach their own homes in safety. In a short time he ar- 
rived, with a great number of his race, and immediately all held council 
together and informed the Indians that they were now in the territory of 
the pigmies, who would teach them a sign, already in the sky, which 
would be to them a sure guide whenever they were lost; and the pigmies 
pointed out the pole star and told them that in the north, where the sun 
never goes, while other stars moved about, this particular star should 
stand still, as the Indian's guide in his wanderings, and that they were 
then but to follow its light and tliey would soon return to their tribe, 
where they would find plenty of game, &c. 

Then ihey thanked the good pigmies, and traveled every night until 
they arrived safely in their homes, where, when they had recounted all 
their adventures, the head chief called a meeting of all the tribes and 
said they ought to give this star a name. So they called it tiyn-sou-da- 
go-err (the star which never moves), by which name it is called unto 
this day. 


Distinct from the myths, which relate to the gods, supernatural beings, 
and natural phenomena, are (he tales, from which must be gleaned hints 
regarding the past hunter, warrior, and family life and history of the 

In time of peace, during the long winter evenings, among his group of 
friends, the returned hunter narrated his achievements, or some famous 
story-teller told of those days in the past when men and animals could 
transform themselves at will and hold converse with one another. If 
musical, the entertainer would relate ingenious fables, with songs intro- 
duced, to give zest to the narration. 

All these liistorical traditions, legends of war and hunting, fairy tales, 
and fables have been handed down through the ages, kindling the en- 
thusiasm of the marvel-loving listener. 

These story-tellers were gifted with such imaginative powers, and 
were so free from the trammels of adapting their tales to any standard 
of possibility, that no easy tasii lies before the careful student who seeks 
to detect in them the scaflblding of truth around which so elaborate a 
superstructure has been reared. 


From their close relations with wild animals Indians' stories of trans- 
formations of men into beasts and beasts into men are numerous and 
interesting. In nearly all of these, wherever the bear is introduced he 
figures as a pattern of beneA'olence, while many other animals, such as 
the porcupine, are always presented as noxious. One of these bear 
stories, as told me on the Cattaraugus Reservation by a grandson of 
Cornplanter, was as follows: A party of hunters, who were encamped a 
long distance from home, discovered, as they were preparing to return, 
that a young boy of their comjiany was missing. After searching vainly 
for several days they concluded that he had been killed, and sadly de- 
parted without him. They were no sooner gone, however, than the lost 
child, in an almost famishing condition, was discovered by a very kind- 
hearted bear, who reasoned thus: "If I attempt to relieve the child in 
my present form, he will surely be frightened to death. I will therefore 
transform myself into a woman and take the boy home with me to become 
a playmate for my little cubs." The boy was accordingly rescued from 

starvation, and, living in the same hollow tree with the bear family, fed 



with them upou uuts, corn, and berries. But when fall came, and with 
it the return of the hunters, the good bear explained her device to the 
boy, saying: »'My cubs must now take care of themselves, and you can 
rejoin your friends; but always feel kindly toward the bear tribe" ; upon 
which she resumed her proper shape and disappeared into the woods. 
The boy never, even when grown, was known to kill a bear. 


A man and his wife and child went off hunting from an Indian village 
and encamped a long way from home. At first, good luck attended the 
hunter, who brought into camp plenty of d^er and other game. At 
last, game became scarce, and day after day the hunter returned empty- 
handed and famishing with hunger. Before leaving, the hunter resolved 
to try his luck once more. Soon after he had lelt the camp his wife, in 
searching for roots, found a hole in a large tree in which was a black 
bear. This she succeeded in killing, and after cutting it up and cook- 
ing some for herself and child she carefully secreted the remainder from 
her husband. But the boy hid a piece for his father, who soon returned, 
very weary. Then the hunter was enraged at the conduct of his wife, 
whom he forced to eat of the meat until she died, with her little infant 
to which she had given birth the same hour. 

Then the hunter buried his wife and threw the infant into the hollow 
tree. After this the hunter had better luck, and continued to live in 
the same place with his little boy. In the course of time he found that 
his little son must have had company, for little footprints were to be 
seen around his wigwam. So he left a second small bow and arrow, 
which, in time, he found had been used, and his son told him that a small 
boy had been playing with him. The next day the father watched and 
saw a little boy leave the tree where he had placed what he supposed 
to be the dead child. Then he entered his home and said to the child, 
"You are my child"; but the boy could not understand him, and was 
frightened and uneasy, and ran away to the tree, where the hunter dis- 
covered he had been nourished and cared for by a friendly bear. The 
hunter would not kill the kind benefactor, but took some of the soft 
bed of dried bark, to which the child had been accustomed, to his home, 
whereupon the child was happj' and contented to remain with his 
father and brother. 

In time the two excelled in hunting and brought home owls and 
strange birds. Finally, they told their father they were going to the far 
west to kill the great beasts which were harming the human race. The 
hunter, who perceived that the children were becoming very strange, 
was afraid of them and consented. Then they bade him go back to 
his native home and get three of the bravest warriors to follow them to 
the west, where the warriors would tind the carcasses of the animals 


•which they would kill. So he went home and told his story, and the 
warriors started out and finally found traces of the hoys, and in time 
found the carcasses of the animals almost reduced to bones. Two of the 
men died of the stench. 


This tale was narrated by a granddaughter of Brant. 

A certain man had a step son whom he hated. He devised all means 
of getting rid of him. At last an idea struck him. He went out hunt- 
ing very often, and one day he saw a porcupine's hole. " The very 
thing," said he. When he came home he called his step-son. " See 
here," said he, " I hare found a porcupine's nest. I want you to creep 
into the hole and catch some of the young ones. Come, crawl in." The 
boy obeyed, and as soon as his heels were in, the step-father closed up 
the hole and made him a prisoner. 

When he had found himself betrayed he cried and cried till he cried 
himself asleep. When he awakened he found that he was in a room. 
He saw an old woman walking around. She brought him something to 
eat, but it was so bitter that he refused. Then she called many animals 
around her to a council — wolves, bears, foxes, and deer. She told them 
that there was a boy there who could not eat the food that she lived on, 
and asked what the^' would advise to give which might support a human 
being? The fox said, "I live on geese and fowls. I'll take him, but 
still he can't eat raw food." 

The council decided that it was useless for him to assume the charge. 

Then the deer and each animal in turn told what they lived upon, but 
none could offer proper food for a lad. 

Last of all the bear spoke. " I live," said he, " on nuts, and he can 
live with my young ones." So this was agreed to. All the animals 
promised to assist in getting the nuts, and the boy was given over to 
the keeping of the bear. He kept him for several years. One day the 
bear said, "A hunter is coming ; he means to chop down the tree." 

True enough, next day a dog ran barking up, and the tree was cut 
down and the old bear and two cubs were killed. 

The hunter thought there might be still another cub, so he looked into 
the tree. The boy made a noise just like the cubs. The hunter caught 
him, and was so astonished at his appearance that, instead of killing 
him, he took him to his wigwam, tamed him, and taught him to speak 
and to grow up like a man. After some years he forgot he had lived 
like a bear. He married a daughter of thchunter, but his mother-in- 
law was always angry because he never brought home tender bear-meat. 
So at last he went hunting and killed a bear, but on his return home he 
fell on a sharp stick and was instantly killed. 



All old woman lived with her grandson in the wilderness. The boy 
amused himself by shooting with his bow and arrows, and was very 
happy. His grandmother cooked and cleaned. She talked much to 
him of the future and the time when he should go out iuto the world. 
" Never, my grandson," she would say, " never go west — go always to 
the east." And the boy wondered very much at this, because, he said, 
all other boys went west, and they found much game there. But he 

However, one day he asked his grandmother so often why she always 
forbade him to go west, that she told him : " Far away in the west," said 
she, "there lives one who waits to destroy us, and if he sees you he will 
injure you and me. I warn you do not go that way." But the boy ques- 
tioned how and why, and thought to himself that on the first opportu- 
nity he would see for hiniself. So he struck out for the west, keeping 
a sharp lookout for the man, because his grandmother had taught him 
he should always bow first. 

As he neared the lake he heard the man's voice, but, although he 
looked all around, he could see no one. The voice said : "Ah ! ah ! my 
little fellow, I see you." Still he could see no one. " What shall I do 
now ? " thought he. Then the voice said, " What would j'ou think if I 
sent a hurricane to tear your grandmother's cabin all up ? " The boy 
replied, "Oh, I should like it. We have hard work to get wood. It 
would be a good thing." And the voice replied, "You had better run 
home and see." So he went home to his grandmother. As he neared 
his cabin he heard a great noise, and his grandmother called to him, 
" Come in, come in ; we shall be blown away. You have disobeyed me ; 
now we shall be destroyed. The hurricane is upon us." But the boy 
only lauglied and said, " We will throw the house into a rock." And he 
turned it into a rock, and when the hurricane was over they were un- 
harmed, and found plenty of wood to burn. 

Then said the boy, ' Grandmother, we are all right." But the old 
woman said, " Do not venture any more; next time he will destroy us." 
But the lad thought he would try again. In the morning he started 
off east as long as his grandmother could see him, then he turned to 
the west, and kept a sharp watch right and left as he neared the pond. 

Then, all at once, he heard the man's voice again. " What," it asked, 
" would you say if a great hailstorm came down upon your mother's 
cabin, with spears as sharp as needles?" "Oh," replied the youngster, 
" I have always wanted some spears ; I would be glad of some." " You 
had better go home and see," said the voice. So home he sped, hearing 
the gathering of a great storm. 

The grandmother said, " We are going to be destroyed with a hail 
storm of spears." But he laughed aloud and said, " I need spears for 
fishing ; let them come. We will turn the house into a rock again." 


And lie did, and when tlie storm was ended be and his grandmother 
came out and the ground was covered with spears. " No matter," said 
he ; "I will get poles and fit them on for fishing"; but when he brought 
the pole he could not find any spears. "How is this?" he asked. And 
his grandmother said, " They are melted — they were ice." 

The boy was very much disappointed and mourned aloud. " What 
can I do to punish the old fellow!" he cried. "Heed my warning," 
said his grandmother, " and leave him alone." 

But the lad was determined. He started ofi' once more, taking with 
him a stone round his neck as a charm. He watched the direction in 
which he had heard the voice, and all at once he saw iu the middle of 
the lake a great head, with a face on every side of it. He cried out, 
" Ha ! ha! uncle, I have you now. How should you like it if the lake 
dried up?" "That it will never do," said the voice. "Go home," 
mocked the lad, " and see!" And he threw the stone which he had. 
As it whirled through the air it became very large and fell into the 
lake, when, at once, the water began to boil. 

Then the boy returned to his grandmother's cabiu and told her all 
about it. She said, " It has been tried again and again, but no one has 
ever seen him before or has been able to hunt him." 

Next morning he went over to the lake and found it all dried up and 
all the animals dead, and only alarge frogremaiued,into which the man 
had been turned. So the boy killed the frog, and no more trouble ever 
came to him or his grandmother. 


A man and his wife went hunting, and after a hard day's march they 
came to an empty wigwam. So they entered and found in it a dead 
man, laid out with his tomakawk and all his fine things. They found 
corn in i)lenty, and the squaw made bread, and then they all went to 
bed, the man on one side and the woman and her baby on the other. 
They placed some of the bread between them, and in the middle of the 
night they heard a noise, and the dead man was sitting up and eating. 
The hunter sprang up. " We are all dead folks," cried he, " if we re- 
main here" ; so he made a pretense, and whispered to the squaw, " You 
must go for water. I will mind the child." As soon as she was gone, 
he pinched the baby till it cried. " Oh," said he, " I must follow the 
mother or the child will die ; she is too long fetching the water." He 
hastened and soon caught up with the woman, but behind him came 
the dead man, holding a lighted torch. To save themselves they put 
the child down on the ground, and the hunter seized his wife's hand 
and hurried her on faster and faster, but the sound of steps behind 
them was plainer and idainer. So the man let his wife go, and fled on 
by himself as hard as he could. Soon he came to a hollow log, into 


which he crept. The steps came nearer and nearer, until at last he 
felt the strokes of the dead man's hatchet, and heard the dead man's 
Toice saying, "Ah ! you are here. I have caught you." Then the dead 
man took a pole and tried to poke the hunter out of the hollow, but he 
could not. At last his hatchet broke, and then the hunter heard him 
say, " I must go ; my night is coming on." So, after a while, the hunter 
crept out of the hollow log and went after his wife and child, and 
returned to the settlement and told all about it ; and the chief sent and 
burnt up the dead man's wigwam until it was nothing but ashes. 


This was told by Mr. Snow, Seneca Keservation : 

A hunter far from home had expended all of his arrows, when he ar- 
rived at a lake. He saw a great number of wild geese. Having been 
unsuccessful, he now reflected upon the best means of capturing some 
of these geese, and he finally concluded to pursue the following plan : 
He procured a quantity of second-growth bass-wood bark, which he tore 
into withes. These he fastened to his belt, then, swimming out into the 
lake, he dove down under the floating flock and succeeded in tying a 
few of the geese to his belt, whereupon the struggling geese, with their 
companions, flew up into the air, carrying the hunter with them. While 
unfastening a few of the tied ones, so that he might be let down to 
the ground in a gradual manner, the whole of the captured ones broke 
away, and the poor hunter fell into a tall and hollow stump, from which 
he found it impossible to free himself. 

He remained in this miserable prison nearly two days, when he with 
joy heard a thumping sound upon the outside of the stump, and also the 
voices of women choppers, who were cutting down the stump for wood, 
but the cries of the man on the inside of the stump frightened the 
women so much that they went away in search of aid to secure the game 
which they supposed they had found in the stump. 

The hunter was finally delivered safely from his perilous situation, and 
he remained with his kind rescuers until he had again provided himself 
with a large stock of arrows, when he started anew for a hunt farther 
to the south. Having arrived at his destination, he built a lodge and 
had excellent luck in killing large numbers of deer, bears, and other 
game, the oil of which he carefully preserved in leathern bottles. When 
he concluded to returu to his home and friends he remembered his ex- 
perience in flying, so he prepared wings for himself, which wings he 
made from thinly-dressed deer-skin. Taking his bottles of oil for bal- 
last, he started homeward, but as he passed over the lodges of the good 
women who had rescued him, he threw down several bottles to these his 
good friends, who to this day do not know from whence they came. After 


this the flying hunter flew swiftly and safely to his home. His return 
to his clan was announced by runners, and all assembled to listen to the 
hunter's narration of his exploits and adventures. 


A man and his nephew lived together in a solitary place. The old 
man one day said to his nephew, "You are now a young man. Ton 
should be hunting larger game — a bear or a deer — for our support." 
And he replied, " I will go." Then the old man gave him the best bow 
and arrows, and in the morning he departed. When he returned home 
he brought that which he had killed — a deer — and thought himself lucky 
for a first attempt. "I should like," he said to his uncle, "to go every 
day." Then the old man said, "Now and again you may see a bear go 
up a tree; if you see a hole in the tree and the marks of the bear's claws 
you can be sure of the bear." 

So one day as the young man was out he saw a hole in a tree, and he 
saw the claw marks of the bear, showing that he had gone up, so he 
returned and told his uucle, and in the morning they started together. 
The old man said, "I believe there is a bear inside now. Our plan is 
to knock around the outside of the tree and make the bear uueasy; 
presently he will come out." So they knocked, and the first thing they 
knew the bear was sticking his head out of the hole. "Now," said the 
uncle, "I will tell you when to shoot. If you will shoot just where 
there is no hair, you will surely kill him." The young man saw that 
the paws were without hair and he hit the bear on the fore-paw. 
"Shoot again," said the uncle. So he shot the other paw. Then the 
old man pointed and said, "Shoot here." And the nephew aimed and 
shot the point of his uncle's finger. Then the old man's hand hurt 
him, so to direct his nephew he jiursed out his lips and pointed with 
them, and the young man shot through his lips. Then the bear came 
down and made his way off, while the uncle was explaining that his 
meaning had been to shoot under the fore legs. The young man asked, 
"Why did you not say so?" Theu they started home for that day 
without game. "To-morrow morning," said the uncle, "watch, for if 
you will look between the roots of the large trees you may find a bear 
in that way." 

Accordingly, the next day the young man found a hole near the root 
of the tree and saw a large bear inside. So he went home and asked 
his uncle for instructions how to get at the bear. The old man began 
to explain, but, unfortunately, in a way that he could not understand. 
He went into the corn field, gathered the cornstalks and stuck them 
around the entrance to the hole, so that he surrounded the place where 
the bear must come out. Then he knocked on the other side of the tree, 


and the bear came out, as, of course, there was no reason why be should 
not, for the stalks fell before him. The .young man took his arms and 
went home. Then the uncle asked what he had done, and he told. 
"You did not understand," said the old man. "You should have shot 
him as he left the den ; first on one side then on the other." " After 
this," expostulated the young man, "make your explanations clearer 
and do not give so many illustrations. Had you told me this at first all 
would have been right." 

One day the old man said, " I'm going to make a feast. You can in- 
vite the guests. I cut sticks to represent so many friends. You invite 
them. Go to the highest tree you can find and leave this stick there. 
Then go along till you find a place all swamp — bad place, and leave 
one stick there," &c. 

So the nei)hew went around and used up the sticks and returned. 
"Have you done as I said?" asked the old man. "Yes," said he. 
Yet when the daj' came and the feast was ready, nobody came. 
" Why," asked the uncle, "has nobody come?" "How," inquired the 
young man, "could the tall tree and the swamp come here?" So they 
ate together, and then the young fellow went off in the world to learn his 
lessons by exiierience, for he had become tired of his uncle's parables. 


Once "on a time there was a man whose name was "Hemlock 
Bows." He used to go hunting every day and always had good luck. 
He would kill so many deer that he could not carry them all home. 
One day he killed thirty deer. He was determined to carry them all 
home, so he took them and shook them, and shook, and shook, till they 
were as small as squirrels, and he carried them all home, and when he 
got there he shook, and shook, and shook, till they were good-sized 
deer again. Sometimes when he killed so many he would sit up all 
night to fix the skins on his wigwam so he could make ch)thes for him- 
self and his children. One day a boy was born unto him ; the father 
was very fond of him and he planted a few hills of corn and beans, but 
they lived mostly on meat. After the child was born the mother slept 
alone with it on the other side of the fiie-place. 

After three years more a little girl was born. After the birth of her 
second child the wife seemed to care no more for her husband. He was 
a great worker. He had a large boxful of skins all dressed for his 

When the father went hunting the mother would call the boy and 
make him go and bring her some water, and she would wash and dress 
up very fine and take a long strap and an ax and leave the children 
alone all day until almost time for the father to come home. Then she 
would hurry home to cook for the man. 


One uight the little boy told bis father all about bis mother going 
away every day. He felt very badly when be beard it, and at ouce re- 
solved to follow her the next day and find where she went. The next 
moruiug early he left the cabin and went off. The woman soon sent the 
boy for some water, and, after she bad dressed, started with her ax and 
the long strap which was used in drawing wood. She passed her bus- 
band on her way but did not see him, but be tracked her very closely. 
Soon she came to a large black-ash tree, which was hollow, and upon 
which she pounded with her ax. A very nice-looking man came out of 
the tree to meet her. He wore a turban filled with bright feathers. 
He went up to her and kissed her, and seemed very much delighted 
to see her. Her husband was watching them all the time, and when 
the man kissed her be drew bis bow and arrow and shot at the man, 
and the arrow went between him and the woman. She was very angry, 
and took a club and beat her husband till be could not see. Then she 
went home, i)ut the boy and girl out in the cold and snow, and then set 
fire to the cabin and burned it down and went ofi'. 

Soon the father came and found the children. He felt very badly 
when he saw them, but he told the boy be must mind the dog, for he 
must go after their mother. The dog fixed the boy and girl in a bouse 
in the snow, and the next day they started on a long walk. While the 
boy was traveling along with his little sister on bis back she saw a flock 
of large white turkeys, and she wanted one. The boy put her down and 
ran in the bushes to find one for the little girl, but while he was after 
it a bear came and carried off the little girl, and the dog followed after 
the bear. The boy felt very bad. He cried and cried, and wished that 
he might die. He tried to hang himself, but the strap broke. Then be 
jumped down a steep place onto a lot of stones, but still he was unhurt. 
He traveled on and soon came to a lake. He plunged into the water, 
but it was very shallow. He walked a little way, when be saw a great 
fisb coming towards him with its great mouth wide open. Now, not far 
from this lake lived a woman and her daughter. They had fences of 
osier fixed in the lake to catch fish. In the morning the girl went out 
to see if there were any fisb caught, and she saw a very large one. 
They killed and dressed it, and when they cut it up there they found 
the boy alive. They were very glad to find the boy, and soon he told 
them all about himself and family. 

Some time after this they beard that the boy's mother was going to 
be married to another man. The woman told the boy she thought he 
had better go and kill the man and bis mother. So they fixed him up 
and be went and found them. There was a number of cabins and 
between two of' them was a long stick put up, and on it was an eagle, 
and the one that shot the eagle was to marry the woman. She was very 
nicely dressed and sat on a raised platform. He saw bis father near her, 
looking very sick and sad. The boy went around among the wigwams, 
and in one he fouud his sister hanging to a crane in a chimney and near 
her the dog. He got his father, sister,anddogaway,andthen went back 


and set fire to the cabin his mother was in. It burned so fast that she 
could not get out and she died. When her head cracked open it shook 
the ground, and out of the ashes of his mother there rose up a screech 
owl. His father got well, and they all went to live with the woman 
and her daughter. The old man married the woman, and the boj' the 
daughter, and so they were happy at last. 


An old man brought up his son very quietly in a solitary place. As 
he grew up, his father sent him daily into the woods and told him to 
listen and come home and tell what he had heard. So the boy sat on 
a log and waited to hear what might come. He heard a sound at last, 
" Ch E-Ch," so he ran to tell the old man and then thought he would 
wait till he heard it again. The Ch-R-Ch was repeated, and he ran to 
his home and cried out, "I have heard it! I have heard it!" "Wait! 
wait !" said the old man, " till I get my pipe," and when he had lifted 
it he said, "Now, what did you hear?" "Oh," replied the lad, "I 
heard Ch-R-Gh ; twice itwas repeated." " That," said the father "is not 
what I wanted you to hear; that was only a snow-bird." 

So the boy went, morning after morning, and heard various sounds 
from snow-birds, wolves, owls, «&c., but still never what the old man 
expected. One day whilst he was listening he heard quite a new sound 
and as the sun began to lise, it was like a voice singing. "That is 
strange " said he, " I never heard that before." The song was like this : 

Srd-gua he. 
Ha hftm weh 
Ha hftm weh. 

Which means : 

I belong to the wolf clan. 
I belong to the wolf clan. 
I am going to marry him, 
I am going to marry him. 

It was a sweet woman's voice. So the boy listened and said to him- 
self, "Surely this is the song." So he shouted for glee, and ran and 
fell near the door, he was so excited. " Now," he cried, " I bring the 
news"; but the father said, " Wait! wait! till I get my pipe." " Now," 
said he, as he smoked, " tell me." So the boy began. "As I listened," 
said he, " I heard a voice from the west, a woman's voice, so I turned 
and listened to it singing" : 

Ha-hflm- weh 




"Ah!" said the father, "that was what I was waiting for. The chief 
of a distant village sends his two daughters to see us. Run half way 
back and see if you can hear them again." So he went and heard again 
the same song. 

HS-hflm-weh, &c. 

He returned at once and told his uncle. "Now," said the old man, 
"they are almost here. Sit down by the ashes." And he took the 
shovel and threw ashes all over the boy's bed and put on him his best 
feathers and astonished the boy very much by saying, "Do not look at 
the maidens when they come in; they come to see me, not you; hold 
your head down while they stay." 

Then they heard the song: 


The feathers were all on his head ; still the old man repeated, "Now, 
keep still." 

Soon the maidens arrived and the old man opened the door. The 
younger of the two carried a beautiful basket on her back; this she set 
down near the old man. The boy looked around a little, and his father 
called out, "Dirty boy; hold your head down." The visitors looked 
around and thought, "What a place! what a place!" "Sit down, sit 
down, " said the old man to the visitors, but although they removed the 
blankets they stood stiU. So he smoked on quietly. 

When they saw how dirty it was where the boy sat they began to go 
around and clear up, and as the evening passed the lad did not know 
what to do with himself. They fixed themselves a clean bed on the 
other side of the wigwam. They refused to sit by the old man, and when 
at last the boy went to sleep they lifted him out of his dirty bed, strewn 
with ashes, and put him into their clean bed. 

In the morning the younger one admired him and said, " What a 
beautiful young man!" Then they said, "We had better cook some- 
thing." So they cooked corn and rice, and the boy ate with them, and 
the old father smoked. After a while he said, " Good woman ; can clean 
up, can cook, can make good wife." Then he let the boy look up. The 
younger visitor sang again : 


So the old man smoked his pipe and the sisters went back to their 
people. Then the two lived quietly together, but the young man often 
thought of the beautiful maidens. 

One day as they were conversing the old man said, "Now you have 
become a young man you must go." "Which way," asked he, and the 
uncle replied, "You must go where those young maidens are who are 
chief's daughters. You must have fine bows and arrows ; here they are — 
try them before you go. They give luck in hunting." Then he looked 
where he kept all the fine things for the young warriors and dressed 


him up well with a swan stuffed. " Now," said he, " when jou take this 
outside it will be on your head, but it will soou come back to life, and 
when that happens you must run in a circle and return, and you will see 
that many deer and bears will follow your track." So off he went. 
"When he returned he said that so many bears and so many deer came 
out every time as he crossed the track and he shot them, and took the 
best out and sent them home to show them to the old man. And all 
the time the swan was alive and beautiful. 

The old man exclaimed at his luck as he told his tale. "You have 
done well," said his uncle. "We must save all the meat. Now, hold 
yourself ready to go tomorrow. I warn you there are dangers in your 
path. There is a stream that you must cross. There stands a man 
and he will try to kill you. He will call out to you that he has a couple 
of wild cats and will say, 'My friend, come, help me kill these.' Pay no 
attention ; go right on along, or you will be in danger and never get to 
the town." The nephew promised to obey, and his uncle brought out a 
curious thing, made of colored string and elk hair of deep red, about a 
foot long. "I shall keep this by me," said he, "and so long as you are 
doing well it will hang as it is; but if you are in danger it will come 
down itself almost to the ground, and if it does reach the ground you 
will die." "I will be careful," said the young man, and so he started 
with his directions, following his uncle's advice. He had almost reached 
his destination whon he heard a noise, and there in his path stood a 
man while he watched two animals going up a tree, and he tried in vain 
to make them come down. As the young roan approached him he said, 
"Please help me, if j'oucan; but kill one of these animals; it will be a good 
thing. Do help me." So he begged, and the young man thought it 
could do no harm, so he took out his arrow and said, " Don't be in a 
hurry." Then the old man handed him the arrows and asked him, 
"Where are you going?" and he told him; and the stranger said, "Stop 
all night with me; that is along way you are going; go on to morrow." 

Now the uncle at home was watching the signal. He saw it go down 
almost to the ground, and he cried out in his alarm, " Oh ! oh ! my 
nephew is in danger, he will get into trouble with that old man." But 
the young man listened to the persuasions of the tempter and agreed 
to remain with him all night, and the old man made up a fire and began 
to tell stories as they sat beside it till the youth fell asleep. Before 
they sat down he had gathered together some sharp prickly bark, pre- 
tending it gave a good light, and as the young man slept he said to 
himself, "Now, I can fix him." So he took some of the sharp-pointed 
bark and placed it on him; so he writhed in agony. Then he took off the 
young man's handsome clothes and dressed him up instead in his own 
old rags, dirty and rotten. "I shall keep these things," said he; "they 
are mine," and forthwith he started off to the chiefs house where the 
beautiful women were, and he had the young man's pipe and his spotted 
deer skin, and the handsome bag made out of it, with little birds to 

smith; the charmed suit. 95 

light the pipe. Wheu he reached the chief's cabin he went in and the 
younger sister was there. She was so disappointed when she saw him, 
she said, "This cannot be the young man." But her elder sister said: 
"Yes, it ishe. He has the fine clothes and the deer skin, and ihedeer- 
skin bag, and the little birds to light his pipe." But still the younger 
sister was disappointed, and then the people heard tliat the young man 
they expected had come from the east and many came to see him and 
watched all his movements. At length he got his pipe, which, when it 
was filled, the two little birds were expected to light, but they would 
not for a stranger, so he said it was because there were people all 
around, and he must be alone. The older sister believed him. Then 
he told her, too: " Wlien I spit it makes wampum, so spread out a deer 
skin and save my spittle." So he spat many times and she did as he 
said and saved it up, but it never became wampum, although he did it 
every night. Each day he went hunting, but he killed only things not 
good to eat, and made the older sister, who became his wife, cook them. 
The younger one, however, would never go near him. Even when he 
commanded the little spotted deerskiu bag to stand up she observed 
that it did not obej' him. 

One day she went out to the fields to husk corn, and as she finished 
her task she observed a man near a fire in the field. She drew near. 
He was fast asleep. She gazed at his face and recognized the beautiful 
young man, but how greatly changed! She stood for a while looking 
at him till he awakened, "^^'hoa^e you?" she asked; " whence do you 
come? where are you going?" "I come," said he, "from the far east; 
I came only last evening." And he related his story, and told how nicely 
he had been started by his uncle, until she was quite satisfied of the 
truth of his story. She did not tell him she was the daughter of the 
chief whom he sought, but she went home and fetched food for him. She 
laid meat and drink before him, and while he ate she returned to her 
task of husking corn. Then she went home. The old fellow meanwhile 
had asked often, "Where is the young sister? Why does she never 
come to see me, or sit near whilst I smoke my pipe? May be she has 
found for herself a sickly man out in the field." 

At last the younger sister told the young man who she was, and that 
the old man that had robbed him was in the chief's cabin and had all 
his fine things ; and the young man felt better, and said, " I want my 
things back. I will make a dream. Go and tell the chief, your father, 
that I have dreamed a dream and all the people must come to hear it, 
and I will tell how all the things the old man has are mine, and then 
the birds will obey, and all the things will come alive agaiu." 

Then the old chief listened to the entreaties of his youngest daugh- 
ter, and called a great council and the young man told his story in the 
form of a dream, and when he spoke of the birds they came and filled 
his pipe, and the swan skin when placed upon his head also came to 
life, and his spittle became wampum. So the chief knew he was the 


rightful owner of the clothes and they were returned to him, and the 
impostor was obliged to resume his old rags. The young man was then 
married to the faithful maiden, and returned to his home in safety, 
where he became in time a noted chief. 


An old man brought up his nephew in a solitary place. One day as 
they walked through the field the uncle picked an ear of corn, but he did 
not eat it. " Strange," thought the boy, " that I never see him eating 
anything j" and he watched him when the old man thought he was. 
asleep. He saw him go to a hole and take out a kettle and a few grains 
of corn, which he put into it. Then he took a magic wand and tapped 
the kettle till it grew big; then he ate some corn and again tapped the 
kettle till it became small once more. 

In the morning when the uncle left home the boy got at the hole and 
did as he had seen him do, but as he tapped the kettle it grew so large 
that he could not stop it, and it went on growing until his uncle came 
home, who was verj- angry. "You do not know what harm you have 
been doing," said he ; " we can get no more corn ; it grows in a place 
that is so dangerous that few who go there come back alive." " We 
have plenty in the house," said the boy. "And when it is gone, what 
then 1 " But the boy persisted that he knew where the corn grew, and 
could easily fetch some. " So, uncle," he added, " tell me how to pro- 
ceed." " I shall never see you again," moaned the uncle. " Oh, yes, 
you will," said the boy, and he started. Now, the uncle had warned 
him that he would come to a lake where the woman witches lived, and 
that he never could escape them. But he made himself a canoe and 
picked some peculiar nuts and launched himself upou the water. Then 
he threw the nuts before him to feed the fowls who guarded the shore, 
that they might not betray his coming. He landed on the other side 
safely and filled his pockets with corn, and was hastening to put off in 
his boat, but before he did so was curious to know what was in a lodge 
on the shore. So he peeped in and stole a bear's leg which ho saw. 

Now, all his nuts were gone ; so when he passed the birds they were 
alarmed and set up their call and out came the witches with their hooks 
and cords. But he launched his canoe, and when a hook reached him 
he broke it off, and reached the opposite shore in safety. There he saw 
a number of ducks, and he stripped a tree of its bark and caught them 
and started home. As he neared his home he heard his uncle singing 
a dirge — "My poor nephew, I shall never see him again." The animals 
had been telling the old man sad tales of his death, so when the boy 
knocked at the door he did not believe that it was his nephew. But 
the boy heard the Hi-Wadi, and he knew his uncle. So he said, " Uncle, 


I am coming, I am coming; stop j-our mourning." His uncle thought 
it was an animal on the outside, and he called out, " Put your hand 
through the hole." So the nephew put his hand through and caught 
hold of the rope and pulled it out and tied it to a post, and then opened 
the door. And when the old man saw his nephew he called out, "So 
you have got home safe ; where have you been f and he made many 
inquiries. And the young man explained everything to him, and told 
how, at last, he had returned safely to his home with plenty of corn. 


This is another version of the foregoing tale : 

A man lived with his younger brother alone in the deep wilder- 
ness. Game was plentiful — very plentiful. The elder brother hunted 
it; the younger staid home to gather sticks and build the fire against 
the hunter's return. When he came, bringing deer, the younger one 
said, " I will cook the venison ; give it to me to prepare for sujiper." 
The elder one replied, " I will smoke before I eat." When he had 
smoked he went to lie down. " I should think," said the younger, 
"you would want to eat now." But no, he slept instead of tasting the 
food, and when he awakened he bade his brother' go to bed, and leave 
him to help himself. 

The lad wondered, l)ut he obeyed. Still he found the same thing 
happened every day. In the mornings the elder brother left without 
eating ; in the evenings he bade the boy leave him alone. This awak- 
ened the curiosity of the younger. "I will watch," said he; and he 
watched. " He must eat something," he added to himself, " or he would 
die. He must eat at night." So he pretended to take no notice. At 
bedtime he lay down and made believe to sleep, but he kept one eye 
open, although he seemed to be sound asleep. 

After a while the elder brother rose and opened a trap-door, and, when 
below the ground, he began to make strange motions, and presently 
drew out a kettle and commenced scraping it on the bottom. Then he 
poured water onto it, and at last he took a whip and struck the kettle, 
saying, as he placed it over the burning wood, "Now, my kettle will 
grow larger"; and as he struck it, it became bigger with every blow; 
and at length it was very large, and he set it to cool, and began greedily 
to eat the contents. "Ah," thought the younger brother, as he watched, 
"now, tomorrow, I will find out what he eats;" and he went to sleep 

At daylight the elder set off to hunt. Xow was the opportunity. 

Cautiously the boy lifted the trapdoor, and there he at once saw the 

kettle. In it lay half a chestnut. " Now I know," said he, "what my 

brother eats;" and he thought to himself, "I will fix it all ready for him 



before be comes back." As night drew on he took the kettle and 
scraped up the chestnut, put in some water, and found the stick. He 
at ouce commenced whipping the kettle as he had seen his brother do, 
sayiug, "Now my kettle will grow large;" and it did; but it kept on 
growing larger and larger, to his surprise, until it filled the whole room, 
and he had to go up on the roof to stir it from the outside. 

When the elder brother returned he said, "What are you doing?" 
"I found the kettle," replied the younger, "and was getting your sup- 
per." " Woe is me," said the elder, "now I must die." He struck and 
struck the kettle, and reduced it by eveiy blow, until at last he could 
restore it to its place. But he was sorrowful. When morning came he 
would not get up, nor eat of the venison, but asked for his pipe and 

Day by day passed. He grew weaker each day, and after each smoke 
sang, "Hah geh-he geh, Non ta ge je o dah!" " Bring me my pipe and 
let me die." 

The younger lad was verj' anxious. "Where," he asked his brother, 
" did you get the chestnuts? Let me go and seek some for you." After 
many questions at length the brother said, "Far, far away is a large 
river, which it is almost impossible to cross. On the further side, at a 
great distance, stands a house; near it is a tree, a chestnut tree; there 
my forefathers gathered cUestnuts long ago, but now none can reach it, 
for there stands night and day a white heron watching the tree and look- 
ing around on every side. He is set there by the women folks; half a 
dozen of them take care of him, and for them he watches. If he hears a 
sound he makes hisThr-lir hr. Then the women come out with war-clubs 
and are always on their guard lest any one should gather the chestnuts, 
as manj- fall on the ground. Even a mouse is susijected of being a man. 
There is no chance, no chance at all." But the brother said, "I must 
go and try this for your sake; I cannot have you die." 

So he departed on his way, after he had made a little canoe about 
three inches long. He walked on and on, day and night, until at last 
he i-eached the river. Then he took out of his pouch his little canoe, 
and drew it out and out until it was a good size, and in it he crossed 
the river. Then he made it small again and put it in his pouch. On 
and on he walked until he could see the house, and before it the chest- 
nut tree. Tlicn he called a mole out of the ground. The mole came 
and sniffed around a little plant, the seed of which the heron dearly 
likes. It is like a bean. Some of these seeds the young lad took and 
then followed the mole to its hole, and crept under the leaves until he 
neared the heron. Then he threw the seeds to the bird. The heron 
saw them and began eating them. Whilst he was occupied and noticed 
nothing else, the boy filled his bag with chestnuts and set off home- 
wards; but now the heron, no louger occupied with his oh on hi, sus- 
pected danger and gave his warning Thrhr-hr. But the lad was already 
far away near the great river. Once more he took out his canoe, and 


was ou the water when the women rushed out. They threw a long fish 
line and caught his canoe to pull him in, but he cut it and got loose. 
Again the second threw a line and caught him, but again he cut loose, 
and so on till they had no lines left. So he reached home at length, 
fearful lest he should find that his brother had died during his absence, 
but he found him still barely alive, and shouted, " Now, brother, I'm 
home with the chestnuts, will you have your pipe?" And he began 
cooking just as his brother liked them, and he narrated all his exiiloits, 
and the brother said, "You have done me a great favor, now I shall be 
well, and we will be happy." 


There was a certain tribe whose main occupation was to hunt and to 
fish. In one of its hunting excursions two families of different clans of 
this tribe happened to pitch their respective camps quite near to each 
other. One of these families, in which there was an infant, had very 
fine luck and the other poor luck. While the father of the child was 
out hunting, the mother went to a neighboriug stream to get some 
water, but before she dipped her vessel she looked into the water and 
saw, peering up through the sparkling stream, a very handsome young 
man with painted cheeks. When her husband returned she told him 
what she had seen, and, after a consultation, they came to the conclu- 
sion that something strange was about to happen, for what the woman 
had seen was but the reflection of some one hidden in the branches 
overhanging the stream. They rightly judged that this was an evil 
omen, and naturally knew that something must be done to avert tlie 
impending misfortune, for the woman said that she recognized the face 
as that of a man from the adjoining camp. 

When night came the husband said to his wife, "You and the child 
must be saved. Go; I shall meet misfortune alone." She then started 
with the child through the forest, and went on until she came to a hol- 
low log, into which she crept, and then she heard a great noise in the 
camp, and a voice saying, "You have bitten me." Soon she saw the 
light of torches borne by people searching for her and the child; nearer 
and nearer they came, until they reached the log (her hiding-place), into 
which they pushed their sticks, but the woman remained quiet, and 
heard them say, "She must be somewhere near here; any way, she can- 
not live long." She waited until they had left and all was quiet before 
she emerged from her refuge, and then traveled on as fast as she could 
until morning, when she came upon a trail, to which, instead of follow- 
ing it, she took a parallel course, and did not see any signs of life until 
she came to an opening, which appeared like a camping-ground. In the 


center of this cleariug stood a large lieiulock tree, into which she 
climbed, and made herself and child as comfortable as she could. 

Soon after ascending the tree she heard approaching voices, one of 
which said, "We might as well stay here as to go further." They were 
hunters, heavily laden with skins, meat, &c. During the night one of 
them said, " My thumb is painful ; what shall I say bit me?" The woman 
heard the answer: " Say a beaver bit you." 

In the early dawn the men departed and the woman began to make 
her way down the tree, but she saw one of the party returning, so she 
remained until he, finding his bow, again started homeward. When all 
were out of sight she brought her child down, and, taking again the 
course parallel to the trail, she hurried onward during the day and 
reached home just at twilight. When once home she related what had 
happened to herself, child, and husband, to her many friends who se- 
creted her, aud made preparations to have the matter investigated. 
The head chief was informed, and he sent out "runners" to all the mem- 
bers of the tribe to call them to a general council. 

When the time for all to assemble had come, none but the hunters 
were absent, and they came after repeated and persistent requests to be 
present. When they did come the head chief said, "We have come to 
congratulate you in that you have prospered and been preserved from 
harm. Now, relate to us all the things that have happened to you 
and tell why you have returned without the other party." The hunters 
refused to tell anything about their affairs and pretended to know noth- 
ing about the other party. 

The head chief, after severely cross-examining them, ordered that the 
woman be brought forth to tell her story. When she had finished her 
narrative of facts, as stated above, she told that one of them had his 
thumb bitten, explaining that he was bitten by her husband in defending 
himself against these robbers, who took from her murdered husband the 
skins and the meats which they had brought home. Hereupon the 
head chief gravely said to the waiting aud impatient warriors, " Go, do 
your duty ;" and they, with their war-clubs and tomahawks, soon put to 
death the wicked hunters. 

MRS. Logan's story. 

An old man and his little nephew once lived in a dark woods. One 
day the man went hunting, and just before leaving told .the boy he 
must not go eastward. But the boy became tired of playing in one 
place, and was one day tempted to go in the forbidden direction until 
he came to a large lake, where he stopped to play. While thus en- 
gaged a man came up to him and said, " Well, boy, where do you come 
from ? " The bov told him that he came from the woods. Then the man 

SMITH.] MRS. Logan's story. 101 

said, "Let us play together at shooting arrows." So they shot off 
their arrows up into the air, and the boy's arrow went much the higher. 
Then the man said, "Let us see which can swim the farthest without 
breathing," and again the boy beat the man. Then the latter said, 
" Let us go to the island, where you will see many pretty birds." So 
they entered the canoe. IJfow, on either side of the canoe were three 
swans which propelled it. As soon as they were seated in the canoe the 
man began singing, and very soon they arrived at the island, around 
which they traveled for some time, and then the man took off all the 
boy's clolhcs, and, jumping into his canoe, said, "Come, swans, let us 
go home," and he began to sing. When the boy perceived that he was 
deserted he went up the bank and sat down and cried, for he was 
naked and cold. 

It began to grow dark very fast, and he was greatly frightened when 
he heard a voice say, "Hist! keep still," and, looking around, he saw a 
skeleton on the ground near him, which beckoned him and said, "Poor 
boy, it was the same thing with me, but I will help you if you will do 
something for me." The boy readily consented. Tiieu the skeleton 
told him to go to a tree near by, and dig on the west side of it, and he 
would find a tobacco-pouch full of tobacco, a pipe, and a flint; and the 
boy found them and brought them to the skeleton. It then said, "Fill 
the pipe and light it ;" and he did so. " Put it in my mouth," said the 
skeleton ; and he did so. Then, as the skeleton smoked, the boy saw 
that its body was full of mice, which went away because of the smoke. 
Then the skeleton felt better, and told the boy that a man with three 
dogs was coming to the islaud that night to kill him, and in order to 
escape he must run all over the island and jump into the water and out 
again many times, so that the man would lose the trail. Then, after track- 
ing the island all over, he must get into a hollow tree near by, and stay 
all night. So the boy tracked the island all over and jumped into the 
water many times, and at last went into the tree. In the early morn- 
ing he heard a canoe come ashore, and, looking out, saw another man 
with three dogs, to whom the man said, " My dogs, you must catch this 
animal." Then they ran all over the island, but not finding him, the 
man became so angry that he killed one of the dogs and ate him all up. 
Then, taking the two remaining, he went away. The boy then came 
out from his hiding-place, and went to the skeleton, who said, "Are 
you still alive?" The boy replied, " Yes." " Well," said the skeleton, 
" the man who brought you here will come to-night to drink your blood, 
and you must go down to the shore where he will come in, and dig a 
long pit and lie down in it and cover yourself up with the sand so he 
cannot see you, and when he comes ashore and is off, you must get into 
the canoe and say, 'Come, swans, let's go home,' and if the man calls 
for you to come back you must not turn around or look at him." 

The boy promised to obey and soon the man who had brought him came 
ashore on the island. Then the boy jumped into the canoe, saying. 


"Come, swans, let's go to our place;" and as they went he sang just as 
the man had done. They had gone but a little way when the man saw 
them. He began to cry, "Come back! Oh, do come back!" but the 
boy did not look around and they kept on their way. By and by they 
came to a large rock in which there was a hole, and the swans went up 
into the rock until they came to a door which the boy proceeded to open. 
Upon entering the cave he found bis own clothes and many others, 
and also a fire and food all prepared, but no living person. After put- 
ting on his clothes he went to sleep for the night. In the morning he 
found a fire and food, but saw no one. 

Upon leaving the cave he found the swans still waiting at the entrance, 
and, jumping into the canoe, be said, " Come, swans, let's go to the island." 
When he arrived there he found the man had been killed and nearly 
eaten up. He then went to the skeleton, which said, " You are a very 
smart boy ; now you must go and get your sister whom this man car- 
ried oil" many years ago. You must start to-night and go east, and by 
and by you will come to some very high rocks where she goes for water, 
and you will find her there and she will tell you what to do." 

The boy started and in three days arrived at the rocks, where he found 
his sister, to whom he called, "Sister, come, go home with me"; but she 
replied, "No, dear brother, I cannot go; a bad man keeps me here, and 
you must go, for he will kill you if he finds you here." But as the boy 
would not be persuaded to leave without her she allowed him to stay. 
Now this very bad man had gone to a great swamp where women and 
children were picking cranberries. The sister then went to the house 
and, taking up the planks over which her bed was made, she dug a pit 
underneath it sufficiently large for her brother to sit in ; then she went to 
her brother and bade him follow her, and to be sure and step in her 
tracks and not touch anything with his hands or his clothes. So she 
covered him up in the pit she had prepared for him, and made her bed 
up again over the place. She then cooked a little boy for the man, put it 
■with wood and water by his bed, and then went and lay down. Soon 
the man and dogs returned; then immediately the dogs began barking 
and tearing around as if they were mad. The man said, "You surely 
have visitors"; she replied, "None but you." And he said, "I know bet- 
ter"; and he took a stick and commanded her to tell him the truth, but 
she denied it, saying, " Kill me if you like, but I have none.'' He then 
went to his bed and sat down to eat his supper; but he said to himself, 
"She has some one hidden; I will kill him in the morning." He then 
called her to build a fire, but she replied, " You have wood, build your 
own fire." Then he said, " Come, take off my moccasins"; but she re- 
plied, " I am tired, take them off yourself." Then he said to himself, 
" Now I know she has seen some one, for she was never so s.aucy." 

In the morning he started ofl" for the swamp to get some children for 
Lis dinner. A short distance from home he concealed himself to watch 
the girl. As soon as he was gone she called her brother and said, 

BMiTH] MRS. Logan's story. 103 

"Come, let us take bis canoe and go quickly." So the.v ran and jumjied 
into the canoe and went off, but the man saw them and ran, throwing; 
a hook which caught the canoe, but as he was pulling it ashore the 
boy took a stone froai the bottom of the canoe and broke the hook. 
Then they proceeded again very fast. Then the enraged man resorted 
to another expedient : Laying himself down upon the shore he began to 
drink the water from the lake, which caused the boat to return very 
fast. The man continued to drink, until he grew very big with so much 
water in him. The boy took another stone and threw it and hit the 
man so it killed him, and the water i-an back into the lake. When they 
saw that he was dead they went back, and the boy said to the two dogs, 
"You bad dogs, no one will have you now ; You mubt go into the woods 
and be wolves"; and they started for the woods and became wolves. 

Then the boj' and his sister went to the island. The boy went to the 
skeleton, which said, " You are a very smart boy to have recovered your 
sister — bring her to me." This the boy did, and the skeleton continued, 
" Now, gather up all the bones you see and put them in a pile ; then push 
the largest tree you see and say, 'All dead folks arise'; and they will all 
arise." The boy did so, and all the dead arose, some having but one arm, 
some with but one leg, but all had their bows and arrows. 

The boy then said to his sister, "Come, let's go home." When they 
arrived home they found their own uncle; he looked very old. For 
ten years he had cried and put ashes upon his head for his little nephew, 
but now he was vei'y happy to think he had returned. 

The boy then told the old man all that he had done, who said, 
"Let us build a long house." And they did so, and put in six fire-i>laces. 
Then the boy went back to the island for his people and brought them 
to the house, where they lived peacefully many years. 


Once upon a time there was a man and his wife who lived iu the 
forest, very far from the rest of the tribe. They used to go hunting to- 
gether very often, but after a time there were so many things for the 
wife to do that she staid at home and he went alone. When he went 
alone he never had good luck. One day the woman was taken sick, 
and in a day or two she died. The man felt very badly and buried her 
in the cabin. He was very lonesome ; and after a day or two he made 
a wooden doll about her size and dressed it in the clothes she used to 
wear. Then he put it down in front of the fire-place and felt better. 
Then he went hunting; and when he came back he would go up to the 
doll and brush the ashes off fro;n the face, for as the wood fell down the 
ashes would rattle onto the face. He had to do his cooking, mending, 
and making fire, for now there was no one to help him ; and so a year 


passed away. One day when he came home from hunting there was a 
fire and wood by the door. Tlie next night there was wood and fire 
and a piece of meat all cooked in the kettle. He looked all over to see 
who had done this, but could find no one. The next time he went hunt- 
ing he did not go far and went back quite early, and when he came in 
sight of the cabin he saw a woman going into the house with wood on 
her shoulders; he saw, and opened the door quickly, and there was his 
wife sitting in a chair and the wooden doll was gone. Then she spoke 
to him, saying, "The Great Spirit felt sorry for you, so he let me come 
back to see you, but you must not touch me till we have seen all of our 
people ; if you do, you will kill me." So they lived along for some time, 
when one day the man said, "It is now two years since you died. Let 
us go home. So you will be well." So he prepared meat for the jour- 
ney — a string of deer meat for her to carry and one for himself; and so 
they started. It was going to take them six days to get to the rest of 
their tribe ; when they were within a day's journey of the camp it began 
to snow, and as they were very weary they lighted fire aud partook of 
food and spread their skins to sleep; but the desire of the man to once 
more clasp his wife in his arms was too great, and he went up to her 
and put out his hands ; but she motioned him away and said, " We have 
seen no one j'et." He would not listen to her, and he caught her in his 
arms, and, behold, he was holding the wooden doll! His sorrow was 
very great. He pushed on to the camp and there he told them all that 
had befallen him. Some doubted, and they went back with him and 
found the doll ; they also saw the track of the two people in the snow, 
and the track just like the foot of the doll. The man was ever after 
very unhappy. 


Far in the ages of the past, a tribe of the Senecas settled upon the 
banks of Lake Erie. One eventful winter their enemies, the Illinois, 
came in great numbers upon the peaceful settlement, surprised the people 
in their homes, and, in spite of a stout resistance, killed a large number 
of tliem and took a middle-aged woman and a boy captive. They started 
off with the prisoners, and the first day's journey was one of pain and 
restlessness to the captives. They wei'e foot-sore and weary when camp 
was pitched for the night. Then around a roaring fire the warriors gloat- 
ed over the bloody deed. They called the boy and bid him join them in 
their songs of triumph, adding that they had no desire to hurt him; if he 
sang well he might enjoy himself. The lad pretended that he could not 
sing their language, but said that he would sing their song in his tongue, 
knowing that they could not comprehend a word of it. To this they 
agreed, and while they shouted out their jubilant delight he repeated, 
again and again, "I shall never forget what you have done to my people. 

sMiT[i; A SURE REVENGE. 105 

You have stolen a helpless woman and a little boy from among them. I 
shall never forget it. If I am spared you will all lose your scalps." The 
Illinois warriors understood not a word; they thought he was joining in 
their triumph, and were satisfied that he would soon forget his own 

After they had marched three days the woman became exhausted, 
and she was too faint to be dragged further. The warriors held a council, 
and she meanwhile spoke to the Seneca boy in earnest tones. "Avenge 
my blood!" said she; "and when you return to your own people tell 
them how the cruel Illinois took my life. Promise me you will never 
cease to be a Seneca." As he finished promising all she asked, she was 
slain and left dead on the ground. 

Then they hurried forward, uearing their own settlement early in the 
evening. Next day two runners were sent to the village to proclaim 
their success and return, and all the population turned out with shouts 
and cries of joy to meet them. 

Xow the fate of the boy had to be determined. He listened as the 
chief, with exaggerated gestures and exclamations, gave an account of 
the successful expedition. The people, as they listened, grew so excited 
that they beat the ground with their clubs and wished they could ex- 
terminate every Seneca in the world. They longed to kill the boy, but 
the chiefs held a council and decided that there was stuff in him, and 
they would therefore torture him, and if he stood the test, adopt him 
into their own tribe. The boy meantime had dreamed a dream, in which 
he had been forewarned that the Illinois would inflict horrible tortures 
upon him. "If he can live through our tortures," said the chief, "he 
shall become an Illinois." The council fire glowed red with burning 
heat. They seized the captive and held him barefooted on the coals 
until his feet were one mass of blisters. Then they pierced the blisters 
with a needle made of fish bone and filled up the blisters with sharp 
flint stones. "Now run a race," they recommended; "run twenty 
rods." In his dream he had been told that if he could reach the Long 
House and find a seat on the wildcat skin, they would vote him worthy 
of his life. His agony was intense, but up in his heart rose the 
memory of his tribe; and as the signal for his start was given he com- 
menced singing with all his might, saying, as they thought, their war 
song, but in reality the words: "I shall never forget this; never for- 
give your cruelty. If I am spared you shall every one of you lose your 
scalps." This gave him courage. He forgot his agony. He bounded 
forward and flew so swiftly that the Indians, who stood in rows ready 
to hit him as he passed with thorn-brier branches, could not touch him. 
He rushed into the Long House; it was crowded, but he spied a wild- 
cat skin on which an old warrior sat, and he managed to seat himself 
upon the tail, remembering his dream. The chiefs noticed his endur- 
ance and said again, "If we spare his life he will be worthy to become 
an Illinois; but he knows the trail, so we had better kill him." 


A solemn council was held. All the warriors agreed that he had borne 
the tortures well, and had stuff iu him to make a warrior. "He may 
forget," they said. Still others disagreed and gave their opinion that 
he ought to be tried still more severely. The majority finally decided 
that he must die, and in three days should be burned at the stake. 

When the day arrived a large fire of pine knots was prepared, and 
they bound the lad to a stake, and placed him in the midst. Torches 
were ready to set fire to them, when an old warrior suddenly approached 
from the forest. It was the chief who had trained other captive Indians. 
He stood and looked at the boy. Then he said, " His eye is bright. I 
will take him. I will make a warrior of him. I will intiict our last 
torture upon him, and if he survives I will adopt him into the tribe." 
He cut the thongs that bound the boy, and led him away to a spring. 
" Drink ! " he said. And as the lad stooped, he pressed him down under 
the water until he was well nigh strangled. Three times he subjected 
him to this barbarity; then as he was still alive, although very weak, 
he took him to his wigwam and dressed his feet, and told him henceforth 
he should be an Illinois. No one guessed that revenge was in his heart. 

Time passed. He became a man. He had a chief's daughter as his 
wife. The tribe thought he had lost all memory of his capture. He fol- 
lowed the customs of the Illinois, and was as one of them. He was 
named Ga-geh-djo-wS. They did not permit him to join them in their 
warlike expeditions, but he joined in their war dances when they re- 
turned. And so as the years passed on he was much esteemed for his 
feats as a hunter, and his strength and endurance were by-words among 
the Illinois. 

He had been fifteen years among them when he heard them speak of 
an expedition against the Senecas. He begged to join, and they listened 
with delight when he declared that he, Ga-geh djo-wa, would bring home 
more scalps than any. "He is one of us," they said, and gave him the 
permission he craved. 

Early in the morning the warriors started, and, delighted with his 
eloquence and readiness to go against his own tribe, they elected him 
chief of the expedition. They marched on and on for many days, little 
guessing how his heart beat as they approached the wigwams of the 
Seneca settlement. He began to issue orders for the attack. "Send 
scouts," he said, "to the sugar camp, and let them hide in a bush, and 
return and tell us what they have seen." 

Two warriors obeyed his directions, but returned saying there were no 
signs of the tribe. Then he sent others iu a different direction. Their 
report was the same. Ashes everywhere, they reported, but no smoke 
and no fires. The Senecas must have left. Then at the council held 
that night Ga-geh-djowa proposed to go himself, with another warrior. 
This was agreed to, and they set out together. When they had gone 
five or six miles, the wily chief said to his companion, "Let us sep- 
arate and each take a different pathway. You go over the hills; I 


will go through the valley. We will meet on the mountain at dusk." 
So thej- parted, and Ga-geh-djo-wjl, remembeiing his way, si)ed where he 
guessed he should find some of his old tribe. He found, as he expected, 
a family he knew. In hurried words he explained to them their danger: 
" The treacherous Illinois are upon you. Warn all the tribe of Senecas: 
bid them come early and hide along the range above the valley. I will 
be there with a heron's plume on my crest, and when I stumble it is the 
signal for the Senecas to attack. Go and tell the word of Gageh-djo-wS. 
He is true." 

Eeturuing to the appointed spot he reported that he had seen nothing, 
and hastened back to the camp. Then he said: "I remember these 
hills. I know where the Senecas hide. Giv^e me the bravest warriors 
and we will go ahead. lean track them to their hiding place. See! 
there below rises the smoke of their wigwams. Send two warriors after 
us at a short distance. We will surprise the Senecas." 

Early morning saw the camp in activity, every warrior panting for 
the scalps he yearned to procure. Little they dreamed that already five 
hundred Senecas awaited them in the valley. The march commenced. 
As they entered the valley Ga-geh-djo-wJl gazed anxiously around and 
delightedly caught sight of a face among the bushes. Now he knew 
the Senecas had heeded him. He led his men forward; then, pretend- 
ing to miss his footing, he fell. Instantly the war-cry sounded ; the 
Senecas rushed from their ambush, and he left his treacherous foes and 
rejoined his own people. 

The slaughter was great. All the Illinois warriors but two in the rear 
were slain. Three hundred scalps revenged the treachery of the Illi- 
nois. Ga-gehdjo-wi was seized by the jubilant Senecas and borne in 
triumph to their settlement. Around the fires, as they displayed the 
scalps of their enemies, they listened to his recital of their cruelty, of 
his tortures, and of the woman's death. Never again did he leave them. 
He lived many years, the most esteemed warrior and chief of the Sen 
ecas, and when he died they buried him with the highest honors they 
knew, and have kejit his name sacred in the legends of the tribe to this 

traveler's jokes. 

An Indian traveler, tired of his uneventful journey, undertook to cre- 
ate an excitement after the following fashion : An old Indian custom 
is for runners, or those carrying important news, to announce the fact 
and gather the people together by crying, in singing tones, "Goh-weh, 
goh-weh." This the traveler began doing, and when the crowd called 
upon him to stop and tell his news, he began, "As I came through the 
last village the people were so delighted with my news that they all 
danced for joy, and shouted and kissed me." This he told so earnestly 


and sincerely that the people, not wishing to be outdone by any other 
tribe, also began singing and kissing him and making merry ; and while 
the excitement was at its height, pleased with his success, the facetious 
traveler escaped and continued his journeyings. 

Arrived at the next village he again began calling, "Goh-weh, goh- 
weh"; and the people and chiefs gathered around him, crying, "Let us 
hear." And he answered, '' As I passed through the last town some peo- 
ple wept at my news, others began quaiTcling, kicking, and fighting." 
Immediately his contagious news produced its effect, and in the confu- 
sion he again escaped, saying to himself " What fools people are." 

That night, as he was preparing to camp out, a man passed who in- 
quired the distance to the next village; but the traveler said, "You 
cannot reach it to-night. Let us camp together." As they were each 
recounting stories, and the new-comer was boasting of his superior cun- 
ning, the traveler inquired, " What log is that you now use for a pil- 
low?" and he guessed hickory, elm, &c. But the traveler said, "No, it 
is everlasting sleep." In the morningthe traveler took some pitchy resin 
and rubbed over the eyes of his sleeping comrade and left, laughing at 
the probable chagrin the man would feel when attempting to open his 
eyes, and in the recollection of the warning regarding everlasting sleep 
and his boasts of superior cunning. 

No further accounts of the traveler's jokes are told. 


An old man and his nephew were living together in a good home 
near the river, where they enjoyed themselves day after day. One 
morning the old man said to his nephew, " When you are a man, remem- 
ber in hunting never to go west; always go to the east." 

The young man reflected and said to himself, "Why should this be 
sof My uncle To-b4-se-ne always goes west, and brings home plenty of 
fish. Why should he tell me not to go ? Why does he never take me 
with him?" 

He made up his mind at last that he would go, never minding 
about the advice. So he set off in a roundabout way, and as he passed 
the marsh land near the river he saw his uncle. "Ha!" he thought, 
"now I know where he catches his fish"; and he watched him take from 
his pocket two sharp sticks and put them in his nose, and then plunge 
into deep water and come up with a nice fish. He watched him care- 
fully and then returned home. Presently the uncle came back, bringing 
some nice fish, but he never guessed that the nephew had seen him. 

The young man now felt certain that he could fish as well as his 
uncle. Accordingly, one day when the old man had gone deer hunting, 
he thought it a good opportunity to try the new method. He hunted 


among his uucle's things until he found two sticks, and then he set oif 
to the same log where he had seen his uncle sitting, which projected 
above the water in the river. He saw the iishes swimming about, so he 
at once stuck the two sticks into his nose, and plunged in. Then the 
sticks went deep into his nose and made it ache dreadfully, and he felt 
very sick. Home he hurried and lay down, thinking he should die of 
the agony. When his uncle came home he heard him groaning, and 
said, "What ails you? Are you sick?" "Yes, uncle," replied he, "I 
think I shall die. My head is sore and pains me." " What have you been 
about?" asked the uncle, severely. "I have been fishing," confessed the 
young man ; " I took your things, and I kuow I have done wrong." " You 
have done very wrong," said the uncle; but he took the pincers and drew 
out the sticks, and the young man promised never again to in the 
west, and got well. 

After a while, however, he thought that he would go and see once 
more, although he had been forbidden. So he started west. He heard 
boys laughing, and he had none to play with, so he joined them. They 
invited him to swim with them and he accepted, and they had a very 
gay time together. At last they said, "It is time to go home; you go, 
too." Then he saw that they had wings, and they gave him a pair and 
said, "There is an island where all is lovely; you have never been up 
there — over the tall tree up in the air; come." So they started up in 
the air, far away above the trees, till they could see both sides of the 
river; and he felt very happy. "Kow," said they, "you can see the 
island"; and he looked down and saw the print of their tracks on the 
island; so he knew they had been there. Then said they, "Let us go in 
swimming again." So they went into the water. Then they said, "Let 
us see which can go down and come up the farthest"; and they tried 
one at a time, and he was the last, so he must go the farthest; and while 
he was in the wat«r the rest put on their wings and, taking his also, 
flew up in the air. He plead in vain for them to wait; but they called, 
as though speaking to some one else, "Uncle, here is game for you 
to-night." Then they flew away in spite of his entreaties, and he thought 
to himself, " I shall surely be destroyed, jierhaps by some animal." 

As he looked around he perceived tracks of dogs which had clawed 
the difi'erent trees, and then he concluded that perhaps they would tear 
him to pieces. In order to confuse them in their scent he climbed each 
tree a little way, and so went on until he reached the last tree on the 
island, in which he remained and listened in suspense. He soon heard 
a canoe on the river and some one calling the dogs. Then be concluded 
his conjectures were true. After making a fire the man sent out his 
dogs. The man had a horrid-looking face, both behind and before, 
which the poor nephew could see by the fire-light. Then the dogs be- 
gan barking, having traced the tracks to the first tree; they made such 
a noise that the man concluded they had found the game, and went to 
the tree, but found nothing. So they went on to the nest, and the next, 


with the same experience, and this they continued the nightlong. Then 
the old man said, very angrily, "There is no game here; my nephews 
have deceived me." And he returned, leaving the last tree. 

After sunrise the poor fellow came down from the tree, saying, "I 
think I have escaped, for if those young fellows return I will watch 
them and contrive to get their wings from them." He then concealed 
himself and patiently awaited their coming. He soon heard their voices, 
saying, " Now we will have a good time." They first jumped around 
to warm themselves, and then said, " Let us all dive together." Then 
he rushed out, and, taking all the wings, he put on one pair, and flew 
away, calling out, "Uncle, now there is plenty of game for you"; and 
when they entreated him he replied, " You had no mercy on me ; I only 
treat you the same." Then he flew on until he came to his old home, 
where he found his old uncle, to whom he recounted the whole story; 
and after that time he remained peacefully at home with his good uncle, 
where he still resides. 

" So many times my old grandfather, chief Warrior, told me that 
story," said Zachariah Jamieson to me on the Seneca Ueservation. 


[Told by Zachariah Jamieson.] 

The wild cat, roaming disconsolately in the woods, experienced the 
sense of utter loneliness which calls for companionship. A Iriend he 
must have or die. Oats there were none within speaking distance, 
but rabbits it might be possible to entice. He commenced a plaintive 
ditty. His soul craved a white rabbit above all else, and his song was 
pathetic enough to entice the most obdurate : 

He gah yah neh 
He gah yah ! He gah ySh 
Di ho ni shu guS da-se 
He yah gah. 

His meaning was simple as his song, "When you are frightened, 
sweet rabbit, you run in a circle." 

He was wise in his generation. A short distance off lay a white rab- 
bit in his lair ; hearing the melodious ditty he pricked up his ears. 
"Heigho ! " exclaimed he, " that dangerous fellow, the wild-cat, is around; 
I hear his voice; I must scud"; and away he ran, turning from the direc- 
tion in which the voice came and hastening with all his might. He 
had gone but a short distance when he stopped, turned back his ears 
and listened. There was the song again : 

He gah yah! He gah yah! 
Di ho— 


Hewaitedto hear no more. On be sped for a while; then once morehe 
laid back his ears and halted again ; surely this time the song was nearer. 
He was still more frightened. " I will go straight on" said he; but he 
thought he was following an opposite direction. On and on he sped, 
scarce daring to breathe; then a pause; alas! the singer is nearer — nearer 
yet. Unfortunate rabbit ! he could but follow bis instinct and run in a 
circle which brought him each time nearer his enemy. Still the song 
went on, until, circling ever nearer, white rabbit fell a victim to the 
wild cat. 


In a former chapter it was concluded that the "Great Spirit" is the 
Indian's conception of the white man's God. This belief in God is com- 
mon now to all of the Iroquois, but the Christian religion is professed 
by only about one-half of their number. The other half of the people 
are usually denominated " pagans." The so-called Christian Indians are 
distributed among various sects, worship in churches, and profess Chris- 
tian creeds. 

The pagan Indians worshii) the sun, moon, stars, thunder, and other 
spirits rather vaguely defined. But though in talking with white men 
they frequently speak of the Great Spirit, yet in their worship there 
Seems to be no very well-defined recognition of the same, the term being 
used in a confused manner. Their religious rites are chiefly in the form 
of festivals. 

Among these so-called pagan Iroquois of to-day no private worship 
is known, unless the offering of burning tobacco to Hinu°, or the occa- 
sional solitary dance, as practiced by some of the squaws, be so consid- 

The annual public national and religious festivals are eight in num- 
ber, with the occasional addition of those specially appointed. As the 
nucleus to the ceremonies observed at these festivals we find many of 
their ancient practices retained, such as dancing, games, the use of in- 
cense, &c. And upon these have been grafted, according to their pecu- 
liar interpretation, varied forms from the Romish, Jewish, or Protestant 
churches, which to them seemed suitable and adaptable. Although 
the Tuscaroras of western New York retain many of the old supersti- 
tions none of the national festivals are there observed, and hardly a 
trace now remains of their old religious customs. 

About half of the Senecas still adhere to paganism, but it is only 
among the Onondagas that all the old festivals are strictly and relig- 
iously observed, after the sequence and manner of the following account 
of the New- Year Festival : 


At the first new moon of the new year, which sometimes occurs three 
weeks after New Year's Day, the chiefs assemble and call what they 


[.erm a " holy meeting," the order of which is as follows : A bench or 
table Is placed in the center of the circle of chiefs, upon which are placed 
their strings of Indian svampum. One then rises and makes a long 
speech, in which he introduces the sayings, maxims, and teachings o" 
Handsome Lake, who, nearly a century ago, introduced a new form into 
the Seneca religion. Speeches of this kind occupy four days. On the 
fifth day the principal chiefs, taking hold of the wampum, say: "1 put 
all my words in this wampum"; "I have been drunk"; or, "I have 
sinned," &c. On the sixth day the warriors go through the same form 
of confession. On the following day the chiefs pass the wampum around 
among the assembly. 

At the conclusion of this portion of their ceremonies the U-stu-a-gu- 
nii, or feath(;r dance, sometimes called the dance of peace, is per 
formed. For this there is a particular costume, by which it must always 
be accompanied. The dance is simple. Two men are chosen to stand 
in the center and are encircled by dancers. 

After this dance the clans are divided for the games as follows : 

Bear 1 f Wolf. 

■) f Wo] 

Eel \ ""^^^'^ \ Snfpe. 
Hawk 3 (Turtle. 

The clans thus divided hold their feasts in separate houses, even 
although husband and wife be divided. On the fourth d,\y each of 
these divisions, singing a chant, repairs to the Council Bouse. The 
gambling then commences and continues three more days. The gam- 
bling and betting concluded, two Indians, costumed as medicine men, run 
into all the houses, and raking up the ashes call on all to repair to the 
Council House. In the evening of this day begins the "scaring of 
witches"; speeches are made; Indian songs or chants are sung the 
while an old man or woman enters, appearing to wish or search for 
something, the assembly guessing at the object desired. Should the guess 
be correct, a reply of "thank you " is made. He or she receives it, and 
as a return proceeds to dance. 

On the following evening a number of Indians in frightful costumes 
enter on their knees, yelling and groaning. Shaking their rattles, they 
proceed to the council fire, where they stir up the ashes. The chiefs 
then present to them Indian tobacco, and they are commanded to per- 
form all the errands and act as the messengers for the evening. 

On this same evening it is given forth that on the ensuing day, at a 
given hour, the white dog will be roasted. For this purpose a perfectly 
pure, unblemished white dog is selected, and five young men of the most 
spotless reputation are chosen to kill the dog, around whose neck two 
ropes are fastened, and the young men then pull the ropes tUl the dog 
is strangled. When dead it is presented to the victorious gambling party, 
who proceed to comb out its hair carefully with teasels. It is then dec- 


orated with wampum, ribbons, Indian tobacco, strips of buckskin, small 
baskets, silver brooches, &c. 

The four winning clans then form in a circle around the dog and the 
four leading chiefs. The first chief chants around the dog ; the second 
puts it upon his back ; the third carries an extra basket trimmed with 
beads, brooches, and ribbons, and filled with Indian tobacco; the fourth 
chief, bareheaded and scantily clothed, follows as they pass in Indian 
file to the other Council House, where the defeated division makes an 
offering, which is accepted by the fourth chief. All then proceed to- 
gether to the appointed place for the dog roasting. While the fire is 
being lighted the chiefs chant and praise the Great Spirit, after which, 
while the warriors are shooting up at the sun, the dog is thrown into 
the tire, which ceremony unites all the clans. This is followed by chants. 
The leading chief then gives notice of the dance for the following day. 
At this first day of rejoicing or dancing the " feather dance" is repeated, 
and a chant is sung which embraces almost the entire language of the 
Protestant Episcojial canticle, BenecUcite omnia opera Domini ; but the 
translation, in place of commanding the works of God to render him 
praise, i)raises the works themselves. Instead of " O ye angels of the 
Lord," that passage is rendered, " O ye four persons who made us and 
have charge of us, we praise thee," &c. 

The feast then follows, consisting of meats garnished with sunflower 
oil, &c. The third day of dancing is devoted to the war dance, which 
is dedicated to the sun, moon, stars, and thunder. The feather dance 
is again introduced, the women this time participating in it. In itself 
the dance is very monotonous, except for the variety introduced by 
whooping, beating the floor with the war clubs, occasional speeches, and 
offerings to the dancers. 

At the conclusion of the feather dance the Si-tigii-ni-ai, or shuffle 
dance, follows. This is executed solely by the women, who do not lift 
their feet from the floor. The men keep time by drumming and using the 
rattles. Then succeeds the guide dance, performed as follows: Two or 
four men stand inside a circle and sing a dance song, while all the peo- 
ple join in the dance in pairs, the couples facing each other. Conse- 
quently, two out of each four have to go backwards, but at a signal in 
the music all change places. This is invariably the closing dance of 
the new year's festival, but it is then arranged that seven days later 
the medicine men shall all reappear, and for a day and a night go about 
in the houses and chase away all diseases, &c. This closes by all re- 
pairing to the Council House, where a large kettle of burnt corn, sweet- 
ened with maple sugar, is prepared for the medicine men, who eat it 
from the kettle. From this Council House fire the medicine men throw 
the ashes upon the assembled people for the purpose of dispelling 
witches and disease. This concludes the new year's festival ceremonies 
after a duration of three weeks. 



The next public service is at the tapping of the maple trees, and cou- 
sists of the war dauce, the performauce of which will, it is hoped, briug 
on warmer weather aud cause the sap to flow. 

As a special favor to ambitious parents, the dancing warriors often 
bear in their arms infant boys, who are supposed to become early inured 
and inspired with a desire for a warrior life. 

At the close of the sugar season follows the maple-sugar festival, the 
soups of which are all seasoned with the newly-made sugar. This festi- 
val, in which a number of dances are introduced, lasts but one day. 


The corn-planting festival is very similar to that of the new year, in- 
troducing the confession of sins by the chiefs, the feather dance, &c. 
This lasts seven days. 


During the strawberry season, at a time appointed previously by the 
chiefs, the women proceed to the fields aud gather the berries. The 
great feather dance follows ; afterwards two children carry about a ves- 
sel containing the berries, mixed with water and sugar, and present it 
to each person, who is expected to give thanks as he receives it. More 
dancing ensues. 

The bean festival next occurs and is very similar to the strawberry 


This is preceded by a hunt by the warriors for deer or bear meat to 
use for the soups. 

During their absence the ceremony of confession takes place, as in the 
New Year's festival, aud the women are engaged in roasting the corn 
preparatory to its being placed in the kettle with the beans for the suc- 
cotash. If the weather is very warm the hunters bring home the meat 
ready baked. On their return the feasting and dancing commence and 
continue for four days. The gambling, which is co'jsidered a religious 
ceremony, is then introduced, silver brooches, war clubs, jewelry, bead 
work, &c., being used as the wagers. Sometimes the clans play against 
each other, but frequently the women play against the men, and are 
oftener the winning party. 

This festival is the gala season of the Indian year, and all appear in 
their most fanciful decorations, some of the costumes having an intrin- 
sic value of several hundred dollars. 


The last public festival of the year is at the gathering of the corn. 
After the thanksgiving dance there is a repetition of the confession 
of sins and the feather dauce. In the latter the gayly-colored corn is 


used as a decoration, sometimes whole striugs of it, still upon the cob, 
being worn as oi-naments. 

The above form the eight public yearly festivals of the Iroquois, but 
occasionally other dances are introduced. Among these are the raccoon 
dance and the snake dance, the latter being similar to the guide dance, 
but partaking more of a gliding, snake-like motion. 

Private dances are held by the medicine men, in which are introduced 
the Ka-nai-kwii-ai, or eagle dance; the Tai-wa-nu-ta-ai-ki, or dark dance, 
performed in the dark; the Ka-hitu-wi, or pantomime dance; and the 
W-na-tai uu-u ni, or witches' dance. On the death of a medicine man a 
special dance is held by his fraternity, and, during the giving of certain 
medicines, medicine tunes are chanted. No dances are held upon the 
death of private individuals, but at the expiration of ten days a dead 
feast is celebrated and the property of the deceased is distributed by 
gambling or otherwise. Occasionally speeches are made, but no singing 
or dancing is indulged in, except during a condolence council, when de- 
ceased chiefs are mourned and others chosen in their places. 

Private dances are not infrequently given by individual members of 
the tribe, who, having conceived a great affection for each other, pub- 
licly cement it by a friendship dance. 








Introductory 123 

Manatee 125 

Toucan VSi> 

Paroquet 139 

Knowledge of tropical animals by Mound-Builders 142 

Other errors of identification 144 

Skill in sculpture of the Mound-Builders 148 

Generalization not designed 149 

Probable totemio origin 150 

Animal mounds 152 

The " Elephant " mound 152 

The ' 'Alligator " mound 158 

Human sculptures 160 

Indian aud mound-builders' art compared 164 

General conclusions 166 




FlO. 4. — Otter from Sqiiier and Davis 128 

S.^Otter from Squier and Davis 128 

6. — Otter from Eau. Manatee from Stevens 129 

7. — Manatee from Stevens 129 

8. — Lamantin or Sea-Cow from Squier and Davis 130 

9. — Lamantin or Sea-Cow from Squier 130 

10. — Manatee (Manatus Americanu8, Cuv. ) 132 

11. — Manatee {Manatus Americanus, Cuv.) 132 

12. — Cincinnati Tablet — back. From Squier and Davis 133 

13.— Cincinnati Tablet — back. From Sliort 134 

14. — Toucan from Squier and Davis 135 

15. — Toucan from Squier and Davis 135 

16. — Toucan from Squier and Davis 136 

17. — Toucan as figured by Stevens 137 

18. — Keel-billed Toucan of Southern Mexico 139 

19. — Paroquet from Squier and Davis 140 

20 — Owl from Squier and Davis 144 

21. — Grouse from Squier and Davis 144 

22. — Turkey-buzzard from Squier and Davis 145 

23.— Cherry-bird 145 

24. — Woodpecker 146 

25. — Eagle from Squier and Davis 146 

26.— Rattlesnake from Squier and Da\a8 147 

27. — Big Elephant Mound in Grant County, Wisconsin 153 

28.— Elephant Pipe. Iowa 155 

29.— Elephant Pipe. Iowa 15G 

30. — The Alligator Mound near Granville, Ohio 159 

31. — Carvings of heads 1G2 

32. — Carvings of heads I(i2 

33. — Carvings of heads 162 

34.— Car\'ing of head 163 

3\ — Carving of head -. 163 



By H. W. Henshaw. 


The considerable degree of decorative and artistic skill attained by 
the so-called Mound-Builders, as evidenced by many of the relics that 
have been exhumed from the mounds, has not failed to arrest the at- 
tention of arcbiEologists. Among them, indeed, are found not a few who 
assert for the people conveniently designated as above a degree of 
artistic skill very far superior to that attained by the present race of 
Indians as they have been known to history. In fact, this very skill in 
artistic design asserted for the Mound-Builders, as indicated by the 
sculptures they have left, forms an important link in the chain of ar- 
gument upon which is based the theory of their difference from and su- 
periority to the North American Indian. 

Eminent as is much of the authority which thus contends for an ar- 
tistic ability on the part of the Mound-Builders far in advance of the 
attainments of the present Indian in the same line, the question is one 
admitting of argument; and if some of the best products of artistic 
handicraft of the present Indians be compared with objects of a similar 
nature taken from the mounds, it is more than doubtful if the artistic 
inferiority of the latter-day Indian can be substantiated. Deferring, 
however, for the present, any comparison between the artistic ability 
■of the Mound-Builder and the modern Indian, attention may be turned 
to a class of objects from the mounds, notable, indeed, for the skill with 
which they are wrought, but to be considered first in another way and 
for another purpose than mere artistic comparison. 

As the term Mound-Builders will recur many times throughout this 
paper, and as the phrase has been objected to by some archajologists 
on account of its indcfiniteness, it may be well to state that it is em- 
ployed here with its commonly accepted signification, viz : as ajiijlied to 
the people who formerly lived throughout the Mississippi Valley and 
raised the mounds of that region. It should also be clearly understood 
that by its use the writer is not to be considered as committing himself 
in any way to the theory that the Mound-Builders were of a different 
.race from the North American Indian. 



Among tbe more interesting objects left by the Monnd-Builders, pipes 
occupy a prominent place. This is partly clue to their number, pipes 
being among the more common articles unearthed by the labors of 
exjilorers, but more to the fact that in the construction of their pipes 
this people exhibited their greatest skill in the way of sculpture. In 
the minds of those who hold that the Mound-Builders were the an- 
cestors of the present Indians, or, at least, that they were not neces- 
sarily of a different race, the superiority of their pipe sculpture over 
their other works of art excites no surprise, since, however, prominent 
a place the pipe may have held in the affections of the Mound-Builders, 
it is certain that it has been an object of no less esteem and reverence 
among the Indians of history. Certainly no one institution, for so it 
may be called, was more firmly fixed by long usage among the North 
American Indians, or more characteristic of them, than the pipe, with 
all its varied uses and significance. 

Perhaps the most characteristic artistic feature displayed in the pipe 
sculpture of the Mound-Builders, as has been well pointed out by Wilson, 
in his Prehistoric Man, is the tendency exhibited toward the imitation of 
natural objects, especially birds and animals, a remark, it may be said in 
passing, which applies with almost equal truth to the art productions 
generally of the present Indians throughout the length and breadth of 
North America. As some of these sculptured animals from the mounds 
have excited much interest in the minds of archaeologists, and have 
been made the basis of much speculation, their examination and proper 
identification becomes a matter of considerable importance. It will 
therefore be the main purpose of the present paper to examine critically 
the evidence offered in behalf of the identification of the more important 
of them. If it shall prove, as is believed to be the case, that serious 
mistakes of identification have been made, attention will be called to 
these and the manner pointed out in which certain theories have natu- 
rally enough resulted from the premises thus erroneously established. 

It may be premised that the writer undertook the examination of the 
carvings with no theories of his own to propose in place of those hith- 
erto advanced. In fact, their critical examination may almost be said 
to have been the result of accident. Having made the birds of the 
United States his study for several years, the writer glanced over the 
bird carvings in the most cursory manner, being curious to see what 
species were represented. The inaccurate identification of some of these 
by the authors of " The Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley " 
led to the examination of the series as a whole, and subsequently to the 
discussion they had received at the hands of various authors. The carv- 
ings are, therefore, here considered rather from the stand-point of the 
naturalist than the archaeologist. Believing that the question first in 
importance concerns their actual resemblances, substantially the same 
kind of critical study is applied to them which they would receive were 
they from the hands of a modern zoological artist. Such a course has 

HEssnAW] MANATEE. 125 

obvious disadvantages, since it places the work of men who were in, 
at best, but a semi-civilized condition on a much higher plane than 
other facts would seem to justify. It may be urged, as the writer in- 
deed believes, that the accuracy sufiBcient for the specific identification 
of these carvings is not to be expected of men in the state of culture 
the Mound-Builders are generally supposed to have attained. To which 
answer may be made tliat it is precisely on the supposition that the 
carvings were accurate copies from nature that the theories respecting 
them have been promulgated by archaeologists. On no other sujiposi- 
tion could such theories have been advanced. So accurate indeed have 
they been deemed that they have been directly compared with the work 
of moderu artists, as will be noticed hereafter. Hence the method here 
adopted in their study seems to be not only the best, but the only one 
likely to produce definite results. 

If it be found that there are good reasons for pronouncing the carv. 
ings not to be accurate copies from nature, and of a lower artistic 
standard than has been supposed, it will remain for the archaeologist 
to determine how far their uulikeness to the animals they have been 
supposed to represent can be attributed to shortcomings naturally per- 
taining to barbaric art. If he choose to assume that they were really 
intended as imitations, although in many particulai-s unlike the animals 
he wishes to believe them to represent, and that they are as close copies 
as can be expected from sculptors not possessed of skill adequate to 
carry out their rude conceptions, he will practically have abandoned the 
position taken by many prominent archaeologists with respect to the 
mound sculptors' skill, and will be forced to accord them a position on 
the plane of art not superior to the one occupied by the North Ameri- 
can Indians. If it should prove that but a small minority of the carv- 
ings can be specifically identified, owing to inaccuracies and to their 
general resemblance, he may indeed go even further and conclude that 
they form a very unsafe basis for deductions that owe their very exist- 
ence to assumed accurate imitation. 


In 1848 Squier and Davis published their great work on the Mounds 
of the Mississippi Valley. The skill and zeal with which these gentle- 
men prosecuted their researches in the field, and the ability and fidelity 
which mark the pi'esentation of their results to the public are suffi- 
ciently attested by the fact that this volume has proved alike the mine 
from which subsequent writers have drawn their most important facts, 
and the chief inspiration for the vast amount of work in the same direc- 
tion since undertaken. 

On pages 251 and 252 of the above-mentioned work appear figures of 
an animal which is there called "Lamantin, Manitus, or Sea Cow," con- 


cerning which animal it is stated that "seven sculptured representations 
have been taken from the mounds." When first discovered, the authors 
continue, "it was supposed the.y were monstrous creations of fancy; 
but subsequent investigatious aud comparison have shown that they 
are faithful representations of one of the most singular animal produc- 
tions of the world." 

These authors appear to have been the first to note the supposed 
likeness of certain of the sculptured forms found in the mounds to 
animals living in remote regions. That they were not slow to perceive 
the ethnological interest and value of the discovery is sho^vn by the 
fact that it was immediately adduced by them as afibrding a clew to 
the possible origin of the Mound Builders. The importance they at- 
tached to the discovery and their interpretation of its significance will 
be apparent from the following quotation (p. 242) : 

Some of these sculptures have a value, so far as otbuologic;il reseaicli is concerned, 
much higher than they cau claim as mere works of art. This value is derived from the 
fact that they faithfully represent animals and birds i)eculiar to other latitudes, thus 
establishing a migration, a very extensive intercommunication or a contemporaneous 
existence of the same race over a vast extent of country. 

The idea thus suggested fell ou fruitful ground, and each succeeding 
writer who has attempted to show that the Mound-Builders were of a 
race different from the North American Indian, or had other than an 
autochthonous origin, has not failed to lay especial stress upon the pres- 
ence in the mounds of sculptures of the manatee, as well as of other 
strange beasts and birds, carved evidently by the same hands that por- 
trayed many of our native fauna. 

Except that the theories based upon the sculi)tures have by recent 
writers been annunciated more positively and given a wider range, they 
have been left almost precisely as set forth by the authors of the "An- 
cient Monuments," while absolutely nothing appears to have been 
brought to light since their time in the way of additional sculptured 
evidence of the same character. It is indeed a little curious to note the 
perfect unanimiry with which most writers fall back upon the above 
authors as at once the source of the data they adduce in support of the 
several theories, and as their final, nay, their only, authority. Now and 
then one will be found to dissent li'om some particular bit of evidence as 
announced by Squier and Davis, or to give a somewhat different turn 
to the conclusions derivable from the testimony offered by them. But 
in the main the theories first announced by the authors of "Ancient 
Monuments," as the result of their study of tlie mound sculptures, are 
those that pass current to-day. Particular attention may be called to 
the deep and lasting impression made bj' the statements of these au- 
thors as to the great beauty and high standard of excellence exhibited 
by the mound sculptures. Since their time writers appear to be well 
satisfied to express their own admiration in the terms made use of bj^ 
Squier and Davis. One might, indeed, almost suppose that recent 

nExsiiAW.] MANATEE. 127 

writers have not dared to trust to the evidence afiforded by the original 
carvings or their fiic-siiuiles, but have preferred to take the word of the 
authors of the "Ancient Monuments " for beauties which were perhajis 
hidden from their own eyes. 

Following the lead of the authors of the "Ancient Monuments," also, 
with respect-to theories of origin, these carvings of supposed foreign 
animals are offered as affording incoutestible evidence that the Mound- 
Builders must have migrated from or have had intercourse, direct 
or indirect, with the regions known to harbor these animals. Were it 
not, indeed, for the evident artistic similarity between these carvings of 
supposed foreign animals and those of common domestic forms — a sim- 
ilarity which, as Squier and Davis remark, render them " indistinguish- 
able, so far as material and workmanship are concerned, from an entire 
classof remains found in the mounds" — thepresenceof most of them could 
readily be accounted for through the agency of trade, the far reaching na- 
ture of which, even among the wilder tribes, is well understood. Trade, 
for instance, in the case of an animal like the manatee, found no moi'e than 
a thousand miles distant from the point where the sculpture was dug up, 
would otfer a possible if not a probable solution of the matter. But in- 
de])endently of the fact that the practically identical character of all the 
carvings render the theory of trade quite untenable, the very pertinent 
question arises, why, if these supposed manatee pipes were derived by 
trade from other regions, have not similar carvings been found in those 
regions, as, for instance, in Florida and the Gulf States, a region of which 
the archaiology is fairly well known. Primitive man, as is the case with 
his civilized brother, trades usually out of his abundance ; so that not 
seven, but many times seven, manatee pipes should be found at the cen- 
ter of trade. As it is, the known home of the manatee has furnished 
no carvings either of the manatee or of anything suggestive of it. 

The possibility of the manatee having in past times possessed a wider 
range than at present seems to have been overlooked. But as a matter 
of fact the probability that the manatee ever ranged, in comparatively 
modern times at least, as far north as Ohio without leaving other traces 
of its presence than a few sculptured representations at the hands of 
an ancient peojile is too small to bo entertained. 

Nor is the supposition that the Mound-Builders held contemporaneous 
possession of the country embraced in the range of the animals whose 
efQgies are supposed to have been exhumed from their graves worthy of 
serious discussion. If true, it would involve the contemporaneous oc- 
cupancy by the Mound-Builders, not only of the [Southern United States 
but of the region stretching into Southern Mexico, and even, accord- 
ing to the ideas of some authors, into Central and South America, an 
area which, it is needless to say, no known facts will for a moment 
justify us in supposing a people of one blood to have occupied con- 

Assuming, therefore, that the sculptures in question are the work of 


llie Mound-Builders and are not derived from distant parts through 
ihe agency of trade, of which there woukl appear to be little doubt, 
and, assuming that the sculptures represent the animals they have been 
supposed to represent — of which something remains to be said — the 
theory that the acquaintance of the Mound-Builders with these ani- 
mals was made iu a region far distant 
from the one to which they subsequently 
migrated would seem to be not un 
worthy of attention. It is necessary, 
however, before advancing theories to 
account for facts to first consider the 
facts themselves, and in this case to seek 
an answer to the question how far the 
identification of these carvings of sup- 
Fig. 4— otter. From Ancunt Monuments, posed foreign auimals is to be trusted. 
Before noticing in detail the carvings supposed by Sqiiier and Davis 
to represent the manatee, it will be well to glance at the carvings of 
another animal figured by the same authors which, it is believed, has 
a close connection with them. 

Figure 4 is identified by the authors of the "Ancient Monuments" 
(Fig. 15G) as an otter, and few naturalists will hesitate in pronouncing 
it to be a very good likeness of that animal; the short broad ears, 
broad head and expanded snout, with the short, strong legs, would seem 
to belong unmistakably to the otter. Added to all these is the indica- 
tion of its fish-catching habits. Having thus correctly identified this 
animal, and with it before them, it certainly reflects little credit upon 
the zoological knowledge of the authors and their ^lowers of discrimina- 
tion to refer the next figure (Ancient Monuments, Fig. 157) to the 
same animal. 

Fig. 5— otter of Squier and Davis. 

Of a totally different shape and phy.«iognomy, if intended as an 
otter it certainly implies an amazing want of skill in its author. How 
ever it is assuredly not an otter, but is doubtless an unfinished or 
rudely executed ground squirrel, of which animal it conveys iu a general 
way a good idea, the characteristic attitude of this little rodent, sitting 


up with paws extended in front, being' well displayed. Carvings of 
small rodents in similar attitudes are exhibited in Stevens's " Flint 
Chips," p. 428, Figs. 61 and 62. Stevens's Fig. 61 evidently represents 
the same animal as Fig. 157 of Squier and Davis, but is a better executed 

In illustration of the somewhat vague idea entertained by archaeolo- 
gists as to what the manatee is like, it is of interest to note that the 
carving of a second otter with a fish in its mouth has been made to do 
duty as a manatee, although the latter animal is well known never to eat 
tisli, but, on the contrary, to be strictly herbivorous. Thus Stevens gives 
figures of two carvings in his " Flint Chips," p. 429, Figs. 65 and 66, call- 
ing them manatees, and says: "In one particular, however, the sculp- 
tors of the mound period committed an error. Although the lamantin is 
strictly herbivorous, feeding chiefly upon subaqueous plants and littoral 
herbs, yet upon one of the stone smoking i)ipes. Fig. 60, this animal is 
represented with a fish in its mouth." Mr. Stevens apparently pre- 
ferred to credit the mound sculptor with gross ignorance of the habits 
of the manatee, rather than to abate one jot or tittle of the claim pos- 
sessed by the carving to be considered a representation of that animal. 
Stevens's fish-catching manatee is the same carving given by Dr. Eau, 
in the Arclireological Collection of the United States I^ational Museum, 
p. 47, Fig. 180, where it is correctly stated to be an otter. This cut, 
which can scarcely be distinguished from one given by Stevens (Fig. 66), 
is here reproduced (Fig. 6), together with the second supposed manatee 
of the latter writer (Fig. 7). 

To afford a means of comparison. Fig. 154, from the "Ancient Monu- 

rig. 6.— otter of Kail ; Manatee of Stevens. Fig. 7.— Manatee of Stevens. 

ments" of Squier and Davis, is introduced (Fig. 8). The same figure is 
also to be found in Wilson's Prehistoric Man, vol. i, p. 476, Fig. 22. 
Another of the supposed lamantins, Fig. 9, is taken from Squier's article 
in the Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, vol. ii, p. 188. 
A bad print of the same wood-cut appears as Fig. 153, p. 251, of the 
"Ancient Monuments." 

It should be noted that the physiognomy of Fig. 6, above given, 
although unquestionably of an otter, agrees more closely with the sev- 
eral so-called manatees, which are represented without fishes, than with 
thefish-beariDg otter, first mentioned, Fig. 4. 

Fig. 6 thus serves as a connecting link in the series, uniting the un- 



mistakable otter, with the fish in its mouth, to the more clumsily exe- 
cuted and less readily recognized carvings of the same animal. 

It was doubtless the general resemblance which the several specimens 
of the otters and the so-called manatees bear to each other that led 
Stevens astray. They are by no means facsimiles one of the other. 
Ou the contrary, while no two are just alike, the differences are perhaps 

Fig. 8. — Lamantin or sea-cow of Squier and Davis. 

not greater than is to be expected when it is considered that they 
doubtless embody the conceptions of different artists, whose knowledge 
of the animal, as well as whose skill in carving, would naturally differ 
widely. Eecognizing the general likeness, Stevens perhaps felt that 
what one was all were. In this, at least, he is probably correct, and 

■LnTtiantm or sea-cnw of Squier. 

the following reasons are deemed sufficient to show that, whether the 
several sculptures figured by one and another author are otters or not, 
as here maintained, they most assuredly are not manatees. The most 
important character possessed by the sculptures, which is not found in 
the manatee, is an external ear. In this particular they all agree. 
Now, the manatee has not the slightest trace of a pinna or external 
ear, a small orifice, like a slit, representing that organ. To quote the 
precise language of Murie in the Proceedings of the Loudon Zoological 
Society, vol. 8, p. 188 : " In the absence of pinna, a small orifice, a line 
in diameter, into which a probe could be passed, alone represents the 


external meatus." In the dried museum specimen this slit is wholly in- 
visible, and even in the live or freshly killed animal it is by no means 
readily apparent. Keen observer of natural objects, as savage and 
barbaric man certainly is, it is going too far to suppose him cajiable of 
representing an earless animal — earless at least so far as the purposes 
of sculpture are concerned — with prominent ears. If, then, it can be 
assumed that these sculptures are to be relied upon as in the slightest 
degree imitative, it must be admitted that the presence of ears would 
alone suffice to show that they cannot have been intended to repre- 
sent the manatee. But the feet shown in each and all of them pre- 
sent equally unquestionable evidence of their dissimilarity from the 
manatee. This animal has instead of a short, stout fore leg, terminat- 
ing in flexible fingers or paws, as indicated in the several sculptures, a 
shapeless paddle-like flipper. The nails with which the flipper termi- 
nates are very small, and if shown at all in carving, which is wholly 
unlikely, as being too insignificant, they would be barely indicated and 
would present a very different appearance from the distinctly marked 
digits common to the several sculptures. 

Noticing that one of the carvings has a differently shaped tail from 
the others, the authors of the "Ancient Monuments" attempt to reconcile 
the discrepancy as follows : " Only one of the sculptures exhibits a flat 
truncated tail; the others are round. There is however a variety of the 
lamantin {Manitus Senigalensis, Desm.) which has a round tail, and is 
distinguished as the " round-tailed manitus." (Ancient Monuments, p. 
252.) The suggestion thus thrown out means, if it means anything, 
that the sculpture exhibiting a flat tail is the only one referable to the 
manatee of Florida and southward, the M. Americanus, while those with 
round tails are to be identified with the so-called " Round-tailed Laman. 
tin," the ill. Senegalensis, which lives in the rivers of Senegambia and 
along the coast of Western Africa. It is to be regretted that the above 
authors did not go further and explain the manner in which they sup- 
pose the Mound-Builders became acquainted with an animal inhabiting 
the West African coast. Elastic as has proved to be the thread upon 
which hangs the migration theory, it would seem to be hardly capable 
of bearing the strain required for it to reach from the Mississippi Val- 
ley to Africa. 

Had the authors been better acquainted with the anatomy of the 
manatees the above suggestion would never have been made, since the 
tails of the two forms ai-e, .so far as known, almost exactly alike. A 
rounded tail is, in fact, the first requisite of the genus Manatus, to which 
both the manatees alluded to belong, in distinction from the forked tail 
of the genus HaUcore. 

Whether the tails of the sculptured manatees be round or flat mat- 
ters little, however, since they bear no resemblance to manatee tails, 
either of the round or flat tailed varieties, or, for that matter, to tails of 
any sort. In many of the animal carvings the head alone engaged the 


sculptor's attention, the body and members being omitted entirely, or 
else roughly blocked out; as, for iustauce, in the case of the squirrel 
given above, iu which the hind parts are simply rounded off into con- 
venient shape, with no attempt at their delineation. Somewhat the 
same method was evidently followed in the case of the supposed mana- 
tees, only after the pipe cavities had been excavated the block was 
shaped off iu a manner best suited to serve the purpose of a handle. 
Without, however, attempting to institute farther comparisons, two views 
of a real manatee are here subjoined, which are facsimiles of Murie's 
admirable photo-lithograph in Trans. Loudon Zoological Society, vol. 8, 
1873-'74:. A very brief comparison of the supposed manatees, with a 
modern artistic representation of that animal, wdl show the irreconcil- 
able differences between them better than any number of pages of writ- 
ten criticism. 

Fig. 10. — ilanatee {Manatun Americanus, Cnv.). Side view. 

There would seem, then, to be no escape from the conclusion that the 
animal sculptures which have passed current as manatees do not really 
resemble that animal, which is so extraordinary in all its aspects and so 

totally unlike any other of the animal 
creation as to I'ender its identification in 
case it had really served as a subject for 
sculpture, easy and certain. 

As the several sculptures bear a gen- 
eral likeness to each other and resemble 
with considerable closeness the otter, the 
well known fish-eating proclivities of 
this animal being shown in at least two 
Cuv.). Front view. of them, it sccms highly probable that it 

is the otter that is rudely portrayed in all these sculptures. 

The otter was a common resident of all the region occupied by the 
Mound Builders, and must certainly have been well known to them. 
Moreover, the otter is one of the animals which figures largely in the 
mythology and folk-lore of the natives of America, and has been 
adopted in many tribes as their totem. Hence, this animal would seem 
to be a peculiarly apt subject for embodiment in sculptured form. It 
matters very little, however, whether these sculptures were intended as 



otters or not, the main point in the present connection being that they 
cannot have been intended as manatees. 

Before leaving the subject of the manatee, attention may be called 
to a curious fact in connection with the Cincinnati Tablet, " of which 
a wood-cut is given in The Ancient Monuments " (p. 275, Fig. 195). 
If the reverse side as there sliown be compared with the same view as 
presented by Short in The North 
Americans of Antiquity, p. 45, or 
in MacLeau's Mound-Builders, p. 
107, a remarkable discrepancy be- 
tween the two will be observed. 

In the former, near the top, is in- 
dicated what appears to be a shape- 
less depression, forndess and un- 
meaning so far as its resemblance 
to any sjiecial object is concerned. 
The authors remark of this side of 
the tablet, " The back of the stone 
has three deep longitudinal grooves, 
and several depressions, evidently 
caused by rubbing, — probably pro- 
duced in sharpening the instrument 
used in the sculpture." This ex- 
planation of the depressions would 
seem to be reasonable, although it 
has been disputed, and a " peculiar 
significance" (Short) attached to 
this side of the tablet. In Short's 
engraving, while the front side cor- 
responds closely with the same view giveu by Squier and Davis, 
there is a notable difterence observable on the reverse side. For the 
formless depression of the Squier and Davis cut not only occupies a 
somewhat different position in relation to the top and sides of the tab- 
let, but, as will be seen by reference to the figure, it assumes a distinct 
form, having in some mysterious way been metamorphosed into a figure 
which oddly enough suggests the manatee. It does not appear that the 
attention of archaeologists has ever been directed to the fact that such 
a resemblance exists ; nor indeed is the resemblance sufSciently close 
to justify calling it a veritable manatee. But with the aid of a little 
imagination it may in a rude way suggest that animal, its earless head 
and the flipper being the most striking, in fact the only, point of like- 
ness. Conceding that the figure as giveu by Short aflbrds a rude hint 
of the manatee, the question is how to account for its presence on this 
the latest representation of the tablet which, according to Short, Mr. 
Guest, its owner, pronounces " the first correct representations of the 
stone." The cast of this tablet in the Smithsonian Institution agrees 

UMti Tablet. (Back.) From Squire 
and Davis. 



more closely with Short's representation in respect to the details men- 
tioued than w ith that given in the "Ancient Monuments." Nevertheless, 
if this cast be accepted as the faithful copy of the original it has been 
supposed to be, the engraving in Short's volume is subject to criticism. 
In the cast the outline of the figure, while better defined than Squier 
and Davis represent it to be, is still very indefinite, the outline not only 
being broken into, but being in places, especially toward the head, 
indistinguishable from the surface of the tablet into which it insensibly 

Fig. 13.— Cincinnati Tablet. (Bacls.) From Sliort. 

grades. In the view as found in Short there is none of this irregularity 
and indeflniteness of outline, the figure being perfect and standing out 
clearly as though just from tbe sculptor's hand. As perhaps on the 
whole the nearest approach to the form of a manatee appearing on any 
object claimed to have originated at the hands of the Mo^und-Builders, 
and from the fact that artists have interpreted its outline so differently, 




this figure, giveu by the latest commentators ou the Cincinnati tablet, 
is interesting, and has seemed worthy of mention. As, however, the 
authenticity of the tablet itself is not above suspicion, but, on the con- 
trary, is believed by many archjeologists to admit of grave doubts, the 
subject need not be i)ursued further here. 


The apriori probability that the toucan waskno wu to the Mound-Build- 
ers is, of course, much less than that the manatee was, since no species 
of toucan occurs farther north than Southern Mexico. Its distant hab- 
itat also militates against the idea that the Mound-Builders could have 
acquired a knowledge of the bird from intercourse with southern tribes, 
or that they received the supposed toucan pipes by way of trade. With- 
out discussing the several theories 
to which the toucan pipes have 
given rise, let us first examine the 
evidence ofiered as to the presence 
in the mounds of sculptures of the 

It is a little perplexing to find at 
the outset that Squier and Davis, 
not content with one toucan, have 
figured three, and these differing 
from each other so widely as to be 
referable, according to modern or- 
nithological ideas, to very distinct ^ 
orders. '*^ 

The first allusion to the toucan in '^°- "— Toucan of S,mer and Davis. 

the Monuments of the Mississippi Valley is found on page lOi, where 
the authors guardedly remark of a bird's head in terra cotta (Fig. 79), 
"It represents the head of a bird, somewhat resembling the toucan, and 
is executed with much spirit." 

This head is vaguely suggestive of a young eagle, the proportions of 
the bill of which, until of some age, are considerably distorted. The posi- 
tion of the nostrils, however, and the contour of the mandibles, together 
with the position of the eyes, show clearly enough that it is a likeness 
of no bird known to ornithology. It is enough for our present purpose 
to say that in no particular does it bear any conceivable resemblance to 
the toucan. 

Of the second supposed toucan (Ancient Monuments, p., 260, Fig. 169) 
here illustrated, the authors remark : 

The engraving very well represents the original, which is delicately carved from a 
compact limestone. It is supposed to represent the toucan — a tropical bird, and one 



not known to exist anywhere within the limits of the United States. If we are not 
mistaken in snpposing it to represent this bird, the remarks made respecting the sculp- 
tures of the manitus will here apply with double force. 

This sculpture is 
fortunately easy of 
identiflcatiou . 
Among several or- 
opinions have been 
asked, not a dis- 
senting voice has 
been heard. The 

bird is a common ' Fig. is. — Toucan of Squier and Davis. 

crow or a raven, and is one of the most happily executed of the avian 
scidptures, the nasal feathers, which are plainly shown, and the gen- 
eral contour of the bill being truly corvine. It would probably be 
practically impossible to distinguish a rude sculpture of a raven from 
that of a crow, owing to the general resemblance of the two. The i)ro- 
portions of the head here shown are, however, those of the crow, and 
the question of habitat renders it vastly more likely that the crow was 
known to the Mound-Builders of Ohio than that the raven was. What 
possible suggestion of a toucan is to be found in this head it is not easy 
to see. 

Turning to page 266 (Fig. 178) another and very different bird is held 
up to view as a toucan. 

Fig. IG. — Toucan of Squier and Davia. 

Squier and Davis remark of this sculpture : 

From the size of its bill, and the circumstance of its having two toes before and 
two behind, the bird intended to be represented would seem to belong to the zygodac- 
tylous order — probably the toucan. The toucan (Ramphastos of Lin.) is found on 
this continent only in the tropical countries of South America. • 

In contradiction to the terms of their description their own figure, as 
will be noticed, shows three toes in front and two behind, or a total of 
five, which makes the bird an ornithological curiosity, indeed. How- 


ever, as the cast in the Smithsonian collection shows three toes in front 
and one behind, it is probably safe to assnnie tliat the additional bind 
toe was the resnit of mistalic on the part of the modern artist, so that 
four may be accepted as its proper quota. The mistake then chargeable 
to the above authors is that in their discussion they transferred one 
toe from before and added it behind. In this curious way came their 
zygodactylous bird. 

This same pipe is figni'ed by Stevens in Flint Chips, p. 420, Fig. 5. 
The wood-cut is a poor one, and exhibits certain important changes, 
which, on the assumption that the pipe is at all well iUnstrated by the 
cast in the Smithsonian, reflects more credit on the artist's knowledge 
of what a toucan ought to look like than on his fidelity as an exact 

The etchings across the upper surface of the base of the pipe, mis- 
called fingers, are not only made to assume a hand-like ai)pearance but 
the accommodating fancy of the artist 
has provided a roundish object in the 
palm, which the bird appears about 
to piclv up. The bill, too, has been 
altered, having become rounded and 
decidedly toucan-like, while the tail 
has undergone abbreviation, also in 
the direction of likeness to the toucan. fig. n.— Toucan as fisuiKi by Stevens. 
In short, much that was lacking in the aboriginal artist's conception 
towards the likeness of a toucan has in this figure been supplied by 
his modern interpreter. 

This cut corresponds with the cast in the Smithsonian collection, 'i 
having the normal number of toes, four — three in front and one behind. 
This departure from the arrangement common to the toucan family, 
which is zygodactylous, seems to have escaped Stevens's attention. At 
least he volunteers no explanation of the discrep.ancy, being, doubtless, 
influenced in his acceiJtance of the bird as a toucan by the statements 
of others. 

Wilson follows the cut of Squier and Davis, and represents the bird 
with five toes, stating that the toucan is "imitated with considerable 
accuracy." He adds: "The most important deviation from correctness 
of detail is, it has three toes instead of two before, although the two are 
correctly represented behind." IIow Wilson is guided to the belief that 
the sculptor's mistake consists in adding a toe in front instead of one 
behind it would be diflicult to explain, unless, indeed, he felt the neces- 
sity of having a toucan at all hazards. The truth is that, the question 
of toes aside, this carving in no wise resembles a toucan. Its long legs 
and proportionally long toes, coupled with the rather long neck and bill, 
indicate with certainty a wading bird of some kind, and in default of 
anything that comes nearer, an ibis may be suggested; though if in- 
tended by the sculptor as an ibis, candor compels the statement that the 
ibis family has no reason to feel complimented. 


The identification of this sculpture as a toucan was floubtless due 
less to any resemblance it bears to that bird than to another circum- 
stance connected with it of a rather fanciful nature. As in the case of 
several others, the bird is represented in the act of feeding, upon what 
it would be difficult to say. Certainly the four etchings across the base 
of the pipe bear little resemblance to the human hand. Had they been 
intended for fingers they would hardly have been made to extend over 
the side of the pipe, an impossible position unless the back of the hand 
be npi^ermost. Yet it was probably just this fancied resemblance to a 
hand, out of which the bird is supiJosed to be feeding, that led to the 
suggestion of the toucan. For, say Squier and Davis, p. 206 : 

In those districts (i. e., Guiana and Brazil) tbe toucan was almost the only bird the 
aborigines attemjited to domesticate. The fact that it is represented receiving its 
food from a human band would, under these circumstances, favor the conclusion that 
the sculpture was designed to represent tbe toucan. 

Eather a slender thread one would think upon which to hang a theory 
so far-reaching in its consequences. 

Nor was it necessary to go as far as Guiana and Brazil to find in- 
stances of the domestication of wild fowl by aborigines. Among our 
North Amerieau Indians it was a by no means uncommon practice to 
capture and tame birds. Eoger Williams, for instance, speaks of the 
New England Indians keeping tame hawks about their dwellings "to 
keep the little birds from their corn." (Williams's Key into the Lan- 
guage of America, lGi3, ij. 220.) The Zunis and other Pueblo Indians 
keep, and have kept from time immemorial, great numbers of eagles and 
hawks of every obtainable species, as also turkies, for the sake of the 
feathers. The Dakotas and other western tribes keep eagles for the same 
purpose. They also tame crows, which are fed from the hand, as well as 
hawks and magpies. A case nearer in point is a reference in Lawson to 
the Congarees of North Carolina. He says, "they are kind and affable, 
and tame the cranes and storks of their savannas." (Lawsou's History 
of Carolina, p. 51.) And agaiu (p. 53) *' these Congarees have an 
abundance of storks and cranes iu their savannas. They take them 
before they can fly, and breed them as tame and familiar as a dung-hill 
fowl. They had a tame crane at one of these cabins that was scarcely 
less than six feet in height." 

So that even if the bird, as has been assumed by many writers, be 
feeding from a human hand, of which fact there is no sufficient evidence, 
we are by no means on this account driven to the conclusion, as appears 
to have been believed, that the sculpture could be no other than a toucan. 

As in the cass of the manatee, it has been thought well to Introduce 
a correct drawing of a toucan in order to afford opportunity for com- 
parison of this very striking bird with its supposed representations 
from the mounds. For this purpose the most northern representative 
of the family has been selected as the one nearest the home of the 




The particulars wherein it differs from the supposed toucans are so 
many and striking that it will be superfluous to dwell upon them in de- 
tail. They will be obvious at a glance. 

Thus we have seen that the sculptured representation of three birds, to- 
tally dissimilar from each other, and not only not resembling the toucan, 
but conveying no conceivable hint of that very marked bird, formed 
the basis of Squier and Davis' speculations as to the presence of the 
toucan in the mounds. These three 
supposed toucaus have been copied 
and recopied by later authors, who 
have accepted in full the remarks and 
deductions accompanying them. 

At least two exceptions to the last * 
statement maybe made. It is refresh- 
ing to find that two writers, although 
apparently accepting the other iden- 
tifications by Squier and Davis, have 
drawn the line at the toucan. Thus 
Ran, in The Archaeological Collec- 
tions of the United States National 
Museum, pp. 46-47, states that — 

The figure (neither of the writers men. 
tioned appear to have been aware that there 
was more than one supposed toucan) is not Fia. 18.— Keel-billed Toucan of Southern 
of sufficient distinctness to identify the orig- Mexico (Rhamphoitea cannatus.) 
inal that was before the artist's mind, and it would not be safe, therefore, to make 
this specimen the subject of far-reaching speculations. 

Further on he adds, " Leaving aside the more than doubtful toucan, 
the imitated animals belong, without exception, to the North American 
fauna." Barber, also, after taking exception to the idea that the sup- 
posed toucan carving represents a zygodactylous bird, adds in his arti- 
cle on Mound Pipes, pp. 280-281 (American Naturalist for April, 1882), 
" It may be asserted with a considerable degree of confidence that no 
representative of an exclusively exotic fauna figured in the pipe sculpt- 
ures of the Mound-Builders." 


The presence of a carving of the paroquet in one of the Ohio mounds 
has been deemed remarkable on account of the supposed extreme south- 
ern habitat of that bird. Thus Squier and Davis remark ("Ancient 
Monuments of the Mississippi Valley," p. 265, Fig. 172), "Among the 
most spirited and delicately executed specimens of ancient art found in 
the mounds, is that of the paroquet here presented." * * 


" The paroquet is essentially a southern bird, and though common 
along the Gulf, is of rare occurrence above the Ohio River." The above 
language would seem to admit of no doubt as to the fact of the decided 
resemblance borne by this carving to the paroquet. Yet the bird thus 

positively identified as a paroquet, upon 
which identification have, without doubt, 
been based all the conclusions that have 
been published concerning the presence 
of that bird among the mound sculpt- 
ures is not eveu distantly related to the 
parrot family. It has the bill of a rap- 
torial bird, as shown by the distinct tooth, 

Fig. 19.— Paroquet of Squier anil Davis, ^ud thiS, in COnUectiOU with the WCU 

defined cere, not present in the paroquet, and the open nostril, con- 
cealed by feathers in the paroquet, places its identity as one of the hawk 
tribe beyond doubt. 

In fact it closely resembles several of the carvings figured and iden- 
tified as hawks by the above authors, as comparison with figures given 
below will show. The hawks always appear to have occupied a prom- 
inent place in the interest of our North American Indians, especially in 
association with totemic ideas, and the number of sculptured represen- 
tations of hawks amoug the mound relics would argue for them a simi- 
lar position in the minds of the Mound-Builders. 

A word should be added as to the distribution of the paroquet. The 
statement by Squier and Davis that (he paroquet is found as far north 
as the Ohio River would of itself afford an easy explanation of the 
manner in which the Mound-Builders might have become acquainted 
with the bird, could their acquaintance with it be proved. But the 
above authors appear to have had a very incorrect idea of the region 
inhabited by this once widely spread species. The present distribution, 
it is true, is decidedly southern, it being almost wholly confined to lim- 
ited areas within the Gulf States. Formerly, however, it ranged much 
farther north, and there is positive evidence that it occurred in New 
York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Nebraska. 
Up to 1835 it was extremely abundant in Southern Illinois, and, as Mr. 
Ridgway informs the writer, was found there as late as 18G1. Specimens 
are in the Smithsonian collection from points as far north as Chicago 
and Michigan. Over much of the region indicated the exact nature of 
its occurrence is not understood, whether resident or a more or less 
casual visitor. But as it is known that it was found as far north as 
Pennsylvania in winter it may once have ranged even farther north 
than the line just indicated, and have been found in Southern Wisconsin 
and Minnesota. 

Occurring, as it certainly did, over most of the mound region, the pe- 
culiar habits of the paroquet, especially its vociferous cries and manner 


of associating in large flocks, must, it would seem, have made it known 
to the Mound-Builders. Indeed from the ease with which it is trapped 
and killed, it very probably formed an article of food among them as it 
has among the whites and recent tribes of Indians. Probable, however, 
. as it is that the Mound-Builders were well acquainted with the paro- 
quet, there appears to be no evidence of the fact among their works of 


The supposed evidence of a knowledge of tropical animals possessed 
by the ancient dwellers of the Mississippi Valley which has just been 
discussed seems to have powerfully impressed Wilson, and in his "Pre- 
historic Man he devotes much space to the consideratiou of the matter. 
His ideas on the subject will be understood from the following quota- 
tion : 

By tbe fidelity of the representations of so great a variety of subjects copied from 
animal life, tbey furnish evidence of a knowledge in the Mississippi Valley, of the 
faiiua peculiar not only to southern but to tropical latitudes, extending beyond the 
Isthmus into the southern continent ; and suggestive either of arts derived from a for- 
eign source, and of an intimate intercourse maintained with the central regions where 
the civilization of ancient America attained its highest development: or else indicative 
of migration, and an intrusion into the northern continent, of the race of the ancient 
graves of Central and Southern America, bringing with them the arts of the tropics, 
and models derived from the animals familiar to their fathers in the parent-land of 
the race. (Vol. l,p. 475.) 

The author subsequently shows his preference for the theory of a 
migration of the race of the Mound-Builders from southern regions as 
being on the whole more probable. Wilson does not, however, content 
himself with the evidenceafforded by the birds and animals which have 
just been discussed, but strengthens his argument by extending the list 
of supposed exotic forms known to the Mound-Builders in the following 
words (vol. 1, p. 477): 

But we must account by other means for the discovery of accurate miniature repre- 
sentations of it (i. e. the Manatee) among the sculptures of the far-inland mounds of 
Ohio; and the same remark equally applies to the jaguar or panther, the cougar, the 
toucan ; to the buzzard possibly, and also to the paroquet. The majority of these ani- 
mals are not known in the United States; some of them are totaUij nnknown within any part 
of the North American continent. (Italics of the present writer.) Others may be classed 
with the paroquet, which, though essentially a southern bird, and common in the 
Gulf, does occasionally make its appearance inland ; and might possibly become 
known to the untraveled Mound-Builder among the fauna of his own northern 

The information contained in the above paragraph relative to the 
range of some of the animals mentioned may well be viewed with sur- 
prise by naturalists. To begin with, the jaguar or panther, by which 
vernacular names the Felis onca is presumably meant, is not only found 
in Northern Mexico, but extends its range into the United States and 
appears as far north as the Eed Eiver of Louisiana. (See Baird's Mam- 
mals of Korth America.) Hence a sculptured representation of this 
animal in the mounds, although by no means likely, is not entii-ely out 

of the question. However, among the several carvings of the cat family 


that have been exhumed from the mounds and made known there is not 
one which can, with even a fair degree of probability, be identified as 
this species in distinction from the next animal named, the cougar. 

The cougar, to which several of the carvings can with but little doubt 
be referred, was at the time of the discovery of America and is to-day, 
where not exterminated by man, a common resident of the whole of 
North America, including of course the whole of the Mississippi Valley. 
It would be surprising, therefore, if an animal so striking, and one that 
has figured so largely in Indian totemism and folk-lore, should not have 
received attention at the hands of the Mound-Builders. 

Nothing resembling the toucan, as has been seen, has been found in 
the mounds; but, as stated, this bird is found in Southern Mexico. 

The buzzard is today common over almost the entire United States, 
and is especially common throughout most of the Mississippi Valley. 

As to the paroquet, there seems to be no evidence in the way of carv- 
ings to show that it was known to the Mound-Builders, although that 
such was the case is rendered highly probable from the fact that it 
lived at their very doors. 

It therefore appears that of the five animals of which Wilson states 
"the majority are not known in the United States," and "some of them 
are totally unknown within any part of the North American continent," 
every one is found in North America, and all but one within the limits 
of the United States, while three were common residents of the Missis- 
sipjii Valley. 

As a further illustration of the inaccurate zoological knowledge to 
which may be ascribed no small share of the theories advanced respect- 
ing the origin of the Mound-Builders, the following illustration may be 
taken from Wilson, this author, however, being but one of the many 
who are equally in fault. The error is in regard to the habitat of the 
conch shell, Pyrula (noic Busycon) perversa. 

After exposing the blunder of Mr. John Delafield, who describes this 
shell as unknown on the coasts of North and South America, but as 
abundant on the coast of Hindostan, from which supposed fact, coupled 
with its presence in the mounds, he assumes a migration on the part of 
the Mound-Builders from Southern Asia (Prehistoric Man, vol. 1, p. 
219, ibid, p. 272), Wilson states. 

No question can exist as to the tropical and marine origin of the large shells ex- 
humed not only in the inland regions of Kentucky and Tennessee, but in the northern 
peninsula lying between the Ontario and Huron Lakes, or on the still remoter shores 
and islands of Georgian Bay, at a distance of ujiwards of three thousand miles from 
the coast of Yucatan, on the mainland, the nearest point xehere the Pyrula perversa is 
found in its native locaUiy. (Italics of the present writer.) 

Now the plain facts on the authority of Mr. Dall are that the Busycon 
{Pyrula) perversa is not only found in the United States, but extends 
along the coast up to Charleston, S. C, with rare specimens as far north 
as Beaufort, N. C. Moreover, archaeologists have usually confounded 



this species with the Bmycon carica, which is of common occurrence in 
the mounds. The latter is fouud as far north as Cajie Cod. The facts 
cited put a very different complexion on the presence of these shells in 
the mounds. 


The erroneous identification of the manatee, the toucan, and of sev- 
eral other animals having been pointed out, it may be well to glance at 
certain others of the sculptured animal forms, the identification of which 

Fir,. LM). — "Owl," finiii Squicr and l);ivi8. 

by Squier and Davis has passed without dispute, with a view to deter- 
mining how far the accuracy of these authors in this particular line 
is to be trusted, and how successful they have been in interpreting the 
much lauded " fidelity to nature" of the mound sculptures. 

Fig. 20 (Squier and Davis, An- 
cient Monuments of the Mississippi 
Valley, p. 225, Fig. 123) represents 
a tube of steatite, upon which is 
carved, as is stated, "in high relief 
the figure of an owl, attached with 
its back to the tube." This carving, 
the authors state, is "remarkably 
bold and spirited, and represents 
the bird with its claws contracted 
and drawn up, and head and beak 
elevated as if in an attitude of de- 

FiG. 21. -"Grouse." from Squier and Davis. fgjjgg ^nd dcfiaUCC." 

This carving differs markedly from any of the avian sculptures, 
and probably was not intended to represent a bird at all. The absence 
of feather etchings and the peculiar shape of the wing are especially 
noticeable. It more nearly resembles, if it can be said to resemble 
anything, a bat, with the features very much distorted. 



Fig. 21 (Fig. 170 from Squier and Davis) it is stated, <' will readily 
be recognized as intended to represent the head of the grouse." 

The cere and plainly notched bill of this carving clearly indicate a 
hawk, of what species it would be impossible to say. 

Fig. 22. — " Turkey Buzzard," from Squier and Davi.H. 

Fig. 22 (Fig. 171 from Squier and Davis) was, it is said, "probably 
intended to represent a turkey buzzard." If so, the suggestion is a very 
vague one. The notches cut in the mandibles, as in the case of the 

Fig. 23. — "Cberry-bird," from Squier and Davis. 

carving of the wood duck (Fig. 168, Ancient Monuments), are perhaps 
meant for serrations, of which there is no trace in the biU of the buz- 
zard. As suggested by Mr. Eidgway, it is perhaps nearer the cormo- 
rant than anything else, although not executed with the detail neces- 
sary for its satisfactory recognition. 

Fig. 23 (Fig. 173 from Squier and Davis) it is claimed " much resem- 
bles the tufted cherry-bird," which is by no means the case, as the bill 
10 E 



bears vritness. It may pass, however, as a badly executed likeness of 
the tufted cardiaal grosbeak or red-bird. The same is true of Figs. 
174 and 175, which are also said to be " cherry-birds." 

Fig. 2-1 (Fig. 179 from Squier and Davis), of which Squier aud Davis 
say it is uucertaiu what bird it is iuteuded to represent, is an unmis- 
takable likeness of a woodpecker, and is one of the best executed of the 
series of bird carvings. To undertake to name the species would be 
the merest guess-work. 

I-^k;. 2i. — WdiMlpfiker, from Squier aud Davis. 

The beads sliowu in Fig. 25, which the authors assert ."was probably 

iutended to represent the eagle" and ''are far superior in point of finish, 

siiirit, and truthfulness to auy miniature carving, ancient or modern, 

y ,? which have fallen under the 

notice of the authors," cannot 
be identified further than to say 
they are raptorial birds of some 
sort, i)i-obably not eagles but 
Fig. 26 (Fig. 180 from Squier 

Fig. 25.— -Eagle, "from Squior and Davis. aud Davis), according tO the 

authors, " certainly represents the rattlesnake." It certainly represents 
a snake,but there is no hint in it of the peculiarities of the rattlesnake ; 
which, indeed, it would be diificult to portray in a rude carving like 
this without showing the rattle. This is done in another carving, Fig. 

The extraordinary terms of praise bestowed by the authors on the 
heads of the hawks just alluded to, as well as on many other of the 
sculptured animals, suggest the question whether the illustrations given 
in the Ancient Monuments aff'ord auy adequate idea of the beauty and 
artistic excellence asserted for the carvings, and so whether they are fair 
objects for criticism. While of course for the purpose of this paper an 




examiuation of the originals would have been preferable, yet, in as much 
as the Smithsonian Institution contains casts which attest the general ac- 
curacy- of the drawings given, and, as the illustrations by other authors 
afford no higher idea of their artistic execution, it would seem that any 
criticism applicable to these illustrations must in the main apply to the 
originals. With reference to the casts in the Smithsonian collection it 
may be stated that Dr. Eau, who had abundant opportunity to acquaint 
himself with the originals while in the possession of Mr. Davis, informs 
the writer that they accurately represent the carvings, and for purposes 
of study are iiractically as good as the originals. The latter are, as is 
well known, iu the Blackinore Museum, England. 

Fig. 26. — "Eattl(sn;iko," from Squier .ind D.ivi3. 

Without going into further detail the matter may be summed up as fol- 
lows : Of forty-five of the animal carvings, including a few of clay, which 
are figured in Squier and Davis's work, eleven are left unnamed by the 
authors as not being recognizable; nineteen are identified correctly, in 
a general way, as of a wolf, bear, heron, toad, &c. ; sixteen are demon- 
strably wrongly identified, leaving but five of which the species is cor- 
rectly given. 

From this showing it appears that either the above authors' zoological 
knowledge was faulty in the extreme, or else the mound sculptors' ability 
in animal carving has been amazingly overestimated. However just the 
first supposition may be, the last is certainly true. 


In considering the degree of skill exhibited by the mound sculptors 
in their delineation of the features and characteristics of animals, it is 
of the utmost importance to note that the carvings of birds and animals 
which have evoked the most extravagant expressions of praise as to the 
exactness with which natui'e has been copied are uniformly those which, 
owing to the possession of some unusual or salient characteristic, are ex- 
ceedingly easy of imitation. The stout body and broad flat tail of the 
beaver, the characteristic physiognomy of the wild cat and panther, so 
utterly dissimilar to that of other animals, the tufted head and fish-eat- 
ing habits of the heron, the raptorial bill and claws of the hawk, the 
rattle of the rattlesnake, are all features which the rudest skill could 
scarcely fail to portray. 

It is by the delineation of these marked and unmistakable features, 
and not the sculptor's power to exi^ress the subtleties of animal char- 
acteristics, that enables the identity of a comparatively small number 
of the carvings to be established. It is true that the contrary has often 
been asserted, and that almost everything has been claimed for the carv- 
ings, in the way of artistic execution, that would be claimed for the best 
products of modern skill. Squier and Davis in fact go so far in their 
admiration (Ancient Monuments, p. 272), as to say that, so far as fidelity 
is concerned, many of them (i. e., animal carvings) deserve to rank by 
the side of the best efforts of the artist naturalists in our own day — a 
statement which is simply preposterous. So far, in point of fact, is this 
from being true that an examination of the series of animal sculptures 
cannot fail to convince any one, who is even tolerably well acquainted 
with our common birds and animals, that it is simply impossible to 
recognize specific features in the great majority of them. They were 
either not intended to be coi^ies of particular species, or, if so intended, 
the artist's skill was wholly inadequate for his purpose. 

Some remarks by Dr. Cones, quoted in an article by E. A. Barber on 
Mound Pipes in the American Naturalist for April, 1SS2, are so apropos 
to the subject that they are here reprinted. The paragraph is in re- 
si^onse to a request to identify a bird pipe : 

As is 80 frequently the probable case in sucli matters, I am iuclined to think the 
sculptor had no particular bird in mind in executing his rude carving. It is not 
necessary, or indeed, permissible, to suppose that particular species were intended to 
be represented. Not unfrequently the likeness of some marked bird is so good as to 
be unmistakable, but the reverse is oftener the case; and in the present instance I 
can make no more of the carving than you have done, excepting that if any par- 
ticular species may have been in the carver's mind, his execution does not suflSce for 
its determination. 


The views entertained by Dr. Coues as to the resemblances of the 
carvings will thus be seen to coincide with those expressed above. 
Another prominent ornithologist, Mr. Eidgway, has also given verbal 
expression to precisely similar views. 

So far, therefore, as the carvings themselves afford evidence to the 
naturalist, their general likeness entirely accords with the supposition 
that they were not intended to be copies of particular species. Many 
of the specimens are in fact just about what might be expected when 
a workman, with crude ideas of art expression, sat down with intent to 
carve out a bird, for instance, without the desire, even if possessed of 
the requisite degree of skill, to impress upon the stone the details nec- 
essary to make it the likeness of a particular species. 


While the resemblances of most of the carvings, as indicated above, 
must be admitted to be of a general and not of a special character, it 
does not follow that their general type was the result of design. 

Such an explanation of their general character and resemblances is, 
indeed, entirely inconsistent with certain well known facts regarding 
the mental operations of primitive or semi-civilized man. To the mind 
of primitive man abstract conceptions of things, while doubtless not en- 
tirely wanting, are at best but vaguely defined. The experience of nu- 
merous investigators attests how dififlcult it is, for instance, to obtain 
from a savage the name of a class of aiiimals in distinction from a par- 
ticular species of that class. Thus it is easy to obtain the names of the 
several kinds of bears known to a savage, but his mind obstinately re- 
fuses to entertain the idea of a bear genus or class. It is doubtless 
true that this difiSculty is in no small part due simply to the confusion 
arising from the fact that the savage's method of classification is differ- 
ent from that of his questioner. For, although primitive man actually 
does classify all concrete things into groups, the classification is of a 
very crude sort, and has for a basis a very different train of ideas from 
those upon which modern science is established — a fact which many in- 
vestigators are prone to overlook. Still there seems to be good ground 
for believing that the conception of a bird, for instance, in the abstract 
as distinct from some particular kind or species would never be enter- 
tained by a people no further advanced in culture than their various 
relics prove the Mound-Bnilders to have been. In his carving, there- 
fore, of a hawk, a bear, a heron, or a fish, it seems highly probable that 
the mound sculptor had in mind a distinct species, as we understand 
the term. Hence his failure to reproduce specific features in a recog- 
nizable way is to be attribnted to the fact that his skill was inadequate 
to transfer the exact image present in his mind, and not to his intention 
to carve out a genei'al representative of the avian class. 


To carry tlie imitative idea farther and to suggest, as has been done by 
writers, that the carver of the Mound-Buildiug epoch sat down to his 
work with the animal or a model of it before him, as does the accurate 
zoological artist of our own day, is wholly insupported by evidence de- 
rivable from the carvings themselves, and is of too imaginative a char- 
acter to be entertained. By the above remarks as to the lack of spe- 
cific resemblances in the animal carvings it is not intended to deny that 
some of them have been executed with a considerable degree of skill 
and spirit as well as, within certain limitations heretofore expressed, 
fidelity to nature. Taking them as a whole it can perhaps be asserted 
that they have been carved with a skill considerably above the general 
average of attainments in art of our Indian tribes, but not above the 
best efforts of individual tribes. 

That they will by no means bear the indiscriminate praise they have 
received as works of art and as exact imitations of nature may be as- 
serted with all confidence. 


With reference to the origin of these animal sculptures many writers 
appear inclined to the view that they are purely decorative and orna- 
mental in character, i. e., that they are attempts at close imitations of 
nature in the sense demanded by high art, and that they owe their 
origin to the artistic instinct alone. But there is much in their general 
appearance that suggests they may have been totemic in origin, and 
that whatever of ornamental character they may possess is of secondary 

With, perhaps, no exceptions, the JSorth American tribes practiced 
totemism in one or other of its various forms, and, although it by no 
means follows that all the carving and etchings of birds or animals by 
these tribes are totems, yet it is undoubtedly true that the totemic idea 
£8 traceable in no small majority of their artistic representations, what- 
ever their form. As rather favoring the idea of the totemic meaning 
of the carvings, it may be pointed out that a considerable number of 
the recognizable birds and animals are precisely the ones known to 
have been used as totems by many tribes of Indians. The hawk, heron, 
woodpecker, crow, beaver, otter, wild cat, squirrel, rattlesnake, and 
others, have all figured largely in the totemic divisions of our North 
American Indians. Their sacred nature too would enable us to under- 
stand how naturally jiipes would be selected as the medium for totemic 
representations. It is also known to be a custom among Indian tribes 
for individuals to carve out or etch their totems upon weapons and im- 
plements of the more important and highly prized class, and a variety 
of ideas, superstitious and other, are associated with the usage ; as, 


for instance, in the case of weapons of war or implements of the chase, 
to impart greater efBciency to them. The etching would also serve as 
a mark of ownership, especially where property of certain kinds was 
regarded as belonging to the tribe or gens and not to the individual. 
Often, indeed, in the latter case the individual used the totem of his 
gens instead of the symbol or mark for iiis own name. 

As a theory to account for the number and character of these animal 
carvings the totemic theorj' is perhaps as tenable as any. The origin 
and significance of the carvings may, however, involve many different 
and distinct ideas. It is certain that it is a common practice of Indians 
to endeavor to peri^etuate the image of any strange bird or beast, espe- 
cially when seen away from home, and in order that it may be shown to 
his friends. As what are deemed tlie marvellous features' of the animal 
are almost always greatly exaggerated, it is in this way that many of 
the astonishing productions noticeable in savage art have originated. 
Among the Esquimaux this habit is very prominent, and many individ- 
uals can show etchings or carvings of birds and animals exhibiting the 
most extraordinary characters, which they stoutly aver and doubtless 
have come to believe they have actually seen. 


As having, for the purposes of the present paper, a close connection 
with the animal carvings, another class of remains left by the Mound- 
Builders — the animal mounds — may next engage attention. As in the 
case of the carvings, the resemblance of particular mounds to the ani- 
mals whose names they bear is a matter of considerable interest on ac- 
count of the theories to which they have given rise. 

The conclusion reached with respect to the carvings that it is safe to 
rely upon their identification only in the case of animals possessed of 
striking and unique characters or presenting unusual forms and propor- 
tions, applies with far greater force to the animal mounds. Perhaps in 
none of the latter can specific found sufiBcient for their 
precise determination. So general are the resemblances of one class 
that it has been an open question among archeologists whether they 
were intended to represent the bodies and arms of men, or the bodies 
and wings of birds. Other forms are sufiQciently defined to admit of 
the statement that they are doubtless intended for animals, but without 
enabling so much as a reasonable guess to be made as to the kind. Of 
others again it can be asserted that whatever significance they may 
have had to the race that built them, to the uninstructed eyes of mod- 
ern investigators they are meaningless and are as likely to have been 
intended for inanimate as animate objects. 

There are many examples among the animal shapes that possess 
peculiarities affording no hint of animals living or extinct, but which 
are strongly suggestive of the play of mythologic fancy or of conven- 
tional methods of representing totemic ideas. As in the case of the 
animal carvings, the latter suggestion is perhaps the one that best cor- 
responds with their general character. 

THE "elephant" MOUND. 

By far the most important of the animal mounds, from the nature of 
the deductions it has given rise to, is the so-called " Elephant Monnd," 
of Wisconsin. 

By its discovery and description the interesting question was raised 
as to the contemporaneousness of the Mound-Builder and the mastodon, 
an interest which is likely to be further enhanced by the more recent 
bringing to light in Iowa of two pipes carved in the semblance of the 
same animal, as well as a tablet showing two figures asserted by some 
archffiologists to have been intended for the same animal. 



Although both the mound and pipes have been referred in turn to 

the peccary, the tapir, and the armadillo, it is safe to exclude these 
animals from consideration. It is indeed perhaps more likely that the 
ancient inhabitants of the Upper Mississippi Valley were autoptically 
acquainted with the mastodon than with either of the above-named an- 
imals, owing to their southern habitat. 

Referring to the possibility that the mastodon was known to the 
Mound-Builders, it is impossible to fix with anj" degree of precision 
the tiiue of its disapjiearauce from among living animals. Mastodon 
bones have been exhumed from jieat beds in this country at a depth 
which, so far as is proved by the rate of deposition, implies that the 
animal may have been alive within five hundred years. The extinc- 
tion of the mastodon, geologically speaking, was certainly a very 
recent event, and, as an antiquitj' of upwards of a thousand or more 
years has been assigned to some of the mounds, it is entirely within 
the possibilities that this animal was living at the time these were 
thrown up, granting even that the time of their erection has been over- 
estimated.- It must be admitted, therefore, that there are no inherent 
absurdities in the belief that the INIound-Builders were acquainted 
with the mastodon. Granting that they may have been acquainted 
with the animal, the question arises, what proof is there that they act- 
ually were? The answer to this question made by certain archaeol- 
ogists is — the Elephant Mound, of Wisconsin. 

ScaJe 31 feet to the iucli. 
Fig. 27.— The Elephant Mound, Grant County, Wisconsin. 

Eecalliug the fact that among the animal mounds many nondescript 
shapes occur which cannot be identified at all, and as many others 
which have been called after the animals they appear to most nearly 
resemble, carry out their ])eculiarities only in the most vague and 


geueral way, it is a little difficult to understand the confidence with 
which this efBgy has been asserted to represent the mastodon ; for the 
mound (a copy of which as figured in the Smithsonian Annual Report 
for 1872 is here given) can by no means be said to closely rejiresent the 
shape, proportions, and peculiarities of the animal whose name it bears- 
In fact, it is true of this, as of so many other of the effigies, the identity 
of which must be guessed, that the resemblance is of the most vague 
and general kind, the figure simulating the elephant no more closely 
than any one of a score or more mounds in Wisconsin, except in one 
important particular, viz, the head has a prolongation or snout-like 
appendage, which is its chief, in fact its only real, elephantine charac- 
ter. If this appendage is too long for the snout of any other known 
animal, it is certainly too short for the trunk of a mastodon. Still, so 
far as this one character goes, it is doubtless true that it is more sug- 
gestive of the mastodon than of any other animal. No hint is afforded 
of tusks, ears, or tail, and were it not for the snout the animal effigy 
might readily be called a bear, it nearly resembling in its general make- 
up many of the so-called bear mounds figured by Squier and Davis from 
this same county in Wisconsin. The latter, too, are of the same gigan- 
tic size and proportions. 

If it can safely be assumed that an animal effigy without tusks, with- 
out ears, and without a tail was i-eally intended to represent a mastodon, 
it would be stretching imagination but a step farther to call all the large- 
bodied, heavy-limbed animal effigies hitherto named bears, mastodons, 
attributing the lack of trunks, as well as ears, tusks, and tails, to inatten- 
tion to slight details on the part of the mound artist. 

It is true that one bit of good, positive proof is worth many of a neg- 
ative character. But here the one positive resemblance, the trunk of 
the supposed elephant, fdls far short of an exact imitation, and, as the 
other features necessary to a good likeness of a mastodon are wholly 
wanting, is not this an instance where the negative proof should be held 
sufficient to largely outweigh the positive ? 

In connection with this question the fact should not be overlooked 
that, among the great number of animal effigies in Wisconsin and else- 
where, this is the only one which even thus remotely suggests tbe mas- 
todon. As the Mound Builders were in the habit of repeating the same 
animal form again and again, not only in the same but in widely distant 
localities, why, if this was really intended for a mastodon, are there no 
others like it? It cannot be doubted that the size and extraordinary 
features of this monster among mammals would have prevented it be- 
ing overlooked by the Mound-Builders when so many animals of inferior 
interest engaged their attention. The fact tbat the mound is a nonde- 
script, with no others resembling it, certainly lessens the probability 
that it was an intentional representation of the mastodon, and increases 
the likelihood that its slight resemblance was accidental; a slide of earth 
from tbe head, for instance, might readily be interpreted by the modern 


artist as a trunk, and thus the head be made to assume a shape in his 
sketch not intended by the original maker. As is well known, no task 
is more dilBcult for the artist than to transfer to paper an exact copy of 
such a subject. Especially hard is it for the artist to avoid uncon- 
sciouslj- magnifying or toning down peculiaiities according to his own 
conceptions of what was originally intended, when, as is often the case, 
time and the elements have combined to render shape and outlines ob- 
scure. Archajologic treatises are full of warning lessons of this kind, 
and the interpretations given to ancient works of art by the erring pen- 
cil of the modern artist are responsible for many an ingenious theory 
which the original would never have suggested. It may well be that 
future investigations will show that the one peculiarity which distin- 
guishes the so called Elephant ilound from its fellows is really suscepti- 
ble of a much more commonplace explanation than has hitherto been 
given it. 

Even if such explanation be not forthcoming, the "Elejjhaut Mound" 
of Wisconsin should be supplemented by a very considerable amount of 
corroborative testimony before being accepted as proof jiositive of the 
acquaintance of the Mound-Builders with the mastodon. 

As regards likeness to the mastodon, the pipes before alluded to, 
copies of which as given in Barber's articles on IMound Pipes in Amer- 
ican Naturalist for April, 1SS2, Figs. 17 and 18, are here presented, while 
not entirely above criticism, are much nearer what they have been sup- 
posed to be than the mound just mentioned. 

Fig. 28.— Elephant Pipe. Iowa 

Of the two, flgnre 29 is certainly the most natural in appearance, but, 
if the pipes are intentional imitations of any animal, neither can be re- 
garded as having been intended for any other than the mastodon. Yet, 
as i)ointed out by Barber and others, it is certainly surprising that if 
intended for mastodons no attempt was made to indicate the tusks, which 
with the trunk constitute the most marked external peculiarities of all 
the elephant kind. The tusks, too, as affording that most important jiro- 
duct in primitive industries, ivory, would naturally be the one ])eculiarity 
of all others which the ancient artist would have relied upon to fix the 


identity of the animal. It is also remarkable that in neither of these 
pipes is the tail indicated, although a glance at the other sculptures 
will show that in the full-length figures this member is invariably 

Fig. 29 —Elephant Pipe, Iowa. 

shown. In respect to these omissions, the pipes from Iowa are strik- 
ingly suggestive of the Elephant JNIound of Wisconsin, with the pecu- 
liarities of which the sculptor, whether ancient or modern, might almost 
be supposed to have been acquainted. It certainly must be looked 
upon as a curious coincidence that carvings found at a point so remote 
from the Elephant Mound, and presumably the work of other hands, 
should so closely copy the imperfections of that mound. 

In considering the evidence atibrded by these pipes of a knowledge 
of the mastodon on the part of the Mound-Builders, it should be borne 
in mind that their authenticity as specimens of the Mound-Builders' art 
Las been called seriously in question. Possibly the fact that the same 
person was instrumental in bringing to light both the pipes has had 
largely to do with the suspicion, especially when it was remembered 
that although explorers have been remarkably active in the same re- 
gion, it has fallen to the good fortune of no one else to find anything 
conveying the most distant suggestion of the mastodon. As the man- 
ner of discovery of such relics always forms an important jmrt of their 
history, the following account of the pipes as communicated to Mr. 
Barber by Mr. W. H. Pratt, i)resident of the Davenjjort Academy 
(American Naturalist for April, 1882, pp. 275, 270), is here subjoined: 

The first elephant pipe, which we obtaiued (Fig. 17) a little more thau a year ago. 
was found some .six years before by an illiterate German farmer named Peter Mare, while 
planting corn on a farm in the mound region, Louisa County, Iowa. He did not care 
whether it was elephant or kangaroo; to him it was a curious 'Indian stone,' and 
nothing more, and he kept it and smoked it. In 1878 he removed to Kansas, and 
when he left he gave the pipe to his brother-in-law, a farm laborer, who also smoked 
it. Mr. Gass happened to hear of it, as he is always iuqniriiig- about such things, 
hunted up the man and borrowed the pipe to take jihotographs and casts from it. 
He could not buy it. The man -said his brother-in-law gave it to him and as it was a 
curious thing — he wanted to keep it. We were, however, unfortunate, or fortunate, 


enough to break it ; that spoiled it for him and that was his chance to make some 
money out of it. He could have claimed any amount, and we would, as in duty 
bound, have raised it for him. but he was satisfied with three or four dollars. Dur. 
ing thejirst week in April, this month, Rev. Ad. Blumer, another German Lutheran 
minister, now of Genesee, Illinois, having formerly resided in Louisa County, went 
down there in company with Mr. Gass to open a few mounds, Mr. Blumer being well 
acquainted there. They carefully explored ten of them, and found nothing but ashes 
and decayed boiies in any, except one. In that one was a layer of red, hard-burned 
clay, about five feet across and thirteen inches in thickness at the center, which 
rested upon a bed of ashes one foot in depth in the middle, the ashes resting upon the 
natural undisturbed clay. In the ashes, near the bottom of the layer, they found a part 
of a broken carved stone pipe, representing some bird ; a very small beautifully- 
formed copper 'axe,' and this last elephant pipe (Fig. 18). This pipe was first discov- 
ered by Mr. Blumer, and by him, at our earnest solicitation, turned over to the 

It will be seen from the above that the same gentleman was instru- 
mental in bringing to light the two specimens constituting the present 
supply of elephant pipes. 

The remarkable archseologic instinct which has guided the tinder of 
these pipes has led him to even more important discoveries. By the 
aid of his divining rod he has succeeded in unearthing some of the most 
remarkable inscribed tablets which have thus far rewarded the diligent 
search of the mound explorer. It is not necessary to speak in detail of 
these here, or of the various theories to which they have given rise and 
support, including that of phonetic writing, further than to call atten- 
tion to the fact that by a curious coincidence one of the tablets contains, * 
among a number of familiar animals, figures which suggest in a rude 
way the mastodon again, which animal indeed some archaeologists have 
confidently asserted them to be. The resemblance they bear to that 
animal is, however, by no means as close as exhibited by the pipe carv- 
ings ; they are therefore not reproduced here. Both figures differ from 
the pipes in having tails ; both lack trunks, and also tusks. 

Archaeologists must certainly deem it unfortunate that outside of the 
Wisconsin mound the only evidence of the co-existence of the Mound- 
Builder and the mastodon should reach the scientific world through the 
agency of one individual. So derived, each succeeding carving of the 
mastodon, be it more or less accurate, instead of being accepted by 
archaeologists as cumulative evidence tending to establish the genuine- 
ness of the sculptured testimony showing that the Mound-Builder and 
mastodon were coeval, will be viewed with ever increasing suspicion. 

This part of the subject should not be concluded without allusion to 
a certain class of evidence, which, although of a negative sort, must be 
accorded very great weight in considering this much vexed question. 
It may be asked why, if the Mound-Builders and the mastodon were 
contemporaneous, have no traces of the ivory tusks ever been exhumed 
from the mounds ? No material is so perfectly adapted for the purposes 
of carving, an art to which we have seen the Mound-Builders were much 
addicted, as ivory, both from its beauty and the ease with which it is 


worked, to say nothing of the other manifold uses to which it is put, 
both by primitive and civilized man. The mastodon affords an abun- 
dant supply of this highly prized substance, not a particle of which 
has ever been exhumed from the mounds either in the shape of imple- 
ments or carving. Yet the exceedingly close texture of ivory enables 
it to successfully resist the destroying influences of time for very long 
periods — very long indeed as compared with certain articles which com- 
monly reward the search of the mound explorer. 

Among the articles of a perishable nature that have been exhumed 
from the mounds are large numbers of shell ornaments, which are by 
no means very durable, as well as the perforated teeth of various animals; 
sections of deers' horns have also been found, as well as ornaments made 
of the claws of animals, a still more perishable material. The list also in- 
cludes the bones of the muskrat and turtle, as of other animals, not only 
in their natural shape, but carved into the form of implements of small 
size, as awls, etc. Human bones, too, in abundance, have been exhumed 
in a sufficiently well preserved state to aflbrd a basis for various theo- 
ries and speculations. 

But of the mastodon, with which these dead Mound-Builders are sup- 
posed to have been acquainted, not a palpable trace remains. The tale 
of its existence is told by a single mound in Wisconsin, which the most 
ardent supporter of the mastodon theory must acknowledge to be far 
from a fac simile, and two carvings and an inscribed tablet, the three 
latter the finds of a single explorer. 

Bearing in mind the many attempts at archseological frauds that re- 
cent years have brought to light, archaeologists have a right to demand 
that objects which afford a basis for such important deductions as the 
coeval life of the Mound-Builder and the mastodon, should be above 
the slightest suspicion not only in respect to their resemblances, but as 
regards the circumstances of discovery. If they are not above sus- 
picion, the science of archaeology can better afford to wait for further 
and more certain evidence than to commit itself to theories which may 
prove stumbling-blocks to truth until that indefinite time when future 
investigations shall show their illusory nature. 

THE "alligator" MOUND. 

Although of much less importance than the mastodon, a word may 
be added as to the so-called alligator mound, more especially because 
the alligator, owing to its southern habitat, is not likely to have been 
known to the Mound-Builders of Ohio. That it may have been known 
to them either through travel or hearsay is of course possible. A copy 
of the mound from the "Ancient Monuments" is subjoined. 

The alligator mound was described under this name for no other reason 




than because it was known in the viciii ity as such, this designation having 
been adopted by Squier and Davis, as they frankly say, "for want of 
a better," addiug" although the figure bears as close a resemblance to 
the lizard as any other reptile." (Ancient Monuments, p. 90.) 

In truth it bears a superiicial likeness to almost any long-tailed ani- 
mal which has the power of curling its tail — which the alligator has not — 
as, for instance, the opossum. It is, however, the merest guess-work to 
attempt to confine its resemblances to any particular animal. Never- 
theless recent writers have described this as the " alligator mound" 
without suggesting a word of doubt as to its want of positive resem- 
blance to that saurian. 





The conclusion reached in the foregoing pages that the animal sculp- 
tures are not "exactand faithful copies from nature," but are imitations 
of a general rather than of a special character, such as comport better with 
the state of art as developed among certain of the Indian tribes than 
among a people that has achieved any notable advance in culture is im- 
portant not only in its bearing on the questions previously noticed in 
this paper, but in its relation to another and higbly interesting class of 

If a large proportion of the animal carvings are so lacking in artis- 
tic accuracy as to make it possible to identify positively only the few 
possessing the most strongly marked characters, how much faith is to 
be placed in the ability of the Mound sculptor to fix in stone the features 
and expressions of the human countenance, infinitely more difiicult sub- 
ject for portrayal as this confessedly is? 

That Wilson regards the human sculptures as affording a basis for 

sound ethnological deductions is evident from the following paragraph, 

taken from Prehistoric Man, vol. 1, p. 461 : 

Alike from the minutB accuracy of mauy of the sculptures of animals, hereafter 
referred to, and from the correspondence to well known features of the modern Red 
Indian suggested by some of the human heads, these miuature portraits may be as- 
sumed, with every probability, to include faithful representations of the predominant 
physical features of the ancient people by whom they were executed. 

Short, too, accepting the jjopular idea that they are faithful and rec- 
ognizable copies from nature, remarks in the North Americans of An- 
tiquity, p. 98, ibid., p. 187: 

There is no reason for believing that the people who wrought stone and clay into 
perfect efiBgies of animals have not left us sculptures of their own faces in the images 
exhumed from the mouuds;" and again, "The perfection of the animal representa- 
tions furnish us the assurauce that their sculptures of the human face were equally 
true to nature. 

Squier and Davis also appear to have had no doubt whatever of the 
capabilities of the Mound Builders in thedirection of human portraiture. 
They are not only able to discern in the sculptured heads niceties of ex- 
pression sufficient for the discrimination of the sexes, but, as well, to 
enable them to point out such as are undoubtedly ancient and the work 
of the Mound-Builders, and those of a more recent origin, the product 
of the present Indians. Their main criterion of origin is, apparently, 
that all of fine execution and finish were the work of the Mound scul])- 
tors, and those roughly done and "immeasurably inferior to the relics of 
the mounds," to use their own words, were the handicraft of the tribes 
found in the country by the whites. Conclusions so derived, it may 
strike some, are open to criticism, however well suited they may be to 
meet the necessities of preconceived theories. 

After discussing in detail the methods of arranging the hair, the 
paint lines, and tattooing, the features of the human carvings, Squier 


and Davis arrive at the conclusion that the "physiological character- 
istics of ihese heads do not differ essentially from those of the great 
American family." 

Of later writers some agree with Squier and Davis in believing the 
type illustrated by these heads to be Indian; others agiee rather with 
Wilson, who dissents from the view expressed by Squier and Davis, and, 
in conformity with the predilections visible throughout his work, is of 
the opinion that the Mound-Builders were of a distinct type from the 
North American Indian, and that "the majority of sculptured human 
heads hitherto recovered from tlieir ancient depositories do not repro- 
duce the Indian features." (Wilson's Prehistoric Man, vol. 1, p. 409.) 
Again, Wilson says that the diversity of type found among the human 
sculptures "proves that the Mound-Builders were familiar with the 
American Indian type, but nothing more." — Ibid, p. 4G0. 

The varying type of physiognomy represented by these heads would 
better indicate that their resemblances are the result of accident rather 
than of intention. For the same reason that the sculptured animals of 
the same species display great differences of form and expression, ac- 
cording to the varying skill of the sculptors or the uuexacting demands 
made by a rude condition of art, so the diversified character of the hu- 
man faces is to be ascribed, not to the successful perpetuation in stone 
by a master hand of individual features, but simply to a want of skill 
on the part of the sculptor. The evidence afforded by the animal sculpt- 
ures all tends to the conclusion that exact individual portraiture would 
have been impossible to the mound sculptor had the state of culture he 
lived in demanded it; the latter is altogether improbable. A glance at 
the above quotations will show that it is the assumed fidelity to nature 
of the animal carvings and their fine execution which has been relied 
upon in support of a similar claim for the human sculptures. As this 
claim is seen to have but slight basis in fact the main argument for 
asserting the human sculptures to be faithful representations of phys- 
ical features, and to embody exact racial characters falls to the ground, 
and it must be admitted as in the last degree improbable that the art of 
the mound sculptor was adequate for the task of accurate human por- 
traiture. To base important ethnologic deductions upon the evidence 
afforded by the human sculptures in the present state of our knowledge 
concerning them would seem to be utterly unscientific and misleading. 
11 E 



Copies of several of the beads as they appear in "Ancieut Monu- 
meuts" (pp. 24i-247) are here subjoined to show the various types of 
physiognomy illustrated by them : 

Flo. 31. 

Fig. 32. 

Fig. 33. 
Human Carvings from the Mounds. 




Fig. 34. 

Flo. 35. 

Human Carvings from the Mounds. 

Conld the many other stone and terra-cotta sculptures of the human 
face which have beeu ascribed to tlie Mound-Builders be reproduced here 
it would be seen that the specimens illustrated above are among the ^ery 
best. In not a few, traces of the grotesque are distinctly visible, and 
there is little in their appearance to suggest that they had a different 
origin or contain a deeper meaning than similar productions found 
among present Indians. As each of the many carvings differ more or 
less from every other, it will at once be perceived that the advocates of 
different theories can I'eadily find in the series abundant testimony in 
support of any and all assumptions they may choose to advance. 


Turning from special illustrations of the artistic skill of the Mound- 
Builders, brief attention may be paid to their art in its more general 
features, and as compared with art as found among our Indian tribes. 

Among some of the latter the artistic instinct, while deriving its 
characteristic features, as among the Mound-Builders, from animated 
natiu'e, exhibits a decided tendency towards the production of conven- 
tional forms, and often finds expression in creations of the most grotesque 
and imaginative character. 

While this is true of some tribes it is by no means true of all, nor is 
it true of all the art products of even those tribes most given to con- 
ventional art. But even were it true in its broadest terms, it is more 
than doubtful if the significance of the fact has not been greatly over- 
estimated. Some authors indeed seem to discern in the introduction of 
the grotesque element and the substitution of conventional designs of 
animals for a more natural i)ortrayal, a difierence sufficient to mark, 
not distinct eras of art culture merely, but different races with very 
diflerent modes of art expression. 

To trace the origin of art among primitive peoples, and to note the 
successive steps by which decorative art grew from its probable origin 
in the readily recognized adornments of nature and in the mere " acci- 
dents of manufacture," as they have been termed, would be not only 
interesting but highly instructive. Such a study should aftbrd us a 
clew to the origin and significance of conventional as contrasted with 
imitative art. 

The natural process of the evolution of art would seem to be from 
the purely imitative to the conventional, the tendency being for artistic 
expression of a partiallj- or wholly imaginative character to supplant 
or supplement the imitative form only in obedience to external influ- 
ences, especiallj' those of a religious or superstitious kind. In this con- 
nection it is interesting to note that even among tribes of the Northwest, 
the naidahs, for instance, whose carvings or paintings of birds and 
animals are almost invariably treated in a manner so highly conven- 
tional or are so distorted and caricatured as to be nearly or quite 
unrecognizable, it is still some natural object, as a well known bird or 
animal, that underlies and gives primary shape to the design. How- 
ever highly conventionalized or grotesque in appearance such artistic 
productions may be, evidences of an underlying imitative design may 
always be detected ; proof, seemingly, that the conventional is a later 
stage of art superimposed upon the more natural by the requirements of 
mythologic fancies. 

As it is with any particular example of savage artistic fancy, so is it 
with the art of certain tribes as a whole. Nor does it seem possible 


that the growth of the religious or mythologic sentiment has so far pre- 
ceded or outgrown the development of art as to have had from the first 
a dominating influence over it, and that the art of such tribes as most 
strongly show its effect has never had what may be termed its natural 
phase of develo]iment, but has reached the conventional stage without 
having passed through the intermediate imitative era. 

It is more natural to suppose, so far, at least as the North American 
Indians are concerned, that the road to conventionalism has always led 
through imitation. 

The argument, therefore, that because a tribe or people is less given 
than another to conventional methods of art, it therefore must neces- 
sarily be in a higher stage of culture, is entitled to much less weight 
than it has sometimes received. Squier and Davis, for instance, refer- 
ring to the Mound-Builders, state that " many of these (». e., sculptures) 
exhibit a close observance of nature such as we could only expect to 
find among a people considerably advanced in the minor arts, and to 
which the elaborate and laborious, but usually clumsy and ungraceful, 
not to say unmeaning, productions of the savage can claim but a slight 

It is clearly not the intention of the above authors to claim an en- 
tire absence of the grotesque method of treatment in specimens of the 
Mound-Builder's art, since elsewhere they call attention to what appears 
to be a caricature of the human face, as well as to the disproportionate 
size of the heads of many of the animal carvings. Not only are the 
heads of many of the carvings of disproijortionate size, which, in in- 
stances has the effect of actual distortion, but in not a few of the sculp- 
tures nature, instead of being copied,hasbeen trifled with and birds and 
animals show peculiarities unknown to science and which go far to prove 
that the Mound-Builders, however else endowed, possessed lively imag- 
inations and no little creative fancj% 

Decided traces of conventionalism also are to be found in many of 
the animal carvings, and the method of indicating the wings and feath- 
ers of birds, the scales of the serpent, &c., are almost precisely what is 
to be observed in modern Indian productions of a similar kind. 

Few and faint as are these tendencies towards caricaturing and con- 
ventionalizing as compared with what may be noted in the artistic pro- 
ductions of the Haidahs, Chinooks, and other tribes of the Northwest, they 
are yet sufficient to show that in these particulars no hard and t\istline 
can be drawn between the art of the Indian and of the Mound-Builder. 

As showing how narrow is the line that separates the conventional 
and imitative methods of art, it is of interest to note that among 
the Esquimaux the two stages of art are found flourishing side by 
side. In their curious masks, carved into forms the most quaint and 
grotesque, and in many of their carvings of animals, partaking as they 
do of a half human, half animal character, we have abundant e\'idence 
of what authors have characterized as savage taste in sculpture. But 


the same tribes execute carvings of animals, as seals, sea-lions, whales, 
bears, «S;c., which, though geuerally wanting in the careful modeling 
necessary to constitute fine sculiiture, and for absolute specific resem- 
blance, are generally recognizable likenesses. Now and then indeed is 
to be found a carving which is noteworthy for spirited execution and 
faithful modeling. The best of them are far superior to the best exe- 
cuted carvings from the mounds, and are much worthier objects for com- 
parison with modern artistic work. 

As deducible from the above premises it may be observed that, while 
the state of art among primitive peoples as exemplified by their artistic 
productions may be a useful index in determining their relative posi- 
tion in the scale of i^rogress, uuless used with caution and in connec- 
tion with other and more reliable standards of measurement it will 
lead to very erroneous conclusions. If, for instance, skill and inge- 
nuity in the art of carving and etching be accepted as affording a 
proper idea of a people's progress in general culture, the Esquimaux 
of Alaska should be i>laced in the front rank of American tribes, a 
position needless to say which cannot be accorded them from more gen- 
eral considerations. On the other hand, while the evidences of artistic 
skill left by the Iroquoian tribes are in no way comparable to the work 
produced by the Esquimaux, yet the former have usually been assigned 
a very advanced position as compared with other American tribes. 


The more important conclusions reached in the foregoing paper may 
be briefly summed up as follows: 

That of the carvings from the mounds which can be identified there 
are no representations of birds or animals not indigenous to the Missis- 
sippi Valley. 

And consequently that the theories of origin for the Mound Builders 
suggested by the presence in the mounds of carvings of supposed for- 
eign animals are without basis. 

Second. That a large majority of the carvings, instead of being, as 
assumed, exact likenesses from nature, possess in reality only the most 
general resemblance to the birds and animals of the region which they 
were doubtless intended to represent. 

Third. That there is no reason for believing that the masks and sculpt- 
ures of human faces are more correct likenesses than are the animal 

Fourth. That the state of art-culture reached by the Mound Builders, 
as illustrated by their carvings, has been greatly overestimated. 







Platk XVI.— Objects in silrer , 172 

XVII. — Navajo workshop 175 

XVIII. — Crucible, and Sandstone molds for shaping silver objects 175 

XIX. — Objects in silver 177 

XX. — Navajo Indian with silver ornaments 178 



By WASHnsTGTON Matthews. 

Among the Navajo Indians there are many smiths, who sometimes 
forge iron and brass, but who work chiefly in silver. When and how 
the art of working metals was introduced among them I have not been 
able to determine; but there are many reasons for siipi)0sing that they 
have long possessed it; many believe that they are not indebted to the 
Europeans for it. Doubtless the tools obtained from American and 
Mexican traders have influenced their art. Old white residents of the 
Navajo country tell me that the art has improved greatly within their 
recollection; that the ornaments made fifteen years ago do not compare 
favorably with those made at the present time; and they attiibiite this 
change largely to the recent introduction of fine files and emery-|iaper. 
At the time of the Goncjuest the so-called civilized tribes of Mexico had 
attained considerable skill in the working of metal, and it has been 
inferred that in the same period the sedentary tribes of New Mexico 
also wrought at the forge. From either of these sources the first smiths 
among the Navajos may have learned their trade ; but those who have 
seen the beautiful gold ornaments made by the rude Indians of British 
Columbia and Alaska, many of whom are allied in language to the 
Navajos, may doubt that the latter derived their art from a people 
higher in culture than themselves. 

The appliances and ijrocesscs of the smith are much the same among 
the Navajos as among the Pueblo Indians. But the Pueblo artisan, 
living in a spacious house, builds a permanent forge on a frame at such 
a height that he can work standing, while his less fortunate Navajo 
confrere, dwelling in a low hut or shelter, which he may abandon any 
day, constructs a temporary forge on the ground in the manner liere- 
after described. Notwithstanding the greater disadvantages under 
which the latter labors, the ornaments made by his hand are generally 
conceded to be equal or even superior to those made by the Pueblo 

A large majority of these savage smiths make onlj- such simple arti- 
cles as buttons, rosettes, and bracelets; those who make the more 
elaborate articles, such as powder-chargers, round beads (PI. XVI), 
tobacco cases, belts, and bridle ornaments are few. Tobacco cases, 
made in the shape of an army canteen, such as that represented in 



Fig. G, are made by only three or four men in the tribe, and the design 
is of very recent origin. 

Their tools and materials are few and simple ; and rude as the results 
of their labor may appear, it is surprising that they do so well with such 
imperfect appliances, which usually consist of the following articles : A 
forge, a bellows, an anvil, crucibles, molds, tongs, scissors, pliers, files, 
awls, cold-chisels, matrix and die for molding buttons, wooden imple- 
ment used in grinding buttons, wooden stake, basin, charcoal, tools and 
materials for soldering (blow-pipe, braid of cotton rags soaked in grease, 
wire, and borax), materials for polishing (sandpaper, emery-paper, 
powdered sandstone, sand, ashes, and solid stone), and materials for 
whitening (a native mineral substance — almogen — saltaud water). Fig. 
1, taken from a photograph, represents the complete shop of a silver- 
smith, which was set up temporarily in a summer lodge or hogan, near 
Fort Wiiigate. Fragments of boards, picked up around the fort, were 
used, in part, in the construction of the hogan, an old raisin-box was 
made to serve as the curb or frame of the forge, and these things de- 
tracted somewhat from the aboriginal aspect of the place. 

A forge built in an outhouse on my own premises by an Indian silver- 
smith, whom I em[)loyed to work where I could constantly observe him, 
was twenty-three inches long, sixteen inches broad, five inches in height 
to the edge of the fire-place, and the latter, which was bowl-shaped, was 
eight inches in diameter and three inches deep. No other Navajo forge 
that I have seen differed materially in size or shape from this. The In- 
dian thus constructed it : In the first place, he obtained a few straight 
sticks — four would have sufficed — and laid them on the ground to form 
a frame or curb ; then he prepared some mud, with which he tilled the 
frame, and which he piled up two inches above the latter, leaving the 
depression for the fire-place. Before the structure of mud was com- 
pleted he laid in it the wooden nozzle of the bellows, where it was 
to remain, with one end about six inches from the fire-place, and the 
other end projecting about the same distance beyond the frame; then 
he stuck into the nozzle a round piece of wood, which reached from the 
nozzle to the fire-place, and when the mud work was finished the stick 
was withdrawn, leaving an uninflammable tweer. When the structure 
of mud was completed a flat rock about four inches thick was laid on 
at the head of the forge — the end next to the bellows — to form a back 
to the fire, and lastly the bellows was tied on to the nozzle, which, as 
mentioned above, was built into the forge, with a portion projecting to 
receive the bellows. The task of constructing this forge did not occupy 
more than an hour. 

A bellows, of the kind most commonly used, consists of a tube or 
bag of goatskin, about twelve inches in length and about ten inches in 
diameter, tied at one end to its nozzle and nailed at the other to a cir- 
cular disk of wood, in which is the valve. This disk has two arms : 
one above for a iiandle and the other below for a support. Two or more 






rings or hoops of wood are placed in the skin-tube to keep it distended, 
while the tube is constricted between the hoops with buckskin thongs, 
and thus divided into a uupiber of compartments, as shown in PI. XVII. 
The nozzle is made of four pieces of wood tied together and rounded 
on the outside so as to form a cylinder about ten inches long and three 
inches in diameter, with a quadrangular hole in the center about one 
inch square. The bellows is worked by horizontal movements of the 
arm. I have seen among the Navajos one double-chambered bellows 
with a sheet-iron tweer. This bellows was about the same size as the 
single chambered oue described above. It was also moved horizontally, 
and by means of an iron rod i)assiug from one end to the other and at- 
tached to the disks, oue chamber was opened at the same time that the 
other was closed, and >vi£e versa. This gave a more constant current of 
air than the single-chambered implement, but not as steady a blast as 
the bellows of our blacksmiths. Such a bellows, too, I have seen in 
the Pueblo of Zufii. 

For an anvil they usually use any suitable piece of iron they may 
happen to pick up, as tor instance an old wedge or a large bolt, such as 
the king-bolt of a wagon. A wedge or other large fragment of iron may 
be stuck in the ground to steady it. A bolt is maintained in iiosition 
by being driven into a log. Hard stones are still sometimes used for 
anvils and perhaps they were, at one time, the only anvils they pos- 

Crucibles are made by the more careful smiths of clay, baked hard, 
and they are nearly the same shape as those used by our metallurgists, 
having three-cornered edges and rounded bottoms. They are usually 
about two inches in every dimension. 

Fig. 1, PI. XVIII represents one of ordinary shape and size, which I 
have in my collection. The Navajos are not good potters ; their earthen- 
ware being limited to these crucibles and a few unornamented water- 
jars; and it is ijrobably in consequence of their inexperience in the 
ceramic art that their crucibles are not durable. After being put in the 
fire two or three times they swell and become very porous, and when 
used for a longer time they often crack and fall to pieces. Some smiths, 
instead of making crucibles, melt their metal in suitable fragments of 
Pueblo pottery, which may be picked up around ruins in many localities 
throughout the Xavajo couutry or i)urchased from the Pueblo Indians. 

The moulds in which they cast their ingots, cut in soft sandstone with 
a home-made chisel, are so easily formed thht the smith leaves them 
behind when he moves his residence'; Each mould is cut apjiroximately 
in the shape of the article which is to be wrought out of the ingot cast 
in it, and it is greased withsuet before the metal is poured in. In Figs. 
2 and 3, PL XVIII, are represented pieces of sand-stone, graven for 
molds, now in my possession. The figures are one-third the dimensions 
of the subjects. In the middle cavity or mould shown in Fig. 2, PI. 
XVIII, was cast the ingot from which was wrought the arrow-shaped 


baudle of the powder-charger shown in PI. XIX ; in the lower cavity 
depicted in the same figure was moulded the piece from which the bowl 
of this charger was formed. The circular depression, delineated in the 
lower right corner of Fig. 3, PI. XVIII, gave form to tho ingot from 
which the sides of the canteen-shaped tobacco-case (Fig. G) was made. 

Tongsare often made by the Navajo silversmiths. One of these which 
I saw had a U-shaped spring joint, and the ends were bent at right 
angles downwards, so as more efl'ectually to grasp the Hat-sided cruci- 
ble. Often nippers or scissors are used as tongs. 

Ordinary scissors, purchased from the whites, are used for cutting 
their metal after it is wrought into thin plates. The metal saw and 
metal shears do not seem as yet to have been imported for their benefit. 
Some of the more poorly provided smiths use their scissors also for 
tongs, regardless or ignorant of consequences, and when the shears lose 
their temper and become loose-jointed and blunt, the efforts of the In- 
dian to cut a rather thick plate of silver are curious to see. Often, then, 
one or two bystanders are called to hold the pkite in a horizontal 
I^osition, and perhaps another will be asked to hold the points of the 
scissors to keep them from spreading. Scissors are sometimes used as 
dividers, by being spread to the desired distance and held in position 
by being grasped in the hand. By this means I have seen them attempt 
to find centers, but not to describe circles. It is probable that had they 
trusted to the eye they might have found their centers as well. 

Their iron jiliers, hammers, and files they purchase from the whites. 
Pliers, both flat-i^ointed and round-pointed, are used as with us. Of 
files they usually employ only small sizes, and the varieties they prefer 
are the flat, triangular, and rat-tail. Files are used not only for their 
legitimate purposes, as with us, but the shanks serve for punches and 
the points for gravers, with which figures are engraved on silver. 

The Indians usually make their own cold-chisels. These are not used 
where the scissors and file can be conveniently and economically em- 
ployed. The re-entrant rectangles on the bracelet represented in Fig. 
4, PI. XIX, were cut -with a cold-chisel and finished with a tile. 

Awls are used to mark figures on the silver. Often they cut out of 
paper a pattern, which they lay on the silver, tracing the outline with 
an awl. These tools are sometimes purchased and sometimes made by 
the Indians. I have seen one made from a broken knife which had 
been picked up around the fort. The blade had been ground down to a 

Metallic hemispheres for beads and buttons are made in a concave 
matrix by means of a round-pointed bolt which I will call a die. These 
tools are always made by the Indians. On one bar of iron there may 
be many matrices of different sizes; only one die fitting the smallest 
concavity, is required to work the metal in all. In the picture of the 
smithy (PI. XVII, in the right lower corner beside the tin-plate), a piece 
of an old horse-shoe may be seen in w'hich a few matrices have been 
worked, and, beside it, the die used in connection with the matrices. 





A little instrument employed in levelling the edges of the metallic 
hemispheres, is rude but etiective. In one end of a cylinder of wood, 
about three or four inches long, is cut a small roundish cavity of such 
a size that it will hold the hemisphere tightly, but allow the uneven 
edges to project. The hemisi^here is placed in this, and then rubbed on 
a flat piece of sandstone until the edges are worn level with the base of 
the wooden cylinder. The uses of the basin and the wooden stake are 
described further on. 

Their method of preparing charcoal is much more expeditious than 
that usually employed by our charcoal-burners, but more wasteful ; 
wood, however, need not yet be economized on the juniper-covered 
mesas of New Mexico. They build a large fire of dry juniper, and 
when it has ceased to flame and is reduced to a mass of glowing coals, 
they smother it well with earth and leave it to cool. If the fire is 
kindled at sunset, the charcoal is ready for use next morning. 

The smith makes his own blow-pipe, out of brass, usually by beating 
a piece of thick brass wire into a flat strip, and then bending this into 
a tube. The pipe is about a foot long, slightly tapering and curved at 
one end ; there is no arrangement for retaining the moisture proceeding 
from the mouth. These Indians do not understand our method of 
making an air chamber of the mouth ; they blow with undistended 
cheeks, hence the current of air directed on the flame is intermitting. 
The flame used in soldering with the blow-pipe is derived from a thick 
braid of cotton rags soaked in mutton suet or other grease. Their 
borax is purchased from the whites, and from the same source is derived 
the fine wire with which they bind together the parts to be soldered. I 
have been told by reliable persons that it is not many years since the 
Navajos employed a flux mined by themselves in their own country ; 
but, finding the pure borax introduced by the traders to be much better, 
they gradually abandoned the use of the former substance. 

For polishing, they have sand-paper and emery-i)aper purchased from 
the whites ; but as these are expensive, they are usually required only 
for the finishing touches, the first part of the work being done with 
powdered sandstone, sand, or ashes, all of which are used with or with- 
out water. At certain stages in the progress of the work, some articles 
are rubbed on a piece of sandstone to reduce the surfaces to smooth- 
ness; but the stone, in this instance, is morcjx substitute for the file 
than for the sandpaper. Perhaps I should say that the file is a sub- 
stitute for the stone, for there is little doubt that stone, sand, and ashes 
preceded file and paper in the shop of the Indian smith. 

For blanching the silver, when the forging is done, they use a min- 
eral substance found in various parts of their country, which, I am in- 
formed by Mr. Taylor, of the Smithsonian Institution, is a "hydrous 
sulphate of alumina," called almogen. This they dissolve in water, in 
a metal basin, with the addition, sometimes, of salt. The silver, being 
first slightly heated in the forge, is boiled in this solution and in a short 
time becomes very white. 


The processes of the Navajo silversmith may be best uuderstood from 
descrii)tions of the ways iu which he makes some of his silver orna- 
ment. -I once engaged two of the best workmen in the tribe to come to 
Fort Wingate and work under my observation for a week. They put up 
their forge iu a small outbuilding at night, and early uext morning they 
were at work. Their labor was almost all jierformed while they were 
sitting or crouching on the ground in very constrained positions ; yet 
I never saw men who worked harder or more steadily. They often la- 
bored from twelve to fiiteen hours a day, eating their meals with dis- 
patch and returning to their toil the moment they had done. Occasion- 
ally they stopped to roll a cigarette or consult about their work, but 
they lost very few moments in this way. They worked by the job and 
their prices were such that they earned about two dollars a day each. 

The first thing they made was a powder charger with a handle in the 
shape of a dart (Fig. 2, PI. XIX). Having cut in sandstone rock (Fig. 2, 
PI. XVIII) the necessary grooves for molds and greased the same, they 
melted two Mexican dollars — one for the bowl or receptacle, and one 
for the handle — and poured each one into its appropriate mold. Then 
each smith went to work on a separate part ; but they helped one an- 
other when necessary. The ingot cast for the receptacle was beaten into 
a plate (triangular in shape, with obtuse corners), of a size which the 
smith guessed would be large enough for his purpose. Before the pro- 
cess of bending was quite comjileted the margins that were to form the 
seam were straightened by clipping and filing so as to assume a pretty 
accurate contact, and when the bending was done, a small gap still 
left in the seam was filled with a shred of silver beaten in. The cone, 
at this stage, being indented and irregular, the workman thrust into it 
a conical stake or mandrel, which he had formed carefully out of hard 
wood, and with gentle taps of the hammer soon made the cone even 
and shapely. Next, withdrawing the stake, he laid on the seam a mix- 
ture of borax and minute clippings of silver moistened with saliva, put 
the article into the fire, seam uj), blew with the bellows until the sil- 
ver was at a dull red-heat, and then applied the blow-pipe and flame 
until the soldering was completed. In the meantime the other smith 
had, with hammer and file, wrought the handle until it was sufficiently 
formed to be joined to the receptacle, the base of the handle being 
filed down for a length of about a quarter of an inch so that it would 
fit tightly into the orifice at the apex of the receptacle. The two parts 
were then adjusted and bound firmly together with a fine wire passing 
in various directions, over the base of the cone, across the protuber- 
ances on the dart-shaped handle, and around both. This done, the parts 
were soldered together in the manner alreadj' described, the ring by 
which it is suspended was fastened on, the edge of the receptacle was 
clipped and filed, and the whole was brought into good shape with file, 
sand, emery-paper, &c. 

The chasing was the next process. To make the round indentations on 



the handle, one smith held the article on the anvil while the other ap- 
plied the point of the shank of a file — previously rounded— and struck 
the file with a hammer. The other figures were made with the sharp- 
ened point of a file, jiushed forward with a zigzag motion of the hand. 
When the chasing was done the silver was blanched by the process be- 
fore referred to, being occasionally taken from the boiling solution of 
almogen to be rubbed with ashes and sand. For about five hours both 
of the smiths worked together on this powder-charger; subsequently, for 
about three hours' more, there was only one man engaged on it ; so that, 
in all, thirteen hours labor was spent in constructing it. Of this time, 
about ten hours were consumed in forging, about one and one-half hours 
in filing and rubbing, and about the same time in ornamenting and 

In making the hollow silver beads they did not melt the silver, but 
beat out a Mexican dollar until it was of the proper tenuity — frequently 
annealing it in the forge as the work advanced. When the plate was 
ready they carefully described on it, with an awl, a figure (which, by 
courtesy, we will call a circle) that they conjectured would include a 
disk large enough to make half a bead of the required size. The disk 
was then cut out with scissors, trimmed, and used as a pattern to cut 
other circular pieces by. One of the smiths proceeded to cut out the 
rest of the planchets, while his partner formed them into hollow hemi- 
spheres with his matrix and die. He did not put them at once into the 
cavity from which they were to get their final shape, but first worked 
them a little in one or more larger cavities, so as to bring them gradually 
to the desired form. Next the hemispheres were leveled at the edges 
by a method already described, and subsequently perforated by holding 
them, convex surface downwards, on a jiiece of wood, and driving 
through them the shank of a file with blows of a hammer. By this 
means of boring, a neck was left projecting from the hole, which was 
not filed off until the soldering was done. The hemispheres were now 
strung or, I may say, spitted on a stout wire in pairs forming globes. 
The wire or spit referred to was bent at one end and supplied with a 
washer to keep the heads from slipping off, and all the pieces being 
pressed closely together were secured in position by many wraps of finer 
wire at the other end of the spit. The mixture of borax, saliva, and 
silver was next apijlied to the seams of all the beads ; they were put 
into the fire and all soldered at one operation. When taken from the 
fire they were finished by filing, i^olishing and blanching. 

These Indians are quite fertile in design. In PI. XIX are shown two 
powder-chargers, which I consider very graceful in form. I have seen 
many of these powder-chargers, all very graceful, but no two alike except 
in cases where duplicates had been specially ordered. Then- designs 
upon bracelets and rings are of great variety. Ornaments for bridles, 
consisting of broad bands of silver, suf3&cient in size and number to al- 
most entirely conceal the leather, are not particularly handsome, but 
12 E 


are greatly in demand among the Navajos and are extensively manu 
factured by them. Leather belts studded with large plates of silver 
are favorite articles of apparel, and often contain metal to the value of 
forty or fifty dollars. PI. XX represents an Indian wearing such a belt, 
in which only three of the plates are shown. Single and double crosses 
of silver are represented attached to his necklace. The cross is much 
worn by the Navajos, among whom, I understand, it is not intended to 
represent the " Cross of Christ," but is a symbol of the morning star. 
The lengthening of the lower limb, however, is probably copied from the 
usual form of the Christian emblem. These savage smiths also display 
much ingenuity in working from models and from drawings of objects 
entirely' new to them. 

They are very wasteful of material. They usually preserve the 
clippings and melt them in the crucible, or use them in soldering ; but 
they make no attempt to save the metal carried o& in filing, polishing, 
and by oxidizing in the forge, all of which is considerable. In one arti- 
cle of silver, for which, allowing for clippings saved, 83G grains were 
given to the smith, and the work on which I watched so closely through- 
out that I am certain none of the material was stolen, there was a loss 
of 120 grains, or over 14 per cent. 

The smiths whom I have seen working had no dividers, square, meas- 
ure, or any instrument of precision. As before stated, I have seen 
scissors used as compasses, but as a rule they find approximate centers 
with the eye, and cut all shapes and engrave all figures by the unaided 
guidance of this unreliable organ. Often they cut out their designs in 
paper first and from them mark off patternu on the metal. Even in the 
matter of cutting patterns they do not seem to know the simple device 
of doubling the paper in order to secure lateral uniformity. 

Here ends my description of the smithcraft of a rude but docile and 
progressive people. I trust that it may serve not only to illustrate 
some aspects of their mental condition, their inventive and imitative 
talents, but possibly to shed some light on the condition and diffusion 
of the art of the metalist in the prehistoric days of our continent, not- 
withstanding the fact that some elements of their craft are of recent in- 
troduction and others of doubtful origin. 










Introductory 185 

Implements and utensils 189 

Unworked ebells 181> 

Vessels 192 

Spoons 198 

Knives 201 

Celts 203 

Scrapers 205 

Agricultural implenieut s 207 

Fishing appliances 207 

Weapoua 210 

Tweezers 211 

Ornaments 213 

Pins 213 

Beads 210 

Perforated shells 219 

Discoidal beads 221 

Massive beads 223 

Tubular beads 22G 

Runtees 228 

Beads as ornaments 230 

Beads as currency 234 

Mnemonic use of beads 240 

Pendants 255 

Perforated plates 264 

Engraved gorgets 267 

The cross 268 

The scalloped disk 273 

The bird , 280 

The spider 280 

The serpent 289 

The human face 293 

The human figure 297 




Plate XXI. — Natural shells as vessels 192 

XXII. — Vessels artificially shaped 194 

XXIII. — Vessel with engraved surface 196 

XXIV.— Spoons 200 

XXV.— Celts 204 

XXVI. — Cutting and scraping implements 206 

XXVII. — Weapons, agricultural implements, etc 208 

XXVIII.— Fishing appliances 210 

XXIX. — Manufacture of pins and beads 214 

XXX. — Pins, Atlantic coast forms 216 

XXXI. — Pins, Pacific coast forms 218 

XXXII. — Beads, perforated shells 220 

XXXIII.— Beads, disco idal in form 222 

XXXIV. — Beads, massive in form 224 

XXXV. — Beads, tubular in form 226 

XXXVI.— Beads, "Runtees" 228 

XXXVII. — The wampum belt in treaties 240 

XXXVIII.— Wampum belts 242 

XXXIX.— Wampum belts 244 

XL. — Wampum belt 246 

XLI.— Wampum belt 248 

XLII.— Wampum belt 250 

XLIII.— The Penn belt 252 

XLIV. — Strings of wampum 254 

XLV. — Ancient pendant ornaments 256 

XL VI. — Plain pendants, Atlantic coast forms 258 

XLVU. — Plain pendants, Pacific coast forms 260 

XLVIII. — Plain pendants, Pacific coast forms 262 

XLIX. — Plain pendants, Pacific coast forms 264 

L. — Perforated plates 266 

LI. — Engraved gorgets, the cross 268 

LII. — Engraved gorgets, the cross 270 

LIII. — Engraved gorgets, the cross 272 

LIV. — Engraved gorgets, scalloped disks 274 

LV. — Engraved gorgets, scalloped disks 276 

LVI. — Engraved gorgets, scalloped disks 278 

LVIL— Scalloped disks, etc 280 

LVIII. — Engraved gorgets, the bird, etc 282 

LIX. — Engraved gorgets, the bird, etc 284 

LX. — Engraved gorgets, the bird 286 

LXI. — Engraved gorgets, the spider 288 

LXII. — Engraved gorgets, the rattlesnake 290 

LXIII. — Engraved gorgets, the rattlesnake 290 

LXIV. — Engraved gorgets, the rattlesnake 292 

LXA''. — Engraved gorgets, the rattlesnake 292 




Plate LXVI.— The serpent 292 

LXVII. — Engraved gorgets, the human face 294 

LXVIII. — Eugraved gorgets, the human face 294 

LXIX. — Engraved gorgets, the human face 296 

LXX. — Engraved gorgets, the human face 296 

LXXI. — Engraved gorgets, the human figure 298 

LXXII. — Engraved gorgets, the human figure 298 

LXX III. — Engraved gorgets, the human figure 300 

LXXIV. — Engraved gorgets, the human figure 300 

LXXV. — Engraved gorgets, the human figure 303 

LXXVI.— The human figure 302 

LXXVIL— Sculptured frogs 304 


By William H. Holmes. 


The student ■will find scattered throughout a wide range of archaeologic 
literature frequent but casual mention of works of art in shell. Indi- 
vidual uses of shell have been dwelt ui>on at considerable length by a 
few authors, but up to this time no one has undertaken the task of 
bringing together in one view the works of primitive man in this ma- 

Works of ancient peoples in stone, clay, and bronze, in all countries, 
have been pretty thoroughly studied, described, and illustrated. 

Stone would seem to have the widest range, as it is employed with 
almost equal readiness in all the arts. 

Clay is widely used and takes a foremost place in works of utility 
and taste. 

Metals are too intractable to be readily employed by primitive peo- 
ples, and until a high grade of culture is attaiued are but little used. 

Animal substances of compact character, such as bone, horn, ivory, 
and shell, are also restricted in their use, and the more destructible sub- 
stances, both and vegetable, however extensively employed, have 
comparatively little archreologic importance. 

All materials, however, are made subservient to man and in one way 
or another become the agents of culture; under the magic influence of 
his genius they are moulded into new forms which remain after his dis- 
appearance as the only records of his existence. 

Each material, in the form of convenient natural objects, is applied 
to such uses as it is by nature best fitted, and when artificial modifica- 
tions are finally made, they follow the suggestions of nature, improve- 
ments being carried forward in lines harmonious with the initiatory 
steps of nature. 

Had the materials placed at the disposal of primitive peoples been 
as uniform as are their wants and capacities, there would have been 
but little variation in the art products of the world ; but the utilization 
of a particular material in the natural state gives a strong bias to artificial 
products, and its forms and functions impress themselves upon art pro- 
ducts in other materials. Thus unusual resources engender unique arts 



and unique cultures. Sucli a result, I apprehend, has in a measure 
been acliieved in North America. 

In a broad region at one time occupied by the mound-building tribes 
we observe a peculiar and an original effort — an art distinctive in the 
material employed, in the forms developed, and to some extent in the 
ideas represented. It is an age of shell, a sort of supplement to the 
age of stone. 

It is not my intention here to attempt at extended discussion of the 
bearings of this art upon the various interesting questions of anthropo- 
logic science, but rather to present certain of its phases in the concrete, 
to study the embodiment of the art of the ancient American in this 
one material, and to present the results in a tangible manner, not as a 
catalogue of objects, but as an elementary part of the whole body of 
human art, illustrating a particular phase of the evolution of culture. 

This paper is to be regarded simply as an outline of the subject, to 
be followed by a more exhaustive monograph of the art in shell of all 
the ancient American peoples. 

Art had its beginning when man first gathered clubs from the woods, 
stones from the river bed, and shells from the sea-shore for weapons 
and utensils. In his hands these simple objects became modified by 
use into new forms, or were intentionally altered to increase their con- 
venience. This was the infancy, the inception of culture — a period 
from which a tedious but steady advance has been made until the re- 
markable achievements of the present have been reached. 

Eude clubs have become weapons of curious construction and ma- 
chinery of marvelous complication, and the pebbles and shells are the 
prototypes of numerous works in all materials. Eude rafts which served 
to cross primeval rivers have become huge ships, and the original 
house of bark and leaves is represented by palaces and temples, glitter- 
ing with light and glowing with color. 

The steps which led up to these results are by no means clear to us ; 
they have not been built in any one place or by any one people. Ifations 
have risen and fallen, and have given place to others that in turn have 
left a heap of ruins. We find it impossible to trace back through the 
historic ages into and beyond the prehistoric shadows, the pathway to 
culture followed by any one people. The necessity for groping in- 
creases with every backward step, and we pick up one by one the scat- 
tered links of a chain that has a thousand times been broken. So far 
our information is meager and fragmentary, and centuries of research 
will be required to round up our knowledge to such a fullness as to en- 
able us to rehabilitate the ancient races, a result to be reached only by 
an exhaustive comparative study of the art products of all peoples and 
of all ages. 

By collecting the various relics of art in shell I shall be able to add a 
fragment to this great work. Destructible in their character these relics 
are seldom preserved from remote periods, and it is only by reason of 


their inhumation with the dead that they appear among antiquities at 
all. A majority of such objects, talien from graves and tumuli, liuown 
to post-date even the advent of the white race in North America, are 
so far decayed that unless most carefully handled they crumble to pow- 

It is impossible to demonstrate the great antiquity of any of these 
relics. Many of those obtained from the shell heaps of the Atlantic 
coast are doubtless very ancient, but we cannot say with certainty that 
they antedate the discovery more than a few hundred years. 

Specimens obtained from the mounds of the Mississippi Valley have 
the appearance of great antiquity, but beyond the internal evidence of 
the specimens themselves we have no reliable data upon which to base 
an estimate of time. The age of these relics is rendered still less certain 
by the presence of intrusive interments, which place side by side works 
of very widely separated periods. 

The antiquity of the relics themselves is not, however, of first im- 
portance; the art ideas embodied in them have a much deeper interest. 
The tablets upon which the designs are engraved may be never so recent, 
yet the conceptions themselves have their origin far back in the forgot- 
ten ages. Deified ancestors and mythical creatures that were in the 
earlier stages rudely depicted on bark and skins and rocks were, after 
a certain mastery over materials had been achieved, engraved on tab- 
lets of flinty shell ; and it is probable that in these rare objects we have, 
if not a full representation of the art of the ancient peoples, at least a 
large number of their most important works, In point of execution as 
well as of conception. 

Man in his most primitive condition must have resorted to the sea- 
shore for the food which it affords. Weapons or other appliances were 
not necessary in the capture of mollusks; a stone to break the shell, or 
one of the massive valves of the shells themselves, sufficed for all pur- 

The shells of mollusks probably came into use as utensils at a very 
early date, and mutually with products of the vegetable world afforded 
natural vessels for food and water. 

For a long period the idea of modifying the form to increase the con- 
venience may not have been suggested and the natural shells were 
used for whatever pur^jose they were best fitted. In time, however, by 
accidental suggestions it would be found that modifications would en- 
hance their usefulness, and the breaking away of useless parts and the 
sharpening of edges and points would be resorted to. Farther on, as 
it became necessary to carry them from point to point, changes would 
be made for convenience of transportation. Perforations which occur 
naturally in some species of shell, would be produced artificially, and 
the shells would be strung on vines or cords and suspended about the 
neck; in this way, in time, may have originated the custom of wearing 
pendants for personal ornament. Following this would be the trans- 


portation of such articles to distant places by wandering tribes, ex- 
changes would take place with other tribes, and finally a trade would 
be developed and a future commerce of nations be inaugurated. 

Eesults similar to the foregoing would spring doubtless from the 
employment of substances other than shell, but that material most 
closely associated with the acquisition of food would come iirst prom- 
inently into use. 

The farther these useful articles were carried from the source of supply 
the greater the value that would attach to them, and far inland the 
shell of the sea might easily become an object of unusual consideration. 
Having an origin more or less shrouded in mystery, it would in time 
become doubly dear to the heart of the superstitious savage, perhaps 
an object of actual veneration, or at least one of such high esteem that 
it would be treasured by the living and buried with the dead. 

The material so plentiful on the sea-shore that it was thought of only 
as it proved useful for vessels and implements, became a valued treas- 
ure in the interior; its functions were gradually enlarged and differen- 
tiated; it was worked into varied shapes, such as pendants for the 
ears, beads for the neck, pins for the hair, and elaborate gorgets for the 
breast ; it served its turn as fetich and charm ; and was frequently used 
in the ceremonial jugglery of the mystic dance. 

The slightest modification of these relics by the hand of man attracts 
our attention, and from that infant stage of the art until the highest 
and most elaborate forms are reached they have the deepest interest to 
the student of human progress. 



Some writers liave suggested tbat the ancient peoples of the interior 
districts must have held shells from the sea in especial esteem, not only 
on account of their rarity, but also by reason of some sacred properties 
that had, from the mystery of their origin, become attached to them. It 
would appear, however, that shells were valued chiefly for their utility 
and beauty, and that fresh water as well as marine varieties were con- 
stantly employed. In their unworked state, for their beauty alone, 
they are treasured by peoples in all grades of culture, from the savage 
up through the barbarian stages to the most civilized state. As they 
are most conveniently shaped for utensils and implements, they have 
been of great service in the arts, and were thus of the greatest impor- 
tance to primitive peoples. 

It must not be supposed that the natural shells found in graves were 
always destined for use in an unworked state, but they should doubtless 
in many cases be regarded as highly-valued raw material intended for 
use in the manufacture of articles of utility and taste, in the tempering 
of potter's clay, or in effecting exchanges with neighboring tribes. 

As vessels for food and drink, and as cups for paint, many species 
are most conveniently shaped. Good examples may be found in the 
Haliotis, so plentiful on the Pacific coast, the Helcioniscus of the Pacific 
islands, the Patteltdce of Central and South America, or the Pecten of 
many seas. 

In their natural state they have a twofold interest to us — as utensils 
they are the forerunners of many more elaborate forms that have been 
evolved in more advanced stages of culture, and in their distribution 
they give us important insight into the commerce and migrations of 
their aboriginal owners. 

Pectens. — The Pectens are very widely distributed, and on account of 
their beauty of form and color have been in great favor with all peoi^les. 
They figure in the heraldic devices of the Middle Ages and in the sym- 
bolic paintings of the ancient Mexicans. They have been employed 
extensively by the ancient inhabitants of America as ornaments and 
rattles, and many examples exhumed from graves, mounds, and refuse 
heaps apjiear to have been used as utensils, cups for paint, and vessels 
for food and drink. They are especially plentiful in the cemeteries of 
the ancient Californians, from which Schumacher and Bowers have made 
excellent collections, and specimens may be found in the great museums 



of the country. A very good example of this shell {Janira dentatay is 
shown in Fig. 3, Plate XXI, which represents a paint cup from Santa 
Barbara, Cal. This cup is still partially filled with dark, purplish, 
indurated paint. Some were receptacles for asphaltum, while others, 
which are quite empty, were employed probably for domestic purposes. 
The species chiefly used on the Atlantic coast are the Pccten irradians 
and P. conceiitricus. Ou the Pacific coast the Pecten caicrinus aud P. 
hastatus are employed by the Makah aud other Indians for rattles, and 
it is probable that some of the rudely perforated specimens found iu 
our collections were inteuded for the same purpose. 

Clams. — Clams formed a very important part of the food of the ancient 
seaboard tribes, and the emptied shells have been utilized iu a great 
variety of ways. The valves of many species are large and deep, and 
are available for cups and dishes, and as such are not scorned even by 
the modern clam-baker, who, like the ancient inhabitant, makes period- 
ical visits to the sea-shore to fish and feast. They were also used as 
knives, scrapers, and hoes, and in historic times have been extensively 
used in the manufacture of wampum. The hard-shell clam, Venus mer- 
cenaria, ou account of the purplish color of portions of the valves, has 
been most extensively used for this purpose. A southern variety, the 
Mercenaria prwparca, is much larger and furnishes excellent dishes. 
The soft-shell clam, 3Ii/a arenaria, has been an important article of food, 
but the valves are not serviceable in the arts. The hen clam, Mactra 
ponderosa, which has large handsome valves, has also been used to some 
extent for nteusils. On the Pacific coast the large clam, Pachydcsma 
crassatelloides, is known also to be similarly used. 

Unios. — Shells of the great family of the Unios have always held an 
important place in the domestic and mechanical arts of the savages of 
North America. Their chalky remains are among the most plentiful 
relics of the mounds and other ancient burial-places, and they come 
from kitchen middens and the more recent graves with all the pearly 
delicacy of the freshly emptied shell. 

The valves of many varieties of these shells are well adapted to the 
use of man. I^ot large enough for food vessels, they make most satis- 
factory spoons aud cups, and are frequently found to retain portions of 
the pigments left from the last toilet of the primeval warrior and des- 
tined for use iu the spirit land. It is probable, however, that they 
were much more frequently employed as knives and scrapers, and as 
such have played their part in the barbaric feast of the primitive village, 
or have assisted in the bloody work of scalp-taking and torture. They 
are pretty generally distributed over the country, and their occurrence 
iu the mounds will probably have but little importance in the study of 
artificial distribution. Very little trouble has been taken by explorers 
and writers to identify the numerous species collected. 

' I am greatly indebted to Prof. W. H. Dall, of the Coast Survey, for assistance iu 
the identification of Pacific coast varieties. 


Haliotis. — Tho Raliotin affords one of the best examples of the varied 
uses to which the natural shell has been applied by savage peoples. 
Eecent explorations conducted by the government exploring parties in 
California have brought to the notice of arcliaeologists and the world the 
existence of a new field of research — the burial-places of the ancient 
tribes of the Pacific coast. Many of the interments of this region are 
probably post-Columbian. Several species of this beautiful shell were 
used and are taken from the graves in great numbers, the pearly lusters 
being almost perfectly preserved. Many were used as paint-cups, and 
still retain dai'k pigments, probably ochers ; one of these, a fine exam- 
ple of the Haliotis californiamis, is shown in Fig. 4, Plate XXI. Some 
had contained food, and in a few cases still retained the much-esteemed 
cMa seed, while iu others were found asphaltum, which was employed 
by these peoples in a variety of arts, the rows of eyes in the Haliotis 
usually being stopped with it, and in one case, as shown in a specimen 
in the National Museum, it has been used to deepen a cup by building 
up a rim around the edge of a shallow shell. Many others are quite 
empty, and doubtless served as bowls, dishes, and spoons, or were ready 
at hand for the manufacture of implements and ornaments. Buried 
with the dead, they were designed to serve the purposes for which they 
were used in life. 

This shell probably formed as important a factor in the commerce of 
these tribes as did the large conchs of the Atlantic coast in that of the 
mound-builders and their neighbors. In recent times they are known 
to have a high value attached to them, and Professor Putnam states' 
that a few years ago a horse could be had in exchange for a single shell 
of the Haliotis rtifescens. This species is a great favorite toward the 
south, and the Haliotis Kamschatlcana, which furnishes a dark greenish 
nacre, is much used farther north. 

The rougher and more homely oyster-shell has also enjoyed the favor 
of the mound-building tribes, and has probably served many useful pur- 
poses, such as would only be suggested to peoples unacquainted with 
the use of metal. Many species of the Fissurella and Dentalium shells 
were in common use, advantage being taken of the natural perforations 
for stringing, the latter being quite extensivelj' used for money on the 
Pacific slope. 

In Fig. 2, Plate XXI, a cut is given of a Mytilus shell paint-cup from 
an ancient Peruvian grave. It is copied from Plate 83 of the Necropolis 
of Ancon.2 It is represented as still containing red paint, probably 

A great variety of the larger univalve sea-shells were used in the un- 
altered state, the Busycons probably taking the most important place, 
species of the Strombus, the Cassis, the Nautilus and Fasciolaria follow- 
ing in about the order named. 

» Putnam : in Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, Vol. VII, p. 251. 
* Reiss and Stiibel : Necropolis of Ancon, Pern, Plate 83. 


The Busycon perversum has been more extensively used than any other 
shell, and consequently its distribution in one form or other is very 
■wide. It is o tained along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Massa- 
chusetts to Mexico, and ^vithin the United States it is artificially dis- 
tributed over the greater part of the Atlantic slope. The uses to 
which this shell has been put by the aucieut Americans are so numerous 
and varied that I shall not attempt to enumerate them here. They are, 
however, pretty thoroughly brought out in the subsequent pages of this 

From the employment of shells in their complete state their modifi- 
cation for convenience is but a slight step, and when once suggested is 
easily accomplished — holes are bored, handles are carved or added, 
margins are ground down, useless parts are broken away, and surfaces 
are polished. The columellse are removed from the large univalves, 
and the parts used for a great variety of purposes. The mechanical 
devices employed have been very simple, such as flint implements for 
cutting, and rough stones for breaking and grinding. Hand-drills were 
at first used for perforating; but later mechanically revolving drills 
were devised. 


I shall not attempt to take up the various classes of objects in shell in 
the order of their development, as it would be hard to say whether food 
utensils, weapons, or ornaments were first used. It is also difficult to 
distinguish weapons proper from implements employed in the arts, such 
as celts, knives, hammers, etc., as it is probable they were all variously 
used according to the needs of their possessors. 

Having briefly treated of natural vessels, it seems convenient to go 
on with vessels shaped by art. Early explorers in many portions of the 
American continent record, in their wi-iting, the use by the natives of 
shells of various kinds as vessels. We have in this case historic evi- 
dence which bears directly upon prehistoric customs. Indeed, it is not 
impossible that the very shells used by the natives first encountered by 
Europeans, are the identical ones exhumed so recently from burial 
places, as many of the finer specimens of shell objects have associated 
with them articles of undoubted European manufacture. A notice of 
the earliest recorded use of these objects naturally introduces the pre- 
historic use. 

With many nations that were bountifully supplied with convenient 
earthen and stone vessels, as well perhaps as others of the hard shells 
of fruits, the sea-shell was nevertheless a favorite vessel for drinking. 
Herrera describes the use of silver, gold, shell, and gourd cups at the 
banquets of the elegant monarch Montezuma II, who " sometimes drank 



■^^ ->. 

1. From a plate in Dc Bry. 
li. From a Peruvian grave- 

3. Pecten, California grave. (J) 

4. Haliotia, CnJiforuia grave. (3) 



out of cocoas aud natural shells richly set with jewels." Other authors 
make similar statements. Clavigero says that " beautiful sea-shells or 
naturally formed vessels, curiously varnished, were used." In many ot 
the periodical feasts of the Florida Indians shells were in high favor, 
and it is related how at a certain stage of one of the dances two men 
came in, each bearing very large conch-shells full of black drink, which 
was an infusion of the young leaves of the cassi7ie (probably Ilex Cas- 
si7ie, L.). After prolonged ceremonies, this di'ink was offered to the 
king, to the whites present, and then to the entire assembly.' It is a re- 
markable fact that a similar custom has been noticed among the Moquis 
of Arizona. Lieutenant Bourke witnessed the snake dance of that tribe 
a few years ago, aud states that in front of the altar containing the 
snakes was a covered earthen vessel, which contained four large sea- 
shells and a liquid of some unknown composition, of which the men 
who handled the snakes freely drank. Vessels thus associated with 
important ceremonial customs of savages would naturally be of first 
importance in their sepulchral rites. De Bry, in the remarkable plates 
of his "Brevis Narratio," furnishes two instances of such use. Plate 19 
shows a ijrocession of nude females who scatter locks of their hair upon 
a row of graves, on each of which has been placed a large univalve 
shell, probably containing food or drink for the dead, and in Plate 40 
we have another illustration of this custom, the sheU being placed on 
the heap of earth raised above the grave of a departed chieftain. In 
Plate XXI, Fig. 1, an outline of the shell represented is given ; it re- 
sembles most nearly the pearly nautilus, but, being drawn by the artist 
from memory or description, we are at liberty to suppose the shell actu- 
ally used was a large Busycon from the neighboring coast, probably 
more or less altered by art. Haywood, Hakluyt, Tonti, Bartram, Adair, 
and others mention the use of shells for drinking vessels, and in much 
more recent times Indians are known to have put them to a similar use. 
On account of the rapidity with which they decay, we can know noth- 
ing of surface deposits of shells by prehistoric or even by comparatively 
recent peoples. It is only through the custom of burying valued articles 
with the dead that any of these relics are preserved to us. When we 
consider the quantity of such objects necessarily destroyed by time, 
exposure, and use, we marvel at the vast numbers that must have been, 
within a limited j^eriod of years, carried inland. In the more recent 
mounds there may be found specimens obtained by the Indians through 
the agency of white traders, but the vast majority were derived doubt- 
less from purely aboriginal sources. Many instances could be cited to 
show that the whites have engaged in the trade in shells. Kohl, in 
speaking of early trade with the Ojibways of Lake Superior, states that 
when the traders "exhibited a fine large shell and held it to the ears of 
the Indians, these latter were astonished, saying they heard the roaring 

'De Bry : Collectio Pars 2. Brevis Narratio, 1591, Plate 29. 
13 E 


of the ocean in it, and paid for such a marvelous shell furs to the value 
of $30 or $40, and even more."* 

Cal)e9a de Vaca^ traded in sea-shells and " hearts " of sea-shells among 
the Charruco Indians of the Gulf coast nearly three hundred and fifty 
years ago. 

The form of vessel of most frequent occurrence is made by removing 
the whorl, columella, and about one-half of the outer shell of the large 
univalves. The body of the lower whorl is cut longitudinally, nearly 
opposite the lip and parallel with it. The spire is divided on the same 
plane, a little above the apex, giving a result well illustrated in Fig. 1, 
Plate XXII. A very convenient and capacious bowl is thus obtained, 
the larger specimens having a capacity of a gallon or more. The work 
of dividing the shell and removing neatly the interior parts must have 
been one of no little difficulty, considering the compactness of the shell 
and the rudeness of the tools. 

For nomadic peoples these vessels would have a great superiority over 
those of any other material, as they were not heavy and could be trans- 
ported without danger of breaking. 

In the manufacture of these vessels the Busycon perversum seems to 
have been a great favorite; this may be the result of the less massive 
character of the shell, which permits more ready manipulation. The 
spines are less prominent and the walls more uniform in thickness than 
in shells of most other varieties found along the Atlantic seaboard. 
Specimens of the Strombus, Cassis, and Fasciolaria were occasionally 
used. The specimen illustrated in Fig. 1, Plate XXII, is from a mound 
at Eitcherville, Ind., and is now in the National Museum at Washington. 
It is made from a Busycon perversum, and is ten and one-half inches in 
length by six and one-half in width at the most distended part. The body 
and spire have been cut in the manner described above, and the interior 
whorl and columella have been skillfully taken out. The rim is not very 
evenly cut, but is quite smooth. The outer surface of the shell has been 
well polished, but is now worn and scarred by use. Tlie substance of 
the shell is very well preserved. A second example, now in the national 
collection, is from an ancient mound at Naples, 111. It is very similar to 
the preceding, being made from the same siiecies of shell. It is eleven 
inches in length by seven in width. The body of the shell is well pre- 
served, the apex, however, being broken away. A small specimeu, also 
in the National Miiseum, was obtained from a mound at Nashville, Teun., 
by Professor Powell. It is three and a half inches in length, and very 
shallow, being but a small portion of the lower whorl of a Busycon. 

Among the more recent acquisitions to the national collection are 
two very fine specimens of these Busycon vessels. One of these was 
obtained from a mound at East Dubuque, 111. It is eleven inches 
in length by seven in width at the widest part ; the exterior surface is 

' Kohl : Kitschi-Gami, vol. I, p. 186, Rau, trans. 

»Cabe5a de Vaca: Relation et Naufrages. Paris, 1837, j). 1'21. Spanish ed., IGSb. 



1. Slu'll vessel nindu from a Btfxi/con perver^utn. Tnd (g) 

2. Kiirtlien vessel nia<le in imitaticm of sliell. Mo, (J) 


highly polished; the interior is less so, having suffered somewhat from 
decay; the beak is very long and slender, and has been used as a han- 
dle. The whole vessel has a dipper like appearance. 

The finest example of these vessels yet brought to my notice was 
obtained from a mound at Harrisburg, Ark., by Dr. Palmer, in Octo- 
ber, 1882. It differs from the other specimens described in having an 
elaborate ornamental design engraved on the exterior surface. In shape 
it corresponds pretty closely to the first specimen figured, no part of the 
spire, however, being cut away; the interior parts have been removed, 
as usual. The surface is quite smooth, and the ridges on the inner sur- 
face of the spire are neatly rounded and polished. Its length is eleven 
inches, and its width seven. Plate XXIII is devoted to the illus- 
tration of this specimen. The entire exterior surface, from apex to 
base, is covered with a design of engraved lines and figures, which are ap- 
plied in such a manner as to accord remarkably well with the expand- 
ing spiral of the shell. The upper surface of the spire is unusually flat, 
and has been ground quite smooth. It will be seen by reference to Fig. 
2, Plate XXIII, that a series of lines, interrupted at nearly regular 
intervals by short cross lines and rectangular intaglio figures, has been 
carried from the apex outward toward the lip. Another series of lines 
begins on the upper margin next the inner lip of the shell, passes around 
the circumference of the upper surface, and extends downward over 
the carina, covering, as shown in the other figure, the entire body 
of the vessel, excepting the extreme point of the handle. The base of 
the shell, which is perforated, has a small additional group of lines. The 
lines of the principal series are, on the more expanded portion of the 
body of the shell, about eight inches long, and are interrupted by two 
rows of short lines and two rows of incised rectangular figures. The 
space between the latter contains the most interesting feature of the 
design. Three arrow-head, shaped figures, two inches in length by one 
and one-half in width, are placed, one near the outer Up, another near 
the inner lip, and the third in the middle of the body, a little below the 
center. These figures are neatly cut and symmetrical, and resemble a 
barbed and blunt-pointed arrow-head. Near the center of each is a 
small circle, which gives the figure a close resemblance to a variety of 
perforated stone implements, one specimen of which has been found 
near Osceola, Ark. Whatever may be the significance of this design, 
and it is undoubtedly significant, it is at least a very remarkable piece 
of work and a highly successful effort at decoration. The pottery of 
this region which is generally highly decorated with painted and in- 
cised lines, contains nothing of a character similar to this, and it is 
probable that what I have come to consider a rule in such matters ap- 
plies in this case; the design on the shell is significant or ideographic, 
that on the pottery is purely ornamental. 

For the purpose of showing the very wide distribution of vessels made 
from large seashells, especially the Busycon perversum, I introduce here 
descriptions of most of the specimens heretofore reported. 


Dr. Eau, in his paper on ancient aboriginal trade in Nortb America, 
states that in the collection of Colonel Jones, of Brooklyn, there is a 
vessel formed from a Gassis which is eight and a half inches long, and 
has a diameter of seven inches where its periphei-y is widest. It was 
obtained from a stone grave near Clarksville, Habersham County, 

Two fine specimens of the Cassis flammea were taken from mounds in 
Nacoochee Valley, Georgia. They were nearly ten inches in length 
and about seven inches in diameter. The interior whorls and colu- 
mella had been removed, so that they answered the purpose of drink- 
ing cups or receptacles of some sort.^ 

From a stone grave mound near Franklin, on the Big Hari^eth Kiver, 
Prof. Joseph Jones took two large sea-shells, one of which was much 
decayed. The interior surface of these shells had been j)ainted red, 
and the exteiior had been marked with three large circular spots.' 

In the grave of a child, near the grave just mentioned, the following 
relics were found : " Four large sea-shells, one on each side of the skele- 
ton, another at the foot, and the fourth, a large specimen, with the in- 
terior apartments cut out and the exterior surface carved, covered the 
face and forehead of the skull." ^ 

In a small mound opposite the city of Nashville, Tenn., Professor 
Jones found "a large sea-conch." The interior portion or spiral of 
which had been carefully cut out; it was probably used as a drinking 
vessel, or as the shrine of an idol as in a case observed by Dr. Troost.' 

Two large shells of Busycon, from which the columellae had been re- 
moved, were obtained from the Lindsley mounds, sixty miles east of 
Nashville, by Professor Putnam.^ 

Professor Wymau, writing of the mounds of Eastern Tennessee, says 
that " among the implements are well-preserved cups or dishes, made 
of the same species of shell [Busycon perversum] as the preceding, but 
of much more gigantic size than those now found. One of them meas- 
ures a foot in length, though the beak has been broken off. When en- 
tire its length could not have been less than fourteen or fifteen inches. 
These shells probably came from the Gulf of Mexico, and found their 
way into Tennessee as articles of trafiic. The dishes are made in the 
same way, and not to be distinguished from those found, in Florida at 
the time of the first visit of the Europeans, or from those, as will be seen 
further, found in the ancient burial mounds. The great similarity in 
the style and make of these dishes renders it quite probable that they 
were manufactured in Florida."^ A number of similar dishes, made 

' Rau, In Smithsonian Report for 1872, p. 376. 
"Jones: Antiquities of the Southern Indians, p. 233. 
'Jones: Aboriginal Remains of Tennessee, p. 59. 
*Ibid., p. CO. 
I »/6i(i., p. 45. 

*Putnam, in Eleventh Annual Report, Peabody Museum, p. 355. 
'Wyman, in Third Annual Report, Peabody Museum, p. 7. 


ANSUAi nuroii't jssi i-l. xxih 

Hnrrisbnrg, Ark. 


from the same shell, were obtained from mounds at Cedar Keys, Florida, 
by Professor Wyman.' 

Francis Cleveland, C. E., who, in 1828, had charge of the excavation 
known as the "deep cut" on the Ohio Canal, informed Colonel Whittle- 
sey that at the depth of twenty five feet in the alluvium several shells 
belonging to the species Busycon perversum were taken out.^ 

Dr. Drake, writing of the Cincinnati mounds, mentions "several 
large marine shells, belonging, perhaps, to the genus Buccinum, cut la 
such a way as to serve for domestic utensils, and nearly converted into 
a state of chalk.'" 

Mr. Atwater states that " several marine shells, probably Buccinum, 
cut in such a manner as to be used for domestic utensils, were found in 
a mound on the Little Miami Eiver, Warren County, Ohio."* 

A Cassis of large size, from which the inner whorls and columella 
had been removed to adapt it for use as a vessel, was found in Clark's 
mound, on Paint Creek, Scioto Valley, Ohio.' This specimen is eleven 
and a half inches in length by twenty-four in circumference at the 
largest part. It is further stated that fragments of these and other 
shells are found in the tumuli and upon the altars of the mound-build- 
ers. In digging the Ohio and Erie Canal, there was found, near Ports- 
mouth, its southern terminus on the Ohio River, a cluster of five or six 
large shells, which appeared to have been thus carefully deijosited by 
the hand of man. They were about three feet beneath the surface. The 
columellse of some large shells, probably the iStrojnbus gigas^ were also 

Several large marine shells were found in a mound near Grand Rapids, 
Mich. They were all hollowed oixt, apparently for carrying or storing 
water, and in one case perforated at the upper edge on opposite sides 
for suspension by a cord or thong.'' 

Mr. Farquharson mentions a vessel made from a Busycon perversum, 
obtained from a mound near Davenport, Iowa. The shell has been cut 
through about an inch above the center ; it is thirteen inches in length 
by seven in width, and has a capacity of nearly two pints.' He also 
describes a large specimen of Cassis from a mound in Muscatine County, 

Long, in his expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains in 

' Wyman, in Third Annual Report, Peabody Museum, p. 8. 
'Foster: Prehistoric Races of the United States, p. 7B. 

'Since the shell here named is quite small it is probable that the specimens found 
were Bmycons. 
^Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Vol. I, p. 361. 
'Atwater, in Transactions American Antiquarian Society, Vol. I. 
«Squier and Davis: Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, p. 283. 
■•Ibid., p. 284. 

'Farquharson, in Proceedings of the Am. Association, 1875, page 296. 
^Ibid., p. 297. 


1819, speaks of a large sliell which seems to have been reverenced as a 
kind of oracle. This maj' have been one of the large, brilliantly-colored 
fossil BacuUtes so common in the upper Missouri region. His descrip- 
tion will be given in full in treating of the sacerdotal uses of shells. 

In the Naturalist for October, 1879, Mr. Frey describes a sea-shell 
drinking vessel, somewhat modified by art, having a length of four and 
one-half inches. This, with other relics, among which were many shell 
beads, was found in ancient grave in eastern New York, probably in 
the Mohawk Valley. 

These vessels of shell have also served as models for the primitive 
potter. The ancient peoples of the middle Mississippi district were 
extremely skillful in the reproduction of natural objects in clay, and it 
is not surprising that they should imitate the form of the shell. 

In the Peabody IMuseum is an earthen vessel copied from a shell vessel 
of the class just described, the characteristic features being all well im- 
itated. It is about nine inches wide, eleven long and four deep. It is 
neatly made, and ornamented with the red and white designs peculiar 
to the pottery of this region. It was taken from one of the Stanley 
mounds, Saint Francis River, Ark. 

A small earthen vessel made in imitation of these shell vessels is il- 
lustrated in Fig. 2, Plate XXII. It is of the ordinary blackish ware so 
common in the middle Mississippi district. The general shape of the 
shell is well represented ; the sides, however, are nearly symmetrical 
and the spire is represented by a central node, surrounded by four in- 
ferior nodes. It is four inches wide and five and one-half long. Three 
others represent shell vessels, somewhat less closely, the spires and 
beaks being added to the opposite sides of ordinary cups. 


As domestic utensils bivalve shells have held a place hardly inferior 
in importance to that of the large univalves. Marine and fluviatile 
varieties have been used indiscriminately, and generally in the natural 
state, but occasionally altered by art to enhance their beauty or add to 
their convenience. The artificial utensils do not, however, present a 
very greatvariety of form, the alteration consisting chiefly in the carving 
out of a kind of handle, by which device hot food could be eaten with- 
out danger of burning the fingers. The handle, which may be seen in 
all stages of development, is produced by cutting away portions of the 
anterior and basal margins of the shell, leaving the salient angle pro- 
jecting ; this angle is then undercut from the opposite sides so that it 
is connected with the body of the valve by a more or less restricted 
neck. The outer edge of the handle is frequently ornamented with 
notches, and in a few cases a round perforation has been made near the 
anterior tip for the purpose of suspension. In one case a rude design 


of small circular depressions has been added to the upper surface. la 
the finished implement the hinge, ligament, and teeth have been cut 
away, the thick dorsal margin carefully ground down, leaving a smooth, 
neat edge, and the anterior point, which was presented to the lips iu 
eating or drinking, was well rounded and polished. The whole surface 
of the shell in the more finished specimens has been most carefully 
dressed. Altogether, the fashioning of these spoons must be regarded as 
a very ingenious performance for savages, and has cost much more labor 
than would the attachment of a handle, for which purpose it is not im- 
probable the lateral notches may at times have been used. Our col- 
lections furnish no examples of marine univalves worked in this man- 
ner; a few slightly altered specimens, however, have been reported. 
Nearly all the specimens of carved spoons that have come to my notice 
are made from a few species of Unio. 

It is a curious fact that most of these utensils have been made from 
the left valve of the shell, which gives such a position to the handle that 
they are most conveniently used by the right hand, thus indicating 
right-handedness on the part of these peoples. In the national collec- 
tion there are two left-handed specimens, one from ISTashville, Tenn.,and 
one from Union County, Ky. 

Professor Putnam states that he has " examined over thirty of these 
shell-spoons now in the museum [Peabody], and all are made from the 
right [left] valves of Uiiionidw, and so shaped as to be most conven- 
iently used with the right hand." ' 

By reference to Fig. I, Plate XXIV, the probable manner of grasp- 
ing and using the spoon will be seen. It will also be observed that the 
left valve of the shell is used to make the right-handed spoon, sup^jos- 
ing of course that the point of the spoon is presented to the lips, the 
hinge corner being much less convenient for that jjurpose. 

In regard to the use of these objects, which have occasionally been 
taken for ornaments, it should be mentioned that very many of them 
have been found within earthen vessels placed in the graves with the 
dead. The vessels, iu all probability, were the receptacles of food, the 
spoons being so iilaced that they could be used by the dead as they had 
been used by the living. 

The specimen shown in Fig. 3, Plate XXIV, was obtained by Pro- 
fessor Powell, from a mound near Nashville, Teuu. It is made from 
the left valve of a very delicate specimen of the Dnio ovatus,' and 
has been finished with more than usual care. The entire rim is arti- 
ficially shaped, the natural shell being much reduced, and six notches 
ornament the outside of the handle. The bowl of the spoon is nearly 
four inches in length and two and one-half in width. Eight other speci- 
mens were obtained from the same locality by Professor Powell. All 
are made from the U7iio ovatits, one only being left-handed. All are 

'Putnam, in Eleveuth Auuual Report, Peabody Museum, p. ^35. 
'I am iudebted to Dr. Charles A. White, of the Geological Survey, for the identifi- 
catiou of the uumerous specimens of Umonidce mentioned in this jiaper. 


inferior in finish to the specimen ilhistrated. The handles of a num- 
ber are rudimentary, and the margins and surfaces are but slightly 

The spoon illustrated in Fig. 4, Plate XXIV, is made from the left 
valve of a Unio alatus (?) and was obtained from a mound at Madison- 
ville, Ohio. It is an unusually well-finished and handsome specimen, 
and notwithstanding its fragile character, is well preserved. A portion 
of the point has, unfortunately, been broken away. The handle is orna- 
mented with four shallow notches, the anterior point being neatly 
rounded and perforated for suspension. The edges of the utensil have 
been carefully finished, and both the inner and outer surfaces have been 
ground down and polished so that all the natural markings are obliter- 
ated, and the surface shows the pearly marbling of the foliation. This 
specimen is figured in an interesting paper,' prepared by Mr. Charles F. 
Low, as an ornament, this use being suggested by its finish and deco- 
ration ; but as it was found in what was presumably a food vessel, and 
at the same time resembles so closely the spoons of other localities, I 
take the liberty of classifying it with them. 

One of the most interesting collections of these utensils was made in 
Union County, Ky., by S. S. Lyon. Our information in regard to this 
lot of specimens is, unfortunately, quite meager, as Mr. Lyon's report 
gives them but casual mention. 

Fig. 2, Plate XXIV, illustrates the finest of these specimens on a 
scale of one-half. The shell used is a large specimen of Unio ovatus, 
the bowl of the spoon being about four inches long and three wide. As 
the right valve has been used, the utensil is left-handed. The handle 
is ornamented with two marginal notches ; the basal point is long and 
spine-like, and is deeply undercut. The anterior point is beak-like in 
shape, the nicely made perforation holding, in relation to it, the position 
of an eye, which, together with the comb-like notches above, gives a 
pretty close resemblance to a bird's head. The point of the spoon is 
broken away. 

The seven remaining spoons from this locality have a variety of 
handles, all of which are notched on the outer margin, while a few only 
are deeply undercut; all have been made from the left valve of the 
Unio ovatus (?) and are of medium size and ordinary finish. 

Another specimen in the national collection comes from Henderson 
County, Ky. The shell used is the Unio ovatus; the handle is notched 
on the outer margin, but is only slightly under-cut; the thick margin 
of the shell about the hinge has not been removed. 

A spoon made from the left valve of a Unio silignoidens (?) has recently 
been obtained from a mound at Osceola, Ark. ; it is but slightly worked, 
having a series of small notches cut in the basal margin, toward the front. 

The Natural History Museum of New York contains a specimen of this 

' Arcbjeological Explorations by the Literary and Scientific Society of Madisonville, 





f * a 

1. MaDner of grasping spoon. 

2. From a mound in Kentucky, (i). 

3. From a mound near Xaahville. (}) 

4. From a mound in Ohio. (J) 



class, labeled as coming from Georgia. It has a rounded handle, without 
either perforation or notches. 

The Peabody Museum contains a very superior collection, consisting 
of specimens from several localities. Six of these, made from Unionidce, 
mostly from the Unio ovatus, were obtained fi-om one of the Bowling 
mounds near Nashville, Tenn.; others crumbled on being handled and 
were lost. Several others were obtained in the same region.' Two 
more were found in an earthen vessel between two skeletons, in one of 
the Lindsley mounds at Lebanon, sixty miles east of IS'ashville.^ 

In a stone-cist mound on the Big Harpeth River, Prof. Joseph Jones 
found "a few large fresh- water mussel-shells, which were much altered 
by time. These mussel-shells appeared from their shape to have been 
artificially carved, and to have been used as ornaments and also as 
spoons or cups for dipping up food and drink." ^ 

Three fine specimens have recently been obtained from graves at 
Harrisburg, Ark. They are but slightly worked as compared with the 
more elaborate specimens. The hinge, teeth, and ligaments have been 
ground down and a portion of the posterodorsal margin removed, leav- 
ing the posterior point and basal margin projecting for a handle. The 
surfaces are well smoothed. The general outline of the shell is subtri- 
angular; it is three inches wide by four and one-half in length and is 
probably made from the Unio cuneatm. 

Beverly gives a plate illustrating two Virginia Indians, man and wife, 
at dinner; on the mat by the woman is " a Cockle-Shell, which they some- 
times use instead of a Spoon." " The Spoons which they eat with, do gen- 
erally hold half a Pint; and they laugh at the English for using small 
ones, which they must be forc'd to carry so often to their Mouths, that 
their Arms are in Danger of being tir'd, before their Belly."* 


From a very early date shells must have been employed quite exten- 
sively by the ancient Americans as implements, as weapons for war 
and the chase, as appliances for fishing, as agricultural implements, 
and as knives, gougers, scrapers, perforators, etc., in a variety of arts. 
It is a noteworthy fact, however, that our collections do not abound in 
objects of these classes, and our literature furnishes but little informa- 
tion on the subject. Our interest lies chiefly in such of these objects as 
have been shaped by the hand of man, but to illustrate their use we will 
find it instructive to study the various ways in which the natural shells 

'Putnam, in Eleventh Annual Report, Peabody Musenm, p. 334. 

« Ihid., p. 344. 

'Jones: Antiquities of Tennessee, p. 64. 

< Beverly: History of Virginia, 1722, pi. 10, p. 154. 


hare been employed. Id this manner we may trace the origin and devel- 
opment of artificial forms. 

As we have seen in the early modification of food utensils the begin- 
ning of the art of cutting and shaping shell, which in time led to the 
manufacture of objects of taste, and probably proved an important step 
in the evolution of native American art, so in this convenient and 
workable material, as employed in the mechanical arts, we witness the 
inception of many important human industries, and in the rude machines 
constructed from shell probably behold the prototypes of numerous 
works in stone and metal. It cannot be supposed that such of these 
objects as we do possess are of very ancient date, as the material is not 
sufiBciently enduring. It is also improbable that such objects would, as 
a rule, be so frequently deposited in graves, as food vessels or objects of 
personal display, and objects not so deposited must soon have disap- 

The early explorers of the American coast make occasional mention 
of the employment of shells in the various arts. As many of these 
notices ai'e interesting, and have an important bearing upon the subject 
under consideration, I will present a number of them here. Among a 
majority of the American Indians, knives of stone, obsidian, jasper, 
and flint were in general use, but it would seem that shells artificially 
shaped and sharpened were also sometimes used for shaping objects in 
wood and clay, in preparing food, in dressing game, and in human 

Strachey informs us, in volume VI of the Hakluyt Society, that when 
the omnipotent Powhatan "would punish any notorious enemy or tres- 
passer, he causeth him to be tyed to a tree, and with muscle shells or 
reedes the executioner cutteth off his joints one after another, ever cast- 
ing what is cutt off into the fier ; then doth he proceede with shells and 
reedes to case the skyn from his head and face." ' 

Such knives were also ased by Powhatan's women for cutting off 
their hair* ^ 

A number of authors mention the use of shells as scalpiugknives. 

Kalm, speaking of the Indians of New Jersey, says that " instead 
of knives, they were satisfied with little sharp pieces of flint or quartz, 
or else some other hard kind of a stone, or with a sharp shell, or with a 
piece of bone, which they had sharpened." ' 

The Indians encountered by Henry Hudson during his first voyage, 
in making him welcome, "killed a fat dog, and skinned it in great haste 
with shells which they had."* 

Beverly asserts that before the English supplied the Virginia Indians 
with metallic tools, "their Knives were either sharpen'd Eeeds, or Shells, 

' strachey, in Hakluyt Society Publications, vol. VI, p. 52. 

^liid., vol. VII, p. 67. 

^Kalm's Travels, London, 1772, vol. I, j). 341. 

* Collections New York Historical Society, vol. I, 2nd series, p. 198. 


autl their Axes sharp Stones bound to the eud of a Stick, and glued in 
with Turpentine. By the help of these they made their Bows of the 
Locust Tree."' 

Drake, in his "World Encompassed," speaking of some of the south- 
ern tribes of South America, probably the Patagonians, says that "their 
hatchetts and knives are made of mussel-shells, being great and a foot 
in length, the brickie part whereof being broken off, they grind them 
by great labor to a tine edge and very shaii)e, and as it seemeth, very 
durable.^ # # * iijeij. working tools, which they use in cutting 
these things and such other, are knives made of most huge and mon- 
sti'ous mussell shels (the like whereof have not been seen or heard of 
lightly by any travelers, the meate thereof being very savourie and good 
in eat'ng), which, after they have broken off the thinne and brittle 
substance of the edge, they rub and grind them upon stones had for the 
purpose, till they have tempered and set such an edge upon them, that 
no wood is so hard but they will cut it at pleasure with the same."' 

According to Sproat, shell knives were used by the Indians of Van- 
couver's Island in carving the curious wooden images placed over 

Ancient shell knives are very rarely found in collections. Such spec- 
imens as have come to my notice could as well be classed as scrapers 
or celts. "We will j^robably not be far wrong in concluding that such 
implements were used for scrai^ing and digging as well as for cutting. 
As a rule, knives proper were simply sharpened bivalve shells. The 
scrapers so frequently mentioned were doubtless often the same, but 
probably more frequently portions of the lower whorl of the large uni- 


Implements of this class are generally made from the lower part of 
large univalves. They were probably used in a variety of ways, with 
handles and without. The spine-like base of the shell forms the shaft, 
the blade being cut from the broadly expanded wall of the lower whorl. 
Nearly all the specimens in the national collection have been obtained 
in this way. In Plate XXV three very fine examples are figured. The 
specimen illustrated in Fig. 1 is more than usually well fashioned, and 
is extremely massive, having the proportions and almost the weight of 
typical stone celts. It is five inches in length, two and three-fourths in 
width, and nearly one inch through at the thickest part. 

'Beverly: History of Virginia, 1722, p. 197. 

' Drake, iu Halcluyt Society Publicationa, vol. XVI, p. 74. 

3 Tbicl, p. 78. 

« Sproat's Savage Life, p. 86. 


The edge is even and sharp, and but slightly rounded; the beveled 
faces are quite symmetrical, and meet at an angle of about 35°; the faces 
are curved slightly, following the original curvature of the shell, and 
the sides are evenly dressed and taper gently towai-d the upper end 
which shows some evidence of battering. The surface of the specimen 
is slightly chalky from decay. It has been made from a Stromhus gigas, 
or some equally massive shell. It was collected at Orange Bluff, Fla., 
by T.S.Barber. A profile view of the same specimen is presented in Fig. 
2. The specimen shown in Fig. 3 was found in Madison County, Ky., 
and is the only one in the national collection from the Mississippi Valley. 
It was obtained from a mound, but in what relation to the human re- 
mains I have not learned. It is fashioned much like the specimen just 
described; it is one and a half inches in width at the upper end, and 
two inches wide near the cutting edge. It has also been made from a 
very massive shell. 

Fig. 4 illustrates a specimen from St. Michael's Parish, Barbadoes, 
West Indies. It is made from the basal portion of a Busycon perversum. 
The handle is curved and neatly rounded, and the edge is beveled or 
sharpened on the inside only. 

In the national collection there are about twenty of these objects; 
six are from Tampa, Fla. ; four of these are fragmentary; the remaining 
two are short and triangular, and have been made, one from a Bnsycon 
perversum, the other from a Busycon or Strombus. The cutting edge is 
wide and well sharpened. Two are from Cedar Keys, Fla., and are 
made from thin-walled specimens of the Busycon perversum. The larger 
is six and one-half inches in length by three in width toward the base ; 
the other is about one-half as large. Both are rudely made, and show 
the effects of use. Five came from East Pass, Choctawhatchie Bay, 
Fla. Two of them are fragmentary; one of the entire specimens is 
very well made, and has a regularly beveled, oblique edge, while another 
is remarkable in having a curiously worn edge, which is deeply serrated 
by use or weathering. The majority of these specimens are from ancient 
shell heaps. Three are from St. Michael's Parish, Barbadoes, West In- 
dies, one of which has already been described. 

Professor Wyman, in the Naturalist for October, 1868, illustrates two 
of these celt-like implements from the fresh- water shell heaps near St. 
Johns, Fla. One is made from a triangular piece cut from a Busycon 
carica, so as to comprise a portion of the rostrum, which serves as a 
handle, and a portion of a swollen part of the body, which terminates 
in the cutting edge of the tool. The sides and apex are smoothed and 
rounded, while the base is regularly rounded and ground to an edge 
like that of a gouge, but with the bevel on the inside. 

This author states that another specimen, obtained at Old Enterprise, 
shows clearly that it was detached from the shell by first cutting a 
groove and then breaking off the fragment. He also gives two views 
of a small shell celt which, from the exterior markings and the thick 



•I • :| 



1. Orange Bluff, Fla. (I) 

2. Oranye Blutt, Fla. (|) 

3. Madisou Countv, Ky. (%) 

4. Barbaaoes, \V. I. (J) 



ridge ou the inside, is thought to have been cut from the base of a Strom- 
bus gigas. "The broad eud is ground to a bhiut edge like that seen in 
most of the stone chisels from the other States, and the other is ground 
to a blunt point." 

These implements are frequently mentioned by early explorers. In 
Plate 12 of the "Admiranda Narratio," an Indian is represented' with 
a shell implement, scraiiing away the charred portions from the interior 
of a canoe which is being hollowed out by flre. The same implement 
was employed for removing the bark from the tree trunks used. 

Catliu, iu speaking of the Klahoquat Indians of Vancouver's Island, 
says that "a species of mussel-shell of a lai'ge size, found iu the various 
inlets where fresh and salt water meet, are sharpened at the edge and 
set in withes of tough wood, forming a sort of adze, which is used with 
one hand or both, according to its size; and the flying chips show the 
facility with which the excavation is made in the soft and yielding 
cedar, no doubt designed and made for infant man to work and ride 
in ."2 

Wood, speaking of the Indians of New England, says that " their 
Cannows be made either of Pine-trees, which before they were acquainted 
with English tooles, they burned hollow, scraping them smooth with Clam- 
shels and Oyster-shels, cutting their out sides with stone-hatchets.'" 

The method of hafting these implements, when used for axes and 
adzes, was doubtless the same as that employed for stone implements 
of similar shapes. This is illustrated in Fig. 2, Plate XXVII, the 
handle being securely fastened by cords or sinews. It will be seen that 
but one of the specimens mentioned comes from the interior, and that 
from Madison County, Ky. 


The great majority of the scraping implements obtained from the 
mounds, graves, and shell heaps are simply valves of Unio or clam- 
shells, unaltered except by use; yet there is a widely distributed class 
of worked specimens, which have been altered by making a rough per- 
foration near the center of the valve, and by the grinding down and 
notching of the edges. A very fine specimen is illustrated in Fig. 3, 
Plate XXVI. It is formed of the left valve of a Unio tuherculosus. It 
was taken from a mound at Madisonville, Ohio, and is now in the 
national collection. A similar specimen from the same locality is illus- 
trated iu an account of the exploration conducted by the Scientific and 
Literary Society of Madisonville.* I have seen four other fine speci- 

'De Bry: CoUectio Para 1. "Aduiiranda Narratio," Plate 12. 
'Catliu: Indians of tlio Eocky Mountains and Andes, page 101. 
'Wood: New England Prospect, p. 102. 

^Archaeological Exiilorations by the Literary and Scientific Society of MadisonviUe, 
Ohio, Part I, p. 17. 


mens from the same locality; all are made of the shell of the JJyiio 
tuberculosus (1). It will be seen by reference to Fig. 3 that the posterior 
point of the shell is much worn, as if by use, while at the opposite end, 
near the hinge, the margin has been slightly notched. Ilie large speci- 
men, figured in the Madisonville pamphlet, as well as all other exam- 
ples from this locality, are also much worn at the posterior end, and 
slightly notched on the anterior margin. The perforations are roughly 
made, and nearly one-half an inch in diameter. 

I have carefully examined all the specimens of this class within my 
reach, probably twenty-five in all, most of which are in the national 
collection, and I find them all very much alike. They are from two to 
five inches in length, have rude central perforations, and are worn by 
use at the posterior point, and notched on the anterior margin. The 
blunting of one end by use calls for no explanation, but the purpose of 
the perforation is a little obscure. It may have been used for conveni- 
ence in transportation, but more probably for attaching a handle. On 
discovering that a notch had in all cases been made at the upper end, I 
became convinced that the latter use was intended. "Whether the sup- 
posed handle has been long or short, or attached longitudinally or 
transversely, I am unable to determine. 

In Plate XXVI, Figs. 4 and 5, two methods of hafting are illustrated. 
If used for striking, the long handle would be the more siiitable, but if 
for scraping, dressing skins, scaling fish, or shaping wood or clay, the 
handle suggested in Fig. 5 would be the most convenient. The clam- 
shell agricultural implements, so frequently mentioned by explorers 
along the Atlantic coast, were attached to handles in the manner of 
hoes or adzes, as shown in Fig. 2, Plate XXVII. It is possible that the 
specimens under consideration may have been hafted in this manner. 

A perforated valve of a Unio gibbosus, which has probably been used 
as a knife or scraper, is shown in Fig. 1, Plate XXVII. It was obtained 
from a Cave near Nashville, and is now in the national collection. 

Another interesting variety of shell implement is shown in Fig. 1, 
Plate XXVI. It was obtained from the Oconee River, near Milledge- 
ville, Ga., and is made from the left valve of a Unio vericosus. Its 
perfect state of preservation indicates that it is of quite recent manu- 
facture. A deep, sharply cut groove encircles the beak and hinge of 
the shell, and the posterior margins are considerably worn. A few shal- 
low lines have been engraved on the smooth convex surface of the 
valve. Thepositionof the groove suggests the method of hafting shown 
in Fig. 2. 

Fig. C, Plate XXVI, represents a perforated Pecten, which may have 
been used as an implement or as part of a lattle. It was collected by 
Mr. Webb on the west coast of Florida. 



1. Scraper, Georgia. (JJ 

2. Probable maoucr of liafting. 

3. Implement from a mcniud, Ohio [{) 

4. Probable manner of bafting. 

5. Probable manner of hafting. 

6. Perforated pecten, Florida. (J) 




The first explorers of the Atlantic seaboard found many of the tribes 
cultivating the soil to a limited extent, corn being the chief product. 
Thu methods and appliances were exceedingly primitive, and the im- 
plements emijloyed, whether wood, bone, stooe,or shell, possess but little 
interest to art. 

Unworked shells, lashed to rude handles, served all the purposes as 
well as if wrought out in the most fanciful manner. The large, firm 
valves of clam-shells were most frequently used, as the following ex- 
tracts will show. 

" Before the Indians learned of the English the use of amore convenient 
instrument, they tilled their corn with hoes made of these shells, to 
which purpose they are well adapted by tlieir size." ' 

A further reference to this shell is found in Wood's New England Pros- 
pect: "The first plowman was counted little better than a Juggler: 
the Indians seeing the plow teare up more ground in a day, than their 
Clamme shels could scrape up in a month, desired to see the workeman- 
ship of it, and viewing well the coulter and share, perceiving it to be 
iron, told the plowman, hee was almost Ahamocho, almost as cunning as 
the Devill.'" And again the same author says: "An other work is their 
planting of corue, wherein they exceede our English husband-men, keep- 
ing it so cleare with their Clamme shellhooes, as if it were a garden rather 
than a corne-fleld, not suifering a choking weede to advance his auda- 
cious head above their infant corne, or an undermining worme to spoile 
his spurnes."' 

Other writers make but the most casual mention of this subject. De 
Biy gives, in Plate XXI, Vol. II, a picture in which a number of natives 
are engaged in cultivating their fields. In Fig. 3, Plate XXVII, I give 
an enlarged cut of one of the implements employed; the original draw- 
ing has probably been made from memory by the artist, and the cut 
serves no purpose except to give an idea of the general shape of the 
implement and to suggest the manner of hafting, if indeed the implement 
is not made wholly from a crooked stick. 


The use of shell in the manufacture of fishing implements seems to 
have been almost unknown among the tribes of the Atlantic coast, and 
with the exception of a few pendant-like objects, resembling plummets 

'Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. VII, p. 193. 
'Wood: New England Prospect, p. 87. 
2 Wood: New England Prospect, p. 106. 


or sinkers of stoue, notbing has beeu obtained from the ancient, burial 
mounds of the Mississippi Vallej-. Hooks of shell, however, are very 
plentiful in the ancient burial-places of the Pacific coast, and are fre- 
quently so well shaped as to excite our admiration. Hooks and other 
fishing apparatus, in whole or in part made of shell, are extensively 
employed by the present natives of the Pacific islands and among the 
numerous tribes of the northwest coast, although bone and ivory are in 
much higher favor for these purposes. 

We cannot say with certainty for what purpose the various sinker- 
like objects of shell were used. In all cases they are so perforated or 
grooved as to be suspended by a string; but it is the custom of all sav- 
age peoples to employ very heavy pendants as ornaments for the ears 
or for suspension about the neck, and where stone could be secured for 
such ordinary uses as the sinking of nets or lines, it seems improbable 
that objects of shell, which form superb ornaments, would be so em- 

That hooks were used to some extent by the Atlantic coast Indians 
is proved by the association of bone hooks with other ancient relics. I 
am not aware that their use has beeu noticed by early writers, who de- 
scribe at length, however, the capture of fish by means of arrows, spears, 
and nets. The ancient Mexican manuscripts contain many drawings 
showing the use of nets in fishing, but the use of hooks and lines is not 

In the absence of positive proof as to the exact manner in which the 
plummet-like objects were utilized, I shall for the present follow the 
custom of the best authors and classify the heavier specimens as sinkers. 
The smaller specimens will be described as pendant ornaments. 

In -Fig. 8, Plate XXVIII, a very handsome specimen from a refuse 
heap on Blennerhasset Island, Ohio Eiver, is shown. It has been cut 
from the columella of a Busycon perrersum, the reverse whorl being 
indicated by the Trell-preserved spiral groove, and was suspended by 
means of a small, well-made jjerforation near the upper end. The surface 
is weathered and chalky with age. 

Another specimen, from the same locality, differs but slightly from 
this; the perforated end is broken away; the surface is deeply weath- 
ered, and the more compact laminae stand out in high relief. 

Two specimens from Sarasota Bay, Fla., resemble these very closely 
in shape and size; instead of a perforation, however, they are grooved 
near the upper end. They are made from the columellae of the Busy- 
con perversum. One of them is shown in Fig. 9, Plate XXVIII. 

It is possible that a number of the small shells usually supposed to 
be perforated for use as ornaments have beeu used for sinkers. One 
such specimen, collected by Professor Velie in Florida, is preserved in 
the national collection. It is made from an almost entire specimen of 
a small but compact univalve — a dextralwhorled Busycon or a Stromhus. 
A shallow groove has been cut near the basal point for the purpose of 
attaching a line. 



1. Shell implement, Tennessee. 

2. ProbiililL- niiinner nf hat'tiiiff celt. 

3. linplfiuent illustrated in Be Bry. 

4. Sbell clnbhead, Florida 

5. Shell iiiiplemeut, Peru. 



A fourth specimeu, from Florida, is represeuted by a cast presented 
by Professor Velie; it is three inches in length and nearly one inch in 
diameter, and has been derived from the columella of a Busycon per- 
versum. It has a broad groove near the upper end, with a long, sloping 
shoulder, the body being somewhat conical below. Other specimens of 
similar character have recently beeu added to the national collection. 
A grooved specimen of medium size was obtained from a mound at 
Madisouville, Ohio, and is figured by the explorers.' A few smaller speci- 
mens come from New York, and others from Kentucky, but they were 
probably intended for ornaments, and as such I prefer to class them. 

From the Pacific coast we have a large number of examples, one of 
the finest being illustrated in Fig. 7, Plate XXVIII. It is a flattish, 
somewhat pear-shaped pendant, and has a neatly cut groove near the 
upper end. It was collected by Bowers on the island of Santa Kosa, 
Cal., and was probably made from a Pachydesma or Amiantis. 

A new-looking specimen from Santa Barbara, carved from a flat bit 
of pearly Haliotis, represents a fish, the mouth, gills, body, and tail 
being distinctly shown. It may have been used as a bait. 

By far the most interesting examples of fishing implements of ancient 
date have been obtained from graves in California ; these are well rep- 
resented in the collections made by Schumacher and Bowers. A number 
of specimens may be seen in the National Museum ; one sinker from this 
collection has already been described. Fish-hooks, however, constitute 
the great majority of the specimens, and many of them are of such un- 
precedented forms that the^ have been mistaken for ornaments. The 
marked peculiarity consists in the great width of the body of the hook, 
and the deeply involuted character of the barbless point, making it 
seem impossible that a fish should be impaled ^t all. It may be that 
this hook was intended only as a contrivance for securing bait, and 
that the fish, having swallowed this, was unable to disgorge it, and in 
this way was secured by the fisherman. 

In Plate XXVIII, three of these hooks are illustrated. The method 
of ftistening them to the line is not well known, and the form does not 
suggest it, except in a few cases in which the shaft is enlarged slightly 
at the u])per end. The head is never perforated, but is frequently 
pointed, and may have been inserted in a head of some other material 
and secured by means of asphaltum. The fact that portions of this 
material still adhere to the upper part of the shaft confirms this con- 
jecture. None of these hooks are barbed. Similar hooks of bone, ex- 
hibited in the national collection, have barbs on the outside, near the 
point. Hooks resembling these are used by some tribes to secure the 
ends of sti-ings of beads. 

Prof. F. W. Putnam has described a number of these hooks which 
belong to the Peabody Museum. The largest is two and three-fourths 

' Archaiological Exploratious by the Literary and Scientific Society, part II, p. 38, 
fig. 31. 

14 E 


inches in length and one inch wide at the middle of the shank. These 
came from San Clemeute, San Miguel, and Santa Cruz islands, and the 
mainland about Santa Barbara, and are accomiianied by stone imple- 
ments used in their mannfactnrc.' 

The natives of Tahiti had fish-hooks made of mother of pearl, and 
every fisherman made them for himself. They generally served for the 
double purpose of hook and bait. "The shell is first cut into square 
pieces, by the edge of another shell, and wrought into a form corre- 
sijonding with the outline of the hook by pieces of coral, which are suf- 
ficiently rough to perform the office of a file; a hole is then bored in the 
middle; the drill being no other than the first stone they pick up that 
has a sharp corner ; this they fix into the end of a piece of bamboo and 
turn it between the hands like a chocolate mill; when the shell is per- 
forated, and the hole sufficiently wide, a small file of coral is introduced, 
by the application of which the hook is in a short time completed, few 
costing the artificer more time than a quarter of an hour."^ 

The specimens illustrated are made fi-om the thicker portions of species 
of the Haliotis or of the valves of the dark purplish Mi/fihis californimim. 
They are handsome objects, their surfaces being well rounded and pol- 
ished. In the collection there are specimens which illustrate very well 
the process of manufacture. A series of these is given in Plate XXVIII. 
Fig. 1 shows a small fragment broken out roughly from the shell, proba- 
bly by a stone or shell implement. Fig. 2 shows a similar specimen in 
which an irregular perforation has been made. In Fig. 3 we see a con- 
siderable advance toward completion ; the hole has been enlarged 
by rubbing or filing with some small implement, and the outline ap- 
proximates that of the finished hook. Figs. 4, 5, and 6 represent ty])i- 
cal examples of the completed hooks. These range in size from one-half 
to three inches in length, the width being but slightly less. The skill 
acquired iu the manufacture of such objects of use is of the greatest im- 
portance in the development of art. It is only through the mastery of 
material thus engendered that the arts of taste become possible. 


It would hardly seem at first glance that .shells or shell substance 
could be utilized for weapons to any advantage. A close examina- 
tion, however, of some of the more massive varieties will convince us 
that they could be made available. The specific gravity of some va- 
rieties, such as the Strombus and Busycon, is equal to that of moderately 
compact stone, and with their long, sharp beaks they would, with little 
modification, certainly make formidable weapons. 

Dr. Charles Eau seems to have been the first to call attention to the 

'Putnam, in Explorations West of the 100th Meridian, vol. VII, p. 223. 
= Cook: Voyage Around the World, 1770, vol. II, p. 218. 



1, 2, 3. Manufactuie of books. 

4, 5, 6. Hooka from graves, California. 

7. Pendant or .sinker, California. 
8, 9. Pendants, Atlantir slope. 




use of shells as cliibbeads by tbe tribes of Florida. In bis valuable 
paper on tbe arcbaeological collections of tbe Natioiuil Museum be gives 
a very good description, wbicb I copy in full : 

" It farther appears that the Florida Indians applied shells of the 
Busycon perversum as clubs or casse-tetes by adapting them to be used 
with a handle, which was made to pass transversely through tbe shell. 
This was effected by a hole pierced in tbe outer wall of tbe last whorl 
in such a manner as to be somewhat to the left of the columella, while 
a notch in tbe outer lip, corresponding to tbe hole, confiued the handle 
or stick between the outer edge of the lip and tbe inner edge of the 
columella. Tbe anterior end of tbe canal, broken off until the more 
solid part was reached, was then brought to a cutting edge nearly in 
the plane of the aperture. A bole was also made in tbe posterior surface 
of tbe spire behind tbe carina in the last whorl, evidently for receiving 
a ligature by means of which tbe shell was more firmly lashed to the 

Mention of these objects is also made by Knight in a recent pam- 
phlet, the method of bafting being illustrated.'^ 

Professor Wyman, in the Naturalist for 1878, describes and illustrates 
an object of this class, made from a Busycon, which be is inclined to 
regard as one of tbe conch-shells said to have been used by the Indians 
for trumpets. It is presumably from one of tbe shell heaps on the St. 
Johns Eiver, Fla.' 

In Fig. 4, Plate XXVII, I illusti-ate one of tbe National Museum 
specimens. The posterior point is much reduced by grinding, the apex 
and nodes are somewhat battered, and the whole surface of the shell is 
worn and discolored. There are about a dozen specimens in tbe National 
collection ; in nearly all cases they are made from heavy walled speci- 
mens of the Busycon perversum, and range from three to eight inches 
in length. They are described as coming from three localities, St. Johns 
Eiver, Clearwater Eiver, and Sarasota Bay, Fla. All were probably 
obtained from shell heaps, and although ancient, two of the specimens 
still retain rude and insignificant-looking handles of wood. 

It wiU be seen from tbe foregoing that shells have actually been em- 
ployed as weapons, a use, however, wbicb would probably never have 
been suggested biit for the great scarcity of stone along tbe southern 


A rather novel use of shells by the ancient Indians is mentioned by 
early writers. The two valves of small mussels or clams were made to 
do service as tweezers for pulling out their hair. 

'Rau : Archaeological Collection of the National Museum, page 67. 
' Knight : Savage Weapons at the Centennial Exhibition, page 10. 
'Wyman: American Naturalist for October, 1878, p. 453. 


Adair, speaking of the Clioctaws, says that " both sexes i>luck all the 
hair ofl' their bodies with a kiud of tweezers, made formerly of chiiii 
shells."' Strachey states that shells were used by the Virgiuiau Indians 
for cutting hair. Beverly says of the Virginia Indians that they "pull 
their Beards up by the Eoots with Muscle-shells, and both Meu and 
Women do the same by the other Parts of their Body for Cleanliness 
sake.'" Ileckewelder states that "Before the Eui-opeans came into the 
country their apparatus for performing this work consisted of a pair of 
mussel-shells, sharpened on a gritty stone, which answered the purpose 
very well, being somewhat like pincers."' 

Fig. 5, Plate XXVII, reproduced from a plate in the Necropolis of 
Ancon^ represents two small Mytilus shells pierced at the beak and 
bound together with a cord. They wcxe found in one of the ancient 
graves of Peru, and may have been used for a similar purpose. 

•Adair: History of the American Indians, p. 6. 

^Beverly: History of Virginia, p. 140. 

^ JTeckewelder's Indian Nations, p. 205. 

<Reis8 and Stiibel: Necroi)oli8 of Ancon, Plate 83, fig. 17 J. 



Haviug studied the applicatiou of shell material to the various utilita- 
rian arts, I turu to the consideration of what may, with more or less pro- 
priety, be called the arts of taste. 

The skill acquired by the primitive artisan in shaping the homely 
spoon or the rude celt served a good purpose in the more elegant arts, 
and opened the way to a new and unique field for the development and 
display of the remarkable art instincts of these savages. It probably 
required no great skill and no very extended labor to fashion the various 
utensils and implements of the outer walls of the univalves or the thin 
valves of clams and nnissels; but to cut out, grind down, and polish the 
columella of the large conchs required a protracted effort and no little 
mechanical skill. Of the various objects shaped from the columellae, 
beads are probably the most important; but a large class of pin-shaped 
articles naturally come first, as they consist of entire or nearly entire 
columella dressed down to the desired shape. 

The use of these objects is still problematical. As they are found in 
most cases deposited with human remains, they were doubtless highly 
valued. They must have served a definite purpose in well-established 
and wide-spread customs, as they are found distributed over a district 
almost co-extensive with that occupied by other shell vestigia of marine 

Let us first study the process of manufacture. A considerable num- 
ber of the larger species of marine univalves have been brought into 
I'cquisitiou. Various species of Busycon, Strombus, and Fmciolaria offer 
almost equal facilities; the former, however, seems to have been decidedly 
the favorite, the Busyeon perversum having furnished at least tliree- 
fourths of the columns used. This result may be attributed, however, 
to the fact that, for reasons already mentioned, the perversum was so 
universally employed for vessels, the axes extracted from these being 
then ready for further manipulation. The outer case of the shell being 
somewhat fragile it is probable that the sea has very frequently broken 
it away, leaving the dismantled columella to be washed ashore in a 
shape convenient for manufacture or for inland trade. If the demand 
for these objects was very great, it is to be presumed that on shores 
where they abound these shells were bi-oken open and the columns 
extracted for purposes of traffic. The State of Tennessee is found to be 
the great store-house of these as well as other ancient objects of shell. 
This is probably owing to two causes: first, that far inland, where they 
were difficult to iJrocure, and very costly, they were highly esteemed, 



and hence consecrated to the use of the dead; and, second, the condi- 
tions uuder which they were buried had much to do with preserving them 
from rapid deca.y, while on the coast or when exposed to the atmospliere 
they soon disappeared. 

An interesting series of specimens illustrating the various stages of 
manufacture of articles from the columella is presented in Plate XXIX. 
In Fig. 1 a section of a Busycon pervcrsum is given. The position of 
the columella and its relations to the exterior parts may be clearly 
seen. The reverse whorl of the spire will be noticed, and the consequent 
sinistral character of the groove. Fig. 2 illustrates the extracted col- 
umella in its untrinimed state. A similar specimen is shown in Fig. 3, 
Plate XXXI. It was obtained from the site of an old Indian lodge on 
the island of Martha's Vineyard. This, with a number of smaller speci- 
mens, may be seen in the National Museum. They show no signs of 
use, and were probably destined for manufacture into pins or beads. 

Columellse in this state are very frequently found in the mounds and 
graves of the interior States; a majority probably belong to the Busy- 
cons, but a considerable number are derived from the Stromhklw. A 
few specimens of large size may be seen in the national collection. 

Fig. 3 represents a roughly dressed pin, of a type peculiar to the 
Pacific coast. 

Fig. 4 illustrates a completed pin of the form most common in the 
middle Mississippi province. 

Fig. 5 shows a rather rare foi'ui of pin, pointed at both ends. Bone 
pins of this form are quite common. 

Fig. 6 represents a nearly symmetrical cylinder. 

Fig. 7 illustrates the manner of dividing the cylinders into sections 
for beads. 

In 1881 some very important additions to the National Museum were 
made, from the mounds of Tennessee. These include a great wealth of 
objects in shell. From the McMahon mound at Sevierville, Tenn., there 
are a dozen shell pins, all made from the Busycon perversum. The entire 
specimens range from three to six inches in length ; two are fragment- 
ary, having lost their points by decay. In shape these objects are quite 
uniform, being, however, as a rule, more slender in the shaft than the 
average pin. The heads range from one-half to one inch in length, and 
are generally less than one inch in diameter. They are somewhat varied 
in shape, some being cylindincal, others being conical above. The 
shaft is pretty evenly rounded, but is seldom symmetrical or straight. 
It is rarely above one-half an inch in diameter, and tapers gradually to 
a more or less rounded point. The groove of the canal shows distinctly 
in all the heads, and may often be traced far down the shaft. In a 
number of cases the surface retains the fine polish of the newly-finished 
object, but it is usually somewhat weathered, and frequently discolored 
or chalky. These specimens were found in the mounds along with de- 
posits of human remains, and generally in close i»roximity to the head ; 
this fact suggests their use as ornaments for the hair. 



1. Section of Bust/con perversu in . 

2. Ronslily trimiuetl columella, 
■i. HfatUess ^iu, western foiiii. 
4. Tenncftseo form. 

r>. I'm pointed at both end.s. 

(3. (Omitted.) 

7. Manner of cutting into beads. 

8. Derivation of u celt from Biisj'con. 

9. Derivation uf ornaments from Haliotis. 
10. Derivation of ornamenta from Buaycon. 

It. Bead with cylindrical, countersunk pi-rfotalion. 

12. Bead with conical peiforatiun. 

13. Bead with bi-conical perforation. 

14. Bead imperfectly perforated. 



Two illustrations are giveu iu Plate XXX. Fig. 1 represents a fine 
example, six and a quarter inches in length. The head is deeply grooved, 
and is apparently cut from the middle part of the columella, the shaft 
being formed from the spine-like basal point. The spiral c;inal, which 
is clearly defined, makes bat one revolution in the entire length of the 
pin. In Fig. 5 a somewhat similar specimen is represented. Two fine 
specimens come from a mound on Fain's Island, Tennessee River. The 
larger one is made from the columella of some heavy shell, probably the 
Stromhiis glgas. The head is cylindrical, and the shaft large, but imper- 
fect. The smaller is a little more than two inches in length, the head 
being small and conical, and the point more than usually blunt. Another 
specimen was obtained from a mound at Taylor's Bend, near Dandridge, 
Tenn. The head is almost spherical, and the point broken off; the 
whole surface is new looking and highly polished. A number of bone 
pins pointed at both ends were obtained from Fain's Island, besides 
many perforators and other well-made implements of bone. 

Prof. C. (J. Jones describes' a number of shell pins without mention- 
ing localities, stating, however, that such iiins have been obtained from 
a mound on the Chattahoochie Eiver, below Columbus, Ga. He pub- 
lishes illustrations of two varieties. One, of the ordinary type, is five and 
a half inches in length, one inch of that distance being occupied by the 
head, which is an inch and a quarter iu diameter. The shank is an 
inch and a half in circumference, and, while tapering somewhat, is quite 
blunt at the point. The other is of somewhat rare occurrence, being 
pointed at both ends. An example of this variety is given in Fig. 4, 
Plate XXX. They are usually small and short, seldom exceeding three 
inches in length. 

In the national collection there are ten fine pins, obtained by C. L. 
Stratton from a mound oq the French Broad River, fifteen miles above 
Knoxville, Tenn. Four only are made from the Bimjcon perversum. 
The largest specimen has a very large, cylindrical head, with an ex- 
tremely deep groove. The shaft has been at least five inches long, and 
is nearly one-half an inch in diameter. Another fine specimen is five 
inches long, very slender, and nearly symmetrical. A small, almost 
headless pin, not quite one and a half inches in length, is peculiar in 
having a longitudinal perforation. It has probably been strung as a 
bead. A fourth specimen is five and three-quarters inches in length. 
The head is well rounded above, and the shaft tapers gradually to a slen- 
der symmetrical point. The other specimens from the same locality are 
in an advanced stage of decay, the points being entirely destroyed. 

The Peabody Museum contains a large number of very tine specimens 
of this class. The most important of these were obtained from the 
Brakebill, Lick Creek, and Turner mounds of Tennessee, by the Rev. 
E. O. Dunning. The largest of these is upward of six inches in length. 
An unusually symmetrical and well-preserved specimen from the Lick 
'Jones: Antiquities of the Southern Indians, pp. 234, 518. 


Creek mound is nearly seven inches in length. One specimen only in 
this collection differs from the" type already described; this has been 
made from a dextral-whorled shell ; the head is somewhat spherical, but 
is unusual in having an umbonate projection at the top. It is illus- 
trated in Fig. G, Plate XXX. 

Another small pin, which is about one and one-half inches in length, 
lias a poorlj' defined head, aud would seem useless for the purposes or- 
dinarily suggested for the larger specimens. 

A recent collection from Pikeville, Tenn., includes a number of speci- 
mens made from the spike-like base of t\iQ Busy con perrersum. They 
are roughly finished, and taper to a point at both ends. The larger 
ones are six inches in length and nearly one inch in diameter. All are 
perforated longitudinally. This perforation is neatly made and about 
one-eighth of an inch in diameter. In one specimen which has been 
broken open two perforations may be seen running almost parallel with 
each other, as if they had been bored from opposite ends and had failed 
to meet. The length of these perforations is quite remarkable, aud it is 
difficult to understand how, with the primitive tools at the disposal of 
these people, a uniform diameter could be given throughout. One of 
these objects is shown in Fig. 3, Plate XXX. 

Other States besides Tennessee have furnished a limited number of 
shell pins. Their occurrence in a mound near Columbus, Ga., has already 
been mentioned. 

The national collectiou contains a fine specimen from Macon, Ga., col- 
lected by J.C. Plant. The Peabody Museum has a number from mounds 
on the Saint Francis River, Ark. One of these is illustrated in Fig. S, 
Plate XXX. They differ from the pins heretofore described, being in 
all cases unsymmotrical. The shaft is flat and somewhat curved, and 
joins the mushroom-shaped head near one edge. This results from the 
peculiar shape of the portion of the shell from which the pin is derived, 
the head being cut from the peripheral ridge and the shaft from the 
body below or the shoulder above. Two specimens of this class have 
recently been obtained from a mound at Osceola, Ark. A profile view 
of one is shown in Fig. 10, Plate XXX. 

A pin of this class, from a. burial mound at Black Hammock, Fla., 
is described and illustrated by Professor Wyman.' From the fact of its 
being perforated at the point, he regards it as a pendant ornament. lie 
states that it is cut from the suture, where a whorl joins the preceding 
one. In this respect it resembles the specimens from Ai-kansas. It is 
made from a Busycon perrersum. 

In the National Museum we have two specimens from Florida. One 
of these, from Pensacola, is illustrated in Fig. 3, Plate XXX, and is of 
the ordinary form. The other is a short, broad-headed specimen, illus- 
trated in Fig. 7, Plate XXX. 

In the Peabody Museum are two small specimens of the ordinary type, 
'Wyman, iu the American Naturalist, November, 1868, Plate X, p. 455. 






from a mound uear Jamestown, Va. One of these, a small, pointed 
variety, is given in Fig. 'J, Plate XXX. 

In Volume VI of Sclioolcraft's Indian Tribes, a pin, probably of shell, 
is shown in si plate illustrating relics from South Carolina. 

A few localities have furnished bone, stone, and clay pins similar to 
these in shape. Specimens of the latter may be found both in the Na- 
tional and Teabody museums. They were probably intended as stop- 
pers for bottle-shaped earthen vessels. Bone pins are generally head- 
less, and have in most cases been intended as implements for perforat- 
ing and for sewing. Mr. Schnmacher found a pin-like object of bone 
on the island of San Clemente, Cal. It resembles the shell pins pretty 
closely, havihg a somewhat spherical head. It is figured by Professor 
Putnam in a recent work.' 

As already stated, the exact uses to which these pins were applied 
by the mound-building tribes are unknown ; various uses have been sug- 
gested by archaeologists. The favorite idea seems to be that they were 
Iiair-pins, used by the savages to dress and ornament the hair. It would 
seem that many of them are too clumsy for such use, although when 
new they must have been very pretty objects. The shorter and head- 
less varieties would certainly be quite useless. Similar objects of bone 
or ivory, often tastefully carved, are used by the natives of Alaska for 
scratching the head, although it seems improbable that this should have 
been their most important function. 

Professor Dall suggests that some of the shell pins may have been 
used as were the "blood-pins" of the Indians of the northwest coast. 
When game is killed by an arrow or bullet, the pin is inserted in the 
wound, and the skin drawn and stitched over the flat head, so that the 
much valued blood may be prevented from escaping. A small, very 
tastefully carved specimen of these pms is given in Plate XXXI, Fig. 4. 
It was obtained from the Indians of Oregon. A similar specimen 
comes from San Miguel Island, Gal. 

It is possible that they may have served some purpose in the arts or 
games of the ancient peoples ; yet when we come to consider the very 
great importance given to ornaments by all barbarians, we return natu- 
rally to the view that they were probably designed for personal deco- 

From the Pacific coast we have shell pins of a very dilferent type 
They also are made from the columella' of large marine univalves, and 
were probably used as ornaments, doubtless to a great extent as pend- 
ants. These objects have been obtained in great numbers from the 
ancient graves of the California coast, at Santa Barbara, at Dos Pue- 
blos, and on the neighboring islands of Santa Clara, Santa Cataliua, 
San Clemente, and Santa Rosa. Professor Dall is of the opinion that 
the shell mostly used is tlie Purpura crhpata, the smaller specimens 
probably being derived from the Mitra maura. 

'Putnam, in Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, Vol. VII, p. 230. 


Such II very concise tlescriptiou of these objects is given by Prof. F. 
W. Putnam in a recent paper that I beg leave to quote it here, omit- 
ting his references to iigures : "A columella was ground clown to the 
required size and shape, and made into a pendant by boring a hole 
through the larger end. In order to make this pendant still more at- 
tractive, the spiral groove is filled with asphaltum, or a mixture of that 
material and a red pigment. Sometimes the sjnral groove was so nearly, 
or even wholly, obliterated in the iirocess of grinding the colnmella into 
shape as to make it necessary to enlarge or even recut the groove in 
order to make a place for the much-loved asphaltum." Another form, 
made from another shell, is described, the whorls of which are "loose 
and open, so that a natural tube exists throughout the length of the 
spire; at the same time the spiral groove in the central portion is very 
narrow; consequently it has to be artificially enlarged for the insertion 
of the asphaltum, which thus winds spirally about the shell. As the 
natural orifice at the large end of the shell seems to have been too 
large for properly adjusting and confining the ornament as desired, 
this difficulty was overcome by inserting a small shell of Dentalium, or 
by making a little plug of shell, which is carefully fitted and bored." ' 

The national collection contains upward of fifty of these pins, which 
come from ancient graves at Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos, Cal., 
and from the islands of Santa Cruz and San Miguel. These vary in 
length from one to five inches, the well-finished specimens seldom reach- 
ing one half an inch in diameter. At the upper end they i ound off some- 
what abruptly to an obtuse iJoint, but taper to a sharp point at the lower 
end, something like a cigar. Two fine examples are shown in Figs. 1 
and 2, Plate XXXI. All show the spiral groove, and nearly all have 
portions of the asphaltum remaining. The columellte from which they 
are made may be to some extent naturally perforated, but .are certainly 
not sufficiently so to permit the ready passage of a cord. The points 
are seldom sharp, and are often broken off. A bit of Dentalium inserted 
into the perforation and set with asphaltum helps to enforce the point and 
to guard against further breakage. The larger specimens are seldom 
perforated transversely at either end, while the smaller ones are almost 
always perforated at the larger end, which is slightly flattened. A good 
example is shown in Fig. 5, Plate XXXI. 

A peculiar bulb-pointed specimen is illustrated in Fig. 6, Plate 
XXXI. The bulb is made from the upiier end of the columella. There 
are six of these pins in the collection. 

The consideration of these pins leads naturally to the i)resentation 
of other classes of objects manufactured from the collumelliE of marine 
univalves among which beads are the most numerous and important. 

'Putuam, in Surveys West of the lOOtli Meridian, Vol. VII, p. 259. 



1. Sliell pin from San Miiruel Island. 

2. Shell pill tVo:n DosPuebloa. Cal. 

3. An nntrinmied coUiniela. 

4. Bone pin from Oreson. 

5. Shell pin from San Mi?nel Islauil. 

6. Shell pin from San Mignel Island. 




I shall not attempt withiu the limits of this paper to give more thau 
an outline of this important division of my subject. 

The use of beads seems to have been almost universal with peoples 
of all times and of all grades of culture, and the custom of wearing 
them is a relic of barbarism that promises to be carried a long way 
into the future. All suitable natural objects have been brought iuto 
requisition — animal, vegetable, and mineral. Shells from the sea, pre- 
cious stones from the mountains, and fruits from the forest have been 
utilized ; and claws of birds, teeth of animals, and even the nails of the 
human hand have been worked into ornaments to gratify the barbaric 
vanity of the " untutored savage." The tiinty substance of the shells of 
moUnsks has been a favorite material at all times and with all peoples. 
Especially is this true of the shell-loving natives of North America, 
among whom shell beads have been in use far back iuto the prehistoric 
ages, and who to-day, from Oregon to Florida, burden themselves to 
discomfort with multiple strings of their favorite ornament ; and this, 
too, without reference to their value as money or their service as charms. 
On the necks of brawny and unkempt savages I have seen necklaces 
made of the highly glazed Oliva, or of the iridescent nacre of the pearly 
Haliotis, that would not shame a regal wardrobe, and have marveled at 
the untaught appreciation of beauty displayed. 

Beads made of shell may have three divisions based upon derivation, 
and three based upon function. 

First, they consist of all smaller varieties of natural shells, pierced 
for suspension, or only slightly altered, to add to beauty or convenience ; 
second, they are made of the shells of bivalves and the outer walls of 
univalves ; or, third, of the columella; of the larger univalves cut to the 
desired sizes, and shaped and polished to suit the savage tastd. 

As to function, they may be classed as personal ornaments, as money, 
and as material for mnemonic records. 


Under this head I shall examine briefly the manner of piercing or alter- 
ing the smaller varieties of shells preparatory to stringing. The multi- 
tudes of perforated shells exhumed from the graves of our ancient tribes 
aflbrd a fruitful field of study, and our large collections of more recent 
specimens serve to illustrate the manner in which they were employed. 

In Plate XXXII illustrations are given showing the various methods 
of manipulation and perforation. In North America the Maginella, the 
Oliva, and the Ci/prea seem to lead in importance. 

Fig. 1 represents an Oliva, the apex of which has been broken away 
and the rough edge ground down, producing a passage for a thread, 
which may be introduced through the natural aperture below. This is 


a common method of perforation in many widely separated districts, 
and witli a considerable variety of shells. The specimen fignred is 
from a mound in Cocke County, Tenn. It is an Oliva literata from the 
Atlantic coast. 

Fig. 2 shows a very usual method of treating small univalves. The 
most prominent part of the lower whorl is ground down until the wall 
is quite thin, and a small round "hole is then drilled through it. The 
specimen illustrated is a large OKvella hij)lieata, obtained from the 
island of Santa Rosa, Cal. 

Figs. 3 and -i illustrate specimens from Mexico. Some thinbladed 
implement, probably of stone, has been used to saw a slit or uotch in 
the first convolution of the shell near the inner lip. Fig. 3 has one of 
these perforations, and Fig. 4 has two. The shell is the OUm literata, 
from the Atlantic coast. 

Fig. 5 is simply one-half of an OliveUa hiplkata with the interior parts 
extracted. It is made by cutting the shell longitudinally and drilling 
a central perforation. The specimen figured is from San Miguel Island, 

Fig. 6 illustrates the manner of breaking out a disk ])reparatory to 
making a bead. This disk, when perforated, is frequently used by the 
Indians of the Pacific coast without additional finish. 

Fig. 7 shows two examples of beads made from small specimens of 
the Olirella hipUcata; both extremities are ground ofl", leaving a rather 
clumsy cylinder. The originals are from graves on the island of Santa 
Rosa. Such beads are frequently worn at the present time. 

One of the specimens shown in Fig. 8 is from a grave in Monroe 
County, iSTew York, and the other is from a mound in Perry County, 
Ohio. The shell is the Man/inella conoidaUs, which has a wide distri- 
bution in the ancient burial places of tlie Atlantic slope. In making 
the perforation the shoulder is often ground so deeply as to expose the 
entire length of the interior spiral. 

Fig. 9 represents a perforated Cerrithulea sacrata, from Santa Rosa 
Island, Cal. The method of perforating employed is a usual one 
with small shells of this form. Similar specimens come from many 
parts of the United States. Beads of this and the preceding variety 
are said to have constituted the original wampum of the Atlantic sea- 

Fig. 10 illustrates a rude bead made from the spire of a univalve, 
probably a small specimen oi Bmycon perversum. Most of the body of 
the shell has been removed and a perforation made near the border. 
Three of these specimens were found in a burial mound at Muri)hys- 
boro. 111. 

Fig. 11 illustrates a perforated Ci/prca .from the Pacific coast. This 
is a recent specimen which illustrates an ancient as well as a modern 
method of perforation. 

Fig. 12 shows a rather peculiar method of treating Cyprea shells by 



. (i) 


the tribes of the Pacific coast aucl the Pacific islands. The prominent 
l)art of tlie back is cut or ground away, aud the columella is partially 
or wholly removed, a passage the full size of the natural aperture being 
thus secured. This is also an ancient as well as a modern method of 

Small bivalve shells are prepared for stringing by drilling one or 
more holes in the center or near the margin, according to the manner 
in which they are to be strung. Such beads liave been in almost uni- 
versal use by primitive peoples, both ancient and modern. 

Shells with natural perforations, such as the FissKreUas and Dentalia, 
are extensively employed by the west coast peoples, and foreign varieties 
of the latter have been largely imported by Europeans, and from very 
early times have been used by the tribes of all sections. The natural 
perforation of the Fissurella is often artificially enlarged, and addi- 
tional perforations are made near the margin. Examples may be seen 
in Plate XLIX. 

I shall include under the head of beads all small objects having a 
central or nearly central perforation, made for the puri)ose of stringing 
them in numbers. In shape, they range from straw-like cylinders, three, 
four, and even five inches long, with longitudinal perforations, to thin, 
button-like disks, two or more inches in diameter. In general the cyl- 
inders are made from the columelhc of univalves, and the disks from 
the outer walls of the same, or from the shells of bivalves. Of course, 
there are forms that fall under no classification, such as disks with per- 
forations parallel with the faces, or cylindrical forms with transverse 
perforations, while many small, pendant-like objects, of varied shapes, 
are strung with the beads, and might be classed with them; but these 
are exceptions, and can be described along with the classified objects 
most nearly resembling them. 

The grinding down aud the perforating of natural shells is easily 
accomplished, so that any savage could alibrd to decorate his person 
with this jewelry in profusion. But the class of beads illustrated in 
Plates XXXIII, XXXIV, aud XXXV could not have been made with- 
out the expenditure of much time and labor, and doubtless owe their 
existence, in a measure, to mercenary motives. As they were made 
from the walls or columelhc of massive shells, they must have been 
broken or cut out, ground smooth about the edges, and perforated; this, 
too, with most primitive tools. 


In shape discoidal beads range from the concavo-convex sections of 
the curved walls of the shell to totally artificial outlines, in such forms 
as doubly-convex disks, cylinders, and spheroids. In size the disks 
vary from very minute forms, one-tenth of an inch in diameter and one- 
thirtieth of an inch in thickness, to two inches in diameter and nearly 
one-half an inch in thickness. The thickness of the finished beads is 


governed iu a ffieat measure by tlie thickness of the shell from which 
they are mauiifactured. 

The Venus mercenaria of the Atlantic coast and the heavier Unios of 
the Mississippi Yalley give a general thickness of from one-eighth to 
three-eighths of an inch, while others, such as the heavy clams of the 
Pacific, are very much thicker. The walls of univalves, especially near 
the base, are often extremely heavy, while the smaller varieties of shells 
furnish specimens of wafer-like thinness. 

In Plate XXXIII a series of beads of this class is given, beginning 
with the smaller disks and ending with those of large, though not the 
largest, size. 

In fig. 1 I present two views of a minute disk, obtained, with many 
others of similar shape and size, from a mound on Lick Creek, Tenn. 
The perforations in these specimens, as well as in most of tGose that 
follow, are bi-conical, and sufficiently irregular in form to indicate that 
they are hand-made. Beads of this general apijearance have been found 
in a multitude of graves and mounds, distributed over a large part of 
North as well as of South America. A vast majority of these beads are 
doubtless of aboriginal make, as they are found in the oldest mounds. 

Fig. 2 represents a minute form from Santa Cruz Island, Cal. The 
peripheral surface is ornamentedwith a net- work of incised lines. 

Fig. 3 illustrate.s a small cylindrical bead, with large perforation, from 
a mound near Prairie du Chien, Wis. It was found, with a number of 
others, near the neck of the skeleton of a child. 

Fig. 4 represents a small spheroidal bead from the great mound near 
Sevierville, Tenn. ; it is neatly made and well preserved. 

Figs. 5 and 6 illustrate specimens of roughly finished concavo-convex 
disks, much used by both ancient and modern tribes of California, Ari- 
zona, and New Mexico. 

I essayed at one time to purchase a long necklace of these homely 
ornaments from a Navajo Indian in Arizona, but soon discovered that 
it was beyond my reach, as my best mule was hardly considered a fair 
exchange for it. These beads are made from the Oliva chiefly, but to 
some extent from small bivalves. 

This bead is not common in the mounds of the Mississippi Valley, 
but is used by many modern savages. It seems to be the form called, 
by the Indians of Virginia, " roenoke," which, according to Beverly, is 
made of the cockleshell, broken into small bits, with rough edges, and 
drilled through iu the same manner as beads. 

Fig. 7 represents a smoothly cut bead of medium size, said to have been 
obtained from a grave at Lynn, Mass. It has been cut from the curved 
wall of some large univalve, and is very similar to modern specimens 
in use over a greater part of the United States. 

Fig. 8 belongs to a necklace brought from the northwest coast, and 
is very much like the specimen shown iu Fig. 7. 

Fig. 9 is a well-made specimen from Sevierville, Tenn. The sides are 






ground perfectly flat and the edges are well rounded. The shell is very 
compact, and well preserved, and bears a close resemblance to bone or 

Fig. 10 represents a thin, fragile disk, from a mound in Southern Illi- 
nois. It is made of a Unio, and separates into thin sheets or flakes, like 

Figs. 11 and 12 illustrate two compact, nearly symmetrical specimens 
from a moiand at Paint Rock Ferry, Tenn. 

Fig. 13 is from the same locality, and is hemispherical in shape. 

Fig. 14 represents a button-like disk, with large conical perforation, 
from a mound at Paint Rock Ferry, Tenn. It has probably been made 
from the wall of a large marine univalve. 

The flue specimen shown in Fig. 15 comes from a mound in Cocke 
County, Tenn., and is unusually well preserved. It is very compact, 
having the appearance of ivory, and has probably been made from the 
basal portion of a large univalve. The perforation is extremely large, 
and is conical, having been bored entirely from one side. 

Figs. 16 and 17 represent two fine specimens from California. They 
are nearly symmetrical, the faces being flat or slightly convex. The 
smaller one has been coated with some dark substance — the result, 
probably, of decay — which has broken awaj^ in places, exposing the 
chalky shell. The edges are ornamented with shallow lines or notches. 
Such disks, when used as ornaments, probably formed the central piece 
of a necklace, or were fixed singly to the hair, ears, or costume. As 
long as these larger specimens retained the color and iridescence of the 
original shell, they were extremely handsome ornaments, but in their 
present chalky aud discolored state they are not prepossessing ob- 

This plate will serve as a sort of key for reference in the study of 
beads of this class, as the specimens are typical. 


Beads made from the columellie of univalves have generally a number 
of distinguishing characteristics. They are large and massive, and 
rarely symmetrical in outline, being sections of roughly dressed columns. 
They are somewhat cylindrical, and often retain the spiral groove as 
well as other portions of the natural surface. In cases where the form 
is entirely artificial they may be distinguished by the sinuous character 
of the foliation. The perforation is nearly always with the axis of the 
bead, and is in most cases bi-couical. In Plate XXIX a series of cuts 
is given which illustrates the various methods of perforation and shows 
vei-y distinctly the difl'ereuces between the rude work of savages and the 
mechanically perfect work of modei'u mamifacturers. Beads of this class 
are more decidedly aboriginal in character than those of any other group, 
and are without doubt of very ancient origin. They are widely dis- 
tributed, and have been found in graves and mounds covering an area 


outlined by Massachusetts, Canada West, Minnesota, Missouri, and the 
Gulf and Atlantic coasts. 

Figs. 1, 6, 7, 11, and 14; of Plate XXXIV represent typical specimens 
of this class. In every case they are considerably altered by decay, 
rarely retaining any of the original polish. All come from ancient burial 
mounds, some of the interments of which probably antedate, while 
others post-date, the coming of the whites. 

The bead shown in Fig. 1 is made from the columella of a Busycon 
perversum. It is a rude, tapering cylinder, with rounded ends and deep 
spiral groove. The perforation is bi conical and somewhat irregular. 
This, with many similar beads, made of both dextral and sinistral shells, 
was associated with human remains in the great mound at Sevierville, 

Thf bead illustrated in Fig. G has been made from the column of some 
dextral whorled shell. It was obtained from a mound on Lick Creek, 
East Tenn. It is a typical specimen of average size, and illustrates 
very well the large collection of this class of relics made by Dr. Troost. 

Fig. 7 was obtained from a mound at Franklin, Tenn. It is cut from 
the columella of a Busycon perversum, and is of the usual form, being a 
heavy, short cylinder, rounded at the ends until it is somewhat globular. 
The perforation is very large, and has been made almost entirely from 
one end. The surface is much weathered, the tirmer laminw being dis- 
tinctly relieved. Other specimens from the same locality are much 

Fig. 11 is from a grave in an ancient cemetery at Swanton, Vt., and 
is similar to the preceding, having been cut, however, if correctly rep- 
resented, from a dextral whorled shell. The cut is copied from a paper 
by G. H. Perkins. ' 

Fig. 14 illustrates a very large specimen of these beads from the 
Lick Creek Mound, East Tenn. The surface is encrusted, stained, and 
decayed. It has been made from the broad beak of a l^tronibus or dex- 
tral whorled Busycon. The perforation is symmetrical and bi-conical. 
Specimens upwards of two inches in length and one and one-fourth in 
width come from the same place. The larger perforations are three- 
eighths of an inch in diameter at the ends and quite small in the middle. 

Fig. 12 represents a large bead of symmetrical outline, made from 
the columella of a Busycon perversum. The shape is artificial, with the 
exception of a small i)ortion of the spiral canal. The surface retains 
much of the original polish, but exfoliation has commenced on one side. 

The perforation is about three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter at 
the ends and one-sixteenth in the middle. There is a slight olt'set 
where the perforations meet. It is from a burial mound at Harrisburg, 

The bead shown in Fig. 9 is one of a large number obtained from a 

'Perkins, on An Ancient Burial-Grouud in Swantou, Vt.,Proceediug8oftbo American 
Association, 1873. 

bl'ukau of rthxolort 





mound at East St. Louis, Ills. It is a symmetrical, well-polished cyl- 
inder. The small portion of the spiral groove which remains indicates 
that it is derived from a Busycon perversum. The perforation is neatly 
made and doubly conical in shape. The symmetry, finish, and fine con- 
dition of this bead lead to the suspicion that it may be of recent manu- 
facture. Its form is by no means a common one among ancient mound 

The bead represented in Fig. 10 is described and illustrated by Squier ■ 
and Davis.' This, with many similar specimens, was taken from a 
mound in the Ohio Valley. It is made from the columella of some ma- 
rine univalve, and is well wrought and symmetrical. 

Fig. 5 is a flattish, highly jiolished bead from Monroe County, New 
York. The material, which resembles ivory, may have been obtained 
from the tusk of some animal. It is slightly concave on one side and 
convex on the other. The perforation is neatly made and of uniform 
diameter throughout. 

In Fig. 4 I present a bead of unusual shape ; it is made from the 
basal portion of some heavy univalve. The axis and perforation are at 
right angles to the plane of lamination. The middle portion of the bead 
has been excavated, producing a form resembling a labret or lip-block, 
in common use by many tribes. It is from a mound on French Broad 
River, Tenn. We have a bead of similar shape, but which has a lateral 
perioratiou, from a mound at Nashville, Tenn. 

Fig. 2 illustrates a spheroidal bead obtained from an ancient grave on 
Santa Eosa Island, Cal. The form is unusually symmetrical and the per- 
foration neatly made, being small, doubly conical, and slightly counter- 
sunk at one end. The surface is smooth and retains a little of the orig- 
inal purplish hue of the shell, i)robably a Hennites glganteus. Others 
of the same shape from this locality exhibit like characteristics. A few 
similar specimens come from San Miguel Island. 

Another large specimen from this locality is shown in Fig. 8. It 
is somewhat flat, and is quite wide in the middle portion, tapering 
rapidly towards the ends. The perforation is small and regular. The 
lines of foliation are distinctly marked, but are not sufficiently charac- 
teristic to indicate the part of the shell from which the bead is derived. 

Pearls. — Two of the most remarkable beads in the national collection 
are illustrated in Figs. 3 and 13. The latter is an enormous pearl, 
probably derived from the Haliotis Californianus. It is somewhat i^ear- 
shaped, the base being rounded and the apex a little bent. The trans- 
verse section is subtriangular. Having been buried for an unknown 
period in the soil or sand, it has suffered greatly from decay, and has 
probably lost considerably by exfoliation. The thin, chalky lamellae 
come away readily in concentric scales, exposing the iridescent nacre 
beneath. The perforation is about one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter, 
and seems to pass through a natural cavity in the interior of the pearl. 
The smaller specimen given in Fig. 3 is in many respects, similar to the 

'Squier and Davis: Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, p. 232. 
15 E 


large one. Another, of about the same size as Fig. 3 bears quite a 
marked resemblance to a lima bean, and is pierced laterallj-, giving a 
button like appearance. 

These specimens were obtained from graves on San Miguel Island, by 
Stephen Bowers. 


In Plate XXXV I have arranged a number of cylindrical beads, to- 
gether with a few others of unclassified form. 

Figs. 1 and 2 illustrate the most common form of the ancient wam- 
pum, the white example being made from the columella of a small uni- 
valve, and the dark one from the purple portion of a Venus mercenaria. 
The specimens represented belong to the celebrated "Penn belt," pre- 
served in the rooms of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

It is not known positively that beads of this particular shape were 
employed in pre-Columbian times; but it is certainly one of the earli- 
est historical forms, and one which has been manufactured extensively 
by the Indians as well as by the whites. They may be found both in 
very old and in very recent graves, in widely separated parts of the 
United States and British America, and have always formed an impor- 
tant part of the stock of the Indian trader. 

Figs. 3 and 4 represent a very large class of Pacific coast forms. 
These are from the island of Sau Miguel. They are simple white cylin- 
ders, with somewhat irregular bi-conical perforations. Many examples 
may be fouud which taper slightly toward the ends. They are coated 
with a rnsty-looking deposit, which breaks away easily, exposing the 
chalky substance of the shell. They range from one-half to three inches 
in length, and from one-eighth to three-eighths in diameter. They are 
probably made from the thick valves of the Pachydesma crassatelloides 
or the Amiantis callosa. They were probably used as beads for the neck • 
and as pendant ornaments for the ears. The longer specimens may 
have been worn in the nose. It is also said that beads of this class 
were used as money. 

Fig. 5 illustrates a very long, tubular bead found at Piscataway, Md. 
It has been made from the columella of some large univalve. It is four 
and a half inches long and one-fourth of an inch in diameter. The sur- 
face is smooth, but a little uneven, and the ends taper slightly. The 
perforation which has apparently been made from both ends, as there 
is an offset near the middle, is quite regular, though slightly enlarged 
near the ends. 

A large number of beads of the class illustrated in Fig. 6, Plate 
XXXV, were obtained from the ancient graves of San Miguel Island, 
Cal. They have been made from one of the large bivalve shells of the 
Pacific coast, probably the Pachydesma crassatelloides. The curvature 
of the bead is the result of the natural curve of the valve from which 
it is fashioned. The larger specimens ai-e nearly five inches in length. 
In the middle portion they are three-eighths of an inch in diameter. 
They taper gradually towards the euds to the size of the pertbration, 





1, 2. Beads from the Peun Belt. 
3, 4. Pacific coast foiiiis. 

5. Bead finm Maryland. 

6. A Pacific coast form. 

7. A Pai-Ute nose ornament (bone). 

8. Bead made fiom a Haliotis. 
9, 10, 11. Beads made from liintre of Hennite3. 

12. Bead made fiom a Bentalium. 

13. Bead from mound, Tenn. 



which averages about one-sixteenth of an inch. The curvature of the 
bead is so great that there has been much difificulty in making the per- 
forations from opposite ends meet, and none of the larger specimens 
will permit the passage of a wire, although the perforations lap con- 
siderably and water passes through quite freely. It will be observed 
that the surface of these objects is coated with a dark, rough film, which, 
when broken away, exposes the natural shell. Such beads may have 
been used as nose ornaments, but more probably formed parts of some 
composite ornament for the neck or ear. 

Fig. 7 represents a bone nose ornament obtained from the Pai-Ute 
Indians by Professor Powell. Its shape is not unlike that of the curved 
bead just described. 

The large rude bead given in Fig. 8 is made from the thick lip or rim 
of the Ealiotis Californianus. This, with a number of similar specimens, 
was obtained from an ancient grave at Dos Pueblos, Cal. The per- 
forations are all large and symmetrical. In one case the hole has been 
reduced at the ends by inserting small bits of shell, through which 
minute passages have been made. 

In Figs. 9 and 10 I give two illustrations of a bead of rather remark- 
able form. A large number of similar specimens have been brought 
from Dos Pueblos, La Patera, and the islands of San Miguel and Santa 
Cruz. They are made from the hinge of the Hennites giganteus, a large 
bivalve, having a delicate i)urplish tinge. The shape results from the 
form of the hinge; the curve is the natural curve of the shell; and the 
notch near the middle of the convex side is the natural pit, often some- 
what altered by art to add to the appearance or to assist in completing 
the perforation. The holes are generally very small, and have been 
made witli much difiQculty, owing to the curvature of the bead. Where 
by accident the perforation has become enlarged at the end, it has 
been bushed by setting in a small piece of shell. The specimen figured 
is perforated near the end for suspension, no longitudinal perforation 
having been attempted. 

Fig. 11 shows one of these beads in an unfinished state, the portion 
of the hinge used being roughly broken out and slightly rounded. We 
have in the national collection specimens of this class in all stages of 
manufacture. Professor Haldeman has described and illustrated a 
number of similar beads. He describes the rounded notch near the 
middle as artificial, and considers it a device to help out the perforation 
or facilitate the stringing. Professor Putnam, in the same work,' states 
that the "notches were subsequently filled with asphaltum even with 
the surface of the shell." 

The curved bead illustrated in Fig. 12 is made from a Dentalium in- 
dianorum (?) by removing the conical point. These shells, either entire 
or in sections, are much used by the Indians of the northwest, both as 
ornaments and as a medium of exchange. 

' Putnam, in Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, Vol. Til, p. 266. 



In Plate XXXVI I present a number of illustrations of a class of 
relics which have occasionally been mentioned in literature, and which 
are represented to some extent in our collections. As these objects re- 
semble beads rather more closely than i)endants, I shall refer to them 
in this place, although Mr. Schoolcraft considers them badges of honor 
or rank, and treats them as gorgets. He describes them as consisting 
of a " circular piece of flat shell, from one and a half to two inches in 
diameter, quartered with double lines, having the devices of dots be- 
tween them. This kind was doubly perforated in the i^lane of the 
circle." ' 

In "Notes on the Iroquois," by the same author, we have a much fuller 
description. He says that "this article is generally found in the form 
of an exact circle, rarely a little ovate. It has been ground down and 
repolished, apparently, from the conch. Its diameter varies from three- 
fourths of an inch to two inches; thickness, two-tenths in the center, 
thinning out a little towards the edges. It is doubly perforated. It is 
figured on the face and its reverse, with two parallel latitudinal and two 
longitudinal lines crossing in its center, and dividing the area into four 
equal parts. Its circumference is marked with an inner circle, corre- 
sponding in width to the cardinal parallels. Each division of the circle 
thus quartered has five circles, with a central dot. The latitudinal and 
longitudinal bands or fillets have each four similar circles and dots, and 
one in its center, making thirty-seven. The number of these circles 
varies, however, on various specimens. In the one figured there are 
fifty-two." 2 

Figs. 1 and 2 are copied from Plate 25 of Schoolcraft. The smaller 
was obtained from an ancient grave at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and the 
larger from an Indian cemetery at Onondaga, N. Y. Others have been 
found at Jamesville, Lafayette, and Manlius, in the latter State. The 
Indians, according to Mr. Schoolcraft, have no traditions respecting 
this class of objects, and we are quite in the dark as to their significance 
or the manner in which they were used. 

Mr. W. M. Beauchamp, of Baldwinsville, N. Y., has very kindly sent 
me sketches of two of these objects. The originals were obtained from 
an ancient village site at Pompey, K. Y, One is almost a duplicate of 
the smaller specimen copied from Schoolcraft, but the other, which is 
illustrated in Fig. 4, Plate XXXVI, presents some novel features. The 
central portion of the face is occupied by a rosette-like design, which 
consists of six sharplj- oval figures that radiate from the center like the 
spokes of a wheel. These rays are ornamented with a series of oblique 
lines, arranged in couplets. The margin is encircled by a narrow band, 
similarly figured. Mr. Beauchamp expresses the opinion that these 
specimens are of European origin. 

The specimen shown in Fig. 3 belongs to a necklace now in the 

' Schoolcraft : History of the Indian Tribes, Vol. Ill, p. 79, Plate 25. 
'Schoolcraft: Notes on the Iroquois, p. 233. 



1. Xew York. 
'2, New York. 
3. Arizoua. 

4. Xew York. 
5, 6. SectioD8. 

7. Manner of wearing. 






national collection. This necklace was obtained from the Indians of 
New Mexico by Lieutenant Whipple, and consists of three of these 
shell ornaments, together with about tifty small porcelain beads. The 
shell beads are strung at regular intervals. The specimen illustrated 
is ornamented with a design in minute conical pits, arranged precisely 
as are the circlets in the crosses and encircling bands of the New York 
and Ohio specimens. The edges and surfaces are mnch worn by use. 
The substance of the shell is well preserved, and has an ivory-like ap- 
pearance although in the specimen shown in the cut the lamination 
of the shell is distinctly seen. The perforations in these three speci- 
mens are quite symmetrical, and suggest the use of machinery. The 
method of perforation is identical in all these specimens, and will be 
readily understood by reference to the two sections given in Figs. 5 
and 6. All of these specimens are nearly circular ; but the regularity of 
the outline is in some cases marred by shallow notches produced by 
wear at the perforations. This wear has been accelerated by the abra- 
sion of the small beads with which the disks have probably been strung. 

It will be noticed that there is quite a close resemblance between 
these objects and the "runtees" of the early writers. Beverly gives an 
illustration of an Indian boy who is described as wearing a necklace of 
these "runtees," which "are made of the Conch Shell, as the Peak is, 
only the Shape is flat and like a Cheese, and drili'd Edge- ways."' A 
portion of this illustration is copied iu Fig. 5, Plate XXXVI. It will 
be seen by reference to this cut that the manner of stringing corre- 
sponds with the method in whicii the objects under consideration would 
have to be strung. 

It is probable that the signification of the designs engraved upon 
these ornaments will remain forever a matter of conjecture. It cannot 
be affirmed that the cross, which occurs on the faces of most of the 
specimens, has any particular significance, although it may represent 
the points of the compass. That it may have some emblematic mean- 
ing is, however, not impossible. I have counted the number of circlets 
on all of the specimens with which I am acquainted. The result is 
shown in the following table: 

No. 1 (Fig. 1) . 
No. 2 (Fig. 3) . 
No. 3 (Fig. 2) . 

No. 4' 

No. 5' 

No. 6' 

Id the cross. 

nal ami. 



In the 
circle, ex- 
clusive of 






1 Schoolcraft : Notes on Iroquois, p. 233. ^ From sketch by Mr. Beanchamp. 

The central circlet having been counted with each arm of the cross, the 
total number of circlets in each specimen will be one less than the sum 
of the three columns. 

'Beverly: History of Virginia, p. 145, Plate VI. 


These circlets may be numerals. The design may be significant of 
some rank, the badge of a secret order, or the totem of a clan. The 
general arrangement of the figures upon the face of these disks sug- 
gests an incipient calendar. 

These beads are doubtless American in origin, as nothing of a similar 
form, so far as I can learn, occurs in European countries. The fact that 
they are found in widely separated localities indicates that they were 
probably used in trade since the advent of the whites. This is possibly 
some form of bead held in high esteem by tribes of the Atlantic coast 
when first encountered by the whites who have taken up its manufacture 
for purnoses of trade. 


I have already spoken casually of the use of beads for personal orna- 
ment, but it will probably be better to enlarge a little upon the subject 
at this point. 

Beads are generally found in the graves of ancient peoples in a loose 
or disconnected state, the strings on which they were secured hav- 
ing long since decayed. We cannot, therefore, with certainty, restore 
the ancient necklaces and other composite ornaments ; but we can form 
some idea of their character by a study of the objects of which they 
were made and the positions held by these objects at the period of ex- 
humation. Much can also be learned by a study of the ornaments of 
modern peoples in similar stages of culture. 

As a rule, the combinations in the pendant ornaments of the ancient 
American seem to have been quite simple. Being without glass, and 
practically without metals, they had few of the resources of the modern 
savage. Their tastes were simple and congruous, not having been dis- 
turbed by the debasing influence of foreign innovation, which is the 
cause of so much that is tawdry and incongruous in the art of modern 

A curious example of a modern necklace is given by Professor Halde- 
man,' who had in his possession an Abyssinian necklace "composed of 
European beads, cowries (Cyprea shell), a triangular plate of glass, two 
small copper coins, small spheric brass buttons, cornelian, date-seeds, 
numerous cloves pierced through the sides, a fragment of wood, a bit 
of cane, and an Arab phylactery." 

Something can be learned of the practices of the ancient Americans 
in the use of beads and pendant ornaments generally, by a study of the 
remains of their paintings and sculptures — such, for instance, as may 
be found in the Goldsborough manuscripts or the superb lithographs 
of Waldeck, examples of which are given in Plate XLV. 

In a number of cases necklaces of the mound-builders have been 
found upon the necks of skeletons, just as they were placed at the time 
of burial. 

'Haldeman, in Surveys West of the lOOth Meriaian, Vol. VII, p. 263. 


Captain Atwater iu describing the contents of a mound at Marietta, 
Ohio, m.akes the statement that on the breast of a skeleton " lay a stone 
ornament, ■with two perforations, one near each end, through which 
passed a string, by means of wliich it was suspended around the wear- 
er's neck. On the string, which was made of sinew, and very much in- 
jured by time, were placed a great many beads made of ivory or bone." ' 

A similar necklace is described by Mr. Matson, in the Ohio Centen- 
nial Eeport, p. 127. It was found on the skeleton of a little girl, and 
was so made as to be larger in the center of the neck in front, tapering 
almost to a point at the middle of the back. On page 129 of the same 
volume much more varied uses of bead ornaments are suggested. Mr. 
Matsou describes four skeletons, on each of which shell beads were 
found. In three cases they had been placed about the neck only; in the 
fourth, nearly thirty yards of beads had been used. There were four 
strands about the neck, crossing over on the breast and back and jjass- 
ing down between the legs. Strings passed down the legs to the feet, 
aud were also found along the arms and around the wrists. 

The arrangement of the various parts of a necklace or string of pend- 
ants is found to be much alike the world over, cousisting of a strand 
of beads, small toward the ends and increasing in size toward the mid- 
dle, where a central bead or pendant of peculiar form or unusual size 
is placed. 

The practices of modern barbarians in the employment of beads as 
ornaments are extremely varied. They are employed in dressing the 
hair, iu head-dresses and i)lumes, and i)endants to these; as pendants 
to the hair, ears, nose, aud lips; as necklaces and bracelets; as belts 
for the waist and sashes to be thrown across the shoulders ; and as 
anklets and pendent ornaments to all parts of the costume. 

Father Easles, writing of the Abuaki Indians of Canada in 1723, 
says: "If you wish to see him in all his finery, you will find he has no 
other ornaments but beads; these are a kind of shell or stone, which 
they form iuto the shape of little grains, some white and others black, 
which they string together in such a way as to represent different showy 
fignres with great exactness. It is with these heads that our Indians 
bind up aud plait their hair on their ears and behind; they make of 
them pendants for the ears, collars, garters, large sashes of five or six 
inches iu breadth, and on these Iciuds of ornaments they pride them- 
selves much more than a European would on all his gold and jewelry."^ 

It is related of the New England Indians that more than a hun- 
dred years ago, they '' hung striugs of money about their necks and 
wrists, as also upon the necks and wrists of their wives and children. 
They also cni-iously make girdles, of one, two, three, four, aud five 
inches thickness, aud more, of this money ; which, sometimes, to the 
value of ten pounds or more, they wear about their middle, aud as a 

'Atwater: Western Antiquities, p. 8G. In the early days of mound exploration shell 
was usually mistaken for bone or ivory. 
'Kip: Jesuit Missions, p. 25. 


scarf about their shoulders and breasts. Tea, the princes make rich caps 
and aprons, or small breeches of these beads, thus curiously strung into 
many forms and figures; their black and vrhite finely mixed together."' 

It is farther recorded that the New E%laud Indians " wore ear- rings 
and nose-jewels; bracelets on their arms and legs, rings on their fingers, 
necklaces made of highly polished shells found in their rivers and on 
their coasts. Tlie females tied up their hair behind, worked bands 
round tbeir heads and ornamented tbem with shells and feathers, and 
wore strings of beads round several parts of their bodies. Eound their 
moccasins they had shells and turkey spurs, to tinkle like little bells as 
thej' walked."^ 

The Indian women of the New Netherlands also gave great attention 
to personal decoration. One writer states that they ornamented the 
lower border of their skirts " with great art, and nestle the same with 
Btrips, which are tastefully decorated with wampum. The wampum 
with which one of these skirts is ornamented is frequently worth from 
one to three hundred guilders. * » * Their head-dress forms a 
handsome and lively appearance. Around their necks they wear various 
ornaments, which are also decorated with wampum. Those they esteem 
as highly as our ladies do their pearl necklaces. They also wear bead 
hand-bands, or bracelets, curiously wrought, and interwoven with wam- 
pum. Their breasts appear about half covered with an elegantly 
wrought dress. They wear beautiful girdles, ornamented with their 
favorite wampum, and costly ornaments in their ears.'" 

Smith states, in writing of Powhatan, that he found him "reclining 
proudly upon a Bedstead a foote high, upon tenne or twelve Mattes, 
richly hung with manie Chaynes of great Pearles, about his necke, and 
covered with a great Couveriug of Rahaughcums,"* and the young women 
who surrounded him wore " a great (Jhaine of white Beades over their 

The following is from Wood, whose quaint and graphic descriptions 
of the New England Indians are always interesting: "But a Sagamore 
with a Humberd in his eare for a pendant, a black hawk on his occiput 
for his plume, Mowhackees for his gold chaine, a good store of Wam- 
pompeage begirting his loynes, his bow in his hand, his quiver at his 
back, with six naked Indian spatterlashes at his heels for his guard, 
thinkes himselfe little inferior to the great Cham; he will not stick to 
say he is all one with King Charles. Ilee thinkes hee can blow down 
Castles with his breath and conquer kingdoraes with his conceit."" 

Du Pratz, in speaking of the Louisiana Indians, says: "The women's 
ear-rings are made of the center part of a large shell called bingo, which 

'Collections of tlio Massachusetts Historical Socio. y, 1794, Vol. Ill, pp. 231, 282. 

« Worsley, View the American Indians, p. 65. 

'Collections of tho New York Historical Society, 1841 ; vol. I, 2nd Series, p. 194. 

'Thought to be raccoon skins. 

*Smith : True Relation of Virginia, pp. 33, 34. 

•Wood: New England Prospect, p. 74. 


is about the thickness of one's little finger, and there is a hole in the ear 
about that size for holding it.'" 

Lewis and Clark found the Shoshone Indians of the Upper Missouri 
using shells of the pearl oyster to decorate the collars of their fur tip- 
pets. The children wore beads around their necks; grown persons sus- 
pended them in little bunches from the ears, and the collars of the men 
were formed cither of sea-shells from the southwest or from twisted 
grass with porcupine quills.^ 

Among the Carrier Indians of the Northwest both sexes perforate 
their noses, and from them the men often sxTspend an ornament consist- 
ing of a piece of an oyster shell or a small piece of brass or copper. 
The women, particulaiiy those who are young, run a wooden pin through 
their noses, upon each end of which they fix a kind of shell bead, which 
is about an inch and a half long, and nearly the size of the stem of a 
common clay pipe. These beads they obtain from their neighbors, the 
At-e-nas, who purchase them from another tribe that is said to take 
them from the sea-shore, where they are reported to be found in plenty. 

It is also stated of the same Indians that " the young women and 
girls wear a parcel of European beads, strung together and tied to a lock 
of hair directly behind each ear. The men have a sort of collar of the 
shell beads already mentioned, which they wind about their heads or 
throw around their necks." •* 

The absurd extreme to which this passion for ornament is carried is 
well illustrated by an example given by Swan, who, speaking of the 
tribes north of the Columiia River, says that "some of these girls I 
have seen with the whole rim of their ears bored full of holes, into each 
of which would be inserted a string of these shells that reached to the 
floor, and the whole weighing so heavy that, to save their ears from be- 
ing pulled off, they were obliged to wear a band across the top of the 

When, however, beads are found in the graves in quantity, by thou- 
sands or tens of thousands, we shall probably have to attribute to them 
other than ornamental uses. 

Captain Tom, of the Nishinam tribe of California, according to 
Powers,' had nearly a half bushel of shell beads and trinkets. One 
string of these, worn by his wife on special occasions, contained sixteen 
hundred pieces ; but these treasures were hoarded because of their value 
as money rather than as ornaments. 

The wampum belts used by many of the tribes of Indians are known to 
contain enormous numbers of beads. One of the historical belts kept by 
the Onondagas among their treasures contains nearly ten thousand 
beads. The famous belt of William Penn has about three thousand. 

'Dii Pratz: History of Louisiana, p. 364. 

-Lewis autl Clarii: Expeditioa up the Missouri, &c., p. 537. 

•= Harmon's Journal, p. 287. 

*Swan: Tlie Northwest Coast, p. 158. 

"Powers: Contributions to NorlU American Ethnology, Vol. Ill, p. 263. 


Sir John Lubbock, iu bis "Prehistoric Times," expresses surprise at the 
great number of beads sometimes found, instancing the Grave Creek 
mound of Virginia, which contained between three aud four thousand. 
This number will, however, appear very iusiguificant when compared 
with a collection such as the costume of the great King Philip could 
have furnished. 

Drake relates that Philip had a coat "made all of wampampeag," 
which, when iu need of money, he " cuts to pieces, and distributes it 
plentifully among the Nipmoog sachems and others, as well to the east- 
ward as southward, and all round about."' By adding to this store 
of beads the contents of two belts, one of which was niue inches in 
breadth, and so long that when placed upon the shoulders it reached to 
the ankles, we conclude that the greatest collection ever taken from a 
prehistoric mound could not compare for a momeut with the treasure of 
this one historic chieftain. 

A great deal of art is shown in the stringing and mounting of beads. 
The simplest form is a single strand, a twisted string of vegetable fiber, 
a strip of buckskin, or a bit of sinew being passed through the perfora- 
tions. Again, rows of strands are placed side by side and fastened at 
intervals in such a manner as to keep them approximately parallel, or 
the beads when long are put on equidistant cross strands, the longitu- 
dinal strands serving to keep them in place ; they are also woven into 
the fabric by being mounted upon one of the strands before twisting. It 
is also a very usual practice to sew them on strips of cloth or buckskin, 
patterns being produced by using beads of different colors. The man- 
ner of stringing in the manufacture of belts will be given in detail under 
Mnemonic Uses of Beads. 


It will probably be impossible to prove that the prehistoric peoples of 
North America employed a medium of exchange in a manner corre- 
sponding to our use of money. It is a well-known fact, however, that a 
currency of shell beads was in general use throughout the Atlantic coast 
region very early in the historic period. 

Of all objects within the reach of savage peoples, shells, either in their 
natural forms or in fragments artificially fashioned for convenience of 
use, are the best adapted for such a ])urpose. 

In examining thecontentsof ancient cemeteries and mounds where all 
objects of value were to some extent deposited, we find no other relics 
that could have been conveniently used for such a purpose. 

It is not probable that objects subject to rapid decaj', such as wood, 
fruits, and seeds, could ever have come into general use for money, 
although such objects are employed to some extent by savages in dif- 
ferent parts of the world. The unlimited supply or easy manufacture of 
these objects would be against their use for this purpose, whereas the 
difficulty of shaping and perforating the flinty substance of shells would 
prevent such a plentiful production as to destroy the standard of value. 
' Drake : Book of Indians, p. 27. 


Objects aud siibstauces having a fairly uniform value, resulting from 
their utilitarian attributes, have been euiployed by primitive peoples 
as standards of value; as, for instance, cattle, in ancient Kome; salt, in 
Assyria; tin, in Britain, and cocoa, in Mexico. But such- mediums of 
exchange are local in use. With these articles this function is only 
accidental. The utilization of shells for money would naturally orig- 
inate from the trade arising from their use as utensils and ornaments 
in districts remote from the source of supply. Yielding in the worked 
state a limited supply, and at the same time filling a constant demand, 
thej' formed a natural currency, their universal employment for pur- 
poses of ornament giving them a fixed and uniform value. They have 
undoubtedly been greath' prized by the ancient peoples, but on the part 
of the open-handed savage they were probably valued more as personal 
ornaments than as a means of gratifying avaricious propensities. 

Lewis H. Morgan, who had access to all the sources of information on 
the subject, says that " wampum has frequently been called the money 
of the Indian; but there is no sufficient reason for supposing that they 
ever made it an exclusive currency, or a currency in any sense, more 
than silver or other ornaments. All personal ornaments, aud most 
other articles of personal property, passed from hand to hand at a fixed 
value; but they appear to have had no common standard of value until 
they found it in our currency. If wampum had been their currency it 
would have had a settled value, to which all other articles would have 
been referred. There is no doubt that it came nearer to a currency than 
any other species of property among them, because its uses were so 
general, and its transit from hand to hand so easy, that everyone could 
be said to need it." Yet he admits that " the use of wampum reaches 
back to a remote period upon this continent"; and further, that it was 
an original Indian notion which prevailed among the Iriquois as early at 
least as the formation of the League. He goes on to state that " the 
primitive wampum of the Iriquois consisted of strings of a small fresh- 
water spiral shell called in the Seneca dialect Oteko-d, the name of 
which has been bestowed upon the modern wampum."' 

Loskiel says that "before the Europeans came to i^J'orth America, the 
Indians used to make strings of wampom chiefly of small pieces of wood 
of equal size, stained either black or white. Few were made of muscle, 
which were esteemed very valuable aud difficult to make; for, not hav- 
ing proper tools, they spent much time in finishing them, and yet their 
work had a clumsy appearance."* 

Hutchinson is of t(je opinion that " the Indians resident northeastward 
of the province of New York had originally no knowledge of this sort of 
money or medium of trade."' 

The great body of our historical evidence goes to show, however, that 

' Morgan, in Fifth Annual Report on the New York State Cabinet of Natural His- 
tory, pp. 71, 73. 
* Loskiel: Mission of the United Brethren, Latrobe trans., p. '.H. 
'Hutchinson: History of Mass., Vol. I, p. 406. 


a curreucy of shell was in use among the Atlantic coast tribes when first 
encountered by the Europeans. Thomas Morton, in speaking of the 
Indians of New England as far back as 1G30, says that "they have a 
kitide of beads in steede of money to buy withal such things as thej' 
■want, which they call wampampeak; and it is of two sorts, the one is 
white and the other is a violet coloure. These are made of the shells of 
fishe; the white with them is as silver with us, the other as our gould, 
and for these beads they buy and sell, not only amongst themselves, but 
even with us. We have used to sell them anj- of our commodities for 
this wampampeak, because we know we can have beaver again from them 
for it: and these beads are current in all parts of New England, from 
one end of the coast to the other, and although some have endeavoured 
by example to have the like made, of the same kiude of shels, yet none 
has ever, as yet, obtained to any perfection in the composure of them, 
but the Salvages have found a great difference to be in the one and the 
other; and have knowne the counterfett beads from those of their owne 
making and doe slight them." ' 

According to Roger Williams also, the Indians of New England, as 
far back as his observations extend, were engaged in the manufacture of 
shell money as a well-established industry. It seems altogether impos- 
sible that such a custom should have been successfully introduced by 
the English, as the Indian is well known to be averse to anything like 
labor excepting in his traditional occupations of war and the chase, 
and if the whites had introduced it, would certainly have looked to 
them for a supply by means of trade in skins and game rather than 
apply himself to a new and strange art. Roger Williams says that 
''they that live upon the Sea side generally make of it, and as many as 
they will. The Indians bring downe all their sorts of Furs, which they 
take in the countrey, both to the Indians and to the English for this 
Indian Money: this Money the English, French and Dutch, trade to the 
Indians, six hundred miles in severall ports (north and south from New 
England) for their Furres, and whatsoever they stand in need of from 
them." Their methods were also aboriginal, another indication that 
the art was not of European introduction ; and Williams states that 
"before ever they had awle blades from Europe, they made shift to 
bore their shell money with stones."* 

That wampum was also manufactured farther south we learn from 
Lindstrom, who is writing of the Indians of New Sweedeu: "Their 
money is made of shells, white, black, and red, worked into beads, and 
neatly turned and smoothed; one person, however, cannot make more 
in a day than the value of six or eight stivers. When these beads are 
worn out, so that they cannot be strung neatly, and even on one thread, 
they no longer consider them good. Their way of stringing them is to 
rub the whole thread full of them on their noses; if they find it slides 

'Thomas Morton, in Historical Tracts, Vol. II, p. 29. 
'Williams: A Key into the Language of America, p. 144. 


smooth and eveu, like glass beads, then they are considered good, other- 
wise tbey break and throw them away."' 

Although Beverly did not write until the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, his statements are probably based upon accurate information. 
Speakingof the Virginia Indians, he says that they " had nothing which 
they reckoned riches before the English went among them, except 
Peak, Roenolce, and such-like trides made out of the Cuiik Shell. These 
past with them instead of Gold and Silver, and serv'd them both for 
Money and Ornament. It was the English alone that taught them first 
to put a value on their Skius and Furs, and to make a Trade of them."^ 

From Lawson, who wrote in 1714, but whose statements deserve 
consideration, we also learn that the money of the Carolina Indians is 
"all made of shells which are found on the coast of Carolina, which are 
very large and hard so that they are very difiQcult to cut. Some English 
smiths have tried to drill this sort of shell-money, and thereby thought 
to get an advantage ; but it proved so hard that nothing could be 

Speaking of its use and value in New York, he remarks that " an 
Englishman could not afford to make so much of this wampum for five 
or ten times the value; for it is made out of a vast great shell, of which 
that country affords plenty; where it is ground smaller than the small 
end of a tobacco pipe, or a large wheat straw." * * * '' This the In- 
dians grind on stones and other things until they make it current, but 
the drilling is the most difiicult to the Englishman, which the Indians 
manage with a nail stuck in a cane or reed. Thus they roll it continu- 
ally on their thighs with their right hand, holding the bit of shell with 
their left ; so, in time, they diill a hole quite through it which is a very 
tedious work; but especially in making their ronoak, four of which will 
scarce make one length of wampum. The Indians are a people that 
never value their time, so that they can aflbrd to make them, and never 
need to fear the English will take the trade out of their hands. This is 
the money with which you may buy skins, furs, slaves, or anything the 
Indians have; it being their mammon (as our money is to ns) that en- 
tices and persuades them to do anythiug, and part with everything they 
possess, except their children for slaves. As for their wives, they are 
often sold and their daughters violated for it. With this they buy off 
murders; and whatsoever a man can do that is ill, this wampum will 
quit him of and make him, in their opinion, good and virtuous, though 
never so black before."'' 

Adair confirms the statements made by these writers, and adds em- 
phasis to the fact that the shell beads had, among the Cherokees and 
other southern Indians, a fixed value as currency. "With these they 

' Peuna. Historical Society, Vol. Ill, p. 131. 

'Beverly: History of Virginia, p. 195. 

' Lawsou : History of North Carolina ; Raleigh reprint, 1860, p. 315. 

■•On thispoint, however, the author quoteil is apparently at fault, as there is abun- 
dance of proof that the whites often engaged successfully in the manufacture of this 
shell money. 


bought and sold at a stated current rate, without the least variation 
for circumstances either of time or place; and now they will hear noth- 
ing patiently of loss or gain, or allow us to heighten the price of our 
goods, be our reasons ever so strong, or though the exigencies and 
changes of time may require it."' 

We find i>leutiful evidence in the stories of the early Spanish adven- 
turers that beads made from sea shells were held in high esteem by the 
Indians of the south, but, so far as I am aware, there is no statement in- 
dicating that they formed a well-regulated medium of exchange. 

In regard to the manufacture of wampum by the whites, the follow- 
ing quotations will be instructive : 

"Many people at Albany make the wampum of the Indians, which is 
their ornament and their money, by grinding some kinds of shells and 
muscles; this is a considerable profit to the inhabitants."^ 

"Besides the Europeans, many of the native Indians come annually 
down to the sea shore, in order to catch clams, proceeding with them 
afterwards in the manner I have just described. The shells of these 
clams are used by the Indians as money, and make what they call their 
wampum : they likewise serve their women as an ornament, when they 
intend to appear in full dress. These wampums are properly made of 
the purple parts of the shells, which the Indians value more than the 
white parts. A traveller, who goes to trade with the Indians, and is well 
stocked with them, may become a considerable gainer; but if he take 
gold coin, or bullion, he will undoubtedly be a loser; for the Indians, who 
live farther up the country, put little or no value upon these metals 
which we reckon so precious, as I have frequently observed in the course 
of my travels. The Indians formerly made their own wampums, though 
not without a deal of trouble: but at present the Europeans employ 
themselves that way; especially the inhabitants of Albany, who get a 
considerable profit by it. In the sequel I intend to relate the manner 
of making wampum.^ 

"The article was highly prized as an ornament, and as such consti- 
tuted an article of trafic between the sea-coast and the interior tribes. 
• * * 

"The old wampum was made by hand, and was an exceedingly rude 
article. After the discovery, the Dutch introduced the lathe in its 
manufacture, polished and perforated it with exactness, and soon had 
the monopoly of the trade. The principal place of its manufacture was 
at Hackensak, in New Jersey. The principal deposit of sea shells was 
Long Island, where the extensive shell banks left by the Indians, on 
which it is difficult to find a whole shell, show the immense quantities 
that were manufactured."^ 

The name wampum is often applied to shell beads indiscriminately, 

' Adair : History of the American Indians, p. 170. 
« Kalm's Travels, London, 1772, Vol. II, p. 100. 
ajJid., Vol. I, pp. 190, 191. 
* Ruttenber : Indian Tribes of the Hudson River, p. 26. 


but frequently has a more restricted significance, referring to the small 
cylindrical varieties used iu strings and belts. It was known first in 
Kew England as tcampumpeag, wampompeage, peag, icompam and team- 
puin; the Dutch of New Sweden knew it as seawan, seicant, and sea- 
want, while on the Virginia coast, it was called peal:, a roughly made 
discoidal variety being known as ronoalc or roenolce, and heavy flattish 
beads pierced edgeways were called rnntees. It is probable that all of 
these names are American in origin, although there is some difference 
of opinion as to their derivation. Loskiel says that wampom is an Iro- 
quois word meaning muscle, but according to Morgan, who is probably 
the best modern authority' on this subject, the word wampum is not Iro- 
quois in origin but Algonkin, as it was first known in New England as 

Roger Williams, speaking of the money of the New England Indians, 
probably the Narragansetts (Algonkin), says that "their white they 
call Wompam (which signifies white); their black SucTianhock {SdcM, 
signifying black)." In another place he gives the word icompi for white. 
"Wood mentions two varieties of beads known in New England xcampom- 
peage and moichacJcees, The latter is probably derived from moicesu, 
which, according to Williams, also signifies black. 

It would seem that we have but little evidence of the ancient use 
of shell money amongst the tribes of the Mississippi Valley or the 
Pacific Coast; yet we are not without proofs that it came into use at a 
very early date throughout the entire West, and even today the custom 
is by no means obsolete. The ancient burial places of the Pacific coast 
are found to contain large quantities of beads precisely similar to those 
now used as money by the coast tribes. 

Lewis and Clark, speaking of trafiRc among the Indians of the Colum- 
bia Eiver, state that shell beads are held in very high esteem by these 
people, and that to procure them they will " sacrifice their last article 
of clothing or their last mouthful of food. Independently of their fond- 
ness for them as an ornament these beads are the medium of trade by 
which they obtain from the Indians still higher up the river, robes, skins, 
chappeled bread, bear grass."' 

The Dentalium shell has always been the favorite currency of the 
peoples of the Northwest and is highly valued, especially by the inland 
tribes. It is frequently found in ancient graves at great distances from 
the sea-shore. A few specimens have been found in burial places in 
the Ohio Valley, but we have no means of determining the source from 
which they were derived. As the modern use of this currency has but 
little archfEologic interest, I will not enlarge upon the subject here. For 
further information the reader is referred to the following authors : J. 
K. Lord, The Naturalist in British Columbia, Vol. II, pp. 20 to 26; R. 
E. C. Stearns in the American Naturalist, Vol. HI, No. 1, and in pro- 
ceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Vol. V, Part II, i>. 113; 
W. H. Pratt in proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Natural 
'Lewis and Clark: Expedition up the Missouri, p. 73. 


Sciences, Vol. II, Part I, p. 38 ; aucl Stephen Powers in Vol. 3, Contri- 
butions to North American Ethnology, pp. 21, 24, 30. 


One of the most remarkable customs practiced by the American In- 
dians is found in the mnemonic use of wampum. This custom had in 
it a germ of great promise, one which must in time have become a power- 
ful agent in the evolution of art and learning. It was a nucleus about 
which all the elements of cultui-e could arrange themselves. I shall 
not at present undertake to divest the custom of adventitious features 
such as have been introduced by contact with European influence. 
Yet there is no reason to fear that any of the important or essential 
features have been derived from outside sources. It is not possible 
from any known records to demonstrate the great antiquity of this 
use of wampum. It does uot seem probable, however, that a custom 
so unique and so wide-spread could have grown up within the historic 
period ; nor is it probable that a practice foreign to the genius of tradi- 
tion-loving races could have become so well established and so dear to 
their hearts in a few generations. 

Mnemonic records are known to have come into use among many na- 
tions at a very early stage of culture. Picture writing as developed in 
the north is but another form of mnemonic record, a fact, a thought, a 
verse of a song being associated with an ideographic design, more or 
less suggestive of the subject. The Peruvians had their quipus, in which 
the record was made by associating things to be remembered with knots 
made in cords of different colors, each combination having a fixed asso- 
ciation. The Mexicans had gone further and had achieved a system of 
picture writing that was very unique and curious, in which a i)honetic 
element had already made its appearance, while the Mayas could boast 
the discovery of a true phonetic system with an alphabet of twenty- 
seven sounds. 

The mnemonic use of wampum is one which, I imagine, might readily 
develop from the practice of gift giving and the exchange of tokens of 
friendship, such mementos being preserved for future reference as re- 
minders of promises of assistance or protection. In time the use of such 
mementos would develop into a system capable of recording affairs of 
varied and complicated nature; particular facts or features of treaties 
would be assinged to particular objects, or portions of objects. With 
this much accomplished, but one step was necessary to the attainment 
of a hieroglyphic system — the permanent association of a single object 
or sign with a particular idea. 

The wampum records of the Iroquois were generally in the form of 
belts, the beads being strung or woven into patterns formed by the use 
of different colors. By association simply they were made to record 
history, laws, treaties, and speeches — a fact, a law, a stipulation, or a 
declaration being " talked into " a particular part or pattern of the de- 
sign with which it was ever afterwards associated, thus giving addi- 

o a 
» r- 

; 5 

5' „ 

P ^ 




tional permanency to tradition and bringing it one step further forward 
in the direction of written records. Such records were, of course, 
quite useless without the agency of an interpreter. Among the Iro- 
quois, according to Morgan, one of the Onondaga sachems was made 
hereditarj' "keeper of -wampum," whose duty it was to be thoroughly 
versed in its interpretation. But knowledge of the contents of these 
records was not confiued to the keeper, or even to the sachems. At 
a certain season each year the belts were taken from the treasure-house 
and exi)osed to the whole tribe, while the history and imjiort of each 
was publicly recited. This custom is kept up to the present day. It is 
recorded by Euttenber that among the Mohicans a certain sachem had 
charge of the bag of peace which contained tlie wampum belts and strings 
used in establishing peace and frieudshij) with the different nations. ' 

Aside from records wampum was used in the form of strings and 
belts for a variety of purposes; some of them were probably mnemonic, 
others only jjartially so, being based either upon its association with 
the name of some chief or clan, or upon a semi sacred character result- 
ing from its imjiortant uses. It was employed in summoning councils, 
and the messenger who journeyed from tribe to tribe found in it a 
well recognized passport. When a council was called it was presented 
by the delegates from the various tribes as their credentials; it was 
used in the ceremony of opening and closing councils, as was aho 
the calumet; it assisted in solemnizing oaths and in absolving from 
them ; white, it was a messenger of peace ; black, it threatened war, 
and covered with clay, it expressed grief. " White wampum was the 
Iroquois emblem of purity and faith, it was hung around the neck of 
the white dog before it was burned ; it was used before the periodical 
religious festivals for the confession of sins, no confession being re- 
garded as sincere unless recorded with white wampum ; further than 
this, it was the customary offering in condonation of murder, although 
the purple was sometimes employed. Six strings was the value of a 
life, or the quantity sent in condonation, for the wampum was rather 
sent as a regretful confession of the crime, with a petition for forgive- 
ness, than as the actual price of blood." ^ We readily recognize the in- 
fluence of the Christian missionary in a number of these symbolic uses 
of wampum. 

The literature of wampum would fill a volume, but I forbear present- 
ing more than will give an outline of the subject, confining myself to 
such quotations as will serve to show clearly the extent and importance 
of this ancient custom and its attendant practices. 

The method of handling the belts of wampum in the presence of cer- 
emonial assemblies is extremely interesting, and cannot be better pre- 
sented than in the words of eye-witnesses. 

' Euttenber : Indian Tribes of the Hudson Ei ver, page 43. 

•Morgan, Ln Fifth Annual Eeport on the coudition of the New York State Cabinet 
of Natural History, page 73. 
16 E 


The following is quoted from Brice, who is describing a council held 
in the Muskingum Valley in 1764 : 

" An Indian council, on solemn occasions, was always opened with 
preliminary forms, sufficiently wearisome and tedious, but made indis- 
pensable by immemorial custom, for this people are as much bound by 
their conventional usages as the most artificial children of civilization. 
The forms were varied, to some extent, according to the imagination of 
the speaker, but in all essential respects they were closely similar 
throughout the tribes of the Algonkin and sind Iroquois lineage. 

" They run somewhat as follows, each sentence being pronounced 
with great solemnity, and confirmed by the delivery of a wampum 
belt: 'Brothers, with this belt I open your ears that j'ou may hear; I 
remove grief and sorrow from your hearts ; I draw from your feet the 
thorns that ijierced them as you journeyed thither ; I clean the seats of 
the council-house, that you may sit at ease ; I wash your head and body, 
that your spirits may be refreshed ; I condole with you on the loss of 
the friends who have died since we last met ; I wipe out any blood 
•which may have been spilt between us.' This ceremony, which, by the 
delivery of so many belts of wampum, entailed no small expense, was 
never used except on the most important occasions ; and at the coun- 
cils with Colonel Bouquet the angry warriors seem wholly to have dis- 
pensed with it. * * * And his memory was refreshed by belts 
of wampum, which he delivered after every clause in his harangue, 
as a pledge of the sincerity and truth of his words. 

"These belts were carefully preserved by the hearers as a substitute 
for written records, a use for which they were the better adapted, as 
they were often worked in hieroglyphics expressing the meaning they 
were designed to preserve. Thus at a treaty of peace the principal belt 
often bore the figure of an Indian and a white man holding a chain be- 
tween them.'" 

From an account of a council held by the Five Nations at Onondaga 
nearly two hundred years ago, to which the governor of Canada sent 
four representatives, I make the following extract: " During the course 
of the proceedings Canuehoot, a Seneca sachem presented a proposed 
treaty between the Wagunhas and the Senecas, speaking as follows : 
'We come to join the two bodies into one. * * * We come to learn 
wisdom of the Senecas (giving a belt). We by this belt wipe away the 
tears from the eyes of your friends, whose relations have been killed in 
the war. We likewise wipe the paint from your soldiers' faces (giving 
a second belt). We throw aside the ax which Youondio put into our 
hands by this third belt.' A red marble sun is presented — a pipe made 
of red marble. ' Yonondio is drunk ; we wash our hands cleanfrom his ac- 
tions (giving a fourth belt). • * * We have twelve of your nation prison- 
ers; they shall be broughthomein the spring (giving a belt to confirm the 
promise). We will bring your prisoners home when the strawberries 
' Brice : History of Fort Wayue, 1868, page 28. 


- t=--- 

1. Mobawk Belt. 



2. Mohawk Belt. 


shall be in blossom, at which time we intend to visit Corlear (the gov- 
ernor of New York), and see the place where wampum is made.' 

"The belts were accepted by the Five Nations, and their acceptance 
was a ratification of the treaty. A large belt was also given to the mes- 
sengers from Albany as their share. A wampum belt sent from Albany 
was, in the same manner, hung up and afterwards divided.'" 

This indicates a most extravagant use of belts; but since it is probable 
that as many were received in return this was a matter of little impor- 
tance. The great profusion of wampum used in some of the later treaties 
is a matter of surprise. In a council held between four Indian ambassa- 
dors from New England and the French thirty-six fine large belts were 
given by the ambassadors to thank them that their people had not been 
treated with hostility.^ 

" The appendix to the second volume of Proud's History of Pennsyl- 
vania contains the journals of Frederick Christian Post, who was sent 
by Governor Denny, in 1758, to make a treaty with the Alleghany In- 
dians ; and in delivering the governor's answer to the chiefs, on hia 
second visit in the same year, after proposing to them to unite in a 
treaty of peace which had lately been concluded \:itb the Indians at 
Easton, and producing sundry belts, one of which was marked with 
figures representing the English and the Indians delivering the peace- 
belt to one of the commissioners, he proceeds to say : 'Brethren on the 
Ohio, if you take the belts we just now gave you, as we do not doubt 
you will, then by this heW — producing another and using their figurative 
style of speech — 'I make a road for you, and invite you to come to 
Philadelphia, to your first old council-fire, which we rekindle up again, 
and remove disputes, and renew the first old treaties of friendship. 
This is a clear and open road for you; therefore, fear nothing, and come 
to us with as many as can be of the Delawares, Shawanese, or the Six 
Nations ; we will be glad to see you ; we desire all tribes and nations 
of Indians who are in alliance with you may come.' Whereupon a large 
white belt, with the figure of a man at each end and streaks of black 
representing the road from the Ohio to Philadelphia, was then given to 

Lafitau, whose statements are considered unusually trustworthy, as 
they were based chiefly on personal observation of the Indian tribes of 
Canada, gives the following very instructive account of the mnemonic 
use of wampum : 

"All affairs are conducted bj' means of branches [strings] and neck- 
laces [belts] of porcelain [wampum] which with them take the place of 
compacts, written agreements, and contracts. • • » The shell, 
which is used for affairs of state, is worked into little cylinders of a 
quarter of an inch in length and large in i)roportion. They are distrib- 
uted iu two ways, in strings and in belts. The strings are composed 

'Eveuts in lucUan History, Lancaster, Pa., 1841, page 143. 
^History and description of New France, Vol. II, page 256. 
»Penn, in Memoirs Hist. Soc. Penn'a, Vol. VI, p. 222. 


of cylinders threaded without order oue after another, like the beads 
of a rosary ; the beads are usually quite white, aud are used for affairs 
of little consequence, or as a ijreparatiou for other more considerable 

" The belts are large bands, in which little white and purple cylin- 
ders are disposed in rows, and tied down with small thongs of leather, 
which makes a very neat fabric. The length and size and color are pro- 
portioned to the importance of the affair. The usual belts are of eleven 
rows of a hundred and eighty beads each. 

"The 'fisk,' or public treasure, consists princii^ally of these belts, 
which, as I have said, with them, take the place of contracts, of public 
acts, and of annals or registers. For the savages, having no writing 
or letters, and therefore finding themselves soon forgetting the trans- 
actions that occur among them from time to time, supply this deficiency 
by making for themselves a local memory by means of words which they 
attach to these belts, of which each one refers to some particular af- 
fair, or some circumstance, which it represents while it exists. 

"They are so much consecrated to this use that besides the name 
Oa'ionni, which is their name for the kind of belts most used, they bestow 
that of Garihona, which means a transaction; that of Gaouenda, voice 
or word, and of Gaianderenfera, which means grandeur or nobility; be- 
cause all the affairs dignified by these belts are the endowment and 
province of the ago'ianders or nobles. It is they who furnish them ; and 
it is among them that they are redivided when presents are made to the 
village, and when reijlies to the belts of their ambassadors are sent. 

" The ago'ianders and the ancients have, besides this, the custom of 
looking over them often together, and of dividing among themselves 
the care of noting certain ones, which are particularly assigned to them ; 
so that in this way they do not forget anything. 

"Their wampum would soon be exhausted if it did not circulate; but 
in almost all affairs, either within or without, the law requires a reply, 
word for word, that is to say, for one belt oue must give another, to be 
of about the same value, observing, however, a slight difference in the 
number of beads, which must be proportioned to the rank of the per- 
sons or nations with which they treat. 

"They do not believe that any transaction can be concluded with- 
out these belts. Whatever proposition is made to them, or reply given 
them, by word of mouth alone, the affair falls through, they say, and 
they let it fall through very effectually, as though there had been no 
question about it. Europeans little informed or little concerned about 
their usages have slightly inconvenienced them on this point in retain- 
ing their belts without giving them a similar response. To avoid the 
inconvenience which might arise from this they acquired the style of 
giving only a small quantity, excusing themselves on the iilea that their 

'In order to make the authors meauiug quite clear, a free translatiou has been 
given of such words a,B porcelaine, branches, colliers, etc., as his use of them is somewhat 





wampum was exhausted ; and they supplied the rest with packages of 
deerskiu, in return for which they were given trinkets of small value, 
so that transactions between the Europeans and them have become a 
sort of trade. 

"Although all the savage nations of America make various kinds of 
ornaments of shells, I believe that it is only those of Xorth America 
who employ them in transactions. I cannot even afiBrm that all of 
these do.'" 

A very complete account of wampum is given by Loskiel, from whose 
work the following extract is made : 

" Four or six strings joined in one breadth, and fastened to each other 
with fine thread, make a belt of tcampom, being about three or four 
inches wide, and three feet long, containing, perhaps, four, eight, or 
twelve fathom of wampom, in proportion to its required length and 
breadth. Tbis is determined by the importance of the subject which 
these belts are intended either to explain or confirm, or by the dignity 
of the persons to whom tbey are to be delivered. Everything of moment 
transacted at solemn councils, either between the Indians themselves 
or with Europeans, is ratified and made valid by strings and belts of 
wampom. Formerly, they used to give sanction to their treaties by de- 
livering a wing of some large bird ; and this custom still prevails among 
the more western nations, in transacting business with the Delawares. 
But the Delawares themselves, the Iroquois, and the nations in league 
with them, are now sufficiently provided with handsome and well- 
wrought strings and belts of wampom. Upon the delivery of a string, 
a long speech may be made and much said upon the subject under con- 
sideratiou, but tchen a belt is given fete tcords are spoken ; but they must 
be words of great importance, frequently requiring an explanation. 
Whenever the speaker has pronounced some important sentence, he de- 
livers a string of wampom, adding, *I give this string of wampom as a 
confirmation of what I have spoken'; but the chief subject of his dis- 
course he confirms with a belt. The answers given to a speech thus de- 
livered must also be confirmed by strings and belts of wampom, of the 
same size and number as those received. Neither the colour nor the 
other qualities of wampom are a matter of indiflerence, but have an 
immediate reference to those things which they are meant to confirm. 
The brown or deep violet, called black by the Indians, always means 
something of severe or doubtful import ; but the white is the colour of 
peace. Thus, if a string or belt of wampom is intended to confirm a 
warning against evil, or an earnest reproof, it is delivered in black. 
When a nation is called upon to go to war, or war declared against it, 
the belt is blaik, or marked with red, called by them, the colour of blood, 
having in the middle the figure of an hatchet in white wampom. * * * 
They refer to them as public records, carefully preserving them in a 
chest made for that purpose. At certain seasons they meet to study 
their meaning, and to renew the ideas of which they were an euiblem 

' Lafitau : Mceurs des Sauvages Ameriquains, 1724, torn. II, pp. 50ii-'3 and 506-'7. 


or confirmation. On such occasions tliey sit down around the chest, 
take out one string or belt after the other, handing it about to every 
person present, and that they may all comprehend its meaning, repeat 
the words pronounced on its delivery in their whole convention. By 
these means they are enabled to remember the promises reciprocally 
made by the different parties; and it is their custom to admit even the 
young boys, who are related to the chiefs, to their assemblies ; they be- 
come early acquainted with all the affairs of the State ; thus the con- 
tents of their documents are transmitted to posterity, and cannot be 
easily forgotten." ■ 

It is to be presumed that if a treaty or a promise were broken, the 
belt would be released from its office and in the same form, or worked 
into another, could again be used. Otherwise the records, if properly 
kept, would in time become extremely cumbersome. 

The repudiation of a treaty and of the wampum which accompanied 
it is recorded by Brice. It was at a council held at Miami, iu 1790, 
between Mr. Gameliu and a number of tribes. Mr. Gamelin in begin- 
ning his speech presented each natiou with strings of wampum, but 
"the Indians were displeased with the treaty, and after consulta- 
tion returned the wampum, saying : 'From all quarters we receive 
speeches from the Americans and not one is alike. We suppose that 
they intend to deceive us. Then take back your branches of wampum.' 
ThePottawatomies were better pleased with the speeches and accepted 
the wampum." ^ 

Another good example which illustrates the manner of canceling 
treaties, confirmed by wampum, is given by Mr. Gilpin: 

" When Washington, then but a youth of twenty-one, was intrusted 
by the colonial governor of Virginia with a mission to the western 
wilds of Pennsylvania, where the French from Canada were then pen- 
etrating and had already established, as was believed, four posts with- 
in our limits and were seeking to unite the natives in alliance against 
us, * * * he found that such an alliance had indeed been formed. 
He found that they had exchanged with the French, as its symbol, a 
wampum belt on which four houses were rudely embroidered — the rep- 
resentations of the posts which were to be defended, even at the risk 
of war. Influenced by his remontrances, the Indian sachems consented 
to withdraw from the alliance ; but they declared that the belt of wam- 
pum must be returned before the agreement could be abolished ; and 
one of the sachems repaired to the French commander in order to re- 
store to him the token of the warlike compact, and to proclaim the in- 
tention of the red men to take no part in the impending struggle."^ 

Heckewelder relates that " it once happened that war messengers en- 
deavored to persuade and compel a nation to accept the belt by laying 
it on the shoulders or thigh of the chief, who, however, after shaking it 

' Loskiel : Missions of the United Brethren. Trans, by La Trobe, Book 1, p. 26. 

^ Brice : History of Fort Wayne, p. 118. 

'Gilpin, in Memoirs of the Hist. Soc. of Penna. Vol. VI, p. 248. 





off witboiifc touching it with his hands, afterwards, with a stick, threw 
it after them, as if he threw a snake or toad out of his way.'" 

It is remarkable that other objects were not more frequently used for 
mnemonic records. We can only explain the partiality shown to wam- 
pum on the supposition that the idea of value was not entirely lost 
sight of and that importance was attached to a record which in itself 
merited preservation. Yet instances of the use of other objects are 
often met with. Parkmau states that " the figures on wampum belts of 
the Iroquois were for the most part simply mnemonic. So also were 
those carved iu wooden tables, or painted on bark or skiu, to preserve 
in memory the songs of war, hunting, or magic."' 

At one of the councils at Onondaga in 1G90, a treaty was pledged and 
recorded iu wampum by all the contrncting parties but the New Eng- 
land colonies, which sent a wooden model of a fish as a token of their 
adherence to the terms of the treaty. ' 

Hunter, speaking of the manners and customs of the Osages, states 
that "they use significant emblems, such as the wing of the swan and 
wild goose, wampum, and pipes, in overtures for peace, while arrows, 
war clubs, and black and red painting, are used as indications or decla- 
rations of war. Any article, such as a skin painted black, or the wing 
of a raven, represents the death of friends, and when colored or striped 
with red, that of enemies. Amongst the Canada Indians when peace 
was conceded, a reddened hatchet was buried as a symbol of the oblivion 
of all past hostility between the contracting parties. A mutual ex- 
change of neck ornaments sealed the treaty after its terms were debated 
and determined. But all was not yet over, for the chiefs on each side 
proffered and accepted presents of rare articles, such as calumets of 
peace, embroidered deer skins, &c. This kind of ceremonial barter be- 
ing terminated to their mutual satisfaction, or otherwise, the conference 
broke up."^ 

Gumilla says that the Oronoco Indians ratify their treaties with sticks 
which they give reciprocally,' and the Araucanians, according to Molina, 
carry in their hands, when they conclude a peace, the branches of a 
tree, regarded as sacred by them, which they present to each other.* 

I have already enumerated the various kinds of beads and shown the 
sources from which they were derived and the uses to which they were 
applied. I have yet to describe the manner in which they are strung 
or combined in strings and belts. 

The beads chosen as most convenient for stringing or weaving into 
fabrics were small cylinders from one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch 
in diameter, and from one-quarter to one-half an inch in length. White 
strings or belts were sufficient for the expression of simple ideas or the 

' Hecke welder: Indiau Natious, 1876, j). 110. 
'Parkman: Jesuits iu North America, x). xxxiii. 
'Events in Indiau History, Laucaster, Pa., 1841, p. 143. 
* Hunter: Indian Manners and Customs, p. 192. 
Gumilla: Histoire deOrinoque, Vol. Ill, p. 91. 
'Molina: History of Chili, Vol. I, p. 119. 


association of simple facts, but the combinations of colors in patterns 
rendered it possible to record mucli more complicated affairs. In belts 
used for mnemonic purposes the colors were generally arranged with- 
out reference to the character of the facts or thoughts to be intrusted to 
them, but in a few cases the figures are ideographic, and are significant 
of tbe event to be memorized. Strings cannot be utilized in this way. 

Wampum in strings. — From Mr. Beaucham p's notes I have compiled the 
following brief account of the use of strings of wampum among the 
modern Iroquois. Six strings of purple beads united in a cluster repre- 
sent the six nations. When the tribes meet the strands are arranged 
in a circle, which signifies that the council is opened. The Onondagas 
are represented by seven strings, which contain a few white beads ; the 
Cayugas by six strands, all purple, and the Tnscaroras by seven strands, 
nearly all purple. The Mohawks have sis strings, on which there are two 
purple beads to one white. These are illustrated in Fig. 2, Plate XLIV. 
There are four strings in the Oneida cluster ; these contain two purple 
to one white bead. The Senecas have four strings, with two purple 
beads to one white. The three nations which were brothers are repre- 
sented by similar clusters. 

When a new chief is installed the address delivered on the occasion is 
" talked into" ten very long strings of white wampum. Three strings, 
mostly white, represent the name of the new chief. One of these clusters 
is shown in Fig. 1, Plate XLIY.' Wiien a chief dies he is mourned on 
ten strings of black wamptim. If he has merely lost his office, six short 
strings are used. 

According to Mr. Beauchamp, possession of beads gives authority, 
and they are also used as credentials, or, as the Indians express it, 
"Chief's wampum all same as your letter." Such of these strings as 
remain in existence are still in use among the Iroquois, and are consid- 
ered very precious by them, being made of antique hand-made beads. 

In the literature relating to our Indian tribes we find occasional ref- 
erence to tlie use of strings of wampum in ways that indicate that they 
were invested with certain protective and authoritative qualities, doubt- 
less from their association with the name of some chief, clan, or tribe. 

It is recorded that on one occasion Logan, the Mingo chief, saved a 
captive white from torture by rushing through the circle of Indians and 
throwing a string of wampum about the prisoner's neck. Through the 
virtue of this string he was enabled to lead him away and adopt him 
into his family. 

A somewhat different use is mentioned by Pike, to whom a Chippewa 
chief made a speech, during which he presented his pipe to Mr. Pike 
to bear to the Sioux. Attached to the pipe were seven strings of wam- 
pum, which signified that authority was given by seven chiefs of the 
Chippeway to conclude peace or make war.' 

Wampum helts. — In the manufacture of belts a great deal of skill and 

' From an original sketch by Mr. Beaucliamp. 

'Pike: Travels tbrongh the Western Territories of N. A., 1805-'7, jj. 103. 





taste have been shown. The large figured varieties were intricate in 
design and extremely pleasing in color. Belts of wampnm beads were 
probably used simply as a part of the costume long before they became 
the vehicles of tradition, and beads were doubtless used in other parts 
of the costume in a simdar manner. It is said that in Xew England 
they were made by the women ; in later times it is probable that the 
whites engaged to some extent in their manufacture. 

Mr. Morgan gives such a good account of the details of belt making 
that I beg leave to quote him in full : 

" In making a belt no particular pattern was followed; sometimes 
they are of the width of three fingers and three feet long, in other in- 
stances as wide as the hand and over three feet in length ; sometimes 
they are all of one color, in others variegated, and in still others woven 
with the figures of men to symbolize, by their attitudes, the objects or 
events they were designed to commemorate. The most common width 
was three fingers, or the width of seven beads, the length ranging from 
two to six feet. In belt making, which is a simple process, eight 
strands or cords of bark thread are first twisted, from filaments of slip- 
pery elm, of the requisite length and size ; after which they are passed 
through a strip of deer-skin to separate them at equal distances from 
each other in i>arallel lines. A piece of splint is then sprung in the 
form ( f a bow, to which each end of the several strings is secured, and by 
which all of them are held in tension, like warp threads in a weaving 
machine. Seven beads, these making the intended width of the belt, 
are then run upon a thread by means of a needle, and are passed under 
the cords at right angles, so as to bring one bead lengthwise between 
each cord and the one next in position. The thread is then passed back 
again along the upper side of the cords and again through each of the 
beads ; so that each bead is held firmly in its place by means of two 
threads, one passing under and one above the cords. This process is 
continued until the belt reaches its intended length, when the ends of 
the cords are tied, the end of the belt covered and afterward trimmed 
with ribbons. In ancient times both the cords and the thread were of 
sinew." ' 

In another place Mr. Morgan states that belts were also made by cov- 
ering one side of a deer-skin belt with beads, jtrobably by sewing them 
on ;^ a method which is everywhere common in the use of glass beads 
in modern work, but is not noticed in any of the mnemonic belts now 
extant. It is a reaiarkable as well as a lamentable fact that none of 
the great collections of the country can boast the possession of a wam- 
pum belt. Considering their importance in our early history, and the 
great numbers that at one time must have been in existence, this is 
rather extraordinary. I have taken considerable jiaius to collect accu- 
rate representations of a member of examples of the ancient belts for 

1 Morgan, iu Fifth Annual Report on the Condition of the New York State Cabinet 
of Natural History, 1852, p. 72. 

* Morgan: League of the Iroquois, p. 387. 


this work, and am ouly sorry that 1 am unable to present them in color — 
the ouly method by which they cau be adequately shown. As those 
which have come to my notice represent but a few localities, I shall in- 
sert descriptions of a uumber from regjious as remote as possible. There 
is, however, great uuiformity iu design and method of construction; the 
result, probably, of their international character. From Heckewelder 
I quote the following : 

" Their belts of wampum are of dilferent dimensions, both as to the 
length and breadth. White and black wampum are the kinds they use ; 
the former denoting that which is good, as peace , friendship, good-will, 
&c. ; the latter the reverse ; yet occasionally the black also is made use 
of on peace errands, when the white cannot be procured ; but previous 
to its being produced for such jiurpose, it must be daubed all over with 
chalk, white clay, or anything which changes the color from black to 
white. * » * A black belt with the mark of a hatchet made on it 
with red paint is a war belt, which, when sent to a nation, together with 
a twist or roll of tobacco, is an invitation to join in a war. » • • 
Eoads from one friendly nation to another are generally marked on the 
belt by one or two rows of white wampum interwoven in the black, and 
running through the middle, and from end to end. It means that they 
are on good terms, and keep ui)alriendly intercourse with each other."i 

A belt accepted bj- the Indians of Western Pennsylvania from the 
French in a treaty which secured to the latter four forts within English 
territory had embroidered upon it four houses, pictographic represen- 
tations of the forts. 

Another example of the belts used in Pennsjlvania, upwards of a 
century ago, is described in Beatty's Journal. The Delawares, in ex- 
plaining to Beatty a former treaty with Sir William Johnson, "showed 
a large belt of wampum of friendship which Sir William Johnson had 
given them. On each edge of this were several rowsof black wampum, 
and in the middle were several rows of white wampum. In the middle 
of the belt was a figure of a diamond, in white wampum, which they 
called the council fire. The white streak they called the path from him 
to them and them to him.'" 

Loskiel states that " the Indian women are verj- dexterous in weav- 
ing the strings of wami)om into belts, and marking them with different 
figures, perfectly agreeing with the different subjects contained in the 
speech. These figures are marked with white wampom upon black, 
and with black upon the white belts. For csamijle, in a belt of peace, 
they very dexterously represent, in black wampom, two hands joined. 
The belt of peace is white, a fathom long and a hand's breadth."^ 

In Plate XXXVII I present a facsimile reproduction of a i)latefrom 
the well known work of Lafitau,'' in which we have a graphic yet 

'Heckewelder: Indian Nations, 1876, i)p. 108-'9-'10. 

'Beatty: Journal of Two Months Tour, 17G8, p. 67. 

'Loskiel : Missions of the United Brethren. Trans, by La Trobe, 1794. Book I, p. 26. 

^Lafitau : Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriqnains, Tome, II, p. 314. 


highly conventional representation of a council or treaty in which 
wampum belts were used. It is probably drawn from description and 
la far from truthful iu detail. The more important facts are, however, 
very clearly i)resented. No information is given either of the people 
or the locality. The scene is laid iu the middle of a broad featureless 
plain, the monotony of which is broken by three highly conventional- 
ized trees. The parties to the treatj' are ranged in two rows, placed, 
face to face. The chief who speaks stands at the farther end holding abelt 
in his right hand. Three other belts lie upon the mat at his feet, while 
a fif(h is shown on a large scale in the foreground. The patterns can 
not be clearly made out, but in a general way resemble very closely the 
designs woven into the belts of the Irqouois. 

The small belt shown in Fig. 1. Plate XXXVIII, is probably one of 
the most recent examples. The cut is copied from Plate 1 of tiie Fifth 
Annual Report of the Regents of the University of New York on the 
condition of the State Cabinet of Natural History, p. 72. The beads of 
which it is composed formerly belonged to the celebrated Mohawk chief, 
Joseph Brant. They were afterwards purchased from his daughter by 
Mr. Morgan. In 1S50 they were taken to Touawauda, iu the State of New 
York, and made into this belt. The trimmings are apparently of rib- 
bons, and the symmetry and uniformity of the whole work give it anew 
look not noticeable in the other specimens. The design consists of a row 
of dark diamond-shaped figures upon a white ground. It is now pre- 
served in the State Cabinet of Natural History at Albany. 

A belt of unusual form is shown in Fig. 2, Plato XXXVIII. It 
was kindlj' lent by Mrs. E. A. Smith, of Jersej' City, by whom it 
was obtained from the Mohawks. It is 26 inches (251 beads) in 
length and in width varies from three inches (11 beads) at one end 
to about one inch (5 beads) at the other. It is bifurcated at the 
wide end, five rows having been omitted from the middle of the belt 
for about one-third of the length. Near the middle of the belt one 
row of beads is dropped from each side. Between this and the smaller 
end at nearly equal intervals it is twice depleted in a like manner. 
The beads are quite irregular in shape and size, but rather new look- 
ing aud are strung in the usual manner, the longitudinal strings being 
buckskin and the transverse small cords of vegetable fiber. The ends 
and edges are all neatly finished by wrapping the marginal strings 
with a thin fillet of buckskin. The figures are iu white beads upon a 
ground of purple. The form of this belt indicates that it has been 
adapted to some particular use, the placing of cords at the corners 
and shoulders suggesting its attachment iu a fixed position to some part 
of the person or coBtume. 

In Plates XXXIX, XL, XLI and XLII, I present a series of illus- 
trations of the wampum belts belonging to the Onondagas. They 
are preserved as a most precious treasure by these people at their 
agency in Onondaga County, New York. The drawings were made by 
Mr. Trill from a series of minute photographs made from the original 


belts by General J. S. Clark, of Auburn, New York. These were ob- 
tained for me by the Rev. W. M. Beauchamp, of Baldwinsville, New 
York, who has alcso very kindly furnished many of the facts embodied 
in the following descriptions.' 

These belts ai-e made in the usual manner, and present a great variety 
of shapes, sizes, and designs. Their fnll history has never been obtained 
by the whites, and it is not probable that the Indians themselves have 
Ijreserved a very full account of their origin and significance. They 
are all ancient, and, judging by their appearance, must date far back in 
the history of the League. Many of them are qnite fragmentary, and 
fears are entertained that they will gradually fall to pieces and be lost 
It is to be hoped that measures will be taken to have them preserved at 
least in the form of accurate chromo-lithographs. Mr. Beauchamp, 
states that they are yearly wasting away, as a little wampum is annu- 
ally cast into the fire at the burning of the " white dog," and these belts 
are the source of supply. 

The small belt presented in Fig. 1, Plate XXXIX, is somewhat 
fragmentary, an unknown number of beads having been lost from the 
ends. It is seven rows wide and at present two hundred beads long. 
The design consists of a series of five double diamonds worked in dark 
wampum upon white. At one end a few rows of an additional figure 
remain, and at the other a small white cross is worked upon a ground 
of dark beads. The number of figures may be significant of the num- 
ber of parties to a treaty. 

Fig. 2 represents a well preserved belt, seven rows in width and 
about three hundred and twenty in length. The ground is of dark wam- 
pum, on which are worked five hexagonal figures of white wampum. 
For a short space at the ends alternate rows are white. As was sug- 
gested in reg.ird to the preceding belt, the figures in this may represent 
the parties to a treaty. 

The belt shown in Fig 3 differs from the others in being picto- 
graphic. It is also quite perfect, although the character of the beads 
indicates considerable age. It is seven rows in width and three hun- 
dred and fifty beads in length. The figures are white, on a dark ground, 
and consist of a cross near one end, connected by a single row of beads 
with the head of the figure of a man toward the other end. Beneath the 
feet of the elementary man the figure of a diamond is worked. The 
cross is probably significant of the mission of the man who comes from 
a long distance to the lodge or council of the red man. This is proba- 
bly a French belt. 

The remnant of a very handsome belt is shown in Plate XL. Consider- 
able wampum has been lost from both ends, but the design appears to 
be nearly perfect, and consists of a trowel or heart-shaped figure in the 
center with two rectangular figures on the right and two on the left. 
These are in white upon a dark ground. Mr. Beauchamp states that it 

' Mr. Beauchamp has published many interesting facts in regard to these belts in 
the American Antiquarian, Vol. II, No. 3. 



is said to be very old, and is thought to represent the formation of the 
Iroquois league aud to signify "one heart for all the nations." He 
doubts its great antiquity as the beads are too regular for handmade 
cylinders. The belt is thirty-eight rows wide and about two hundred 
beads in length. 

The large elaborately figured belt shown in Plate XLI is almost 
perfect. The lateral margins are white ; a broad notched baud of dark 
wampum occupies the middle of this belt; through this from end to end 
runs a chain of white diamonds, sixteen in number, which may repre- 
sent States or nations. It is forty -five rows wide and two hundred 
aud forty beads long. 

Tlie magnificent belt shown in Plate XLII, is probably the finest ex- 
ample in existence. It is fifteen rows wide aud six hundred and fifty 
in length, making the enormous total of nine thousauil seven hundred 
aud fifty beads. Mr. Beauchamp believes that this belt, or oue like it, 
has been described as representing the formation of the League. From 
Webster's' statement, that it was "made by George Washington," he 
surmises that it is a belt memorizing a covenant between the Indians 
and the government. In the center is a house which has three gables 
and three compartments. Next the house ou either side are two picto- 
graphic men, who appear to stand beneath protecting arms which pass 
over their heads, connect with the house, and grasp the hands of the first 
persouages immediately on the right and left. In all there are fifteen 
figures of men, two being connected with the house ; of the others, six 
stand on the right aud seven on the left of the central group. It is 
suggested by Mr. Beauchamp that these figures may represent the 
thirteen colonies. 

Six other belts are shown in the photographs procured by General 
Price. One of them is thirteen rows wide and two hundred and fifty 
beads in length. The light grouuil is decorated with groups of triple 
chevrons. This belt is somewhat fragmentary. Another is forty-nine 
rows wide, being the widest example known. The original length can- 
not be determiued, but at present it is two hundred and forty beads in 
length, and hence contains about twelve thousand beads. The pattern 
is simple, consisting of a dark ground notched at the edges with tri- 
angular figures of white. As the four remaining belts of this fine col- 
lection have no features of especial interest, they need not be described 

The remarkable belt shown in Plate XLIII has an extremely interest- 
ing, although a somewhat incomplete, history attached to it. It is 
believed to be the original belt delivered by the Leni-Lenape sachems 
to William Penn at the celebrated treaty under the elm tree at Shacka- 
maxou in 1682. Although there is no documentary evidence to show 
that this identical belt was delivered on that occasion, it is conceded on 
all hands that it came into the possession of the great founder of Penn- 

' Present chief of the Onoudagas. 


sylvaniii at some one of bis treaties with the tribes that occupied tho 
province ceded to him. Up to the year 1857 this belt remained in the 
keeping of the Penn family. In March, 1857, it was presented to the 
Pennsylvania Historical Society by Granville John Penn, a great 
grandson of William Penn. Mr. Peiui, in his speech on this occasion,' 
states that there can be no doubt that this is the identical belt used at 
the treaty, and presents his views in the following language : " In the 
first place, its dimensions are greater than of those used on more ordi- 
nary occasions, of which we have one still in our possession — this belt 
being composed of eighteen strings of wampum — which is a proof that 
it was the record of some very important negotiation. In the next 
place, in the center of the belt, which is of white wampum, are de- 
lineated in dark-colored beads, in a rude but graphic style, two figures — 
that of an Indian graspiug with the hand of friendship the hand of a 
man evidently intended to be represented in the European costume, 
wearing a hat ; which can only be interpreted as having reference to 
the treaty of peace and friendship which was then concluded between 
William Penn and the Indians, and recorded by them in their own 
simple but descriptive mode of expressing their meaning, by the employ- 
ment of hieroglyphics. Then the fact of its having been preserved in 
the family of the founder from that period to the present time, having 
descended through three generations, gives an authenticity to the docu- 
ment which leaves no doubt of its genuineness ; and as the chain and 
medal which were presented by the Parliament to his father, the admiral, 
for his naval services, have descended amongst the family archives un- 
accompanied by any written document, but is recorded on the journals 
of the House of Commons, equal authenticity may be claimed for tho 
wampum belt confirmatory of the treaty made by his son with tho 
Indians ; which event is recorded on the page of history, though, like 
the older relic, it has been unaccompanied in its descent by any docu- 
ment in writing." 

It will be seen, by reference to the accompanying illustration, that 
beside the two figures of men there are tiiree oblique bands of dark 
wampum, one on the left and two on the right. The one next the cen- 
tral group on the right is somewhat broken, and consists of two long 
bauds and one short one. It is probable that these bands were used to 
record, by association, some important features of the treaty in which 
the belt was used. The beads are strung upon cords made of sinew or 
vegetable fibre, while the longitudinal fillets are of buckskin. This belt 
may be seen at the rooms of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

'The proceedings attending the presentation are fully recorded in the Memoirs of 
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, volume iii, page 207. A full size lithographio 
illustration of the belt printed in color is also given. 



1. Name of New Chief. 2. "Mohawk.' 




It would probably be v^aiu to attempt to determine how peudaut or- 
naments first came into use, whether from some utilitaiian practice or 
through some superstitious notion. It matters not, however, whether 
the first pendant was an implement, a utensil, or a fetichitic talisman; 
it has developed by slow stages into an ornament upon which has been 
lavished the best efiorts of culture and skill. The simple gorget of 
shell suspended upon the naked breast of the preadamite is the proto- 
type of many a costly jewel and many a princely decoration. With the 
American savage it was a guardian spirit, invested with the mystery 
and the power of the sea, and among the more cultured tribes became 
in time the receptacle of the most ambitious efforts of a phenominal 
art. The important place the gorget has taken in ornament and as a 
means of displaying personal aggrandizement has made it a most pow- 
erful agent in the evolution of the arts of taste. 

Asa rule the larger and more important pendants are emplo^'ed as 
gorgets, but vast numbers of the smaller specimens are strung with 
beads at intervals along the strings, attached as auxiliary pendants to 
the larger gorgets, suspended from the nose, ears, and wrists, or form 
tinkling borders to head-dresses and garments. These pendants con- 
sist either of entire shells, or of parts of shells, pierced or grooved to 
facilitate suspension. The purely artificial forms are infinitely varied. 
The character of the shell, however, has much to do with the form of 
the finished ornaments, deciding their thickness and often their outline. 
In size they range from extremely minute forms to plates six or more 
inches in diameter. The perforations, in position and number, are greatly 
varied, but as a rule the larger discoidal pendants will be found to have 
two marginal perforations for suspension. 

These nicely-polished shell-disks aflbrded tempting tablets for the 
primitive artist, and retain many specimens of his work as an engraver. 
The engraved specimens, however, should be treated separately, accord- 
ing to the class of design which they contain. Plain pendants need but 
a brief notice, and may be treated together as one group, with such 
subdivisions only as may be suggested by their form, their derivation, 
or their geographical distribution. 

Plain penrlants. — It will be unnecessary to cite authorities to show 
that our ancient peoples were fond of pendant ornaments, and wore 
them without stint, but to illustrate the manner in which they were 
used and the methods of combining them with other articles of jewelry 
in necklaces, bracelets, &c., I shall refer briefly to the literature of the 
period of American discovery. 

The inhabitants of Mexico are said to have been very simple in the 
matter of dress, but displayed much vanity in their profuse employ- 
ment of personal ornament. Besides feathers and jewels, with which 


they adorned their clothes, they wore peud.ants to the ears, nose, and 
lips, as well as necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. The ear ornaments 
of the poor were shells, pieces of crystal, amber, and other brilliant 
stones, but the rich wore pearls, emeralds, amethysts, or other gems, set 
in gold.' The priestly personages so graphically delineated in the an- 
cient Aztec manuscripts are as a rule loaded down with pendant orna- 
ments. In traveling north along the west coast of Mexico the Friar 
Niza encountered Indians who wore many large shells of mother of 
pearl about their necks, and farther up toward Cibola the inhabitants 
wore pearl shells upon their foreheads ;" and Cabe9a de Vaca when among 
the pueblos of New Mexico noticed beads and corals that came from the 
"South Sea." Ornaments made from marine shells are found in many 
of the ancient ruin^ to-day. They are also highly valued by the modern 
Indians of this region. 

In the earliest accounts of the Indians of the Atlantic coast we find 
frequent mention of the use of pendants and gorgets, and the manner 
of wearing them as ornaments. Beverly, after having described 
beads made of a shell resembling the English buglas, says that they 
also make " runtees " of the same shell, and grind them as smooth as 
peak. " These are either large like an oval Bead, diill'd the length of 
the Oval, or else they are circular and flat, almost an Inch over, and 
one Third of an Inch thick, and drill'd edgeways. Of this Shell they 
also make round Tablets of about four Inches Diameter, which they 
l)olish as smooth as the other, and sometimes they etch or grave there- 
on Circles, Stars, a half Moon, or any other Figure suitable to their 
Fancy. These they wear instead of Medals before or behind their Neck, 
and use the Peak, Runtees, and Pipes for Coronets, Bracelets, Belts, or 
long Strings hanging down before the Breast, or else they lace their 
Garments with them, and adorn their Tomahawlcs, and every other thing 
that they value."^ The "Pipes" here spoken of were probably long, 
heavy cylindrical beads. 

In referring to this class of ornaments, Lafitau says : " The collars 
which the savages sometimes wear around the neck are about a foot in 
diameter, and are not different from those which one now sees on some 
antiques, on the necks of statues of barbarians. The northern savages 
weaf on the breast a plate of hollow shell, as long as the hand, which 
has the same effect as that which was called Bulla among the Eomans."^ 

Wood, speaking of the Indians of Northern New England, in 1634, 
says : "Although they be thus poore, yet is there in them the sparkes 
of naturall pride, which appeares in their longing desire after many 
kinds of ornaments, wearing pendants in their eares, as formes of birds, 
beasts, and iishes carved out of bone, shels, and stone, with long brace- 

'Clavigero: History of Mexico, Trans, by Cullen, vol. I, p. 437. 
'Davis: Spanish Conquest of New Mexico, p. 121. 
Beverly : History of Virginia, p. 19G. 
<Lafitau: Moeura dos Sauvages Ameriquains, p. 61. 



1, 2. Necklaces, fiom Lafitau. 

:{. From De ISiy. 
4, 5. From Mexican paiutiuga. 

6, 7, 8. From ancient sculptures. 

9. Bracrlet from a Peruvian grave. 



lets of their curious wampompeag and mowhackees, which they put 
about their neclis and loyues.'" 

Kalm says of the Indians of Lorette, near Quebec, Canada, that 
" round their necks they have a string of violet wampums, with little 
white w.impums between them. These wampums are small, of the fig- 
ure of oblong pearls, and made of the shells which the English call 
clams. At the end of the wampum strings many of the Indians wear a 
large French silver coin, with the king's efBgy, on their breasts; others 
have a large shell on the breast, of a fine white colour, which they value 
very high, and is very dear ; others, again, have no ornament at all 
round the neck."* 

Pendants of metal and medals of European manufacture soon replaced 
in a great measure the primitive gorgets of shell ; and early in the his- 
tory of the tribes a heterogeneous collection of native beads, silver 
crosses, and traders' medals, ornamented the breasts of the simple 

In studying the habits and customs of our native peoples we look 
with a great deal of interest upon the earliest historical records, but 
generally find it prudent to remember that the " personal equation" was 
unusually large in those days, and in studying the illustrations given 
in the works of early writers we must make dne allowance for the well- 
known tendency to exaggerate as well as for the fact that the artist has 
more frequently drawn from descriptions than from sketches made on 
the spot. 

In Plate XLV two examples are given which seem to me to be trust- 
worthy, as they agree with the descriptions given, and are in a general 
way characteristic of the American aborigines. Fig. 1 is reproduced, 
original size, from Plate 2, Volume II, of Lafitau, and shows a broad 
necklace ornamented with figures that resemble arrow heads. From 
this, by means of a cord, is suspended a large circular disk with con- 
cave front, which undoubtedly represents a shell gorget. In front of 
this and suspended from the necklace are two long strands of beads of 
various sizes and shapes, which give completeness to a very tasteful 
ornament. In the same plate is a pretty fair drawing of a native in 
costume. He is represented wearing a necklace simUar to the one just 
described. An enlarged drawing of this ornament is given in Fig. 2. 
In Fig. 3 I reproduce a necklace from a plate in De Bry, which consists 
of a string of beads with two large disks that look more like metal 
than shell. A similar ornament is shown in Fig. 4, but with figured 
disks and secondary pendants. It is copied from the Codex of the 
Vatican. A common form of necklace among the ancient Aztecs con- 
sisted of small univalve shells suspended from a string. One of these, 
with other pendants, is shown in Fig. 5. It is also copied from the 
Vatican Codex. Others of a much more complex nature may be found 

' Wood : New England Prospect, p. 74. 
' Ealm : Travels in North America, 1772, vol. ii, p. 320. 
17 E 


in the same manuscript. Of even greater interest are the beautiful 
necklaces, with their pendants, found in the sculptures of Mexico and 
Yucatan. ' Three of these are shown in Figs. 6, 7, and 8. One has a 
disk with human features engraved upon it, another has a cross with equal 
arms, and another a T-shaped cross. All have more or less auxiliary 
ornamentation. In Fig. 9 I present a bracelet of beads and pendants 
from Peru which illustrates one of the simpler uses of pendants. I have 
not learned whether the parts of this ornament were originally arranged 
as given in the cut or not ; the original stringing may have been some- 
what different. The beads are mostly of shell, and are of a variety of 
colors, white, red, yellow, and gray. The discoidal and cylindrical forms 
are both represented. The former range from one-eighth to three-eighths 
of an inch in diameter ; the latter are one-eighth of an inch in thick- 
ness and three-eighths in length. The larger pendants, made of 
whitish shell, are carved to represent some life form, probably a bird; 
a large perforation near the upper end passes through the head, two 
oblique notches with deep lines at the sides, define the wings, and a 
series of notches at the wide end represent the tail. Two smaller 
pendants are still simpler in form, while another, with two nearly cen- 
tral perforations and notched edges, resembles a button. 

Eastern forms. — The great number of elaborately carved and engraved 
gorgets of shell found among the antiquities of the Atlantic slope, all 
of which need careful descriptions, so overshadow the simple forms 
illustrated in Plate XL VI, that only a brief description of the latter need 
be given. Rudeness of workmanship and simplicity of form do not in 
any sense imply greater antiquity or a less advanced state of art. The 
simpler forms of plain pendants constituted the every-day jewelry of the 
average people and, like beads, were probably used freely by all who de- 
sired to do so. Many forms are found — circular, oval, rectangular, tri- 
angular, pear-shaped, and annular. The more ordinary forms are found 
in mounds and graves in all parts of the country ; other forms are more 
restricted geographically, and i^robably exhibit features peculiar to the 
works of a particular clan, tribe, or group of tribes. Even these simple 
forms may have possessed some totemic or mystic significance ; it is not 
impossible that the plainer disks may have had significant figures 
painted upon them. Such of the forms as are found to have definite 
geographic limits become of considerable interest to the archfeologist. 
In method of manufacture they do not differ from the most ordinary 
implements or beads, the margins being trimmed, the surfaces polished 
and the perforations made in a precisely similar manner. 

In Plate XL VI I present a number of plain circular disks. The 
larger specimens are often as much as four or even five inches in diam- 
eter and the smaller fraternize with beads, as I have shown in Plate 
XLV. Figs. 1 and 2 are from a mound at Paint Eock Ferry, Tenn. 
They are neat, moderately thin, concavo-convex disks, with smooth sur- 

' Vide Kingsborough, Waldeck, Bancroft, &c. 


AXXIAL REl-OKT 1881 IM.. .\I.^^ 


/(• \ 






faces and rounded edges. The first has two perforations at the upper 
edge, while the other has similarly placed but much smaller ones, be- 
sides a small central perforation surrounded by an incised circle. The 
national collection contains similar specimens from most of the Atlantic 
States ; they differ from the larger discoidal beads only in the method 
of perforation. A typical specimen of this class, four and a half inches 
in diameter, is shown in Fig. 3. It was associated with the remains of 
a number of children in a mound in Hardin County, Ohio. Disks of 
this class were usually suspended upon the breast with the concave side 
out. That many of the specimens described were suspended in this way 
is indicated by the character of the abrasion produced by the cords. On 
the concave side the cord of suspension has worn deep grooves between 
the perforations, and on the opposite or convex side similar grooves extend 
obliquely upward from the holes toward the margin of the disk, indicat- 
ing the passage of the cord upward and outward around the neck of 
the wearer. 

A large white disk, similar to the one just described, was obtained 
from a grave at Accotink, Va. It is five inches in diameter and has one 
central and three marginal perforations. It is made from a Busyconper- 
verstim, and is neatly shaped and well polished. 

A fine specimen two inches in diameter was obtained from a mound 
on the French Broad River, Tenn., and, with many other similar speci- 
mens, is now in the national collection. 

The central perforation is often very much enlarged. A number of 
specimens, recently sent to the National Museum, from a mound in 
Auglaize County, Ohio, show several stages of this enlargement. One 
specimen five inches across has a perforation nearly one inch in diame- 
ter, while in another the perforation is enlarged until the disk has be- 
come a ring. These gorgets show evidences of long use, the surfaces 
and edges being worn and the perforations much extended in the man- 
ner described above. They have been derived from the Busycon per- 

In Fig. 4 I illustrate an annular gorget from a mound in Alexander 
County, 111. It was found associated with ornaments of copper by the 
side of a human skidl, and is hence supposed to have been an ear or- 
nament. It is fragmentary and has suffered greatly from decay, the 
surface being mostly covered with a dark film of decomposed shell sub- 
stance, which when broken away, exposes the chalky surface of the 
shell. These shell rings, so far as I can learn, have been found in the 
States of Ohio and Illinois only. 

Rectangular pendants are much more rare. The national collection 
contains one rude specimen from Texas. It is about two inches wide 
by two and a half long, and is made from the base of some large dex- 
tral-whorled shell. A similar but much more finished specimen comes 
from Georgia, and is preserved in the New York Natural History Mu- 


A large keystone-shaped gorget witli rounded corners was obtained 
from an ancient burial place at Beverly, Canada. It is illustrated in 
Plate L, Fig. 1. 

The small pendant shown in Fig. 5 is given by Schoolcraft in "Notes 
on the Iroquois." It represents rudely the human figure, and is ornar 
mented with eight perpendicular and four or five transverse dots. It 
was found on the site of an old fort near Jamesville, N. T. In the same 
work Mr. Schoolcraft illustrates another small pendant, which is repro- 
duced in Fig. G. The body is heart-shaped, the perforation being made 
through a rectangular projection at the upper end. It was found at 
Onondaga, N. Y. 

The small pendant presented in Fig. 7 is from "West Bloomfield, N. 
T. It has been suspended by means of a shallow groove near the 
upper end. It is made from the basal point of a dextral-whorled shell. 

The handsome little pendant shown in Fig. 8 was found with similar 
specimens in Monroe County, New Tork — probably on some ancient vil- 
lage site. It is well preserved and has been made from the columella of a 
dextral-whorled shell. An ornamental design, consisting of lines and 
dots, is engraved ujion the face. A small, deeply countersunk perfora- 
tion has been made near the upper end. These objects have appar- 
ently been strung with beads, as the perforations show evidence of such 
abrasion as beads would produce. Many of the New York specimens 
have a new look, and their form suggests the possibility of civilized in- 
fluence. They are certainly more recent than the western and southern 

A small cylindrical pendant is illustrated in Fig. 9. A large, neat 
perforation has been made at the upper end, and the middle portion of 
the body is ornamented by a series of encircling grooves. This speci- 
men has been made from a large Unio and was obtained from a mound 
in Union County, Ky. 

Western forms. — In variety of form the plain pendants of the Cali- 
fornia coast excel all others. Specimens from the graves are generally 
well preserved, not having lost their original iridescence, although so 
much decayed as to suffer considerably from exfoliation. 

As indicated by the present well preserved condition of these shell 
ornaments, they are probably not of very ancient date ; indeed it is 
highly probable that many of them are post-Columbian. 

Cabrillo visited the island of Santa Rosa in 1542 and found a numer- 
ous and thriving people. In 1816 only a small remnant of the inhabi- 
tants remained, and these were removed to the main-laud by Catholic 
priests. Their destruction is attributed to both war and famine. The 
history of the other islands is doubtless somewhat similar. 

Articles made from shell are found to resemble each other very closely, 
whether from the islands or the main-land. All probably belong to the 
eame time, and although the peoples of the islands are said to have 
ispoken a different language from those of the main-land, their arts were 




*L ■ 

W ^ 

W ^m 


[■: . :■ > 

/.•:.'■.■ ' 

■ j':, ' '■ 

/0*!!k / 


:^^ \ 




apparently pretty much the same. They do not differ, as far as works 
in shell are coucerned, from the modern tribes of the mainland. There 
is also a noticeable resemblance between the art of the ancient Cali- 
fornia Islanders and that of the present inhabitants of the great Pacific 

The record of many of the specimens obtained from these islands 
seems to be very incomplete, scarcely more being known than the fact 
that they were obtained from the ancient graves. Since, however, they 
are almost exclusively ornaments belonging probably to a single period, 
detailed accounts of their methods of occurrence would not add greatly 
to their value. 

In previous chapters vessels, hooks, and beads made of the Haliotis 
have been described, and the high estimation in which they are every- 
where held briefly noted. The variety of ways in which this shell is 
utilized is indeed remarkable and the multitude of forms into which it is 
worked for ornament is a matter of surprise. All are neatly and effect- 
ively worked, and evince no little skill and taste on the part of the 

The Haliotis is not the only shell used, but it has no rival in point of 
beauty. Bivalve shells are utilized to a considerable exteut, many 
tasteful things being made from the Fissurella, the Mytilus, the Pachydes- 
ma, and the Pecten. The perforations are generally neatly made and are 
more numerous than in similar eastern specimens ; besides those for 
suspension there are frequently many others for the attachment of sec- 
ondary pendants and for fastening to the costume. Many specimens 
are ornamented with edgings of notches and crossed lines but very few 
have been found on which significant characters have been engraved, 
and we look in vain lor parallels to the curious designs characteristic 
of the gorgets of the mound-builders. 

A glance at the numerous examples given in Plates XLVII, XLVIII, 
and XLIX will give a good idea of the multiplicity of forms into which 
these ornaments are wrought. 

A rather remarkable group of pendants is represented by Fig. 1. They 
are characterized by a deep scallop at the left, with a long curved hook- 
like projection above. They take their form from the shape of the lip 
of the Haliotis, from which they are made — the hook being the upper 
point of the outer lip where it joins the body, and the scallop the line 
of the suture. The body of the ornament is formed from the lip of the 
shell. In size they vary to some extent with the shells from which they 
are derived. The body is at times quite oval and again slender and 
hooked like the blade of a sickle. The perforations are generally very 
numerous, a fact that indicates their use as central pieces for composite 
pendants. It is apparent that the wearers thought more of the ex- 
quisite coloring of these ornaments than of the outline or surface finish. 
This is only one of many instances that prove the innate and universal 
appreciation of beauty of color by savage peoples. 


In Fig. 2 a fine example of the subtriangular or keystone-shaped 
pendants is presented. The edges are very neatly cut and the corners 
slightly rounded. The back is ground smooth, but on the front the 
original surface of the shell is preserved, the colors being extremely 
rich and brilliant. A single perforation has been drilled near the upper 
end. It is made from a Haliotis rufescens, and was obtained from the 
island of Santa Eosa. 

The handsome specimen shown in Fig. 3 was obtained from a grave 
on the island of San Miguel. It has suffered much from decay. There 
are four neatly made perforations near the center. It has apparently* 
been cut from the same shell as the preceding. 

Fig. 4 is a small keystone-shaped specimen having two perforations. 

Fig. 5 represents a small, delicate specimen of rectangular shape, 
having two minute perforations. This, as well as the preceding, was 
obtained from a grave on the island of San Miguel. 

Fig. 6 illustrates a small oval, wafer-like specimen, the edges of which 
have been ornamented with a series of crossed lines. It has three neat 
perforations on the line of the longer axis. It is from the island of 
Santa Cruz. 

Fig. 7 represents a small button-like disk with a central perforation ; 
the margin is ornamented with a series of radiating lines. It was ob- 
tained from Santa Barbara. 

A pendant of very peculiar form is shown in Fig. 8. The oval body 
has three marginal projections, all of which are perforated ; there is 
also a perforation near the center. The surface retains a heavy coating 
of some dark substance, which gives the ornament much the appearance 
of corroded metal. It was obtained from San Miguel Island. 

In a number of cases advantage has been taken of the natural per- 
forations of the shell, both to give variety to the outline of small pend- 
ants and to save the labor of making artificial perforations. A very 
handsome little specimen is shown in Fig. 9. The two indentations 
above and below represent two of the natural perforations of the shell; 
artificial perforations are made in each of the four corners or wings. It 
was also obtained from the island of San Miguel. 

Fig. 10 represents a leaf-shaped pendant with notched edges and a 
single perforation. It comes from the island of Santa Cruz. 

The examples given are typical of the very large class of ornaments 
derived from the Haliotidce. The striking specimens shown in Plate 
XLVIII are, with one exception, made from shells of this class. The 
two sickle-shaped pendants illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2 are made from 
the broadened inner lip of the Haliotis californianus {1). In one a single 
perforation has been made near the upper end ; in the other there are 
two, one near each end. The faces have been neatly dressed and the 
corners ornamented with minute notches. They are from graves on Santa 
Cruz Island. Two exquisite specimens, also from Santa Cruz Island, 
are presented in Figs. 3 and 4, They have been cut from the body of a 



1-7. Peudants made of the Haliotis. (1) 8. Peudant made of a Cyprea. (J) 



Saliotis splendens (?), and finished with much care. Two perforations 
have been made near the upper margin, which is arched or curved while 
the lower is nearly straight. The edges are neatly notched. Although 
somewhat altered by exposure these objects are still very pretty. 

A very ueat, well preserved little pendant is shown iu Fig. 5. The 
specimen presented iu Fig. G is peculiar in having a series of five per- 
forations, one near the middle and the others near the ends. The ex- 
amjjle given in Fig. 7 has two perforations, one at each end. These are 
all made from species of the Haliotis. 

The specimen presented iu Fig. 8 is made from the lip of a Cyprea 
spadicea with very little change except the carefully made perforation. 
It is from the island of San Miguel. The idea of beautifying orna- 
ments made from the Haliotis and other shells by notching the edges 
may have been suggested by the natural notches characteristic of the 

Figs. 1, 2, and 3, Plate XLIX, illustrate a group of small, delicate, 
ladle-shaped pendants. The perforation for suspension is at the upper 
end of the handle and the body has an oval or circular perforation, which 
is often so enlarged as to leave only a narrow ring, like the rim of an 
ej-eglass. The specimen shown in Fig. 3 has two lobes, with a large 
perforation or opening in each. In one instance the handle is quite 
wide at the upjier end and ornamented by two deep lateral notches. 
The edges of these specimens are nearly always adorned with notches 
or crossed lines. All are fashioned from the Haliotis, and although con- 
siderably stained are still well enough preserved to show the pearly 
lusters of that shell. 

Circular and oval disks are also numerous and vary much in finish ; 
some have a great number of perforations or indentations, and nearly 
all are neatly notched around the margins. Examples are given in 
Figs. 4 and 5. 

The national collection contains a number of rings and pieces of rings 
made from the valves of a large clam, probably a Pectuticulus, one ex- 
ample of which is shown in Fig. 6. The convex back of the shell is 
ground oft' until a marginal ring only remains. A perforation is made 
near the angle of the beak. The shell is from the California coast, but 
the rings were collected mostly if not entirely from Arizona and New 
Mexico. It is not impossible that the tribes of the interior procured 
these articles from white traders, as they are known to have secured 
other shell ornaments in this way. 

The natives of the California coast were not slow in taking advantage 
of natural forms to aid their art or to save labor. The shells of the 
Fissurellidce as well as of the Haliotidw have been in great favor. They 
have been used as beads and pendants in their natural state or the nat- 
ural perforations have been enlarged until only a ring has been left, or 
the margin and sides have been ground down until nothing of the origi- 
nal form or surface remained. Two of these forms are shown in Figs. 7 


and 8. They are from graves on San Miguel Island, and are made from 
the Lucupina crenulata; others come from Santa Cruz Island, and proba- 
bly also from the adjoining islands as well as from the main land. Eings 
are also made from other shells. Examples made from the Aemcca mitra 
and Cyprea spadicea are shown in Figs. 9, 10, and 11. They come from 
San Miguel. 


We find that pendant gorgets grade imperceptibly into another group 
of objects, the use or significance of which hare not be fully determined. 
These objects are more frequently made of stone or copper, but good 
examples in shell have been found. As a rule they take the form of 
thin oblong plates which exhibit great variety of outline. The perfora- 
tions are peculiar, and have not been designed for ordinary suspension, 
but are placed near the middle of the specimen as if for fixing it to the 
person or costume by means of cords. Many theories have been ad- 
vanced in attempting to determine their use. They have been classed 
as gorgets, badges of authority, shuttles, armor plates, wrist protectors, 
and as implements for sizing sinews and twisting cords. 

Objects of this class in stone have been frequently illustrated and 
described. They are made of many varieties of stone, some of which 
seem to have been selected on account of their beauty. They have 
been neatly shaped and often well-polished. The edges are occasionally 
notched and the surfaces ornamented with patterns of incised lines. 
The perforations vary from one to four, the greater number of speci- 
mens, however, having only two. In the early days of mound explora- 
tion objects of this class were even greater enigmas, if i)ossible, than 
they are to-day. Even the material of which a number of them were 
formed remained for a long time undetermined. Schoolcralt has 
published an illustration of a large specimen from the Grave Creek 
Mound, Va. This drawing is reproduced in Fig. 3, Plate L. The original 
was six inches long, one and three-tenths inches wide, and three-tenths 
of an inch in thickness. He expresses the opinion that it was one of 
those ancient badges of authority formerly in such general use among 
the Indians.* 

Another specimen, very much like the last in size and shape, but made 
of shell, supposed at the time of discovery to be ivory, was found asso- 
ciated with human remains in the Grave Creek Mound. It is described 
by Mr. Tomlinson in the American Pioneer,^ and the cut given in Plate 
L, Fig. 4, is copied from that work. 

A remarkable specimen of this class is given in Fig. 5. It is made 

' Schoolcraft, in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc, Vol. II, Plate 1. 
•Tomlinson, in The American Pioneer, Vol. II, p. 200. 






from tlie body of a large Busycon perversum, and is nine and a half 
inches long by three inches iu width at the widest part. The concave 
surface has been highly polished, but is now somewhat roughened by 
weathering; the back has been slightly ground to take off the rougher 
ridges of growth ; the edges are even and rounded and in many places 
quite thin. The peculiarity of its shape is such as to give it very much 
the appearance of the sole of a sandal. The perforations are three in 
number, one being near the middle and the others near the broader end, 
about one and a half inches apart ; they are very neatly made and are 
slightly bi-conical and a little countersunk. There appears to be no evi- 
dence whatever of abrasion by use. It was found associated with human 
remains in a mound at Sharpsburg, Mercer County, Ohio. A similar 
specimen from the same locality is nearly nine inches in length, and 
lacks but a little of three and a half inches in width. As in the speci- 
men illustrated, one perforation is placed near the middle and two 
others near the broader end. This specimen is highly polished on the 
broader part of the back, and is evenly smoothed on the concave side. It 
bears evidence of considerable use, and the two boles are much worn by a 
string or cord, which, passing from one hole to the other on the concave 
side of the plate, gradually worked a deep groove between them. On 
the back or convex side, the perforations show no evidence of wear. 
The central perforation is not worn on either side. The letter of Mr. 
Whitney, transmitting this relic to the National Museum, states that 
there were in the mound " about ten pairs of the shell sandals of different 
sizes, and made to fit the right and left feet." From the latter remark 
I should infer that some were made from dextral and others from sinis- 
tral shells; the two described are made from the Busycon pervcrsum. 

An extremely fine specimen, much like the preceding, was exhumed 
from an ancient mound in Hardin County, Ohio. It was found on the 
head of a skeleton which occupied a sitting posture near the center of 
the mound. It is nine inches in length by three and one-half inches in 
width, and in shape resembles the sole of a moccasin, being somewhat 
broader and less pointed than the specimen presented in Fig. 5. It bad 
been placed upon the skull with the wider end toward the back, but 
whether laid there as a burial offering simply or as constituting a part 
of the head-dress of the dead savage we have no means of determin- 
ing. The perforations are three in number, and are placed similarly to 
those in the specimen illustrated in Fig. 5. Two other skeletons had 
similar plates associated with them, which differed from the one de- 
scribed in size only, the smaller one being less than six inches in length. 
Lithographs of two of these specimens are given by Mr. Matson, in 
whoso very excellent report they were first described.' 

The gorget presented in Fig. 1 of this plate is copied from School- 
craft.' It was taken, along with many other interesting relics, from 

' Matson, in Ohio Centennial Report, p. 131. 

'Schoolcraft: History of the Indian Tribes, &c., part I, plate XIX. 


one of the ossuaries at Beverly, Canada West. It is formed from some 
large sea slieli, and is tliree inches in width by three and three-fourths 
inches in length. Its perforations are four in number, and are so placed 
as to be conveniently used either for suspension by a single cord or for 
fixing firmly by means of two or more cords. It seems to hold a mid- 
dle place between pendants proper and the pierced tablets under con- 

The unique specimen given in Fig. 2 is from Cedar Keys, Florida, but 
whether from a grave or a shell-heap I am at present unable to state. 
In its iierforations, which are large and doubly conical, it resemblesvery 
closely the typical tablet of stone. The outline is peculiar; being 
rounded at the top, it grows broader toward the base like a celt, aud 
terminates at the outer corners in well-rounded points, the edge between 
being ornamented with a series of notches or teeth. It has been cut 
from the wall of a Busy con perverstim, and is sharply curved. The sur- 
face is roughened by time, but there is no evidence of wear by use 
either in the perforations or in the notches at the bas3. 

In studying these remarkable specimens the fact that they so sel- 
dom show marks of use presents itself for explanation. Dr. Charles 
Eau, whose opinions in such matters are always worthy of considera- 
tion, remarks " that at first sight one might be inclined to consider 
them as objects of ornament, or as badges of distinction; but this view 
is not corroborated by the appearance of the perforations, which ex- 
hibit no trace of that peculiar abrasion produced by constant suspen- 
sion. The classification of the tablets as ' gorgets,' therefore, appears to 
be erroneous."^ 

The same argument could, however, be brought with equal force 
against their use for any of the other purposes suggested. The perfo- 
rations, if not used for suspension or attachment, would be subject to 
wear from any other use to which they could be put. But, as we have 
already seen, one of the specimens in shell exhibits well-defined evidence 
of wear, and that of such a character as to indicate the passage of a cord 
between the perforations in a position that would jiroduce abrasion be- 
tween the holes on the concave side of the plate, but would leave the 
back entirely unworn. This peculiar result could only be produced by 
attachment in a fixed position, concave side out, to some object perfo- 
rated like the plate, the cord passing directly through both. The per- 
forations of pendants necessarily show wear on both sides; a like result 
would follow from the use of these plates in any of the other ways men- 
tioned. Those made of shell could not, on account of their warped 

' The ossuaries here mentioned are in the township of Beverly, twenty miles from 
Dundas, at the head of Lake Ontario. They are situated iu a primitive forest, and 
were discovered upwards of thirty years ago through the uprooting of a tree. Large 
numbers of skeletons had been deposited longitudinally intrenches, with many imple- 
ments, utensils, and ornaments. Two brass kettles were found in one of the graves. 
(Schoolcraft: Red Races of America, p. 326.) 

' Rau : ArchEEological Collection of the National Museum, p. 33. 



1. Oniameiit from Beverly, C. "W. 

2. Ornament from Florida. 

3, 4. Objects from tbe Grave Creek Mouud, Va. 
5. Perforated plat© from Ohio. 



shape, be used for shuttles; besides, they show no evidence of marginal 
wear, such as would result from this use. The fact, too, that the mate- 
rial had to be brought from the distant sea-shore would seem to render it 
too rare and precious to be employed in the ordinary arts when wood, 
stone, and bone would serve the purpose as well. Owing to the care- 
lessness or negligence of collectors we have but little information in 
regard to their relation to the human remains with which they were 
deposited. Such facts as we have, however, tend, I believe, to show 
that they were used for personal decoration. Again, the material of 
which they are formed is, on account of its beauty, especially adapted 
for ornament, and for this use it has been almost exclusively reserved 
by peoples as distant from the sea as were the ancient peoples of the 
Ohio Valley. 


It has already been suggested that the simpler forms of pendants 
with plain surfaces may have had particular significance to their pos- 
sessors, as insignia, amulets, or symbols, or that they may have re- 
ceived painted designs of such a character as to give significance to 
them. For ornament the natural or plainly polished surface of the shell 
possessed sufficient beauty to satisfy the most fastidious taste — a beauty 
that could hardly be enhanced by the addition of painted or incised 
figures. But we find that many of the larger gorgets obtained from the 
moundsand graves of a large district have designs of a most interest- 
ing nature engraved npon them, which are so remarkable in conception 
and execution as to command our admiration. Such is the character 
of these designs that we are at once impressed with the idea that they 
are not products of the idle fancy, neither is it possible that they had 
no higher ofiQce than the gratification of barbarian vanity. I have given 
much time to their examination, and, day by day, have become more 
strongly impressed with the belief that no single design is without its 
significance, and that their production was a serious art which dealt 
with matters closely interwoven with the history, mythology and polity 
of a people gradually developing a civilization of their own. 

Although these objects were worn as personal ornaments they proba- 
bly had specialized uses as insignia, amulets, or symbols. 

As insignia, they were badges of office or distinction. The devices en- 
graved upon them were derived from many sources and were probably 
sometimes supplemented by numeral records representing enemies killed, 
prisoners taken, or other deeds accomplished. 

As amulets, they were invested with protective or remedial attributes 
and contained mystic devices derived from dreams, visions, and many 
other sources. 


As symbols they possessed, in most cases, a religious character, and 
were generally used as totems of clans. They were inscribed with char- 
acters derived chiefly from mythologic sources. A few examples con- 
tain geometric designs which may have been time-symbols, or they may 
have indicated the order of ceremonial exercises. 

That these objects should be classed under one of these heads and 
not as simple ornaments engraved with intricate designs for embel- 
lishment alone is apparent when we consider the serious character of 
the work, the great amount of labor and patience shown, the frequent 
recurrence of the same design, the wide distribution of particular forms, 
the preservation of the idea in all cases, no matter what shortcomings 
occur in execution or detail, and the apparent absence of all lines, dots, 
and figures not essential to the presentation of the conception. 

In describing these gorgets I have arranged them in groups distin- 
guished by the designs engraved upon them.' They are presented in 
the following order : 

The Cross, 

The Scalloped Disk, 

The Bird, 

The Spider, 

The Serpent, 

The Human Face, 

The Human Figure: and to these I append The Frog, 
which is found in Arizona only, and although carved in shell does not 
appear to have been used as a pendant, as no perforations are visible. 

Within the United States ancient tablets containing engraved designs 
are apparently confined to the Atlantic slope, and are not found to any 
extent beyond the limits of the district occupied by the stone-grave 
peoples. Early explorers along the Atlantic coast mention the use of 
engraved gorgets by a number of tribes. Modern examples may be 
found occasionally among the Indians of the northwest coast as well as 
upon the islands of the central Pacific. 


The discoverers and early explorers of the New World were filled with 
surprise when they beheld their own sacred emblem, the cross, mingling 
with the pagan devices of the western barbarian. Writers have specu- 
lated in vain — the mystery yet remains unsolved. Attempts to con- 
nect the use of the cross by prehistoric Americans with its use in the 
East have signally failed, and we are compelled to look on its occur- 
rence here as one of those strange coincidences so often found in the 
practices of peoples totally foreign to each other. 

K written history does not establish beyond a doubt the fact that the 
cross had a place in our aboriginal symbolism, we have but to turn 

'The handsome illustrations presented in the accompanying plates were mostly 
drawn by Miss Kate C. Osgood, who has no superior in this class of work. 



1. From amuUDd, Union Comity. 111. 2. From Charleston, lie. 




to the pages of the great archseologic record, where we find that it occupies 
a place in ancient American art so intimately interwoven with concep- 
tions peculiar to the continent that it cannot be separated from them. 
It is found associated with other prehistoric remains throughout nearly 
the entire length and breadth of America. 

I have the pleasure of presenting a few new examples of this emblem, 
obtained from the district at one time occupied by the mound-builders. 
The examples are carved in shell or engraved upon disks of shell which 
have been employed as pendant gorgets. In the study of these particu- 
lar relics, one important factiu recent history must be kept constantly in 
mind. The first explorers were accompanied by Christian zealots, who 
spared no efifort to root out the native superstitions and introduce a 
foreign religion, of which the cross was the all-important symbol. This 
emblem was generally accepted by the savages as the only tangible feature 
of a new system of belief that was filled with subtleties too profound 
for their comprehension. As a result, the cross was at once introduced 
into the regalia of the natives; at first probably in a Eui'opean form 
and material attached to a string of beads in precisely the manner that 
they had been accustomed to suspend their own trinkets and gorgets; 
but soon, uo doubt, delineated or carved by their own hands upon tab- 
lets of stone and copper and shell, in the place of their own peculiar con- 
ceptions. From the time of La Salle down to the extinction of the sav- 
age in the middle Mississippi province, the cross was kept constantly be- 
fore him, and its presence may thus be accounted for in such remains as 
post-date the advent of the whites. Year after year articles of Euroi^ean 
manufacture are being discovered in the most unexpected places, and 
we shall find it impossible to assigu any single exami^le of these crosses 
to a prehistoric period, with the assurance that our statements will not 
some day be challenged. It is certainly unfortunate that the American 
origin of any work of art resembling European forms must rest forever 
under a cloud of suspicion. As long as a doubt exists in regard to the 
origin of a relic, it is useless to employ it in a discussion where import- 
ant deductions are to be made. At the same time it should not be for- 
gotten that the cross was undoubtedly used as a symbol by the prehis- 
toric nations of the South, and consequently that it was probably also 
known in the North. A great majority of the relics associated with it 
in ancient mounds and burial places are undoubtedly aboriginal. In 
the case of the shell gorgets, the tablets themselves belong to an Ameri- 
can type, and are highly characteristic of the art of the Mississippi Val- 
ley. A majority of the designs engraved upon them are also charac- 
teristic of the same district. 

We find at rare intervals designs that are characteristically foreign ; 
these, whether Mexican or European, are objects of special interest and 
merit the closest possible examination. That the design under con- 
sideration, as well as every other engraved upon these tablets, is sym- 
bolic or otherwise significant, I do not for a moment doubt; but the 


probabilities as to the European or American origin of the symbol of 
the cross found in this region are pretty evenly balanced. In its de- 
lineation there is certainly nothing to indicate its origin. By reference 
to Plate LIII it will be seen that in all the examples given it is a sim- 
ple and symmetrical cross, which might be duplicated a thousand times 
in the religious art of any country. A study of the designs associated 
with the cross in these gorgets is instructive, but does not lead to any 
definite result. In one case the cross is inscribed upon the back of a 
great spider; in another it is surrounded by a rectangular framework 
of lines, looped at the corners, and guarded by four mysterious birds, 
while in others it is without attendant characters ; but the workman- 
ship is purely aboriginal. I have not seen a single example of engrav- 
ing upon shell that suggested a foreign hand, or a design, with the 
exception of this one, that could claim a European derivation. 

Some very ingenious theories have been elaborated in attempting to 
account for the presence of the cross among American symbols. Erin- 
ton believes that the great importance attached to the points of the 
compass — the four quarters of the heavens — by savage peoples has given 
rise to the sign of the cross. With others the cross is a phallic symbol, 
derived, by some obscure process of evolution, from the veneration ac- 
corded to the reciprocal principle in nature. It is also frequently asso- 
ciated with sun-worship, and is recognized as a symbol of the sun — the 
four arms being remaining rays left after a gradual processof elimination. 
Whatever is finally determined in reference to the origin of the cross as a 
religious symbol in America will probably result from the exhaustive study 
of the history, language, and art of the ancient peoples, combined with 
a thorough knowledge of the religious conceptions of modern tribes, 
and when these sources of information are all exhausted it is probable 
that the writer who asserts more than a probability will overreach his 

Such delineations of the cross as we find embodied in ancient aborigi- 
nal ait represent only the final stages of its evolution, and it is not to 
be exjiected that its origin can be traced through them. In one instance, 
however, a direct derivation from nature is suggested. The ancient 
Mexican pictographic manuscripts abound in representations of trees, 
conventionalized in such a manner as to resemble crosses ; these appa- 
rently take an important part in the scenes depicted. By a compari- 
son of these curious trees with the remarkable cross in the Palenque 
tablet, I have been led to the belief that they must have a common sig- 
nificance and origin. The analogies are indeed remarkable. The tree- 
cross in the paintings is often the central figure of a group in 
which priests offer sacrifice, or engage in some similar religious rite. 
The cross holds the same relation in the Palenque group. The 
branches of these cross-shaped trees terminate in clusters of symbolic 
fruit, and the arms of the ci'oss are loaded down with symbols which, al- 
though highly conventionalized, have not yet entirely lost their vege- 



1. Shell gorget, Tain's Island, Teiin. 

2. Shell gorget, Lick Creek, Teun. 

3. Shell gorget. Lick Creek, Tenu. 

4. Copper plate, Ohio. 



table character. The most remarkable feature, however, is not that the 
crosses resemble each other in these respects, but that they iJerform 
like functions in giving support to a symbolic bird which is perched 
upon the summit. This bird appears to be the important feature of the 
group, and to it, or the deity which it represents, the homage or sacri- 
fice is offered. These analogies go still farther; the bases of the cross 
in the tablet and of the crosses in the paintings are made to rest upon 
a highly conventionalized figure of some mythical creature. A consid- 
eration of these facts seems to me to lead to the conclusion that the 
myths represented in all of these groups are identical, and that the cross 
and cross-like trees have a common origin. Whether that origin is in 
the tree on the one hand or in a cross otherwise evolved on the other I 
shall not attempt to say. 

The gorget presented in Fig. 1., Plate LI, belongs to the collection of 
Mr. F. M. Perrine, and was obtained from a mound in Union County, 
111. It is a little more than three inches in diameter and has been 
ground down to a uniform thickness of about one-twelfth of an inch. 
The surfaces are smooth and the margin carefully rounded antl polished. 
Near the upper edge are two perforations for suspension. The cord used 
passed between the holes on the concave side, wearing a shallow groove. 
On the convex side, or back, the cord marks extend upward and out- 
ward, indicating the usual method of suspension about the neck. The 
cross which occupies the center of the concave face of the disk, is quite 
simple. It is partially inclosed on one side by a semicircular line, 
and at present has no other definition than that given by four triangu- 
lar perforations which separate the arms. The face of the cross is orna- 
mented with six carelessly drawn incised lines, which interlace in the 
center, as shown in the cut — three extending along the arm to the right 
and three passing down the lower arm to the inclosing line. I have 
not been able to learn anything of the character of the interments with 
which this specimen was associated. 

Fig. 2 of the same plate represents a large shell cross, the encircling 
rim of which has been broken away. The perforations are still intact. 
The cross is quite plain. This specimen is very much decayed, and 
came to the National Museum inside of a skull obtained from a grave at 
Charleston, Mo. Beyond this there is no record of the specimen. 

In Fig. 1, Plate LII, 1 present a large fragment of a circular shell 
ornament, on the convex surface of which a very curious ornamental 
design has been engraved. The design, inclosed by a circle, represents 
a cross such as would be formed by two rectangular tablets or slips, 
slit longitudinally and interlaced at right angles to each other. Be- 
tween the arms of the cross in the spaces inclosed by the circular bor- 
der line are four annular nodes, having small conical depressions in the 
center. These nodes have been relieved by cutting away portions of 
the shell around them. In the center of the cross is another small 
node or ring similarly relieved. The lines are neat and deeply incised. 


The edge of the shell has been broken away nearly all around. The 
accompanying cut represents the ornament natural size — one and a 
half inches in diameter and one-sixteenth of an inch in thickness. It 
was obtained from a mound on Faiu's Island, Tennessee. 

The small gorget presented in Fig. 2, Plate LII, is of inferior work- 
manship and the lines and dots seem to have a somewhat haphazard 
arrangement. The cross, which may or may not be significant, con- 
sists of two shallow irregular grooves which cross each other at right 
angles near the center of the disk and terminate near the border. 
There are indications of an irregular, somewhat broken, concentric line 
near the margin. A number of shallow conical pits have been drilled 
at rather irregular intervals over most of the surface. One pair of per- 
forations seems to have been broken away and others drilled, one of the 
latter has also been broken out. A triangular fragment is lost from the 
lower margin of the disk. This specimen was obtained from a mound 
on Lick Creek, East Tennessee, by Mr. Dunning. 

The gorget shown in Fig. 3 contains a typical example of the cross 
of the mound-builder. The cut was made from a pencil sketch and is 
probably not quite accurate in detail. The border of the disk is 
plain, with the exception of the usual perforations at the top. The 
cross is inclosed in a carelessly drawn circle, and the spaces between 
the arms, which in other crosses are entirely cut out, or are filled with 
rays or other figures, are here decorated with a pattern of crossed 
lines. The lines which define the arms of the cross intersect in the 
middle of the disk. The square figure thus produced in the center 
contains a device that is probably significant. A doubly-curved or 
S-shaped incised line, widened at the ends, extends obliquely across 
the square from the right upper to the left lower corner. This figure 
appears to be an elementary or unfinished form of the device found 
in the center of many of the more elaborate disks. Intersected by a 
similar line it would form a cross like that upon the back of one of the 
spiders shown in Plate LXI, or somewhat more evenly curved, it would 
resemble the involuted figure in the center of the circular disks given 
in Plate LIV. This specimen was obtained from a mound on Lick Creek, 
Tenn., and is now in the Peabody Museum. 

In Fig. 4 a large copper disk from an Ohio mound is represented. 
The specimen is eight inches in diameter, is very thin, and has sufi'ered 
greatly from corrosion. A symmetrical cross, the arms of which are 
five inches in length, has been cut out of the center. Two concentric 
lines have been impressed in the plate, one near the margin and the 
other touching the ends of the cross. It is now in the Natural History 
Museum at New York. 

In Plate LIII I present a largo number of crosses, most of which 
have been obtained from the mounds, or from ancient graves, within 
the district occupied by the mound-builders. Eight are engraved upon 
shell gorgets (illustrations of which are given in the accompanying 






/fr ' 










plates), oue is cut in stoue, three are painted upon pottery, and four are 
executed in copper. With two exceptions they are inclosed in circles, 
and are hence symmetrical Greek crosses, the ends being rounded to 
conform to the circle ; the remaining two (Figs. 14 and 15) represent 
forms of the Latin cross, and resemble the crosses attached to the rosa- 
ries of the Catholic priesthood. A silver cross similar to the last 
given was obtained from a mound in Ohio. 

The plate itself is instructive, and may be presented without further 


In making a hasty classification of the many engraved gorgets, I have 
found it convenient to place in one group a numerous and somewhat ex- 
traordinary class of designs which have been engraved upon scalloped 
disks. Like the cross, the symbol here represented is one that cannot 
with certainty be referred to an original. The general shape of the 
disks is such as to suggest to most minds a likeness to the sun, the 
scallops being suggestive of the rays. As this orb is known to be an ob- 
ject of first importance in the economy of life — the source of light and heat 
— it is naturally an object of veneration among many primitive peoples. 
It is well known that the barbarian tribes of Mexico and South Amer- 
ica had well developed systems of sun-worship, and that they employed 
symbols of many forms, some of which still retained a likeness to the 
original, while others had assumed the garb of animals or fanciful 
creatures. These facts being known, it seems natural that such a sym- 
bol as the one undci consideration should be referred to the great orig- 
inal which it suggests. 

The well-known fact that the district from which these gorgets come, 
was, at the time of discovery by the whites, inhabited by a race of sun- 
worshipers — the Natchez — gives to this assumption a shadow of con- 
firmation. So far as I am aware, however, no one has ventured a posi- 
tive opinion in regard to their significance, but such suggestions as 
have been made incline toward the view indicated above. I feel the 
great necessity of caution in such matters, and while combating the 
idea that the designs are ornamental or fanciful only, I am far from at- 
tributing to them any deeply mysterious significance. They maj' in 
some way or other indicate political or religious station, or they may 
even be cosmogenic, but the probabilities are much greater that they 
are time symbols. Before venturing further, however, it will be well to 
describe one of these disks, a typical example of which is presented in 
Plate LI V. 

The specimen chosen as a type of these rosette-like disks was ob- 
tained from a mound near Nashville, Tenn., by Professor Powell. It 
was found near the head of a skeleton, which was much decayed, and 
had been so disturbed by recent movements of the soil as to render it 
difficult to determine its original position. The shell used is appar- 
ently a kirge specimen of the Bmycon perversum, although the lines 
18 E 


of growth are not sufficiently well preserved to permit a positive deter- 
mination of the species. The substance of the shell is well preserved; 
the surface was once highly polished, but is now pitted and discolored 
by age. The design is engraved on the concave surface as usual, and 
the lines are accurately drawn and clearly cut. The various concen- 
tric circles are drawn with geometric accuracy around a minute shal- 
low pit as a center. These circles divide the surface into five parts — a 
small circle at the center surrounded by four zones of unequal width. 
The central circle is three-eighths of an inch in diameter, and is sur- 
rounded by a zone one-half an inch in width, which contains a rosette 
of three involuted lines ; these begin on the circumference of the inner 
circle in three small equidistant perforations, and sweep outward to the 
second circle, making upwards of half a revolution. These lines are 
somewhat wider and more deeply engraved than the other lines of the 
design. In many specimens they are so deeply cut in the middle part 
of the curve as to penetrate the disk, producing crescent-shaped perfo- 
rations. The second zone is one-fourth of an inch in width, and in 
this, as in all other specimens, is quite plain. The third zone is one- 
half an inch in width, and exhibits some very interesting features. 
Placed at almost equal intervals we find six circular figures, each of 
which incloses a circlet and a small central pit ; the spaces between the 
circular figures are thickly dotted with minute conical pits, somewhat 
irregularly placed ; the number of dots in each space varies from thirty- 
six to forty, which gives a total of about two hundred and thirty. 

The outer zone is subdivided into thirteen compartments, in each of 
which a nearly circular figure or boss has been carved, the outer edges 
of which form the scalloped outline of the gorget. Two medium sized 
perforations for suspension have been made near the inner margin of 
one of the bosses next the dotted zone ; these show slight indications of 
abrasion by the cord of suspension. These perforations, as well as the 
three near the center, have been bored mainly from the convex side of the 
disk. Whatever maybe the meaning of this design, we cannot fail to 
recognize the important fact that it is significant — that an idea is ex- 
pressed. Were the design ornamental, we should expect variation in 
the parts or details of different specimens resulting from difference of 
taste in the designers ; if simply copied from an original example for 
sale or trade to the inhabitants we might expect a certain number of 
exact reproductions ; but in such a case, when variations did occur, they 
would hardly be found to follow uniform or fixed lines ; there would also 
be variation in the relation of the parts of the conception as well as in 
the number of particular parts ; the zones would not follow each other 
in exactly the same order ; particidar figures would not be confined to 
particular zones; the rays of the volute would not always have a sin- 
istral turn, or the form of tbe tablet be always circular and scalloped. 
It cannot be supposed that of the whole number of these objects at on© 
time in use, more than a small number have been rescued from decay^ 




Nashville, Ti'un. 


and these have been obtained from widely scattered localities and doubt- 
less represent centuries of time, yet no variants appear to indicate a 
leading up to or a divergence from the one particular type. A design 
of purely ornamental character, even if executed by the same hand, 
coidd not, in the nature of things, exhibit the uniformity in variation 
here shown. Fancy, unfettered by ideas of a fixed nature, such as 
those pertaining to religious or sociologic customs, would vary with the 
locality, the day, the year, or the life. I have examined upwards of 
thirty of these scalloped disks, the majority of which are made of shell. 
I shall not attempt to describe each specimen, but shall call attention to 
such important variations from the type as may be noticed. 

In Fig. 1, Plate LV, we have a well-preserved disk which has four 
involute lines, the others having three only; these lines are deeply cut 
and, for about one-third of their length, penetrate the shell, producing 
four cresceut-shaped perforations. The circles in the third or dotted 
zone are neatly made and evenly spaced, and inclose circlets and coni- 
cal pits. The dots in the intervening sjiaces are closely and irregularly 
placed, and in number range from forty to forty-five, giving a total of 
about three hundred and forty. Other features are as usual. The spec- 
imen was obtained from a stone grave in Kane's Field, near Nashville, 
Tenn., and is now in the Peabody Museum. 

It is possible that the specimen presented in Fig. 2, Plate LV, should 
not be placed in this group ; but as there are many points of resem- 
blance to the type, it may be described here. At first sight it appears 
that one of the outer zones is lacking, but it will be seen that through 
some unknown cause the two have been merged together, alternating 
bosses of the outer line being carried across both zones. The whole de- 
sign has been carelessly laid out and rudely engraved. The lines of the 
involute are arranged in four groups of two each and occupy an unusu- 
ally wide belt. There are near the margin two sets of perforations for 
suspension. The specimen was obtained from the Brakebill mound, near 
Knoxville, Tenn., and is in an advanced stage of decay. 

In Plate LVI, Fig. 4, 1 present a small specimen, which has the ap- 
pearance of being unfinished. The zones are all defined, but, with the 
exception of the outer, which has thirteen bosses, are quite plain. The 
lines are deeply but mdely cut. It was obtained from a stone grave at 
Oldtown, Tenn., and is now in the Peabody Museum. 

Besides the type specimen already presented, there may be seen in the 
National Museum two very good examples, from a mound near Frank- 
lin, Tenn. The smaller is about three inches in diameter and is nearly 
circidar ; it has suffered much from decay, but nearly all the design can 
be made out. The lines of the involute penetrate the disk producing 
short crescent-shaped perforations ; the circles in the dotted zone are 
seven in number and inclose the usual circlets and conical pits ; the 
dots in the intervening spaces are too obscure to be counted. The spec- 


imen has sixteen marginal scallops. The larger specimen is somewhat 
fragmentary, portions being broken away from opposite sides. It is 
nearly four and a half inches in diameter, and the design has been 
drawn and engraved with more than ordinary precision. The central 
circle incloses a perforated circlet, and the involute lines are long and 
shallow. The dotted zone has seven circles with inclosed circlets and 
pits. The outer zone contains fifteen oval figures. 

Another example of these shell disks is illustrated by Professor Put- 
nam, in the eleventh annual report of the Peabody Museum, page 310. 
It is said to have been found near Nashville, Tenn., although its pedi- 
gree is not well established. According to Professor Putnam, it is made 
from the shell of a Busycon, and is apparently in a very good state of 
preservation. It is about four inches in diameter and is inscribed with 
the usual design, a central circle and dot surrounded by a triple invo- 
lute and three concentric zones. The narrow inner zone is plain, as 
usual ; the middle dotted zone has six circles with central dots, the sj^aces 
between being closely dotted, and the outer zone contains thirteen of the 
oval figures, the outer edges of which form the scalloped margin of the 
disk. The perforations for suspension are placed as usual near the in- 
ner margin of the outer zone in the spaces between the oval figures. 

A fine example of engraved disks has been figured by Dr. Joseph 
Jones, from whose work the illustrations given in Figs. 1 and 2, Plate 
LVI, have been taken. As his description is one of the first given and 
quite graphic, I make the following quotation: " In a carefully con- 
structed stone sarcophagus, in which the face of the skeleton was look- 
ing toward the setting sun, a beautiful shell ornament was found resting 
upon the breast-bone of the skeleton. This shell ornament is 4.4 inches 
in diameter, and it is ornamented on its concave surface, with a small 
circle in the center, and four concentric bands, differently figured, in re- 
lief. The first band is filled by a triple volute ; the second is plain, 
while the third is dotted, and has nine small round bosses carved at un- 
equal distances upon it. The outer band is made up of fourteen small 
elliptical bosses, the outer edges of which give to the object a scalloped 
rim. This ornament on its concave figured surface had been covered 
with red paint, much of which was still visible. The convex smooth 
surface is highly polished and plain, with the exception of three con- 
centric marks. The material out of which it is formed was evidently 
derived from a large flat sea-shell. * # # The form of the circles 
or 'suns' carved upon the concave surface is similar to that of the jjaiut- 
ings on the high rocky cliffs on the banks of the Cumberland and Har- 
peth. * • • This ornament, when found, lay upon the breastbone, 
with the concave surface uppermost, as if it had been worn in this posi- 
tion suspended around the neck, as the two holes for the thong or 
string were in that portion of the border which pointed directly to the 
chin or central portion of the lower jaw of the skeleton. The marks of 
the thong by which it was suspended are manifest upon both the an- 



I. Pi'uiu a muund near Nashville . i\) 

2. From the Brakebill Mound, (j) 



terlor aud posterior surfaces, and iu addition to this the paint is worn 
off from the circular space bounded below by the two holes." ' 

Fig. 2 represents the back or convex side of the disk, the long curved 
lines indicate the laminations of the shell, aud the three narrow cres- 
cent-shaped figures near the center are perforations resulting from the 
deep engraving of the three lines of the volute on the concave side. 
The stone grave in which this ornament was found occupied the sum- 
mit of a mound on the banks of the Cumberland Eiver opposite Nash- 
ville, Tennessee. Professor Jones, also represents in the same work, 
page 109, a large fragment of a similar ornament which has apparently 
had seven circlets in the dotted zone and thirteen marginal bosses. 
This specimen, which is three and one-half inches in diameter, was ex- 
humed by Dr. Grant, from "a small rock mound" near Pulaski, Giles 
County, Tennessee. 

Prof. C. C. Jones describes a number of stone disks containing 
designs which evidently belong to the class under consideration. He 
inclines to the opinion that they were designed for some sacred oflSce, 
and suggests that they were used as plates to offer food to the sun god. 
The specimeu of which I present an outline in Fig. 3, Plate LVII, is fig- 
ured by Mr. Jones, and his description is as follows : It is " circular in 
form, eleven inches and a half in diameter, an inch and a quarter in 
thickness, and weighing nearly seven pounds. It is made of a close- 
grained, sea-green slate, and bears upon its surface the stains of centu- 
ries. Between the rim, which is scalloped, and the central portion, are 
two circular depressed rings, running parallel with the circumference 
and incised to the depth of a tenth of an inch. This cii'cular basin, 
nearly eight inches in diameter, is surrounded by a margin or rim a lit- 
tle less than two inches in width, traversed by the incised rings and 
beveled from the center toward the edge. The lower surface or bot- 
tom of the plate is flat, beveled upward, however, as it approaches the 
scalloped edge, which is not more than a quarter of an inch in thick- 
ness. • • • The use of these plates from the Etowah Valley may, 
we think, be conjectured with at least some degree of probability. It 
is not likely that they were employed for domestic or culinary purposes. 
Their weight, variety, the care evidenced in their construction, and the 
amount of time and labor necessarily expended in their manufacture, 
forbid the belief that they were intended as ordinary dishes from which 
the daily meal was to be eaten, and suggest the impression that they 
were designed to fulfill a more unusual and important office. The com- 
mon vessels from which the natives of this region ate their prepared 
food were bowls and pans fashioned of wood and baked clay, cala- 
bashes, pieces of bark, and large shells. Flat platters, made of an ad- 
mixture of clay and pounded shells, well kneaded and burnt, were 
ordinarily employed for baking corn-cakes and frying meat ; but it does 

■Jones : Aboriginal Remains of Tennessee, pp. 43-3. 


not anywhere appear that ornamental stone plates were in general 
use." ' 

This specimen, or one identical with it, is in the possession of the Nat- 
ural History Museum iu New York. It was plowed up in 1859 on the 
lower terrace of a large mound near Carters ville, Ga. 

Other specimens somewhat similar to the one described by Professor 
Jones have been obtained from the same region, two of which are now in 
the National Museum. One of these from a mound on the Warrior Ri v. is 
made of gray slate, and is about eight inches in diameter. It is smooth, 
symmetrical, and doubly convex. There are three shallow, irregular lines 
near the border, and the periphery is ornamented with twenty-one scal- 
lops. Another specimen, a cut of which has already been published by 
Dr. Eau in " The Archisological Collection of the National Museum," 
p. 37, is illustrated in Plate LVII, Fig. 1. It is nearly one-half an inch 
in thickness, and about ten inches in diameter. A single incised line 
runs parallel with the circumference, which is ornamented with nine 
rather irregularly placed notches. The stone disk, of which an outline 
is given in Fig. 2, Plate LVII, was obtained from the Lick Creek 
mound, in East Tennessee. Its resemblance to the shell disks is so 
striking that it must be regarded as having a similar origin if not a 
similar use. The division into zones is the same as in the shell disks ; 
the outer is divided into twelve lobes, and the cross in the center takes 
the place of the involute rosette with its central circle. The fact that 
this particular design is engraved on heavy plates of stone as well as 
upon shell gorgets is sulficient proof that its origin cannot be attributed 
to fancy alone. 

I have seen at the National Museum a curious specimen of stone disk, 
which should be mentioned in this place, although there is not sufficient 
assurance of its genuineness to allow it undisputed claim to a place 
among antiquities. It is a perfectly circular, neatly-dressed sandstone 
disk, twelve inches in diameter and one-half an inch in thickness. 
Upon one face we see three marginal incised lines, as in the exami)le 
just described, while on the other there is a well-engraved design which 
represents two entwined or rather knotted rattlesnakes. An outline of 
this curious figure is given in Plate LXVI. Withiu the circular space 
inclosed by the bodies of the serpents is a well-drawn hand iu the palm 
of which is placed an open eye ; this would i)robably have been omitted 
by the artist had he fully appreciated the skeptical teudencies of the 
modern archseologist. The margin of the plate is divided into seventeen 
sections by small semicircular indentations. This object is said to have 
been obtained from a mound near Carthage, Ala. The reverse is shown 
in Fig. 4, Plate LVII. A similar specimen from a mound near Lake 
Washington, Mississippi, is described by Mr. Anderson.^ 

The short time at my disposal has barely permitted me to collect the 

1 Jones: Antiquities of tlie Southern Indians, pp. 373-5. 
'Anderson, in the Cincinnati Quarterly Journal of Science, October, 1875, p. 378. 



1. Nashville, Tenn. 

2. Nashville. Tenn. (reverse). 

3. Nasbville, Tonn. 

4. Oldtown, Teiin. 

5. Nashville. Teun. 
8. Pulaski. Tenn. 



facts, and I shall liave to leave it to the future or to others to follow 
out fully the suggestions here presented. I had expected to find some 
uniformity iu the numbers or ratios of the various zones, circles, and 
dots, and by that means possiblj' to have arrived at some conclusion as 
to their significance. I have already shown that certain elements of 
the design are fixed in position and number, while others vary, and the 
following table is presented that these facts may be made apparent. 
The list is quite iucomijlete. 

It will be seen by reference to the fourth column that the involute 
symbol of the inner zone is, with one exception, divided into three 
parts. The second zone is not given in the table, as it is always plain. 
The third or dotted zone contains circlets which range from six to nine, 
while the dots, which have been counted iu a few cases only, have a 
wide range, the total number in some cases reaching three hundred and 
forty. The bosses of the outer zone range from thirteen to eighteen. 
The examijles in stone seem to have a dift'erent series of numbers. 

The student will hardly fail to notice the resemblance of these disks 
to the calendars or time sjmbols of jMexico and other southern nations 
of antiquity. There is, however, no absolute identity with southern 
examples. The involute design in the center resembles the Aztec sym- 
bol of day, but is peculiar in its division into three parts, four being 
the number almost universally used. The only division into three that 
I have noticed occurs iu the calendar of the Muyscas, iu which three 
days constitute a week. The circlets and bosses of the outer zones 
gives them a i)retty close resemblance to the month and year zones of 
the southern calendars. 

My suggestion that these objects may be calendar disks will not seem 
unreasonable when it is remembered that time symbols do very often 
make their appearance during the early stages of barbarism. They are 
the result of attempts to fix accurately the divisions of time for the reg- 
ulation of religious rites, and among the nations of the south constituted 
the great body of art. Xo well-developed calendar is known among the 
wild tribes of North America, the highest achievements in this line 
consisting of simple pictographic symbols of the years, but there is no 
reason why the mound-builders should not have achieved a pretty ac- 
ciuate division of time resembling, in its main features, the systems of 
their southern neighbors. 







of invo- 


in 2d 

Bosses in 



Dots in 
2d zone. 

Peculiar features. 

Pi. LIV 

PI. LV, 1 

N.M., 32060... 

P.M., 15247... 

J. Jones 

P. M., IISOI... 
P.M., 15969... 
P. M., 15896... 

Tenn ... 














340 (?) 

Three central per- 

PI. LVI, 1.... 

PI. LVI, 3 ... 

PI. LTI, 4 ... 

Unfinished (?) 

P.M do 

P.M., 15906... 

P.M., 15835... 
P.M., 15916... 

N.M., 19976... 
KM., 19975... 

100 (?) 
250 (?) 

Two central per- 

Three crescent per- 

280 (?) 


PI. LVU, 1.. 

KM., 9334 ... 
P. M., 2962.... 
N. T. Nat. 

Hist. M. 
KM., 9332 ... 
N. M 








PI. Lvn, 2.. 

PI. LVn, 3.. 

PI. LXVl... 

Serpent, obverse. 
Serpent, center. 


Miss ... 

K M., National Museum. 

P. M., Peabody Museum. 


With all peoples the bird has been a most important symbol. Pos- 
sessing the mysterious power of flight, by which it could rise at pleas- 
ure into the realms of space, it naturally came to be associated with 
the phenomena of the sky — the wind, the storm, the lightning, and the 
thunder. In the fervid imagination of the red man it became the act- 
ual ruler of the elements, the guardian of the four quarters of the 
heavens. As a result the bird is embodied in the myths, and is a 
prominent fignire in the philosophy of many savage tribes. The eagle, 
which is an important emblem with many civilized nations, is found to 
come much nearer the heart of the superstitious savage; its plumes 
are the badge of the snccessful warrior ; its body a sacred offering to 
his deities, or an object of actual veneration. The swan, tbe heron, 
the woodpecker, the paroquet, the owl, and the dove were creatures of 
unusual consideration : their flight was noted as a matter of vital im- 
portance, as it could bode good or evil to the hunter or warrior who 
consulted it as an oracle. 

The dove, with the Hurons, is thought to be .the keeper of the souls 



1. Stone, "v^^airior River, Aln. 

2. Stone, Lick Creek ilound, Tenn. 

3. Stone, Etowah Valley, Ga. 

4. Stone, Carthage, Ala. 

5. Stone, Sun symbol, UxmaL 



of tbe dead, and the Navajos are said to believe that four white swans 
dwell in the four quarters of the heavens and rule the wiuds. 

The storm-bird of the Dakotas dwells in the upper air, beyond the 
range of human vision, carrying upon its back a lake of fresh water ; 
when it winks its eyes there is lightning; when it flaps its wings we 
hear the thunder ; and when it shakes out its plumage the rain de- 
scends. Myths like this abound in the lore of many ])eoples, and the 
story of the mysterious bird is interwoven with the traditions which 
tell of their origin. A creature which has sufiicient power to guide 
and rule a race is constantly embodied in its songs, its art, and its 
philosoi)hy. Thus highly regarded by the modern tribes, it must have 
been equally an object of consideration among prehistoric races. We 
know that the Natchez and the Creeks included the bird among their 
deities, and by the relics placed within his sepulchers we know that it 
held an important place in the esteem of the mound-builder. 

Our prehistoric peoples seem to have taken special delight in carving 
its form in wood and stone, in modeling it in clay, in fashioning it in 
copper and gold, and in engraving it upon shell. One of the most in- 
teresting of all the specimens preserved to us is illustrated in Plate 
LVIII. The design with which this relic is embellished possesses no 
little artistic excellence, and doubtless embodies some one of the many 
charming myths of the heavens. 

I am perfectly well aware that a scientific writer should guard against 
the tendency to indulge in flights of fancy, but as the myths of the 
American aborigines are highly poetical, and abound in lofty rhetorical 
figures, there can be no good reason why their graphic art should not 
echo some of these rhythmical passages. To the thoughtful mind it will 
be apparent that, although this design is not necessarily full of occult 
mysteries, every line has its purpose and every figure its significance. 
Tet of these very works one writer has ventured the opinion that 
"they do but express the individual fancy of those by whom they 
were made ;" that they are even without " indications of any intelli- 
gent design or pictographic idea." I do not assume to interpret 
these designs; they are not to be interpreted. Besides, there is 
no advantage to be gained by an interpretation. We have hundreds 
of primitive myths within our easy reach that are as interesting and 
instructive as these could be. All I desire is to elevate these works 
from the category of trinkets to what I believe is their rightful 
place — the serious art of a people with great capacity for loftier 
works. What the gorgets themselves were, or of what particular 
value to their possessors, aside from simple ornament, must be, in a 


measure, a matter of conjecture. They were hardly less than the totems 
of claus, the insignia of rulers, or the potent charms of a priesthood. 

The gorget iu question is unfortunately without a pedigree. It 
reached the National Museum through the agency of Mr. C. F. Williams, 
and is labeled " Mississippi." On it face, however, there is sufficient 
evidence to establish its aboriginal origin. The form of the object, the 
character of the design and the evident age of the specimen, all bespeak 
the mound-builder. It was in all probability obtained from one of 
the multitude of ancient sepulchers that abound iu the State of Mis- 
sisippi. The disk is four and a quarter inches in diameter, and is made 
from a large, heavy specimen of the Busycon 'perversum. It has been 
smoothlj'^ dressed on both sides, but is now considerably stained and 
pitted. The design has in this case been engraved upon the convex 
side, the concave surface being plain. The perforations are idaced 
near the margin and are considerably worn by the cord of suspension. 
In the center is a nearly symmetrical cross of the Greek type inclosed 
iu a circle one and one-fourth inches in diameter. The spaces between 
the arms are emblazoned with groups of radiating lines. Placed at regu- 
lar intervals on the outside of the circle are twelve pointed pyramidal 
rays ornamented with transverse lines. The whole design presents a re- 
markable combination of the two symbols, the cross and the sun. Sur- 
rounding this intei'esting symbol is another of a somewhat mysterious 
nature. A square framework of four continuous parallel lines, sym- 
metrically looped at the corners, incloses the central symbol, the inner 
line touching the tiiJS of the pyramidal rays. Outside of this again are 
the four symbolic birds placed against the side of the square opposite 
the arms of the cross. These birds, or rather birds' heads, are care- 
fully drawn after what, to the artist, must have been a well recog- 
nized model. The mouth is open and the mandibles long, slender, 
and straight. The eye is represented by a circlet which incloses a 
small conical pit intended to represent the iris, a striated and pointed 
crest springs from the back of the head and neck, and two lines extend 
from the eye, down the neck, to the base of the figure. In seeking an 
original for this bird we find that it has perhaps more points of resem- 
blance to the ivory-billed woodpecker than to any other species. It 
is not impossible, however, that the heron or swan may have been in- 
tended. That some particular bird served as a model is attested by the 
fact that other specimens, from mounds iu various parts of Tennessee, 
exhibit similar figures. I have been able to find sis of these specimens, 
all of which vary to some extent from the type described, but only iu 
detail, workmanship, or finish. The specimen presented in Fig. 2, Plate 
LIX, was obtained by Mr. Cross from a stone grave on Mr. Overton's 
farm near Nashville, Tenn. Professor Putnam, who secured it from Mr. 
Cross, has published a cut of it in the Eleventh Aunual Eeport of the 
PeabodyMuseum. It is made from a large marine shell, ])robably a Bimy- 
con, and is represented natural size both by Mr. Putnam and myself. 






The design is essentially the same as that shown in the type specimen, 
but is much more rudely executed. A circlet with a central pit takes 
the place of the cross and sun. The looped rectangular figure has but 
two lines and the birds' heads are not so full of character as those on the 
other specimens ; they resemble the heads of chicks with a few pin- 
feathers sprouting from the back and top of the head i-ather than 
full-fledged birds. The design is engraved on the concave side. The 
perforations are much worn. This specimen is now in the Peabody 

The same collection contains a large fragment of another small disk 
about two inches in diameter. The central part seems to be plain, but 
the looped figure, which has four lines, resembles very closely that en- 
graved on the other plates. It is mentioned by Professor Putnam, on 
page 309 of the Eleventh Annual Eeport of the Peabody Museum. It 
is said to have been found on the surface in Humphrey County, Ten- 

A much larger specimen, which resembles my type specimen very 
closely, is shown in Fig. 1, Plate LIX. It was obtained by Professor 
Putnam and Dr. Curtis from a stone grave on Mrs. Williams' farm, Cum- 
berland River, Tennessee. It is nearly circular, and about two and a 
half inches in diameter. A small piece has been lost from the upper 
margin. It is neatly made and quite smooth, and the lines of the de- 
sign are clearly and evenly engraved. The small cross in the center is 
inclosed by a plain narrow zone, and is defined by four triangular per- 
forations between the arms. In this respect it resembles other shell 
crosses found within the Mississippi Valley. Surrounding the i>lain 
zone are eight pyramidal rays with cross-bars ; in this feature, and in 
the drawing of the looped square and the birds' heads, there is but lit- 
tle variation from the type specimen. The surface upon which the en- 
graving is made seems to be slightly convex. 

Another specimen of this class was obtained from a stone grave near 
Gray's mound, at Oldtown, Tenu. It is shown in Fig. 3, Plate LIX. 
The design is very much like that of the type specimen, from which it 
difters in having four large perforations near the center. Although the 
engraved design which once occupied the central space is almost totally 
effaced, one or two of the tips of the pyramidal rays may be detected. 
It is probable that the four round perforations correspond to the four 
triangular ones by which the arms of the cross in the preceding exam- 
ple are defined. The perforations for suspension are near one margin, 
and seem to be very much worn by use. The whole object is fragile 
from decay. This specimen is also in the Peabody Museum. 

One more very imperfect specimen obtained from a stone grave in the 
Cumberland Valley is nearly five inches in diameter and very irregular 
in outline. Barely enough of the engraved design remains to show 
that it belongs to the class under consideration. 

It will be observed that the specimens of this class obtained from 


Tennessee are confined to a limited area. It thus seems especially un- 
fortunate that so little is known of the history of the type specimen 
given in Plate LVIII, as without assurance of the correctness of the 
statement that it is from Mississippi we cannot make use of it to show 
geographical distribution. In reference to this point, however, we have 
a few very interesting facts which make the occurrence of specimens in 
localities as widely separated as the "Cumberland Eiver" and ''Mis- 
sissippi " seem inconsequential. I refer now to two specimens described 
by Dr. Abbott in " Primitive Industry." One of these is a remarkable 
slate knife, the striking features of which are a " series of etchings and 
deeply incised lines of perhaps no meaning. Taken in order, it will be 
noticed that at the back of the knife are four short lines at uniform dis- 
tances apart, and a fifth near the end of the implement. Besides these 
are fifteen shorter parallel lines near the broader end of the knife and 
aboiit the middle of the blade. A series of five zigzag lines are also cut 
on the opposite end of the blade. • • • More prominent than the 
numerous lines to which reference has been made, are the clearly de- 
fined, unmistakable birds' heads, placed midway between the two 
series of lines. * * • Did we not learn from the writings of Hecke- 
welder, that the Lenap^ had 'the turkey totem,' we might suppose 
that this drawing of such bird heads originated with the intrusive 
southern Shawnees, who, at one time, occupied lands in the Delaware 
Valley, and who are supposed by some writers to have been closely re- 
lated to the earliest inhabitants of the Southern and Southwestern 
States. Inasmuch as we shall find that, not only on this slate knife, 
but upon a bone implement also, similar heads of birds are engraved, 
it is probable that the identity of the design is not a mere coincidence, 
but that it must be explained either in accordance with the statements 
of Heckewelder, or be considered as the work of southern Shawnees 
after their arrival in New Jersey. In the latter event, the theory that 
these disks were the work of a people diiFerent from and anterior to the 
Indians found in the Cumberland Valley at the time of the discovery 
of that region by the whites is, apparently, not sustained by the 

A cut of the bone inii^lement referred to above is reproduced from 
Dr. Abbott's work, in Plate LIX, Fig. 4. It has probably been made from 
a portion of a rib of some large mammal and is thought to be somewhat 
fragmentary. " The narrow portion has been cut or ground away to 
some extent, and the edges are quite smoothly polished. Near the end 
of this handle-like portion, there is a countersunk perforation, and upon 
the concave side of the wider part there are rudely outlined the heads 
of two birds."* These resemble somewhat closely the heads depicted 
on the other specimen described by Dr. Abbott. The specimens re- 
ferred to are both from New Jersey, and are probably surface finds. 

'Abbott : Primitive Industry, pp. 70) 72, and 73. 
•'liid., p. 207. 







1. Shell gorget from stone grave, Tenn. 

2. Shell gorget from stone grave, Teun. 

3. Shell j^orget from atone grave, Tenn. 

4. Bone implement, N". J. 

5. Design from Aztec painting 



Although the heads represeuted on these specimens do certainly in 
some respects suggest that of the turkey, the characters are not suffi- 
ciently pronounced to make it impossible that some other bird was 
intended, so that the original in the mind of the ancient artist maj- 
have been the same as that from which the examples on shell were 

In comparing the northern examples with those of Tennessee I ob- 
serve another feature that is more conclusive as to the identity of origin 
than the rather obscure resemblance of the birds' heads delineated. I 
have not had the opportunity of examining the specimen illustrated in 
Fig. 4 ; but in the cut given by Dr. Abbott a rather indefinite figure 
can be traced which has a striking resemblance to the looped rectangle 
characteristic of the designs on shell. This resemblance could hardly 
be owing to accident, and if the peculiar figure mentioned is actually 
found in conjunction with the birds' heads upon the New Jersey speci- 
men, it will certainly be safe to conclude that the bone, stone, and shell 
objects belonged to the same people, and that they constituted the to- 
tems of the same clan, or were the insignia of corresponding offices or 

As bearing upon the question of the species of bird represented in 
the preceding specimens, I present in Plate LX an illustration pub- 
lished by Dr. Eau in the Smithsonian Report for 1877. This remark- 
able ornament (represented in Fig. 3) was obtained from a mound in 
Manatee County, Florida. It is a thin blade of gold, pointed at one end 
and terminating at the other in a highly conventionalized representa- 
tion of a bird's head, the general characteristics of which are much 
like those of the exami)les engraved upon shell. The crest is espe- 
cially characteristic, and, as pointed out by Dr. Eau, suggests a proto- 
type in the ivory-billed woodpecker, an inhabitant of the Gulf States. 

The significance of the looped figure which forms so prominent a 
feature in the designs in question has not been determined. I would 
offer the suggestion, however, that, from the manner of its occurrence, 
it may represent an inclosure, a limit, or boundary. It may be well to 
point out the fact that a similar looped rectangle occurs several times 
in the ancient Mexican manuscripts. One example, from the Vienna Co- 
dex,^ is presented in Fig. 5, Plate LIX. It is not a little i-emarkable 
that a cross occupies the inclosed area in all these examples. 

I shall close this very hasty review of the bird in the art of the 
Mound Builders by presenting the remarkable example of shell carving 
shown in Fig. 1, Plate LX. Like so many of the National Museum 
specimens, it is practically without a record — a stray. It is labeled "B. 
Pybas, Tuscumbia, Ala." It is old and fragmentary, the shell substance 
being, however, quite well preserved. It is the right-hand half of a 

' Since this paragraph has been in type I have seen the specimen, and find that the 
looped figure is clearly defined. 
« Kingsborough : vol. II, Plate 20. 


gorget which represents an eagle's head in profile. The skill of the 
ancient artist is shown to great advantage; nothing can be fonnd, even 
in the most elaborately carved pipes, equal to the treatment of this re- 
markable head. To overcome the difQculty of cutting the flinty and 
massive shell was no small triumph for a people still in the stone age. 
To conceive and execute such a graphic work is a still more marvelous 
achievement.' The lines of the mandibles and protruding tongue are 
strongly and correctly drawn. The eye and the markings of the head 
are execiited in smooth, deeply incised lines, and are conventionalized 
in a manner peculiar to the American aborigines. 


Among insects the spider is perhaps best calculated to attract the 
attention of the savage. The tarantula is in many respects a very 
extraordinary creature, and is endowed with powers of the most 
deadly nature, which naturally places it along with the rattlesnake 
in the category of creatures possessing supernatural attributes. Its 
curiously constructed house with the hinged door and smoothly plas- 
tered chamber must ever elicit the admiration of the beholder. But 
the spider, which spins a web and projects in mid-air a gossamer struct- 
ure of marvelous symmetry and beauty, and builds an ambush from 
which to spring upon his prey, was probably one of the first instructors 
of adolescent man, and must have seemed to him a very deity. It is 
not strange, therefore, that the spider appears in the myths of the 
savages. With the great Shoshone family, according to Professor 
Powell, the spider was the first weaver, and taught that important art 
to the fathers. The Cherokees, in their legend of the origin of fire, 
"represent a portion of it as having been brought with them and 
sacredly guarded. Others say that after crossing wide waters they sent 
back for it to the Man of Fire from whom a little was conveyed over 
by a spider in his web."" 

The spider occurs but rarely in aboriginal American art, occasionally 
it seems, however, to have reached the dignity of religious considera- 
tion and to have been adopted as a totemic device. Had a single 
example only been found we would not be warranted in giving it a place 
among religious symbols. Four examples have come to my notice; 
these are all engraved on shell gorgets and are illustrated in Plate LX. 
Two are from Illinois, one from Missouri, and the other from Tennessee. ' 
The example shown in Fig. 1 was obtained by Mr. Croswell from a 
mound near New Madrid, Mo. It is described as a circular ornament, 

' Let any oue who thinks lightly of such a work undertake, without machinery or 
well-adapted appliances, to cut a groove or notch even, in a moderately compact 
specimen of Busycon, and he will probaljly increase his good opinion of the skill and 
patience of the ancient workman if he does nothing else. 

^E. G. Squier: Serpent Symbol, page 69, quoting MSS. of J. H. Payne. 

'I am very much indebted to Prof. F. F. Hilder, of Saint Louis, for photographs of 
three of these specimens as well as for much information in regard to their history. 



1. Fragmentof shell goreet, Alabama. (\) 

2. Gol5 oraament, Floriua. (J) 

3. Head of ivory -billed woodpecker. 



three inches in diameter, that had, apparently, been cut from a liusi/- 
con. Mr. Crosswell says that "the convex face was entirely plain, but 
the concave side bears the figure of a tarantula, or large spider, very 
skillfully engraved, the body being formed by a cii'cle inclosing a cross, 
showing beyond doubt its sacred and symbolic character. This orna- 
ment, when found, lay on the breast-bone of a skeleton, with the concave 
or ornamented side uppermost. Two holes in the upper part were evi- 
dently intended for the thong or string by which it had been suspended 
from the neck. A circumstance that renders this relic still more inter- 
esting is the fact that two other shell ornaments, bearing precisely simi- 
lar devices, have recently been found in Illinois within seven miles of 
this city, thus proving that the figures were not a mere fanciful inven- 
tion, but had some symbolic meaning."' 

The disk thus briefly described by Mr. Crosswell is so much like the 
example shown in Fig. 3 that I shall not describe it further, but shall 
refer to its peculiarities in the descriptions of others that follow. 

The handsome gorget illustrated in Fig. 3 was obtained from a mound 
in Saint Clair County, Illinois, seven miles from the city of Saint Louis. 
It was found upon the breast of a skeleton, and was very much discol- 
ored and quite fragile from decay, but no iiart of the design, which is 
engraved upon the concave side, has been obliterated. Near the margin 
and parallel with it three lines have been engraved. The spider is drawn 
with considerable fidelity to nature and covers nearly the entire disk, 
the legs, mandibles, and abdomen reaching to the outer marginal line. 
As in the specimen described above, the thorax is placed in the 
center of the disk, and is represented by a circle; within this a cross 
has been engraved, the ends of which have been enlarged on one 
side, producing a form much used in heraldry, but one very rarely met 
with in aboriginal American art. The head is somewhat heart-shaped 
and is armed with palpi and mandibles, the latter being ornamented 
with a zigzag line and ijrolonged to the marginal lines of the disk. The 
eyes are represented by two small circles with central dots. The legs 
are correctly placed in four pairs upon the thorax, and are very graph- 
ically drawn. The abdomen is large and heart-shaped, and is orna- 
mented with a number of lines and dots, which represent the natural 
markings of the spider. The perforations for suspension are placed 
near the posterior extremity of the abdomen. It will be observed that 
this is also the case with the three other specimens. Having described 
this specimen somewhat carefully, it will be unnecessary to give a de- 
tailed description of the very similar specimen shown in Fig. 2. The 
latter was found in a stone grave in Saint Clair County, Illinois, and does 
not differ in any essential feature from either of the other specimens, one 
of which was found near by, and the other about one hundred miles 
farther south. 

In reference to the cross it has been suggested that it may have been 

' Croswell, in Transactions Academy of Science of Saint Louis, vol. Ill, p. 537. 


derived from the well-defined cross found upon the backs of some species 
of the genus Atta, but there appears to be good reason for believing 
otherwise. The cross here shown has a very highly conventionalized 
character, quite out of keeping with the realistic drawing of the insect, 
and, what is still more decisive, it is identical with forms found upon 
many other objects. The conclusion is that the cross here, as elsewhere, 
has a purely symbolic character. Spider gorgets are also mentioned 
by A. J. Oonant in the Kansas City Review, Vol. I, page 400, and in 
his work on the Commonwealth of Missouri, page 96, but no details are 
given. It is probable that the objects referred to by Mr. Conant axe 
the same as those more definitely placed by Prof. Hilder. 

The specimen shown iu Fig. 4 was obtained from a mound on Fain's 
Island, Tennessee. The disk is somewhat more convex on the front 
than is indicated in the engraving. It is two and a half inches in 
diameter, and is quite thin and fragile, although the surface has not 
suffered much from decay. The margin is ornamented with twenty- 
four very neatly made notches or scallops. Immediately inside the border 
on the convex side are two incised circles, on the outer of which two 
small perforations for suspension have been made; inside of these, and 
less than half an inch from the margin, is a circle of seventeen sub-tri- 
angular perforations, the inner angle of each being much rounded. In- 
side of this again is another incised circle, about one and one-fourth 
inches in diameter, which incloses the highly conventionalized figure of 
an insect resembling a spider. In a general way — in the number and 
arrangement of the parts — this figure corresponds pretty closely to the 
very realistic spiders of the three other disks ; in detail however, it is 
quite unlike them. It is much more highly conventionalized — the 
natural markings of the body being nearly all omitted, and the legs 
being without joints and square at the tips. The cross does not appear 
on the body, but its place is taken by a large conical perforation, made 
entirely from the convex side. The central segment of the body is 
round, as iu the other cases; to this the foiu- pairs of If gs are attached. 
Without reference to the other specimens, it would be dififlcult to dis- 
tinguish the anterior from the posterior extremity, and even with this 
aid we cannot be quite certain. The larger extremity is somewhat tri- 
angular in outline and is ornamented with two cross lines and two 
eyes. Were it not for the fact that these eyes resemble so closely 
those found in the other specimens I should call this the posterior 
extremity, as the opposite end terminates in a pair of well-shaped 
mandibles, the triangular space between them being cut quite through 
the disk. The section of the body between this and the central circle 
also resembles the head, which suggests the conclusion either that the 
eyes are misplaced or that, as drawn, they are only intended to represent 
the bright spots of the insect's body. 

The rarity of these spider gorgets makes it seem rather remarkable 
that specimens should occur in localities so widely separated as Fain's 



1. From a luonnd, Missouri. 

2. From a stone-grave, Illinois. 

.T- From a monnd, Tllinoia. 
4. From a mound, Tennessee. 




Island and Saint Louis, but the races inhabiting this entire region, are 
known to have had many arts in common, and besides this it is not 
impossible that the same tribe or clan may, at different times, have 
occupied both of these localities. The marked differences in the de- 
sign and execution of these specimens, however, indicate a pretty wide 
distinction in the time or art of the makers. 


The serpent has had a fascination for primitive man hardly surpassed 
by its reputed power over the animals on which it preys. In the minds 
of nearly all savages it has been associated with the deepest mysteries 
and the mos-t potent powers of nature. No other creature has figured 
so prominently in the religious systems of the world, few of which 
are free from it ; and as art, in a great measure, owes its exist- 
ence to an attempt to represent or embellish objects which are sup- 
posed to be the incarnations of spirits, the serpent is an important ele- 
ment in all art. Wherever the children of nature have wandered its 
image may be found engraved upon the rocks, or painted or sculptured 
upon monuments of their own construction. It is found in a thousand 
forms ; beginning with those so realistic that the species cau be de- 
termined, we may pass down through inniimerable stages of variation 
until all semblance of nature is lost. Beyond this it becomes embodied 
in the conventional forms of art or looks back from its obscure place in 
an alphabet through a perspective of metamorphism as marvelous as 
that visible to the creature itself could it view the course of its evolu- 
tion from the elements of nature. 

So well is the serpent known as a religious symbol among the Amer- 
ican peoples that it seems hardly necessary to present examples of the 
curiously interesting myths relating to it. We are not surprised to 
find the bird, the wolf, or the bear placed among representatives of the 
" Great Spirit," and hence to find them embodied in art ; but it would 
be a matter of surprise if the serpent were ever absent. 

With the mound-builders it seems to havebeenof as much importance 
as to other divisions of the red race, ancient or modern. It is of very 
frequent occurrence among the designs engraved upon gorgets of shell, 
a multitude of which have been thus dedicated to the serpent-god. 

It is a well-known fact that the rattlesnake is the variety almost uni- 
versally represented, and we find that these engravings on shell pre- 
sent no exception to this rule. From a very early date in mound ex- 
ploration these gorgets have been brought to light, but the coiled ser- 
pent engraved upon their concave surfaces is so highly conventionalized 
that it was not at once recognized. Professor Wymau appears to have 
been the first to point out the fact that the rattlesnake was represented; 
others have since made brief allusion to this fact. Two examjjles only 
have been illustrated ; one by Professor Jones,' who regards it as being 
without intelligent design, and the other by Dr. Eau,- who does not sug- 

' Jouea : Antiquities of the Soutlieru Indian, plate XXX. 
* Archaeological Collection of the National Museum, p. 69. 
19 E 


gest an interpretation. Among the thirty or forty specimens that I have 
examined, the engravingof the serpent is, with one exception, placed iipoa 
the concave side of the disk, which is, as usual, cut from the most dis- 
tended part of the Busycon perversum, or some similar shell. The great 
uniformity of these designs is a matter of much surprise. At the same 
time, however, there is no exact duplication ; there are always differ- 
ences in position, detail, or number of parts. The serpent is always 
coiled, the head occupying the center of the disk. With a very few 
exceptions the coil is sinistral. The head is so placed that when the 
gorget is suspended it has an erect position, the mouth opening toward 
the right hand. 

As at first glance it will be somewhat difficult for the reader to make 
out clearly the figure of the serpent, even with the well defined lines of 
the drawing before him, I will present the description pretty much in 
the order in which the design revealed itself to me in my first attempt 
to decipher it. 

The saucer like disks are almost circular, the ui)per edge being mostly 
somewhat straightened — the result of the natural limit of the body of the 
shell above. All are ground dowu to a fairlj^ uniform thickness of 
from one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch. The edges are evenly rounded 
and smooth. Two small holes for suspension occur near the rim of the 
straighter edge, and generally on or near the outline of the engraved 
design, which covers the middle portion of the jilate. The diameter 
ranges from one to six inches. 

To one who examines this design for the first time it seems a most 
inexplicable puzzle ; a me.tuingless grouping of curved and straight 
lines, dots and perforations. We notice, however, a remarkable simi- 
larity in the designs, the idea being radically the same in all specimens, 
and the conclusion is soon reached that there is nothing haphazard in 
the arrangenients of the parts and that every line must have its place 
and purpose. The design is in all cases inclosed by two parallel border 
lines, leaving a plain belt from one-fourth to three-fourths of an inch in 
width around the edge of the disk. All simple lines are firmly traced, 
although somewhat scratchy, and are seldom more than one-twentietli 
of an inch in width or depth. 

In studying this design the attention is first attracted by an eye-like 
figure near the left border. This is formed of a series of concentric 
circles, the number of which varies from three in the most simple to 
twelve in the more elaborate forms. The diameter of the outer circle 
of this figure varies from one-half to one inch. In the center there is 
generally a small conical depression or pit. The series of circles is par- 
tially inclosed by a looped baud one-eighth of an inch in width, which 
opens downward to the left; the free ends extending outward to the 
border line, gradually nearing each other and forming a kind of neck to 
the circular figure. This band is in most cases occupied by a series of 
dots or conical depressions varying in number from one to thirty. The 



1. Shell gorget from Georgia. (\) 1. McMabau Mound, Tens. (J) 




1. McMabau Mound, Tenn. 

2. McMalian Momid, Tenn. 



neck is decorated in a variety of ways ; by dots, by straight and curved 
lines, and by a cross-hatching that gives a semblance of scales. A cu- 
rious group of lines occupying a crescent shaped space at the right of 
the circular figure and inclosed by two border lines, mnst receive par- 
ticular attention. This is really the front part of the head — the jaws 
and the muzzle of the creature represented. The mouth is always 
clearly defined and is mostly in profile, the upper jaw being tirrned ab- 
ruptly upward, but, iu some examples, an attempt has been made to 
represent a front view, in which case it presents a wide V-shaped fig- 
ure. It is, in most cases, furnished with two rows of teeth, no at- 
tempt having been made to represent a tongue. The spaces above 
and below the jaws are filled with lines and figures, which vary much 
in the different specimens ; a group of plume like figures, extends back- 
ward from the upi^er jaw to the crown, or otherwise this space is occu- 
pied by an elongated perforation. The body is represented encircling 
the head in a single coil, which appears from beneath the neck on the 
right, passes around the front of the head, and terminates at the back 
in a pointed tail with well defined rattles. Tt is engraved to represent 
the well-known scales and spots of the rattlesnake, the conventional- 
ized figures being quite graphic. In the group of specimens repre- 
sented in Plate LXIV areas of cross-hatched lines, representing scales, 
alternate with cii-cular figures, containing two or three concentric circles 
and a central dot. In some cases one or more incised bands cross the 
body in the upper part of the curve. 

The examples shown in Plate LXV have many distinctive features. 
The markings of the body consist of alternating areas of scales and 
chevrons or of chevrons alone. These figures are interrupted in the 
upper part of the coil by a number of lines which cross the body at 
right angles. The body is in many cases nearly severed fi'om the riin 
of the disk by four oblong perforations, which follow the border line 
of the design. In most cases three other perforations occur about 
the head ; one represents the mouth, one defines the forehead and 
upper jaw, and the third is placed against the throat. These inaj^ be 
intended merely to define the form more clearly. The curious plume- 
like figures that occur upon the heads of both varieties may indicate 
the natural or re]mteil markings of the animal represented. It is pos- 
sible that the group shown in this plate may be intended to represent 
the common yellow rattlesnake, the Crotalus horridus, of the Atlantic 
slope, the characteristic markings of which are alternating light and 
dark chevrons, while the diamond rattlesnake, the Crotalus adamanteus, 
of the Southern States may have served as a model for the other 

In Plate LXII I present two of these rattlesnake gorgets. The spec- 
imens shown in Fig. 1 is from Georgia and is the smallest example that 
has. come to my notice. It is represented natural size. The design is 
quite obscure, but enough remains to show that it does not dififer es- 


sentially from the type already presented. There ai>pear to be no holes 
for suspension, but it is probable that two of the oblong perforations 
upon the border of the design had been used for that purpose. 

The handsome specimen given in Fig. 2 was obtained from the great 
mound at Sevierville, Tenn., and is in a very good state of preserva- 
tion. It is a deep, somewhat oval plate, made from a Busycon perrersum. 
The surface is nicely polished and the margins neatly beveled. The 
marginal zone is less than half an inch wide and contains at the upper 
edge two perforations, which have been considerably abraded by the 
cord of suspension. Four long curved slits or perforations almost 
sever the central design from the rim ; the four narrow segments that 
remain are each ornamented with a single conical pit. The serpent is 
very neatly engraved and belongs to the chevroneil variety. The eye 
is large and the neck is ornamented with a single rectangular intaglio 
figure. The mouth is more than usually well defined. The upper jaw 
is turned abruptly ujjward and is ornamented with lines peculiar to this 
variety of the designs. 

The body opposite the perforations for suspension is interrupted by a 
rather mysterious cross band, consisting of one broad and two narrow 
lines. As this is a feature common to many specimens it i^robably has 
some imijortant ofQce or significance. 

In Plate LXIII I present two of the best examples of these serpent 
gorgets yet brought to light. They were obtained from the McMahan 
Mound, at Sevierville, Tenn., in 1871, and are in an excellent state of 
l)reservatiou. Both are made from large heavy specimens of the Busy- 
con perversum. The example given in Fig. 1 is but slightly altered by 
decomposition, the translucency of the shell being still perceptible. The 
back retains the strongly marked ridges of growth. The interior has 
been highly polished, but is now somewhat marked, apparently by some 
fine textile fabric which has been buried with it and has, in decaying, 
left its impress upon the smooth surface of the shell. The design is very 
much like the type described, but has some peculiar features about the 
neck and under the head of the serpent. 

The specimen shown in Fig. 2 may be regarded as a type of these 
gorgets, and is the one chiefly used in the general description given on 
a preceding page. It is six inches long by five wide, and has been 
neatly dressed and polished on both sides. As every detail is clearly 
and correctly shown in the cut I shall not describe it further. 

For convenience of comparison I have arranged two plates of outlines. 
The specimen shown in Fig. 1, Plate LXIV, is almost identical with the 
one last mentioned in size and shape. This, with the similar but some- 
what smaller specimen given in Fig. 2, is also from the McMahan Mound. 
Figs. 3 and 4 are outlines of the specimens already given in Plate LXIII. 

The fine specimen shown in Fig. 5 is from the Brakebill Mound, near 
Kiioxville, Tenn., and is now in the Peabody Museum. It is five inches 
in length and a little more than four and one-half in width. It is very 



1. MrMahan irnund. 

2. McMalian MouDd. 

3. McMaban Mound 

4. McMaban Mound. 

5. Brnkebill Mound. 

6. Williams Island. 





1. McMalian Mound. 

2. Lick Creek Mound. 

3. McMaban Moand. 

4. McMahau Mound. 

5. Green County Mound. 

6. Lick Creek Mound. 




1. Shell gorget, Georgia. 

2. Shell gorget, Tennessee. 

3. 4. Painting, Peru. 

5. From an Aztec painting, 
(i. Stone disk, Carthage, Ala. 
7. Painted on rock, Nicaragua. 



much like the Sevierville specimens and is made of the same species of 
shell. The markings of the space beneath the head are peculiar, and 
in some other details it ditiers from the other specimens. 

Fig. 6 illustrates a large specimen now in the National Collection. It 
is also from Tennessee, and resembles the preceding examples quite 

The specimens illustrated in Plate LXV represent a somewhat differ- 
ent type of design, but are found associated with the others. The three 
shown in Figs. 3, 6, and 7 belong to the Peabody Museum, and are 
from mounds in East Tennessee. The others are in the National Collec- 
tion, and come from the same region. 

It was my intention to pursue this study somewhat further, and the 
illustrations presented in Plate LXVI were partially prepared for the 
purpose of instituting comparisons between these northern forms and 
others of the south, but the time at my disposal will not permit of it. 

Fig. 1 is an outline of a rattlesnake gorget, probably from Georgia, 
which is preserved in the Natural History Museum of New York. It 
is four inches in length by three and one-half in width. The same spec- 
imen is figured by Jones in Plate XXX of his "Antiquities of the South- 
ern Indians." 

Fig. 2 represents a large specimen from Tennessee, which is now jire- 
served in the National Collection. The design is placed upon the gorget 
somewhat differently from the other specimens, the mouth of the ser- 
pent being near the top and the neck below at the right. There is also 
a dotted belt at the right of the head which is not found in any of the 
specimens described. 

Figs. 3 and 4 represent drawings of serpents' heads found in the an- 
cient city of Chimu, Peru.' 

Fig. 5 is copied from one of the codices of Goldsborough, and is a 
very spirited representation of a plumed and spotted rattlesnake. 

The tablet shown in Fig. C has ali'eady been described under " scal- 
loped disks." 

The remarkable plumed and feathered serpent given in Fig. 7 is painted 
upon the rocks at Lake Nijapa, Nicaragua.^ 


A very important grouip of shell ornaments represent, more or less 
distinctly, the human face. By a combination of engraving and sculpt- 
ure a rude resemblance to the features is produced. The objects are 
generally made from a large pear-shaped section of the lower whorl of 
keavy marine univalves. The lower portion, which represents the neck 
and chin, is cut from the somewhat restricted part near the base of the 
shell, while the broad outline of the head reaches the first suture of the 
noded shoulder of the body whorl. The simplest form is represented 

'Squier: Peru, p. 186. 

'Bancroft: Native Races of the Pacific States, vol. IV., p. 37. 


by a specimen from a mound at Sevierville, Tenn. It is a plain, pear- 
shaped fragment, with evenly dressed margin and two perforations, 
■which take the position of the eyes. A sketch of this is presented in 
Fig. 1, Plate LX IX. Similar specimens have been obtained from mounds 
in other States. A little further advance is made when the surface of 
the most convex part is ground away, with the exception of a low ver- 
tical ridge, which represents the nose. Further on a boss or node ap- 
pears below the nose, which takes the place of the mouth, as seen in 
Fig. 2. 

From the elementary stages exhibited in these specimens a gradual 
advance is made by the addition of details and the elaboration of all the 
features. A corona encircles the head, the ears are outlined (Fig. 5, 
Plate LXX), the eyes are elaborated by adding one or more concen- 
tric circles or ovals, brows are placed above, and groups of notched and 
zigzag lines extend downward upon the cheeks. The node at the mouth 
is perforated or cut in intaglio in circular or oblong figures, and the 
chin is embellished by a variety of incised designs. Illustrations of the 
various forms are given in Plates LXIX and LXX. 

These objects are especially numerous in the mounds of Tennessee, 
"but their range is quite wide, examples having been reported from Ken- 
tucky, Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas, and smaller ones of 
a somewhat different type from Xew York. In size they range from 
two to ten inches in length, the width being considerably less. They 
are generally found associated with human remains in such away as to 
suggest their use as ornaments for the head or neck. There are, how- 
ever, no holes for suspension except those made to represent the eyes, 
and these, so far as I have observed^ show no abrasion by a cord of 
suspension. Their shape suggests the idea that they may have been 
used as masks, and as such may have been jjlaced upon the faces of the 
dead in the same manner that metal masks were used by some oriental 

Among the large number of interesting objects of shell obtained from 
the McMahou Mound at Sevierville, Tenn., were a number of these shell 
masks. In the notes of the collector they are mentioned as having been 
found on the breast or about the heads of skeletons. The example 
shown in Fig. 1, Plate LXVII, is a medium-sized, rather plain specimen 
from the above-named locality. It is seven and one-fourth inches long 
and nearly six inches wide, and has been made from a Bvsycon perversum. 
The margins are much decayed, and the convex surface is pitted and 
discolored. The inside is smooth, and has a slight design rudely en- 
graved upon it. Of a very different type is the specimen shown in Fig. 
2. It is new looking, and well preserved. The slightly translucent sur- 
face is highly polished, and the engraved lines are quite fresh looking. 
It was collected by J. D. Lucas, and is labeled Aquia Creek, Va. It is 
five and one-half inches in length by five in width, and is ai)pareutly 
made from some dextral-whorled shell. The outhne is somewhat rec- 





taugular, the ujjper surface being pretty well rouuded aud ornamented 
with a corona of incised lines, which are arranged in six groups of four 
each. Inside of these a single incised Hue runs parallel with the edge, 
from temple to temple. The eyes are represented by small circles with 
small central pits, and the lids are indicated by long, pointed ellix^ses. 
From each of the eyes a group of three zigzag liues extends downward 
across the cheek, terminating near the edge of the plate, opposite the 
mouth. These lines may be inter^jreted in two ways : First, if the ob- 
ject is a mourning mask, made with especial reference to its use in 
burial, they may signify tears, since, iii the pictograpliic language of 
many tribes, tears are represented by lines descending from the eyes, 
and, with other nations, running water is symbolized by curved or zig- 
zag lines; in the second place, these lines may represent figures painted 
upon the face during the period of mourning, or they may simply rep- 
resent the characteristic liues of the painting or tattooing of the clan or 
tribe to which the deceased belonged. It is not at all improbable that 
these objects were further embellished by painted designs which have 
been obliterated. 

Tlie nose is represented by a flat ridge, which terminates abruptly 
below, the nostrils being indicated by two small excavations. The 
mouth is represented by au oval node, in which a horizontal groove has 
been made. 

The most elaborately engraved example of these masks yet brought 
to the notice of the public is shown in Plate LXVIII. It was obtained 
by Mr. Lucien Carr from a large mound, known as the Ely Mound, near 
Eose Hill, Lee County, Virginia, and is described aud illustrated by 
that gentleman in the tenth annual report of the Peabody Museum.' 
Wishing to present this fine specimen to the best advantage possible, I 
have had a large cut made from a photograph furnished by Professor 
Putnam, curator of the Peabody Museum. Parts of the desigu which 
were obscure I have strengthened, following the guidance of such frag- 
ments of lines as were still traceable, or by simply duplicating the lines 
of the opposite side, as these designs are in all cases bi symmetrical. 

Having described a great number of relics exhumed from this mound, 
Mr. (Jarr goes on to say " that the most interesting of the articles taken 
from this grave was an engraved shell made from the most dilated por- 
tion of the Strombus gigas, and carved on the convex side into the like- 
ness of a human face." It measures 138 millimeters in length, by 120 in 
breadth. It is iierforated with three holes, " the two upper of which are 
surrounded with circles, and represent eyes ; between these is a raised 
ridge of shell, in place of the nose, and below this is a third hole, 
which is just above a series of lines that were probably intended as the 
mouth. Four lines, parallel to each other during three-fourths of their 
length, begin at the outer corner of the eye and are zigzaged to the 
lower jaw, where they are drawn to a point. The concave side of the 
' Carr, in Tenth Annual Report Peabody Muaeum, p. 87. 


shell is perfectly plain, and still preserves its bigli polish, though the 
right portion of the face on the carved or convex side shows the sad ef- 
fects of time and exposure." 

Although I have not had an opportunity of examining this specimen 
closely, I am inclined to the opinion, judging by its outlines, that the 
shell from which it was made has been sinistrally whorled, and hence 
a Busycon perversujn. I should also prefer to consider the hole beneath 
the nose as representing the mouth, as it certainly does in many other 
cases, and the peculiar figure — the three vertical lines which extend 
downward from the hole and the two banded figures that cross them 
at right angles — as a representation of some painted or tatooed design 
characteristic of the builders of the mound. 

Other examples of these objects are represented in Plate LXIX. Of 
especial interest I may mention the specimen shown in Fig. 4, obtained, 
with other similar examples, by Professor Putnam, from the Lick Greek 
mound, in East Tennessee. The perforations which represent the eyes 
are surrounded by two concentric circles, and the zigzag lines beneath 
are supplemented by two sets of pendant figures formed of notched 
lines, the two longer of which extend down the sides of the nose, the 
others being connected with the lower margin of the eye. In one ex- 
ample four parallel lines pass from the mouth downward over the chin. 

Fig. 3 represents a specimen from the Brakebill Mound, East Ten- 
nessee. The mouth is not indicated, and the nose is but slightly re- 
lieved. Each eye, however, is inclosed by a figure which extends down- 
ward over the cheek, terminating in three sharp points. 

So far as the specimens at hand show, this peculiar embellishment of 
the eyes and mouth is characteristic of Virginia and East Tennessee. 
A small specimen from Georgia, now preserved in the Natural History 
Museum at New York, has a somewhat similar ornamentation of the 
eyes. This specimen is shown in Fig. 6, Plate LXX. 

In Fig. 8 of the same plate we have the representation of a face mod- 
eled in clay, on which a number of incised lines, similar to those en- 
graved on shell, have been drawn. The crown of notches is also pres- 
ent. The specimen has been illustrated by Professor Jones.' It is now 
in the museum of Natural History at New York, and was probably ob- 
tained from the Etowah Valley, Georgia. Examples in stone are also 
numerous, and show certain features in common with those in shell. 

Fig. 9 is from Northern Ohio, and is carved from a nodule of iron ore. 

The very beautiful little head shown in Figs. 1 and 2 is from a cave 
at Mussel Shoals, Ala. It is made of shell, and is somewhat altered by 
decay. The crown is peculiarly notched, and resembles a very common 
Mexican form. The notch in the middle ot the forehead can be traced 
to a division in the head-dress noticed in the more elaborately carved 
Mexican specimens. 

The example shown in Figs. 3 and 4 is copied from a rather rude cut 

'Jones: Antiquities of the Southern Indians, p. 430. 



1. McMa)inu Mound, Ttnu. 

2. Mi'Mali;m Sldund, Teiiu. 

3. Brakebill llouud, Temi. 

4. Lick Creek Monnd, Tenu. 

5. Acciuia Creek. Va. 

6. Muuud, Ely County, Va. 




-y . '^ v- ' i r" 

1, 2. Shell oruanieiit from a cavo. Aliiharaa. {{) 
3, 4. Shell oiuaiiieut from New York. (}) 

5. Shell ornament, stone grave, Teuuesaee. 

G. Shell ornament from Georgia, ({j 

7. Shell ornament frnm Tennessee. (|) 

8. Face mutleled in cla}', Georgia. 

9. Face carved in iron ore, Ohio. 



given by Schoolcraft, who describes it as follows: " This well-sculptured 
article was discovered iu the valley of the Kasauda Creek, Onondaga 
County. The material is a compact piece of sea-shell. It still pre- 
serves iu a considerable degree the smoothness and luster of its origi- 
nal finish. * * * At the angle of the temples are two small orifices 
for suspending it around the neck. The entire article is finished with 
much skill and delicacy." ' 

The very rude specimen presented in Fig. 7 is from a monnd at Frank- 
lin, Tenn. It seems to have been some natural form, but slightly 
changed by art. A somewhat similar specimen from a mound in Ten- 
nessee may be seen iu the Peabody Museum. 

The cut presented in Fig. 5 is taken from Jones's Antiquities of Ten- 
nessee, page 48. The specimen was obtained from the stone grave of a 
child at the foot of a mound near Nashville, Tenn. It has diamond- 
shaped eyes, a feature of very rare occurrence in the art of this region. 

THE milky FIGURE. 

I now come to a class of works which are new and unique, and in 
more than one respect are the most important objects of aboriginal art 
yet found within the limits of the United States. These relics are four 
in number, and come from that part of the mound-building district 
occupied at one time by the " stone grave" peoples — three from Ten- 
nessee and one from Missouri. Similar designs are not found in other 
materials, and, indeed, nothing at all resembling them can be found, so 
far as I know, either in stone or in clay. If such have been painted or 
engraved on less enduring materials they are totally destroyed. I shall 
first describe the specimens themselves, and subsequently dwell at some 
length upon their authenticity, their significance, and their place in art. 

First, I present, in Plate LXXI, a shell gorget on which is engraved 
a rather rude delineation of a human figure. The design occupies 
the concave side of a large shell disk cut from a Busycon perversum. 
Near the upper margin are the usual holes for suspension. The en- 
graved design fills the central portion of the plate and is inclosed by 
two approximately parallel lines, between which and the edge of the 
shell there is a plain belt three-fourths of an inch wide. A casual ob- 
server would probably not recognize any design whatever in the jumble 
of half obliterated lines that occupies the inclosed space. It will first 
be noticed that a column about three-fourths of an inch in width 
stands erect in the center of the picture ; from this spring a number of 
lines, forming serpentine arms, which give the figure as much the ap- 
pearance of an octopus crowded into a collector's alcohol jar as of a 
human creature. A little study will convince one, however, that the 
central column represents the human body, and the tangle of lines 
surrounding it will be found to represent the arms, legs, hands, feet, 
and their appendages — no line within the border being without its 
' Schoolcraft : Notes on the Iroquois, p. 235. 


office. The upper extremity of the body is occupied by a circle one- 
eiglitb of au incb in diameter, wbicli rc]iresents tbe eye. The head is 
not distinguished from the body by any sort of constriction for the neck, 
but has evidently been crowned by a rude aurora-like crest similar to 
that found in so many aboriginal designs. This does not appear in the 
engraving given, as it, as well as other features, was so nearly obliter- 
ated as to escape observation until the idea was suggested by the study 
of other similar designs. The mouth is barely suggested, being repre- 
sented by three shallow lines placed so low on the that they oc- 
cupy what should be the chest. From the side of the head a number of 
lines, probably meant for plumes, extend across the bordei-iug lines 
almost to the edge of the shell ; below this are two perforated loops, 
which seem to take the place of ears; the one on the right is doubly 
perforated and has a peculiar extension, in a bent or elbowed line, across 
the border. The arms are attached to the sides of the body near the 
middle in a haphazard sort of way and are curiously double jointed; 
they terminate, however, in well-defined hands againstthe right and 
left borders, the thumb and fingers being, in each case, distinctly rep- 
resented. The legs and feet are at first exceedingly hai'd to make out, 
but when once traced are as clear as need be. The body terminates 
abruptly below within an inch of the base of the inclosed space. One 
leg extends directly downward, the foot resting upon the border line ; 
the other extends backward from the base of the trunk and rests against 
the border line at the right ; the legs have identical markings, which 
probably represent the costume. Each foot terminates in a single well- 
defined talon or claw, which folds upward against the knee. This is a 
most interesting feature, and one which this design possesses in common 
with the three other drawings of the human figui-e found in Tennessee. 
The spaces between the various members of the figure are filled in with 
ornamental appendages, which seem to be attached to the hands and 
feet, and probably represent plumes. The numerous perforations in this 
specimen are worthy of attention : within the border line there are 
twenty-six, which vary from one-fourth to one-sixteenth of an inch in 
diameter. They are placed mostly at the joints of the figure or at the 
junction of two or more lines. Such perforations are of frequent occur- 
rence in this class of gorgets and maj' have had some particular signifi- 
cance to their possessors. This specimen was found in the great mound 
at Sevierville, Tenn., upon the bi-east of a skeleton, and is now in the 
National Collection. It has suffered considerably from decay, the sur- 
face being deeply furrowed, pitted, and discolored. The holes are much 
enlarged and the lines in places are almost obliterated. 

I began the study of this design with the thought that, in reference to 
this specimen at least. Professor Jones was right, and that the confused 
group of lines might be the meaningless product of an idle fancy, but 
ended by being fully satisfied that no single line or mark is without its 
place or its significance. 



McMahan Monnd, Tennessee. 



aKNUAL report 1881 PL. LXXII 


Mouml. Teuneasee. 


After haviug examined this design so critically, it will be an easy 
matter to interpret that engraved upon the tablet illustrated in Plate 
LXXIl. Although found in widely separated localities, and eugi-aved 
in a somewhat ditiereut style, they ai"e identical in type, and exhibit but 
sliglit difi'erences in detail. At the top of the plate we have the two 
doubly conical perlbrations for suspension, but the double border line is 
not completed above, being interrupted by the plumes from the bead. 
The head itself is decorated with the usual crown of radiating lines, 
a small circle with a central pit represents the eye, and below this is a 
well-defined mouth with a double row of teeth. Extending to the right 
from the mouth is an appendage consisting of one straight and iwo in- 
terrupted lines, which may be a part of the costume, or, since it issues 
from the moutli, may ]iossibly .symbolize speech. The body, which is 
short and straight, is divided verticallj- into three parts; the central space 
contains a large conical pei-foration, and is covered with a lace-work of 
lines; the lateral spaces are ornamented with rows of buttons or scales, 
which consist of meagerly outlined circles with central dots. The curi- 
ously folded arms have precisely the same relative po.sitions as the cor- 
responding members in the other specimi u, and the fingers touch the 
bordering line on the right and left, the thumb being turned backward 
against the elbow. The legs are represented in a manner that suggests 
a sitting posture, the rounded knees coming in front of and joining the 
base of the body ; in position and decoration they repeat the other speci- 
men. The feet, or the rounded extremities that represent them, rest 
upon the border line, as in the case previously described, and terminate 
in upturned talons that are long, curved, and jointed, and terminate in 
square or blunt tips. Plume-like appendages are attached to the arms 
and legs, and fill the spaces not occupied by the members of the body ; 
these plumes or pendants are always represented by folded bands or 
fillets which are ornamented on one side with dots. A plume attached 
to the left side of the head is represented by two curved lines, which 
reach to the edge of the shell. There are five perforations, two for sus- 
pension, two at the sides of the face, and one near the middle of the 
trunk. This specimen is in a very perfect state of preservation, the sur- 
face being smooth and but little stained. It is somewhat pear-shaped, 
resembling in this respect the mask-like gorgets previously described. 
It is about seven inches in height and five iu width, and has been made 
from a very thick and compact shell, probably a Busycon. It was ob- 
tained from a mound in Meigs County, Tennessee, and is preserved iu 
the Peabody Museum. In mechanical execution this specimen is much 
superior to the preceding one ; the edges and surface of the shell are 
nicely dressed, although the lines of the design are indifferently cut. 

Another unique shell gorget is presented in Plate LXXIII. It was ob- 
tained from a mound in Southeastern Missouri, and is now in the posses- 
sion of Professor Potter, of Saint Louis. The disk is about four and a 
half inches in diameter, and was originally nearly circular, but the edges 


are now much decayed and battered. A cut with a brief description is 
given by Mr. A. J. Conant in his recent work, "Foot-prints of Vanished 
Races," page 95. My cut is made from a photograph obtained from 
Professor Putnam, of the Peabody Museum. This is probably the same 
photograph used by Mr. Conant. The engraved design is of a totally 
distinct type from the last, and evinces a much higher grade of skill in 
the artist. It is encircled by six nearly parallel lines, which occupy 
about half an inch of the border of the disk. Portions of these still re- 
main, the inner one being nearly entire. Between this and the second 
line are two perforations for suspension. The idea first suggested by a 
glance at the engraved design is that it strongly resembles the work of 
the ancient Mexicans, and the second idea of many archteologists will 
probably be that there may be a doubt of its genuineness. Setting this 
question aside for the present, let us examine the engraving in detail. 
Placing the plate so that the two perforations are at the left, we have 
the i^rincipal figure in an upright posture. This figure apparently rep- 
resents a personage of some importance, as he is decked from head to foot 
with a profusion of ornaments and symbols. He is shown in profile 
with the arms extended in action, and the feet separated as if in the act 
of stepping forward. Tlie head is large, occupying about one-third of 
the height of the design. The elaborate head-dress tills the upper part 
of the inclosed space, pendant plumes descend to the shoulders before 
and behind, and circular ornaments are attached to the hair and the 
ear. The conventionalized eye is lozenge or diamond shaped, with a 
small conical pit for the pupil. 

The profile shows a full forehead, a strong nose, and a prominent 
chin. Two lines extend across the cheek from the bridge of the nose 
to the base of the ear. In and projecting from the mouth is a sym- 
bolic figure, the meaning of which can only be conjectured. The 
shoulders and body are but raeagerly represented. From the waist a 
peculiar apron-like object is suspended, which reaches to the knees; it 
may be a part of the costume or a priestly symbol. The legs and feet 
are dwarfed, but quite well outlined. There are encircling bands at the 
knees and ankles, and a fan-like extension of the costume, somewhat 
resembling the tail of a bird, descends between the legs. Attached 
to the back, is a figure of a rather extraordinary character. Similar 
figures may be seen in some of the Mexican paintings, and seem to 
represent a contrivance for carrying burdens, in which at times elfish 
figures are accommodated. The right arm is extended forward, and 
the hand grasps a singular shaft, with which a blow is aimed at the 
severed head of a victim, which is held face downward by the left 
hand of the standing figure. The severed head still retains the plumed 
cap, from which a long pendant descends in front of the face. The eye 
is lozenge-shaped. A zigzag line crosses the cheek from the ear to 
the bridge of the nose, and a curious symbolic figure is represented 













as issuing from the moutli. The shaft held in the right hand seems 
to issue from a circular figure, doubtless of symbolic character, which 
occupies the space iu frout of the head of the standing figure. It is 
possible that the figure which issues from the mouth of the victim 
represents the point of this mystic shaft which has penetrated the 
head, although we should have to allow some inaccuracies in the draw- 
ing if this were the case. Any one at all familiar with the curious 
pictograpbic manuscripts of the ancient Mexicans will see at a glance 
that we have here a sacrificial scene, in which a jjriest seems to be en- 
gaged in the sacrifice of a human beiug. In the extraordinary manu- 
scripts of the ancient Aztecs we have many parallels to this design. 
So closely does it approach the Aztec type that, although no duplicate 
can be found in any of the codices, there is not a single idea, a single 
member or ornament that has not its analogue in the Mexican manu- 
scripts. To make this clear to every one I present, in Plate LXXV, 
Fig. i, a single example for comparison. This one is selected from the 
manuscript of M. De F^jervary, preserved at Budapest, Hungary. i 
Fortunately for the credit of this Missouri relic we do not find its dupli- 
cate — there are only family resemblances; there are similar plumes, 
with similar ornaments and pendants, similar costume and attitudes ; 
there are similar features and similar symbols ; but there is no absolute 
identity, excei)t iu motive and conception. 

Among the multitude of works of art collected within the last de- 
cade very few will be found to surpass in interest the fragment of a shell 
gorget from the McMahou Mound, at Sevierville, Tenu. The disk, when 
entire, has been nearlj' five inches iu diameter. A little more than one- 
third had crumbled away, and the remaining portion was only preserved 
by the most careful handling, and by immediate immersion in a thin so- 
lution of glue. This specimen is the first of the kind ever brought to 
light in this country, and must certainly be regarded as the highest ex- 
ample of aboriginal art ever found north of Mexico. The design, as in 
the other cases, has been engraved on the convex surface of a polished 
shell disk, and represents two human figures, plumed and winged and 
armed with eagles' talons, engaged in mortal combat. As in the last 
specimen described, this has, at first sight, an exotic look, bearing cer- 
tainly in its conception a general resemblance to the marvelous bas- 
reliefs of Mexico and Central America; but the resemblance goes no 
further, and we are at liberty to consider it a northern work siti generis. 
The design has apparently covered the entire tablet, leaving no space 
for encircling lines. The two figures are in profile and face each other 
in a fierce onset. Of the right-hand figure only the body, one arm, and 
one leg remain. The left-hand figure is almost complete ; the outline of 
the face, one arm, and one foot being obliterated. The right hand is 
raised above the head in the act of brandishing a long double-pointed 

' Kingsborougb, Vol. Ill, pi. 22. 


knife. At the same time this doughty warrior seems to be receiviug a 
blow in the face from the right hand of the other combatant, in which is 
clutched a savage-lookiug blade, with a curved point. The hands 
are vigorously drawn, the joints are correctly placed, and the thumb 
presses down upon the outside of the forefinger in its natural effort 
to tighten and secure the grasp. Two bands encircle the wrists and 
probably represent bracelets. The arms and shoulders are plain. 
The head is decorated with a single plume, which springs from a 
circular ornament placed over the ear; an angular figure extends 
forward from the base of this plume and probably represents what 
is left of the head-dress proper ; forward of this, on the very edge of 
the crumbling shell, is one-half of the lozenge-shajted eye, the dot 
intended to represent the puj)il being almost obliterated. It is cer- 
tainly a great misfortune that both faces are completely gone ; their 
exact character must remain conjectural. A neat pendant ornament is 
suspended upon the well-formed breast, and a broad belt encircles the 
waist, beneath which, covering the abdomen, is a design that suggests 
the scales of a coat of mail. The legs are well-defined and perfectly 
proportioned; the left knee is bent forward aud the foot is planted 
firmly on the ground, while the right is thrown gracefully back against 
the rim at the left. Double belts encircle the knees and ankles. The 
legs terminate in wonderfully well-drawn eagle's feet, armed with vigor- 
oiasly curved talons. A very interesting feature of the design is the 
highly conventionalized wing, which is attached to the shoulder behind, 
and tills the space beneath the uplifted arm. A broad many-featherd 
tail is spread out like a fan behind the legs. The right hand tigure, so 
far as seen, is an exact duplicate of the left. A design of undetermined 
significance occupies the space between the figures beneath the crossed 
arms; it may represent conventionalized drapery, but is more probably 
symbolic in its character. The heads have pi'obablj' been a little too 
large for good proportion, but the details of the anatomy are excellent. 
The muscles of the shoulder, the breast and nipple, the waist, the but- 
tock, and the calves of the legs are in excellent drawing. The whole 
group is most graphically presented. A highly ideal design, it is made 
to fill a given space with a directness of execution and a unity of con- 
ception that is truly surprising. 

Let us turn for a moment from this striking eflbrt of the mound-build- 
ers to the early eflbrts of other peoples iu the engraver's art. Here are 
the drawings of the Troglodytes of France, scintillations of paleolithic 
genius, which appear as a flash of light in the midst of a midnight sky. 
They are truly remarkable. The clear-cut lines that shadow forth the 
hairy mammoth suggest the graphic aud forcible work of the Parisian 
of to-day. The rude Esquimaux of our own time engraves images of a 
great variety of natural objects on his ornaments and implements of 
ivory in a manner that commands our admiration. But these shell tablets 
have designs of a much higher grade. They not only represent natural 



1. Shell porget, Mcifaban Mound, Tcnn 

2. Sculptured in stoue, ilexico. 

3. Shell gorget, mound, Missouri. 

4. Figure from an Aztec, pninting. 

5. Shell gorget, ilcMahau AIoLatl, Tenu. 
G. Shell gorget, Lick Creek Mound, Tenn. 




1. Design on ZuQi ^ar-sbield, painting. 2. Thunder-bird of the Haidahs, paintiiig. 



objects with precision, but they delineate conceptions of mytliical crea- 
tnres of composite cliaracter for which nature affords no model. In ex- 
ecution the best of these tablets will not compare with tlie wonderful 
works in stucco and stone of Palenque, or the elaborate sculptures of 
the Aztecs, but they are, like them, vigorous in action and complete in 

In case the authenticity of these relics be questioued, the facts in re- 
gard to them, so far as known, are here presented for reference. As to 
the two specimens from Sevierville, Tenu. (Plates LXXI and LXXIII), 
the shadow of a doubt cannot be attached to them. Were there no rec- 
ord whatever of the time or place of discovery, the evidence upon the 
faces of the relics themselves would show satisfactorily that they are 
genuine. They were taken from the great mound, which I have called 
the McMahon Mound, at Sevierville, Tenn. This mound was opened in 
1881 by one of our most experienced collectors, Dr. E. Palmer. The 
siiecimens when found were in a very advanced stage of decay, pitted, 
discolored, and crumbling, and had to be handled with the utmost care 
to prevent total disintegration. They were dried by the collector, im- 
mersed in a weak solution of glue, and forwarded immediately to the 
National jNIuseura at Washington. In this mound a multitude of i-elics 
were found, a large number being of shell, many of which are figured 
and described in this paper. These two gorgets, as well as many others 
of more ordinary types were found on or near the breasts of skeletons, 
and it is highly probable that they were suspended about the necks of 
the dead just as they had been worn by the living. By accurately as- 
certaining the autlienticity of one of these specimens we establish, so far 
as need be, the genuineness of all of the same class. If one is genuine 
that is suflQcient ; the others may or may not be so, without seriously 
effecting the questions at issue, yet the occurrence of duplicate or closely 
related specimens in widely separated localities furnishes confirmatory 
evidence of no little importance. I do not wish to be understood as cast- 
ing a doubt upon any of the fo.;r specimens described, as I am thoroughly 
convinced that there is no cause for suspicion. 

Tlie Missouri gorget, which has already been described and figured, 
was obtained by unknown persons in Southeastern Missouri. Several 
years back it came into the hands of Colonel Whitley, and from him it 
was obtained by its present owner, Professor Potter, of Saint Louis. 
There has never been a question as to its genuineness, and according to 
Professor Hilder, who saw it shortly after its discovery, the appearance 
and condition of the specimen were such that it could not have been ot 
fraudulent manufacture. It was chalky and crumbling from decay, the 
lines of the design bearing equal evidence with the general surface of the 
shell of great age. Beside this, even if it were possible to produce such 
a condition in a recently carved shell, there existed no motive for such 
an attempt. Nothing was to be made by it ; no benefit could accrue 
to the perpetrator to reward him for his pains, and, further, there was no 


precedept. there was extant nothing that could serve as a model for such 
a work. 

In Plate LXXV I have arranged a number of figures for convenience 
of comparison, Figs. 1, 3, 5, and 6, being outlines of the four examples 
just described. In regard to the restored i>art of the outline iu Fig. 1, 
I wish to say that my only object in filling out the figure on the right 
was to secure as far as possible the full effect of the complete original. 
Observing that all that remains of the right hand figure — the arm, the 
body, the leg and foot, is a duplicate of the left, it is safe to conclude 
that the design has been approximately bi-symmetric<al, slight discrep- 
ancies probably occurring in the details of bead and arm, in the ex- 
pression of face, or in the character of the weapon. It is much to be re- 
gretted that the faces are totally destroyed. 

In Fig. 3 I present a group of two figures from the so-called " sacri- 
ficial stone " found in the Plaza Mayor, city of Mexico. It seems to 
represent the submission of one warrior or ruler to his victorious oppo- 
nent, and is one of many designs that might be presented to illustrate 
the analogies of the Tennessee relic with the interesting works of the 
far South. There is what might be called a family resemblance, a 
similarityin idea and action, but little analogy of detail. The northern 
work is by far the more spirited, and is apparently superior in all the 
essentials of artistic excellence. 

In the composite character of the jiersonages represented this picture 
finds no parallel. Composite figures are of frequent occurrence in Pe 
ruvian art, as in the running figures sculptured on the great monolith 
at Tiahuanuco, or the mythical combats of the gods of the earth and 
sea painted on the pottery of Chimu. They are also found in the manu- 
scripts of the ancient Mexicans, as well as in the paintings of the 
modern Pueblos of New Mexico (Fig. 1, Plate LXXVI), and in the 
totemic art of the Haidahs (Fig. 2, Plate LXXVI). The most frequent 
combinations are of birds with men, the inspiration of the work in all 
cases being derived from the mythology of the people. The wearing 
of masks has doubtless given rise to many such conceptions, and where 
the head alone of the human creature has undergone metamorphosis, 
we may suspect that a mask has originated the conception ; but the 
Tennessee example appears to be the only one in which wings are added 
independently of the arms or iu which bird's feet are attached to the 
otherwise perfect human creature. 

And now we come to the question of the origin of these objects, and 
especially of the example most closely resembling Mexican work. The 
Missouri gorget is in many respects quite isolated from known works of 
the Mississippi Valley. Must it be regarded as an exotic, as an impor- 
tation from the South, or does it belong to the soil from which it was 
exhumed ? In order to answer this question we must not only deter- 
mine its relations to the art of Mexico, but we must knowjust what affin- 
ities it has to the art of the mound-builders. 



Carved from pectunciihcs shells. ([) 

^ ^ 


In the first place, gorgets of shell are a marked characteristic of the 
personal embellishment of the northern peoples. They may have been 
in use among the Aztecs, but do not appear among southern antiquities, 
and no evidence can be derived from history. This gorget belongs, in 
its general character as an ornament, to the North. It is circular in 
form, it has two small perforations near the margin for suspension, and 
is made from the wall of a large univalve. The design occupies the 
central portion of the convex side of the disk and is inclosed by a 
number of incised lines. In all of these features, together with its 
technical execution and its manner of inhumation, it is identical with 
the well-known work of the mound-builders. These analogies could 
hardly occur if it were an exotic. It is true, however, as we have al- 
ready seen, that the design itself has a closer afiinity to Mexican art 
than to that of the North. It represents a sacrificial scene, and has 
many parallels in the paintings and sculpture of the South, whereas 
no such design is known in the art of any nation north of Mexico. 

The engravings of the mound-builders represent legendary creatures 
derived from the myths of the fathers, and in this respect have their 
parallels in the bird-man of the Haidahs, the war-god of the Zuiiis, and 
the mythical deities of other countries ; but they are never illustrative 
of the customs or ceremonies of the peoples themselves. As an orna- 
ment this Missouri gorget is a member of a great family that is pecu- 
liarly northern, but the design engraved upon it af&liates ^Nith the art 
of Mexico, and so close and striking are the resemblances, that acci- 
dent cannot account for them, and we are forced to the conclusion that 
it must be the offspring of the same beliefs and customs and the same 
culture as the art of Mexico. 

20 B 








The following catalogue of the collections made during 1879 was 
prepared for the First Annual Eeport of the Uureau of Ethnology, 
but owing to want of space was not included iu that volume. Before 
the necessity of this action was made appnient the matter had been 
stereotj'ped and it was impossible to c'.ange the figure numbers, etc. 
This will explain the seeming irreg-.ilarity in the numbering of the fig- 
ures — the first one of this paper following the last one of the above- 
mentioned report. The second catalogue, that of the collection of 
1880, also included in this volume, has been made to correspond with 
the first, the figure numbers following in regular order. 



Washington, January 3, 1881. 

Sib : I have the honor to submit herewith an iUustrated catalogue 
exhibiting in part the results of the ethnologic and archaeologic explora- 
tions made under your direction in New Mexico and Arizona during 
the summer of 1879. 

As you are already familiar with the mode of travel and the labor 
necessary in making such investigations and explorations, as well as 
the incidents common to such undertakings, and as I do not consider 
them of any special interest or value to the catalogue, I have omitted 
such details. 

I beg, however, in this connection, to refer to the services of Messrs. 
F. H. Gushing, ethnologist of the Smithsonian Institution, and J. K. 
Hillers, photographic artist of the Bureau of Ethnology, both of whom 
accompanied me on the expedition. 

Mr. Cushiug's duties were performed with intelligence and zeal 
throughout. After the field-work of the season was completed he re- 
mained with the Indians for the purpose of studying the habits, customs, 
manners, political and religious organizations, and language of the 
people ; also to explore the ancient caves of that region. His inquiries 
will prove of the utmost interest and importance to science. Mr. Hillers 
labored with equal zeal and energy. His work is of the greatest value 
in illustrating some of the most interesting features of our investigations. 
He made a large series of negatives depicting nearly every feature of 
the Pueblo villages and their inhabitants. The beauty and perfection 
of the lihotographs themselves fully attest the value and importance of 
his work. 

I would extend most cordial thanks to General Sherman for the 
special interest he manifested in our work, and for directions given 
by him to the oflScers of the Army serving in the West to assist us in 
carrying out the objects of the expedition; and to the ofiflcers who so 
cordially rendered such aid. 

To General Edwaid Hatch, commanding the district of New Mexico, 

we are indebted for valuable information and material assistance, which 

were liberally granted, and to which in great part our success was due. 

The party also received valuable aid from Gen. George P. Buell, U. S. A., 

who was in command at Fort Wingate during our work at Zuiii, for which 

I am pleased to extend thanks. 



The large number and variety of objects collected by the members 
of the expedition, and the many difQculties incident to such undertak- 
ings, as well as the limited time devoted to the preparation of the cata- 
logue, will account for any imperfections it may contain. 

noi)ing, however, that, notwithstanding these, it may serve useful 
ends in the continuation of such work, 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Prof. J. W. Powell, 

Director Bureau of Ethnology. 



Letter of Transmittal 311 

Introduction 319 

Articles of stoiir 320 

Articles of clay 322 

Vegetal substances 334 

Collection from Ziiui 337 

Articles of stone 337 

Axes, hammers, and mauls 337 

Metates, or grain-grinders, and pestles 340 

Mortars, pestles, etc 340 

Miscellaneous objects 342 

Articles of clay 343 

Water vases 343 

Water jugs and jars 347 

Jugs of fanciful forms 349 

Pitchers 349 

Cups or cnp-shapcd vessels 350 

Eating bowls 350 

Cooking vessels 358 

Ladles 360 

Baskets 360 

Paint cups 362 

Condiment cujis 363 

Effigies 364 

Statuettes 306 

Clays and jjigments 367 

Vegetal substances 368 

Basketry 368 

Pads 369 

Domestic implements, toys, etc 370 

Foods 372 

Medicines and dyes 372 

Animal substances 373 

Horn and bone 373 

Skin 373 

Woven fabrics 373 

Collection from Wolpi 375 

Articles of stone 375 

Axes, hammers, etc 375 

Metates, or grain-grinders, and pestles 376 

Mortars, pestles, etc 377 

Miscellaneous objects 377 



Collection from Wolpi— 

Articles of clay 378 

Water vases 378 

Water jugs and jars 379 

Toy-like water vessels 3Hl 

Cups 382 

Eating bowls 382 

Cooking vessels 385 

Toy-like vessels 385 

Ladles 3S5 

Miscellaueous 387 

Statuettes 387 

Vegetal substances 389 

Basketry 389 

Domestic implemeu ts, toys, etc 391 

Ornamental objects 393 

Statuettes 395 

Animal substances 396 

Horn and bone 396 

Skin 397 

Woveu fabrics 398 

Collection from Laguna 399 

Articles of clay 399 

Water vases 399 

Water jugs and jars 401 

Pitchers 401 

EfSgies 402 

Eating bowls 403 

Collection from Acoma 404 

Articles of clay 404 

Water vases 404 

Pitchers 405 

Eating bowls 405 

Collection from Cochiti 405 

Articles of clay 405 

Water vessels 405 

Eating bowls 408 

Ornaments, efiSgies, and toys 408 

Collection from Santo Domingo 409 

Articles of Clay 409 

Water vessels 409 

Collection from Tesuke - 410 

Articles of stone 410 

Metates, mortars, etc 410 

Articles of clay 410 

Water vases 410 

Water jugs and jars 413 

Pitchers 413 

Eating bowls 413 

Cooking vessels 414 

Toys 414 

Vegetal substances 414 

Medicines 414 

Collection from Santa Clara 415 


Collection from Santa Clara — 

Articles of clay 415 

Water vases 415 

Eating l)owls 415 

Cooking vessels 416 

Efiigies 416 

Collection from San Juan 416 

Articles of clay 416 

Eating bowls 416 

Collect iou from Jemez 417 

Articles of clay 417 

Collection from the Jicarilla Apacbes 417 

Articles of clay 417 

Collection from Old Pecos 418 

Articles of stone 418 

Articles of clay 418 

Articles of wood 419 

Collection from the Canon de Clielly 419 

Articles of clay 419 

Water vessels 419 

Bowls 420 

Cooking vessels 420 

Collection from Pictograpli Rocks 420 

Articles of clay 420 

Collection from other localities 421 

Articles of clay 421 

Miscellaneous 421 

Statuettes 421 


F1Q8. 347-352. 
Fig. 353. Zufii 
Fig. 354. Zuui 
Fig. 355. Zuni 
Fig. 356. Zuni 
Fig. 357. Zufii 
Fig. 358. Zufii 
Figs. 359-360. 
Figs. 361-362. 
Figs. 363-364. 
Figs. 365-366. 
Figs. 367-368. 
Figs. 369-370. 
Figs. 371-372. 
Figs. 373-374. 
Figs. 375-378. 
Fig. 379. Zufii 
Fig. 380. Zufii 
Fig. 381. Zufii 
Fig. 382. Zuui 
Figs. 383-384. 
Figs. 385-387. 
Figs. 388-391. 
Figs. 392-394. 
Figs. 395-397. 
Fig. 398. Zufii 
Fig. 399. Zufii 
Fig. 400. Zuni 
Fig. 401. Zufii 
Fig. 402. Zufii 
Figs. 403-406. 
Fig. 407. Zufii 
Figs. 408-409. 
Figs. 410-412. 
Figs. 413-415. 
Figs. 416-418. 
Figs. 419-421. 
Figs. 422-424. 
Figs. 425-427. 
Figs. 428-430. 
Figs. 431-436. 
Figs. 437-441. 
F1O8. 442-447. 
Figs. 448-453. 
Figs. 454-457. 


Zufii grooved axes.. 338 

mortar and pestle . . 340 

crucible 340 

skinning-knife 340 

sandstone mold 340 

spear-head 340 

mortar and pestle . . 340 

Zufii water vases.. . 342 

Zufii water vases.. . 343 

Zufii water vases.. . 344 

Zuui water vases. . . 344 

Zuui water vases.. . 344 

Zufii water vases. . . 344 

Zufii water vases... 345 

Zufii water vases. .. 345 

Zufii w.ater vasea... 346 

canteen 347 

eating bowl 347 

water vase 347 

catiug bowl 347 

Zufii water vases.. . 347 

Zufii canteens 348 

Zufii canteens 348 

Zufii canteens 349 

Zuni canteens 349 

canteen 350 

water vase 350 

canteen 350 

eating bowl 350 

canteen 350 

Zufii water pitchers. 350 

water pitcher 350 

Zuui cups 350 

Zufii eating bowls.. 350 

Znfii eating bowls.. 352 

Zuni eating bowls.. 354 

Zufii eating bowls.. 356 

Zufii eating bowls.. 356 

Zufii eating bowls.. 357 

Zuui eating bowls.. 3.58 

Zufii cooking vessels 359 

Znfii ladles 360 

Zuni clay baskets .. 361 

Zufii clay baskets . . 361 

Zufii paint cnps 364 


Figs. 4.58-459. Zufii condiment cups 364 

Figs. 460-461. Zufiiefflgies 365 

Figs. 462-463. Zuni effigies 365 

Figs. 464-467. Zuui effigies 365 

Figs. 408-469. Zufii effigies 365 

Figs. 470-471. Zuni effigies 365 

Figs. 472^76. Zuni effigies 366 

Figs. 477-480. Zufii effigies 366 

Figs. 431-483. Zufii moccasins 367 

Figs. 484-485. Zufii basketry 370 

Fig. 486. Zufii pad 370 

Fig. 487. Zufii toy cradle 370 

Fig. 488. Zufii basketry 370 

Fig. 489. Zufii toy cradle 370 

Fig. 490. Zufii ladlo 370 

Fig. 491. Zufii war-club 372 

Figs. 492-493. Zufii dance orna- 
ments 372 

Fig. 494. Zufii rotary drill 372 

Fig. 495. Zufii wooden spade 372 

Fig. 496. Zufii wooden digger 372 

Fig. 497. Zufii rattle 371 

Fig. 498. Zufii rattle 373 

Fig. 499. Zufii hopple 373 

Figs. 500-502. Zuui woven sashes . 373 

Fig. 503. Zufii head dress 374 

Figs. 504-507. Wolpi axes 375 

Fig. 508. Wolpi metate 375 

Fig. 509. Wolpi ancient pipe 378 

Fig. 510. Wolpi stone effigy 378 

Fig. 511. Wolpi neck ornament 378 

Figs. 512-513. Wolpi effigies 378 

Fig. 514. Wolpi water vase 379 

Figs. 515-516. Wolpi pots 379 

Figs. 517-519. Wolpi vessels 381 

Figs. 520-522. Wolpi water jars ... 382 

Fig. 523. Wolpi eating bowl 385 

Fig. 524. Wolpi cooking vessel 385 

Fig. 525. Wolpi ladle 3.S5 

Figs. 526-529. Wolpi ladles 386 

Fig. 530. Wolpi basket 386 

Fig. 531. Wolpibasin 388 

Fig. 532. Wolpi vase and bowl at- 
tached 388 

F1O8. 533-534. Wolpi clay statuettes 388 




Figs. 535-536. Wolpi baskets 389 

Figs. 537-538. Wolpi baskets 390 

Fig. 539. Wolpi basket 390 

Fig. 540. Wolpi floor mat 390 

Figs. 54 1-54-2. Wolpi baskets 390 

Figs. 543-545. Wolpi baskets 391 

Fig. 546. Wolpi weaving stick 392 

Fig. 547. Woliii spindle whorl 392 

Fig. 548-549. Wolpi rabbitsticks.. 392 

Fig. 550. Wolpi rake 393 

Fig. 551. Wolpi drumstick 393 

Fig. 552. Wolpi treasure-box 393 

Fig. 553. Wolpi dance gonrd 393 

Fig. 554. Wolpi treasure-box 393 

Figs. 555-558. Wolpi dance orna- 
ments 393 

Fig. 559. Wolpi bead-dress 394 

Fig. 560. Wolpi gourd rattle 394 

Fig. 561. Wolpimusical instrument. 394 

Fig. 562. Wolpi gourd rattle 394 

Figs. 563-565. Wolpi ornaments.. . 394 

Figs. 566-569. Wolpi effigies 395 

Figs. 570-572. Wolpi efSgies 396 

Fig. 573. Wolpi bom ladle 397 

Fig. 574. Wolpi born rattle 397 

Fig. 575. Wolpi perforator 397 

Fig. 576. Wolpi arrow straightener 397 

Fig. 577. Wolpi wristlet 398 

Fig. 578. Wolpi raoccaSin 398 

Fig. 579. Wolpi wristlet 398 

Fig. 580. Wolpi riding whip 398 

Fig. 581. Wolpi drum 398 

Figs. 582-583. Wolpi blanket 399 

Fig. 584. Wolpi anklets 399 

Figs. 585-587. Laguna water vases 400 

Figs. 588-591. Laguna water vases 400 

Fig. 592. Laguna water pitcher . . . 400 

Figs. 593-596. Laguna water jars. 401 

Figs. 597-600. Laguna effigies 402 

Figs. 601-604. Laguna effigies 402 

Figs. 605-609. Laguna effigies 402 

Figs. 610-612. Laguna water vases 403 

Figs. 613-615. Laguna eating bowls 403 

Figs. 616-617. Laguna eating bowls 403 

Figs. 618-619. Acoma water vases. 404 

Figs. 620-622. Acoma water vases - 404 

Figs. 623-624. Cochiti water vessels 406 

Figs. 625-626. Cochiti water vessels 406 


Figs. 627-6 .'8. Cochiti water vessels 407 

Figs. 629-630. Cochiti water vessels 407 

Figs. 631-632. Cochiti water vessels 407 

Figs. 633-634. Cochiti water vessels 407 

Figs. 635-636. Cochiti water vessels 408 

Figs. 637-638. Cochiti water vessels 408 

Figs. 639-640. Cochiti water vessels 408 

Figs. 641-<'>42. Cochiti water vessels 408 

Figs. 043-644. Cochiti water vessels 408 

Figs. 645-647. Cochiti effigies 409 

Figs. 648-649. Santo Domingo drink- 
ing vessels 410 

Fig. 650. Tesuke mortar and pestle. 410 

Figs. 651-652. Tesuke water vases. 412 

Figs. 653-654. Tesuke water vases. 412 

Fig. 655. Tesuke water jar 414 

Fig. 656. Tesuke efBgy 414 

Fig. 657. Tesuke cooking vessel.. . 414 

Fig. 658. Tesuke effigy 414 

Fig. 659. Tesuke cooking vessel.. . 414 
Figs. 660-662. Santa Clara water 

vases 416 

Figs. 663-664. Santa Clara eating 

bowls 416 

Figs. 665-606. Santa Clara effigies- 416 

Fig. 667. Santa Clara eating bowl. 416 

Fig. 668. Santa Clara platter 416 

Fig. 669. Santa Clara eating bowl. 416 
Figs. 670-672. Santa Clara water 

jars 416 

Figs. 673-675. San Juan eating 

bowls 416 

Fig. 676. Jemez water vessel 417 

Figs. 677-680. Water vessels from 

Canon De Chelly 418 

Figs. 681-683. Water vessels from 

Canon De Chelly 620 

Figs. 684-686. Bowls from Canon 

Do Chelly 620 

Figs. 687-692. Pitchers from Canon 

De Chelly 420 

Figs. 693-696. Cooking vessels from 

Canon De Chelly 420 

Fig. 697. Corrugated vessel from 

Pictograph rocks 420 

Map showing location of the pueblos 

of Arizona and new Mexico.. . 319 


By James Stevenson. 


It is not my inteution in the preseut paper — which is simply what it 
purports to be, a catalogue — to attempt auy discussion of the habits, cus- 
toms, or domestic life of the ludian tribes from whom the articles were 
obtained; nor to enter upon a general comparison of the pottery and 
other objects with articles of a like character of other nations or tribes. 
Occasionally attention may be called to striking resemblances between 
certain articles and those of other countries, where such comparison will 
aid in illustrating form or character. 

The collection contains two thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight 
specimens. Although it consists very largely of vessels and other 
articles of pottery, yet it embraces almost every object necessary to 
illustrate the domestic life and art of the tribes from whom the largest 
number of the specimens were obtained. It includes, iu addition to 
pottery, implements of war and hunting, articles used in domestic 
manufactures, articles of clothing and personal adornment, basketry, 
trappings for horses, images, toy s, stone implements, musical instruments, 
and those used in games and religious ceremonies, woven fabrics, foods 
pi-epared and unprepared , paints for decorating pottery and other objects, 
earths of which their pottery is manufactured, mineral pigments, medi- 
cines, vegetable dyestuii's, &c. But the chief value of the collection is 
undoubtedly the great variety of vessels and other articles of i^ottery 
which it contains. In this respect it is perhaps the most complete that 
has been made from the pueblos. Quite a number of articles of this 
group may j^erhaps be properly classed as "ancient," and were obtained 
more or less uninjured; but by far the larger portion are of moderu 






These consist of pestles and mortars for grinding pigments; circular 
mortars, iu which certain articles of food are bruised or ground ; me- 
tates, or stones used for grinding wheat and corn; axes, hatchets, celts, 
mauls, scrapers, &c. 

The cutting, splitting, i>oniiding, perforating, and scraping implements 
are generally derived from schists, basaltic, trachytic, and porphyritic 
rocks, and those for grinding and crushing foods are more or less com- 
posed of coarse lava and compact sandstones. Quite a number of the 
metate rubbing stones and a large number of the axes are composed of 
a very hard, heavy, and curiously mottled rock, a specimen of which was 
submitted to Dr. George W. Hawes, Curator of Mineralogy to the 
National Museum, for examination, and of which he says: 

"This rock, which was so extensively employed by the Pueblo Indians 
for the manufacture of various utensils, has proved to be composed 
largely of quartz, intermingled with which is a fine, fibrous, radiated 
substance, the optical jiroperties of which demonstrate it to be flbrolite. 
In addition, the rock is filled with minute crystals of octahedral form 
which are composed of magnetite, and scattered through the rock are 
minute yellow crystals of rutile. The red coloration which these speci- 
mens possess is due to thin films of hematite. The rock is therefore 
fibrolite schist, and from a lithological standpoint it is very interesting. 
The fibrolite imparts the toughness to the rock, which, I should judge, 
would increase its value for the purposes to which the Indians applied it." 

The axes, hatchets, mauls, and other implements used for cutting, 
splitting, or piercing are generally more or less im^^erfect, worn, chipped, 
or otherwise injured. This condition is to be accounted for by the fact 
that they are all of ancient manufacture ; an implement of this kind 
being rarely, if ever, made by the Indians at the present day. They 
are usually of a hard volcanic rock, not employecFby the present inhabi- 
tants in the manufacture of implements. They have iu most cases been 
collected from the ruins of the Mesa and Cliff dwellers, by whose ances- 
tors they were probably made. I was unable to learn of a single in- 
stance in which one of these had been made by the modern Indians. 
In nearly all cases the edges, once sharp and used for cutting, splitting, 
or piercing, are much worn and blunt from use in pounding or other 
purposes than that for which they were originally intended. On more 
than one occasion I have observed a woman using the edge of a hand- 
some stone axe in pulverizing volcanic rock to mix with clay for making 
pottery. Nearly aU the edged stone imjilements are thus injured. Those 
showing the greatest perfection were either too small to utilize in this 
manner or had but recently been discovered when we obtained them. 

The grinders and mortars are frequently found composed of softer 


rock, either ferruginous sandstoue or gritty clays. For a more complete 
knowledge of these stone implements we must depend on a comparative 
study of large collections from different localities, and such information 
as the circumstances attending their discovery may impart, rather than 
uijon their present condition or the uses for which they are now em- 

Metates or grain-grinders, pestles and rubbing stones belong to the 
milling industry among the Indians. The metates are generally quite 
large and heavy, and could not well be transi)orted with the limited means 
at the command of Indians. They are therefore well adapted to the uses 
of village Indians, who remain permanently in a place and i>rosecute agri- 
cultui-al pursuits. They are generally of rectangular shape, and from 10 
to 20 inches in length by 6 to 12 in width, and are composed of various 
kinds of rock, the harder, coarse grained kinds being preferable, though 
in some instances sandstone is employed ; the most desirable stone is 
porous lava. These stones are sometimes carried with families of the 
Pueblos moving short distances to the valleys of streams in which they 
have farms in cultivation. In the permanent villages they are arranged 
in small rectangular bins (see Fig. 508), each about 20 inches wide and 
deep, the whole series ranging from 5 to 10 feet in length, according to 
the number of bins or divisions. The walls are usually of sandstone. 
In each compartment one of these metates or grinding stones is firmly 
set at a proper angle to make it convenient to the kueeUng female grinder. 
In this arrangement of the slabs those of different degrees of texture 
are so placed as to produce an increased degree of fineness to the meal or 
flour as it is passed from one to the other. But a small number of these 
slabs were collected on account of their great weight. Accompanying 
these metates are long, slim, flat stones, which are rubbed up and down 
the slabs, thus crushing the grain. These hand-stones are worn longitudi- 
nally into various shapes ; some have two flat sides, while the third side 
remains oval. The same variety exists in regard to the texture of these 
rubbing-stones, as in the concave grinders. 

The pueblo of Zufii, from which the most important portion of the 
collection was obtained, is situated in New Mexico, near the western 
border, about two hundred miles southwest fiom Santa F^. 

At the time of Ooronado's visit to this country the pueblo was located 
at what is now known as " Old Zuui," on the summit of a high 7nesa. 
The modern Zulii is situated upon a knoll in the valley of the ZuQi 
Elver, about two miles from the site of the old to^vn. Certain writers 
have regarded Zuui, or rather " Old ZuSi," as one of the " Seven Cities 
of Cibola." The evidences found at and around both the old and present 
ZuQi are certainly not sufiBcient to warrant this view, and further and 
more careful investigations are necessary. 

Zuui, although lying on the line of travel of military expeditions, 
emigrant trains, and trade between the Pacific coast and the Rio Grande, 
the foreigners visiting them have seldom remained long in their village; 
21 E 


nor has the advancing wave of Caucasian settlement approached suffi- 
ciently near to exert any marked influence on their manners and cus- 
toms; at least the form and decoration of their pottery bear no marked 
e\idence of the influence of the more highly civilized races. 

The collection made here by the expedition was more extensive than 
that from any other place, and numbers about fifteen hundred objects, 
of which by far the larger part is composed of earthenware articles. 
These include large and small water vases, canteens of various sizes 
and shapes, cooking cups, and pottery baskets used in their dances, 
paint-pots, ladles, water jugs, eating bowls, spoons, pepper and salt 
boxes, pitchers, bread-bowls, Navajo water jugs, treasure boxes, water 
vases, cups, cooking pots, skiUets, ancient pottery, animals, and gro- 
tesque Images. It belongs mostly to the variety of cream-white pottery, 
decorated in black and brown colors; a portion is red ware, with color 
decorations in black. There are also several pieces without ornamenta- 
tion, and one or two pieces of black ware, but the latter were most prob- 
ably obtained from other tribes, and possibly the same is true in refer- 
ence to a few pieces of other kinds which present unusual figures or 

A slight glance at the figures depicted on the tinajas, or water vases, 
will sufiice to show any one who has examined the older pottery of this 
region, specimens and fragments of which are found among the ruins, 
that a marked change has taken place in their ideas of beauty. Although 
the rigid, angular, zigzag, and geometric figures are yet found in their 
decorations, they have largely given way to curved lines, rounded fig- 
ures, and attempts to rej^resent natural objects. 

A few apparently conventional figures are still generally retained, as 
around the outside of the necks of the vases and on the outer surface 
of the bowls, probably suggested originally by the rigid outlines of 
their arid country, and in fact by their buildings. The figure of the elk 
or deer is a very marked feature in the ornamentation of their white 
ware, and is often found under an arch. Another very common figure 
is that of a grotesquely-shaped bird, found also on the necks of water 
vases and the outer surface of bowls. 


Tinajas, or water vases, are called in the Zuui tongue tkdhwi-na-lcd-tehl- 
le. They are usually from 8 to 12 inches in height, and from 12 to 15 
in diameter. A smaller size of the same form of vessels, which are from 
5 to 7 inches in height and from 8 to 10 in diameter, are called det-tsdn- 
na. They are of three colors, cream white, polished red, and black : 



there are in the collection comparatively few of the second, and but one 
of the last variety. The decorations are chiefly in black and brown, 
but four or five pieces being in black. The decorations of the cream- 
white group present some four general types — those represented by 
Figs. 359, 363, 364, and — , in which the uncolored circular space forms 
the distinguishing characteristic ; those of which Fig. 360 may be con- 
sidered a representative, of which type there are but two specimens in 
the collection ; those represented by Fig. 361, and those distinguished 
by the rosette (see Figs. 36C, 367, 36S, and 370). 

The following appear to be unique: (39935) Fig. 371, (40785) Fig. 375, 
(41149) Fig. 372, and (41167) Fig. 374. 

By a careful study of these decorations we find that they consist chiefly 
of the following figures, which are combined in various ways: triangular 
figures, usually on the neck ; large open circles, frequently in a diamond 
figure, as in Fig. 359 (39871); scrolls; or arches as in Figs. 361,362, &c. 

In no instance do we find the meander or Greek fret on these, or in 
fact any other Zuiii vessels. A marked characteristic of the decorations 
on the pottery of this pueblo i.- the absence of vines and floral figures so 
common on those of some of the other pueblos. The nearest approach to 
the vine is the double line of scrolls seen in (40785) Fig. 375. Although 
the checkered figure is common on bowls, the Zuiii artists have appre- 
ciated the fact that it would be out of place on the convex surface of 
the water vase. The elks or deer — for it is diflBcult to tell which are 
intended — are usually marked with a circular or crescent-shaped spot, 
in white, on the rump, and a red diamond placed over the region of the 
heart, with a line of the same color extending from it to the mouth, both 
margined with white ; the head of the animal is always toward the right. 

As will be observed by examining the decorated pieces, the surface is 
divided into zones by lines — sometimes single, sometimes double, but 
generally slender — one near the base, one or two around the middle, one 
at the shoulder, and one at the rim ; thus forming one zone embracing 
the neck, and two or three on the body, exclusive of the undecorated 
base. Sometimes there is but one zone on the body as seen in Figs. 364 
(40322) and 359 (39871) ; sometimes two, as shown in Figs. 367 (40317) 
and 370 (41146) ; but often three, the middle one quite narrow, as seen in 
Figs. 361 (39934) and 362 (41150). Although not always shown in the fig- 
ures, the lines at the rim, shoulder, and bottom are seldom wanting in 
Zuni vases. The zones are often interrupted by broad perpendicular 
striijes or inclosed spaces in which circles, scroll figures, or rosettes are 

Measurements of these vessels show considerable uniformity of pro- 
portion, the widely exceptional specimens being also exceptional in dec- 
orations. As indicating size and proportion I give here the measure- 
ments of some typical as well as some abnormal specimens. 



The figures show the height, the diameter of the body at the widest 
part, and the diameter of the mouth in inches. 



of body. 

of month. 



4 60 







8 50 




8 00 
















If we reduce these to proportion, using the diameter of body as the 
unit of measurement, the result is as follows : 



of mouth. 



of month. 
























From this it will be seen that No. 148, which is represented by Pig. 373 
(39774), is unusually broad in proportion to the height. Nos. 152 and 
153 vary to the extreme in the other direction; No. 153 is shown in Fig. 
364 (40322). Excluding these and taking the means of the large and 
small kinds separately we find the average ratios to be as follows : 

Height, of month. 

Large 78 .07 

Small 78 .61 

Most of the water jugs of both the Shinumos and Zuuians are in the 
form of canteens, usually more or less sjiherical, and varying in capacity 
from a pint to four gallons. On each side there is a small handle in the 
form of a loop or knob, through or around which is placed a small 
shawl or strip of cloth, or a cord long enough to pass over the forehead 
so as to suspend the vessel against the back just below the shoulders. 
The other jugs are of various fanciful shapes, which will be noted in the 
catalogue. A large portion are of plain brown ware, a few plain white, 
and others white with colored decorations. Various names are used 
apparently to designate the different kinds rather than the uses for 
which they are intended. 

The decorations, when present, are always on the upper side, which 


is more convex than the lower, or side on which it is intended the 
vessel shall lie when not in use. In the ornamented white ware the 
lo^^er portion is usually red or brown. 

As all these clay fabrics are the work of North American Indians, it 
is scarcely necessary for mc to say that they are unglazed, a character- 
istic, so far as I am aware, of all aboriginal pottery. 

Some of the specimens, especiallj^ of the black ware, show a smooth 
finish, and may perhaps, without violence to the term, be classed as 
lustrous. This is not the effect of a varnish or partial glazing, but is a 
polish produced generally, if not always, by rubbing with a polishing 

Although, as a rule, the paste of which the ware is made is compara- 
tively free from foreign matter, yet many pieces, especially of the deco- 
rated ware, when broken, show little whitish or ash colored specks. 
These, when found in aboriginal pottery east of the Mississippi, have, 
I believe, been without question considered as fragments or particles of 
shell broken up and mixed with the paste. This may be correct in ref- 
erence to the pottery found east of and in the Mississippi Valley, but 
this whitish and grayish matter in the pottery of the Indians of New 
Mexico and Arizona is in most cases pulverized pottery, which is 
crushed and mixed with the paste. Black lava is sometimes crushed 
and used in the same manner. 

The principal material used is a clay, apparently in its natural state, 
varying in color according to locality. Although comparatively free 
from pebbles or lumps of foreign matter, we detect in some of the coarser 
specimens small particles of mica and grains of other materials, and in 
one broken specimen the elytron of a small coleopterous insect. But 
as a general rule, the paste appears to have been free from foreign matter. 

A slight glance at this large collection is sufficient to show that the 
potters worked by no specific rule, and that they did not use patterns. 
While it is apparent that only a few general forms were adopted, and 
that, with few exceptions, the entire collection maybe grouped by these, 
yet no two specimens are exactly alike ; they differ in size, or vary more 
or less in form. The same thing is also true in reference to the orna- 
mentation: while there is a striking similarity in general characteristics, 
there is an endless variety in details. No two similar pieces can be 
found bearing precisely the same ornamental pattern. 

I\Iuch the larger portion of the collection consists of vessels of vari- 
ous kinds, such as bowls, cooking utensils, canteens, bottles, jars, pitch- 
ers, cups, ladles, jugs, water vases, ornamental vessels, paint pots, &c. 
These vary in size from the large vase, capable of holding ten gallons, 
to the little cup and canteen, which wiU contain less than half a pint. 
The other and much smaller portion includes all those articles which 
cannot be classed as vessels, such as images, toys, toilet articles, repre- 
sentations of animals, &c. The collection can perhaps be most satis- 


factorily classified by reference to the coloring, ornamentation, and qual- 
ity, thus : 

1. The red or uncolored pottery, •which is without ornamentation of 
any kind. Some of this is coarse and rough, and in this case always 
more than ordinarily thick ; but the larger portion has the surface smooth 
and often polished. The color varies from the natural dull leaden hue 
of the clay, to a bright brick red, the latter largely predominating. 

2. The brown ware, or that which shows au admixture of mica. This, 
although uniformly without color decorations, is occasionally marked 
with impressed figures and lines. Although inferior in quahty, being 
coarse and fragile, it presents more symmetrical though less varied 
forms than are usually found in the preceding group. The influence of 
contact witlj the European races is here very apparent, as, for example, 
in the true pitcher and other common utensils and an apparent attempt 
at glazing. 

3. The black ware which is without ornamentation. This variety in 
quality and character is precisely like the polished red of the first group; 
but is slightly in advance of that in regard to finish, and perhaps, as 
heretofore remarked, may be classed as lustrous, while the red may be 
classed as semi-lustrous. The paste of which this black ware is formed 
appears to have been better prepared than that of the preceding varie- 
ties, and is the hardest and firmest in the collection. 

4. TJie cream-white pottery decorated in colors. This extensive group, 
which includes fully two-thirds of the entire collection, embraces almost 
every known form of earthenware manufactured by the tribes from whom 
it was obtained. The paste of which it is formed is simUar in character 
to that of the black ware. When broken the fracture shows very dis- 
tinctly the effect of burning, the interior being of the natural leaden 
color, shading off to a dull grayish white as it ajiproaches the outer sur- 
face. The opaque or creamy- white color of the surface is produced by 
a coating of opaque whitewash. Upon this white surface the figures 
are afterwards drawn. 

The only colors used in decorating pottery are black, red, and some 
shade of brown. But of this we will speak more fully when we come 
to describe the ])eculiar methods practiced by the different tribes in 
making and adorning pottery. 

Although there is a strong general similarity in this colored orna- 
mentation, the great variety of details renders it diflQcuIt to classify the 
figures so as to convey a correct idea of them to the reader. We shall 
therefore have to refer him to the numerous cuts and the colored plates 
•which have been introduced for the purpose of illustrating the cata- 

The following general statement is about all that can be said in refer- 
ence to them before descending to specific details. 

So far as the coloring is concerned they are of two kinds, those having 


the figures wholly black, and those which are iiartly black and partly 
brown or red. The differences in the decorated pottery appear to be 
always accompanied by certain other variations sufficient to warrant 
speaking of them as difierent varieties or groups. The former (those 
having the figures wholly black), which are made of the ordinary plastic 
blue clay, have only the upper half or two-thirds of the body of the 
vessel overlaid with the white coating for receiving the decorations, the 
lower part being uncoated, and of the natural ijale red or salmon color 
produced by burning, but usually well polished. As additional distin- 
guishing features of this group we notice that the shape is more gen- 
erally globular, the workmanship rather superior, and the pottery some- 
what harder and less friable than that of the other group ; the angular 
and geometrical figures formed by straight lines are more common in 
this group ; here we also find the meander or Greek fret correctly 
drawn, the vine, and several other designs rarely or never found in the 
other group. The figures of animals, which are common to both varie- 
ties, are in the former more usually distributed in zones or groups, while 
in the latter they are generally placed singly in inclosed spaces. The 
latter variety, in which we see the curve freely used, shows an evident 
advance over the ornamentation of the older pottery of this region; and 
while the figures must be classed as rude, and the outlines are less sharp, 
and not so well defined as in the older specimens, yet they indicate 
clearly a mental advance in the greater variety of conception. 

The figures of this entire class, as regards forms, maj- be grouped un- 
der three general headings : first, the geometrical, which is the most 
common; second, the figures of animals; and, third, rude attempts at 
floral decorations, which forms are rather rare. Strange to say, iu but 
few instances can any attempt at representing the human form or any 
part of it be discovered in these color decorations. 

The geometric figures present an endless varietiy; but we notice, as 
is shown by the cuts and i)lates, that triangles with an elongate acumi- 
nate apex and the zigzag are very common iu the black-bi'own decora- 
tions. The checkered figure also is not uncommon. The animals most 
frequently represented are the elk or deer and birds. The floral decora- 
tions are chiefly vines well drawn, and rude attempts at representing 
trees, and the flowers of various species of Melianthus. 

5. Red ware with color decorations. This ware is represented by but 
few vessels, which are in every respect simQar to the best variety of the 
red pottery heretofore mentioned, except that it is marked with figures 
in black, many of which are decorated only on the upper portions around 
the neck or rim. 

G. The ancient pottery, of which Figs. G80 (40816) and 693 (40817) are 
good examples. 

The Pueblo tribes of New Mexico and Arizona, with rare exceptions, 
manufacture earthenware vessels for domestic use. The Pueblo of Taos 
may be mentioned as one of these exceptions ; although the manner of 

328 COLl.ECTIONS OF 1879. 

living, the general habits, and characteristics of the tribe are similar to 
those of the other Pueblo Indians, and although they make use of pot- 
tery for domestic purposes, they do not manufacture it. Some pieces, 
such as water jars and vessels used for cooking, are made in the village, 
but this occurs only in such families as have intermarried with other 
tribes where the manufacture of the native ware is carried on. 

The Pueblos among whom the manufacture of pottery or earthenware 
utensils may be classed as a conspicuous feature of their peculiar civili- 
zation at the present time, are situated geograpliically as follows : San 
Juan, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Cochiti, Santo Domingo, Sau Felipe, 
Sandia, and Isleta, located on the Kio Grande ; Pojake, Tesuke, Nambe, 
Jamez, Zia or SUla, Santa Ana, Laguna, and Acoma, situated on the 
tributaries of the Rio Grande; Zuui, and some small pueblos of the 
same tribe all within the borders of New Mexico. Zuiii however is 
located on the Eio Zuiii, which flows into the Little Colorado River. 

The Moki pueblos, numbering seven in all, are embraced in what is 
called the Province of Tusyan, and are located within the Territory of 
Arizona, near its northeastern corner. 

The Zuiiians and Shinumos, although situated farther from civilized 
people and less influenced by their usages than any of the other Indiana 
mentioned, surpass all the other tribes in the manufacture of all kinds 
of earthenware. The collections made from these tribes, as will be seen 
by reference to the catalogue, exceed, both in number and variety, those 
from all the others combined. The collection as enumerated in the cata- 
logue includes specimens from all the pueblos referred to. 

Although the uses of these articles are to a great extent the same 
among all the Pueblo tribes, and the shapes and forms are apparently 
similar, yet to the experienced eye there is no difQculty in detecting the 
peculiarities which distinguish one from the other, or at least in assign- 
ing them to the tribes with which they originated. 

It will be observed by reference both to the colored and wood-cut 
illustrations that there are special distinctions between the ornamenta. 
tion of the pottery of the pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley and of those 
situated on the tributaries of the Rio Colorado. In the decorations of 
the former the birds and vine are conspicuous and constantly recurring 
features, while in the Zuiii and Shinumo pottery the elk, domestic ani- 
mals, and birds peculiar to these arid regions are the figures most fre- 
quently used. The difference is easily accounted for when we are informed 
of the fact that the former tribes reside in the valley of the Rio Grande, 
which is well adapted to the culture of the grape as well as other croi)s. 
The ever-present vine and the numerous binls which flock to this fer- 
tile valley will naturally suggest figures for decoration. Ou the other 
hand, the Zuuians and Shinumos reside in regions almost destitute of 
water, and hence without any attractive vegetation; therefore their de- 
signs are drawn chiefly from the sharp outlines of their dwellings, their 
domestic animals, birds, and the elk and antelope that graze in the little 


grassy oases. Ifone of these are actually drawn from nature, but from 
imagination and memory, as they never have an object before them in 
molding or painting. 

In none of the cases referred to do we observe any attempts to imi- 
tate the exact forms or ceramic designs of the so-called ancient pottery, 
fragments and sometimes entire vessels of which are found throughout 
this southwestern region. This seems strange from the fact that in the 
use of stone implements we find but few which are the result of their 
own handiwork. The old ruins are searched, and from them, and the 
debris about them, stone pestles, mortars, hammers, hatchets, rubbing 
stones, scrapers, picks, spear and arrow heads, and polishing stones are 
collected by the inhabitants of nearly all the pueblos, and are kept and 
used by them. 

The clay mostly used by the Zuuians in the manufacture of pottery is a 
dark, bluish, carbonaceous, clayey shale found in layers usually near the 
tops of the mesas. Several of these elevated mesas are situated near 
Zuiii, from which the natives obtain this material. This carbonaceous 
clay is first mixed with water aud then kneaded as a baker kneads dough 
until it reaches the properconsistency; with this, crushed volcanic lava is 
sometimes mixed; but the Zuuians more frequently pulverize fragments 
of broken pottery, which have been preserved for this purpose. This 
seems to prevent exjilosion, cracking, or fracture by rendering the past© 
sufficiently porous to allow the heat to pass through without injurious 
effect. When the clayey dough is readj' to be used a sufiBcient quan- 
tity is rolled into a ball. The dough, if worked by a careful artist, is 
first tested as to its fitness for molding by putting a piece of the paste 
to the tongue, the sensitiveness of which is such as to detect any 
gritty substance or particles, when the fingers fail to do so. The 
ball is hollowed out with the fingers into the shape of a bowl (this 
form constituting the foundation for all varieties of earthenware) and 
assumes the desired form by the addition of strips of the clay; all 
traces of the addition of each strip are removed before another is added, 
by the use of a small trowel fashioned from a piece of gourd or frag- 
ment of pottery, the only tool emjiloyed in the mannfiicture of potterj'. 

The bottoms of old water jars and bowls form stands for the articles 
while being worked by the potter. The bowls are filled with sand when 
objects of a globular form are to be made. Although I have often 
watched the process, yet in no instance have I ever observed the use of a 
potter's wheel, measuring instrument, or model of any kind. The makers, 
who are always females, depend entirely on memory and skill derived 
from practice to accomplish their work. The vessels when completely 
formed are laid in some convenient place to sun-dry. A paint or solu- 
tion is then made, either of a fine white calcareous earth, consisting 
mainly of carbonate of lime, or of a milk-white indurated clay, almost 
wholly insoluble in acids, and apparently derived from decomposed 
feldspar with a small proportion of mica. This solution is applied to 


the surface of the vessel and allowed to dry; it is then ready for the 

The pigments from which the paints are derived for decorative pur- 
poses are also found in the vicinity of the mesas, and are employed by 
the Indians in the production of two colors, each of which varies slightly 
according to the intensity of heat in the process of baking, or the man- 
ner in which it is applied. One varies from a black to a blackish-brown, 
the other from a light brick red to a dark dull red color. The material 
which produces these colors is generally found in a hard, stony con- 
dition, and is ground in a small stone mortar, just as we reduce India 
ink for use. When the pigment is properly reduced, and mixed with 
water so as to form a thin solution, it is applied with brushes made of 
the leaves of the yucca. These brushes are made of iiat pieces of the 
leaf, which are stripped off and bruised at one end, and are of different 
sizes adapted to the coarse or fine lines the artist may wish to draw. In 
this manner all the decorations on the pottery are produced. 

The substance used in i^roduciug the black ware is a clayey brown 
hematite, or ferruginous indurated clay, quite hard. The material used 
to produce the red or brown colors is a yellowish impure clay, colored 
from oxide of iron ; indeed it is mainly clay, but contains some sand and 
a very small amount of carbonate of lime. These are the jirincipal in- 
gredients and methods involved in the manufacture of Zuiii pottery. 

The method practiced by the ZuiJians in baking pottery differs some- 
what from that employed by the tribes who make quantities of black 
and red ware. It seems to be a necessity on the part of the Zauians to 
observe the greatest care in this operation. Their pottery is nearly all 
decorated and must be baked free from contact with the peculiar fuel 
used for that purpose. During the baking process it sometimes hap- 
pens that a piece of the fuel, which is composed of dried manure care- 
fully built up oven-shaped around the vessels to be baked, falls against 
the vessel. In every such instance a carbonized or smoky spot is left 
on the jar or bowl, which is regarded by the Indians as a blemish. The 
kiln is carefully watched until the fuel is thoroughly burnt to a white 
ash, when the vessels can be removed without danger of such blemishes. 

The mode of manufacturing pottery adopted at the pueblos of the 
Eio Gi-ande Valley is quite similar to that described as practiced by the 
Zuui, Shinumo, Acoma, and Laguna Indians, but there is considerable 
difi'erence in the method of decorating and polishing. Polishing is prac- 
ticed chiefly by the Indians of the eastern pueblos, and but little by 
those of the more western region. 

The pueblos of Santa Clara, Cochiti, San Juan, Tesuke, &c., manu- 
facture large quantities of pottery for sale in addition to that made for 
their own use. It is in these eastern pueblos that the black polished 
ware is chiefly found, and it is in the production of this class of ware 
that the chief difference in the ceramic art between the two sections ex- 
ists. The clays used in the manufacture of this ware are of the same 


character as those of which the other is made; the paste is prepared in 
the same way, so that wheu the vessels are formed and ready for the 
kiln they are of the color of the original clay. In other words, the 
change to the black color is not produced in making the paste or in 
moulding or forming the vessel, but during the process of baking. The 
manner of forming the vessel is the same as with the western tribes; 
and when formed it is dried in the sun in the same way ; after this a 
solution of very fine ochre-colored clay is applied to the outside and in- 
side near the top, or to such parts of the surface as are to be polished. 
While this solution thus api^lied is still moist, the process of polishing 
begins by rubbing the parts thus washed with smooth, finegrained 
stones until quite dry and glossy. The parts thus rubbed still retain 
the original red color of the clay. The vessels are again placed in the 
6un and allowed to become thoroughly dry, when they are ready for 
baking. It is in this part of the process that the great differences in color 
'are produced. The vessels are placed together in a heap on a level 
spot of ground and carefully covered over with coarsely broken dried 
manure obtained from the corrals. The kiln thus formed is then ignited 
at several points. 

It is proper to add here that the clays used by the Panta Clara Indians 
are of a brick-red color, containing an admixture of very fine sand, 
which, no doubt, prevents cracking in burning, and hence dispenses with 
the necessity of using lava or pottery fragments, as is the custom of the 
Indians of the western pueblos. The burning is carried on until a suffi- 
cient degree of heat is obtained properly to bake the vessels, which stiU 
retain their original red brick color. At this juncture such of the ves- 
sels as it is desired have remain in that condition are removed from 
the fire and allowed to cool, when they are ready for use. Those which 
the artists intend to color black are allowed to remain and another ap- 
plication of fuel, finely pulverized, is made, completely covering and 
smothering the fire. This produces a dense, dark smoke, a portion of 
which is absorbed by the baking vessels and gives them the desired 
black color. It is in this manner that the black ware of these eastern 
pueblos is produced. 

It is said that among the Cochiti, Santa Clara, and some other Pueblos 
a vegetable matter is employed to produce some of their decorative de- 
signs; this, however, I was unable to verify, though some of the In- 
dians assured me of the fact, and furnished me a bunch of the plant, 
which Dr. Vasey, of the Agricultural Department, found to be Cleome 
integrifolia, a plant common throughout the Western Territories. A 
few specimens of the ware, some burnt and some unburnt, said to be 
decorated with the oil or juice of this plant were secured. 

As heretofore remarked, notwithstanding the variety in ornamenta- 
tion, there are really but few different figures, and these are mostly quite 
Bimple. Any one interested in the study of Indian art can find in the 


figures and plates of this catalogue all the original conceptions of the 
artists of the Pueblo Indians as depicted by them. 

While it is of value in the study of ethnology, and as affording a 
means of comparison in the study of archeology, there is nothing in the 
composition or ornamentation, or in the form of the vessels, that ceramic 
artists of the civilized races would desire to copy. 

As a means of reference in the study of ancient American pottery, I 
consider the collection invaluable, as it can scarcely be possible that 
the forms and decorations contain nothing that has been handed down 
from a former age. Although the figures used have no symbolic char- 
acters connected with them in the mind of the modern artist, yet it is 
more than probable that at least some of them did have such a meaning 
to the ancient artists. For example, the little tadpole-shaped figure 
on the clay baskets used in their dances and sacred ceremonies by the 
Zuiiians is understood by them to represent a little water articulate, 
■which, as heretofore stated, is probably the larva of some insect or 
crustacean, very common in the pools and sluggish streams of the 
country inhabited by these Indians. Kow, it is possible that this 
figure has been used with the same meaning from time immemorial, 
but I find, as pointed out to me by Prof. Cyrus Thomas, that almost 
exactly the same figure is on a vessel pictured on Plate VII of the man- 
uscript Troano, where a religious ceremony of some bind is evidently 
represented. The same figure is also found in Lauda's character for 
the Maya day Cib, a word signifying copal, a gum or resin formerly 
used in religious ceremonies as incense. I find also on Plate XXXV of 
the same manuscript the figures of bowls or pots with legs similar to 
those of the Zuiii. I do not point out these resemblances as proof of any 
relation between the two races, but as mere illustrations of what possibly 
may be learned by a careful study of the forms and decorations of this 
pottery. It may also be well to add here another fact to which Professor 
Thomas calls my attention, viz., the similarity between the manner of 
wearing the hair by the Shinumo women, i. c.,m knots at the side, as rep- 
resented by the female images, and that of the ancient Maya women, as 
shown in numerous figures on the manuscript Troano. Any one familiar 
with General Cesnola's collection from Cyprus cannot fail to be reminded 
of it when he examines this collection of Indian pottery; especially the 
colors used and the general character of the specimens ; but an inspec- 
tion of the two collections is necessary in order to have this general re- 
semblance brought to mind, as it does not appear so distinctly on a 
comparison of the published figures only. The figures on Plate XLIV 
of his " Cyprus " bear quite a striking resemblance to those on some 
specimens of Cochiti ware. The quadruple cup. Fig. 25, page 40G, is 
almost exactly like the Zuui quadruple cups, and was probably used 
for the same purpose. The same type of multiple cups is also shown 
in Plate IX of the same work. The two tea-pot-like vessels repre- 
Bented on Plate VIII, as well as the two bird-shaped pieces on the same 


plate, aro much like the similar vessels of Oocliiti pottery, several of 
which are figured iu this catalogue. 

The resemblauce of this ludiaa ware, in the form of the vessels, to 
that found in the ancient mounds of this country is so marked that it is 
scarcely necessary to remind the reader of the fact, but it may be well 
to call attention to the much larger proportion of water vessels among 
the Indian pottery than is seen in collections li-om the mounds. This, 
however, may perhaps be accounted for by the scarcitj' of water in the 
western region. 

The custom of the Zuiii artists of making a diamond or triangle over 
the region of the heart of the elk and deer figui'es with a line running 
to the mouth, although somewhat singular, is quite consistent with the 
Indian practice of symbolic writing. I was informed by the Zuiii In- 
dians that it was intended to denote that " the mouth speaks from the 
heart." A similar mark occurs in Ihe decoration of the vase figured in 
Cesnola's " Cyprus," page 2C8. 

Contemporaneous and somewhat closely related tribes may use widely 
different figures in the decoration of their ware, and hence it is unsafe, 
in studying ancient specimens, to draw hasty conclusions from slight 
differences in this respect ; and I think I may also safely add that a 
comparatively short period of time, a century or so at most, may suffice 
to bring about a great change in the same tribe in the form and manner 
of decorating their pottery. It also shows us that the ware of a given 
tribe, which does not bear the impress of civilized influence, can, by a 
careful study, be distinguished in nearly all cases from that of any other 
tribe. I feel so confident of the truth of this statement, that I would 
not hesitate to undertake to pick out all pieces of ZuSi ornamented 
ware from a collection of thousands of specimens of modern Pueblo 
Indian pottery if indiscriminately mixed together. 

The Shinumo pottery in general appearance and form bears a strong 
resemblance to that of Zuui ; in fact it is almost impossible to separate 
the ornamented bowls and water vases of the two if mingled together. 
There are certain figures found in the one which never occur iu the other, 
but there are a number of designs, especially of those most generally 
seen, that are quite common to the pottery of both tribes. 

The different varieties of ware, the red or browu without decorations, 
the white with decorations, and the black are in general use with the 
tribe, and specimens of each are contained iu the collection. But few 
specimens of the purely micaceous ware are found, either in ZuQi or 

The preponderance of the large round water jugs in the Shinumo col- 
lection over that of Zuiii is noticeable. This form of vessel seems to be 
more in use by tribes whose villages are quite remote from water or which 
are situated on high mesas difiicult of access. The kinds of vessels, 
however, which are common with the Zuuians are also common with the 
Shinumos, and those intended for the same use are generally of the same 

334 ' COLLECTIONS OF 1879. 

shape or similar in form. But, as with the decorations, there are also 
vessels so markedly distinct and variant from those we find at Zuiii as 
to show very readily at least tribal distinctions between the ceramic 
artists and manufacturers. 

The proximity of Laguna to Acoma led us to anticipate what we 
afterward found, viz., a great similarity in the forms of their vessels, 
and also in their manner of ornamentation. The principal differences 
consist in the more profuse use of the forms of birds and flowers, the 
first evidently representing prairie grouse and the last some form of 
sunflower. There is an absence of the geometrical forms, of lines and 
angles commonly observed on the works of more distant pueblos. 

Quite a number of animal representations, made hollow for use as 
drinking vessels, were obtained, displaying grotesquely imitative forms 
of deer, elk, sheep, big-horn, antelope, and other animals with which 
they are familiar. All of these objects have more color laid on them 
than is to be found on the pottery of their neighbors of Acoma, the birds 
and animals being painted in a light rufous fawn color not in use else- 
where, and the only instance of the employment of green is on a tinaja 
of this pueblo used in coloring some foilage. 


This class of ware comprises a very diversified group of objects; in- 
deed, so great is the variety that 1 will not attempt a general descrip- 
tion of them. Specific reference will be made to the objects as they 
occur in their places in the catalogue. 

The objects of basketry or wicker-work are quite varied in form, con- 
struction, and decoration. Those made by the Zuiii Indians are so 
rude and coarse as not to entitle them to any merit. The larger baskets 
made by this tribe are used for carrying corn, melons, peppers, &c. 
The smaller are used for holding beans, shelled corn, and other coarse 
small materials. 

The basketry of the Shinumos is of a finer and more finished quality. 
Among these are many jug or canteen shaped baskets, from which, no 
doubt, many of the forms of their pottery water vessels have been 
copied. These are sometimes globular, with large round bodies and 
small necks. They are generally very closely woven and are then 
coated over with a resin or gum which renders them capable of holding 
water. Like some of their water jugs, in pottery, they have small horse- 
hair ears or loops attached to the sides through which strings are passed 
for carrying them either over the head or shoulder. This class of water 
jug basketry all show evidences of age, and it is possible that they were 
manufactured by the Apaches or other tribes skilled in the art. The 


flat kinds are designed to hold fine grain and meal, and are also fre- 
quently used for winnowing. This is done by placing a small quantity 
of grain in the basket, and by a skillful motion throwing the grain up 
into the wind and again catching it as it comes down. This motion is 
kept up until the wind has separated the chaff from the grain. Many 
of the flat baskets are decorated in colors, as \vill be seen by the accom- 
panying illustrations. 

It is quite probable that most of the finer ware of tiiis class is manu- 
factured by the Apache Indians, who are celebrated for this work, and 
finds its way among the Pueblos through the medium of barter. 

The basketry of the Zuuians is usually made of small round willows 
and the stem of the yucca, the leaves of which attain a long slender 
growth in that region. It is quite certain that the basketry used for 
holding water is not manufactured by the Zuiiians, and probably not by 
the Shinumos, though many are found with them. 

As previously stated, the basketry manufactured by the Shinumo In- 
dians is of a more finished class and of a greater variety than that made 
and used by any of the other Pueblos, as will be seen by reference to the 
accomi)anying illustrations. Among the examples of this ware, obtained 
at Wolpi, is a large number of the flat or saucer-sLaped kind ; these 
vary both in si^ie and character of construction as well as decoration. 
The manner of making one form of this class is quite interesting as well 
as curious. A rope-like withe of the fiber of the yucca, made quite fine, 
is wrapped with flat strips of the same plant. In forming the basket 
with this rope the workman commences at the center, or bottom, and 
coils the rope round, attaching it by a method of weaving, until, by suc- 
cessive layers of the rope, it attains the desired dimensions. These are 
quite highly and prettily ornamented in black, white, and yellow, and 
are compact and strong. Another variety of baskets of similar shape 
and size, and also fancifully ornamented, was obtained from the same 
Indians. These are made from small round willows. They exhibit less 
skill in construction, but are handsomely ornamented. Another kind 
was also obtained from the Shinumos, which, however, are attributed 
to the Apaches and probably found their way into tlie Moki villages 
through trade. These are large bowl-shaped baskets, almost water- 
tight, but generally used as flour and meal baskets. They are also orna- 
mented black and yellow, produced by weaving the material of different 
colors together while making the basket. 

There are many other forms and varieties, which will be referred to at 
the proper time, as they occur in the catalogue. 

The Pueblos employ a variety of plants and herbs for medicinal and 
dyeing purposes, some of which were collected. Their botanical names 
were not determined, but they are indigenous to the regions inhabited 
by the Indians using them. 

Ornaments and musical instruments employed in dances and religious 
ceremonies do not differ much among the Pueblo Indians ; the princi- 


pal ones being the drum, rattle, notched sticks, a kind of fife, and a 
turtle-shell rattle. The latter instrument is the shell of a turtle, around 
the edges of which the toes of goats and calves are attached ; this pro- 
duces a very peculiar rattling sound. The shell is usually attached to 
the leg near the knee. 




1. (40139). Flat rubbing or grinding stone of silicifled wood. 

2. (40551). Stone axe, o'-lu-lci-Ie, with groove near the larger end. 

3. (40552). Imperfectly-made stone axe, 6'la-M-le, grooved at each 
edge; basalt, 

4. (40553). Large axe, with groove around the middle ; sandstone. 

5. (40554). Axe, grooved at the middle, square and flat on top ; basalt. 

6. (40555). Small centrally- grooved axe; schistose rock. 

7. (40556). Axe, grooved in the middle. 

8. (40557). Axe, grooved near the blunt end, which is shaped similarly 
to the edge. 

9. (40558). Axe, grooved near the end. 

10. (40559). Small hatchet, o'-la-M-Ie, of basalt doubly grooved, edge 
beveled from both sides, hammer end about one and a half inches 
in diameter. 

11. (405C0). Grooved axe, o'-la-ld-le, of flue black basalt, well polished; 
gi'oove well worn. The lace or side is intended to be near the 
holder when in use. Fig. 352. This specimen was found in Ari- 
zona, near Camp Apache, and was presented by Mrs. George P. 
Buell. It is one of the largest in the collection with such perfect 

12. (40561). Grooved in the ceuter ; of porous basalt. 

13. (40502). Hammer grooved in the center, rounded off at each end. 

14. (40503). Small hatchet-shaped instrument, square at the back, and 
rouuded at the front edge. 

15. (40563a). Eudely-made axe, grooved near the blunt end. 

16. (40564). Small axe, with a groove round the body quite near the 
blunt end ; basalt. 

17. (40565). Axe, three and a half inches long. 

18. (40566). Quite small, probably a hatchet, of firm basalt, grooved 
near the hammer end. 

19. (40567). Much larger than the last, basaltic ; groove quite deep and 
smooth, hammer end circular, large, and blunt. 

20. (40568). Grooved axe of quartzitic rock. 

21. (40509). Pick-shaped axe, grooved entirely around, with imperfect 
depressions which were in the water-worn boulder from which it 
was made; about six inches in length. 

22. (40570). Boulder of sandstone with groove near the middle. 

23. (40571). Flat basaltic boulder, grooved near the ceuter, straight 
on the back, and tapering above and below the groove. 

22 E 337 

338 COLLECTIONS OF 1879 — ZDNf. 

24. (40572). Small basaltic hammer and axe with groove near the large 

25. (40573). Small grooved axe composed of hard sandstone; hammer 
end large, edge quite perfect. 

26. (40574). Small boulder of basalt, ground to an edge at one end and 
rounded off at the other; doubly grooved. 

27. (40575). Large basaltic stone considerably chipped off from pound- 
ing hard substances, grooved near the center, both ends quite 
blunt ; probably used as a pounding stone. 

28. (40576). Plat basaltic boulder, used as a pounder. 

29. (40577). Basaltic hatchet grooved in the middle; quite rough. 

30. (40578). Grooved axe of a very heavy, solid character, apparently 
designed more for mauling than cutting. 

31. (40579). Large, heavy basaltic hammer and axe with groove around 
the body near the hammer end ; about seven inches long. 

32. (40580). Axe, grooved in the middle, upper or hammer end unusu- 
ally long in proportion to the size. 

33. (40581). Flat axe made from a water- worn boulder, oval in outline, 
both edges designed for cutting or siJlitting. Deep groove encir- 
cling the body, with protrusions above and below it to prevent 
the handle from slipping out ; greenstone. 

34 (40582). Hard, fine-grained sandstone axe wedge-shaped, without a 

35. (40583). Grooved axe with round body. 

36. (40584). Fig. 349. Axe with abroad, shallow groove near the upper 
end, which is much narrower and smaller than the lower ; of mot- 
tled volcanic rock, white, green, and black. 

37. (40585). Axe grooved in the middle, irregular in shape, and much 
chipped off at the lower edge and rounded off at the top. 

38. (40806). Made from a very fine, hard metamorphic rock, small 
enough to be classed as a hatchet; crescent-shaped at the top. 

39. (40703). Fig. 348. A very dark brown axe, speckled with reddish 
spots. This axe bears a much finer polish than most of those in 
the collection. 

40. (40704). Axe, grooved near the upper end, which is cone-shaped. 

41. (40705). An almost square axe of basaltic rock, grooved on the 
sides, flat on top. 

42. (40706). Axe of quartzitic rock, flat and thin; grooved. 

43. (40900). Long, narrow axe, grooved near the upper end. 

44. (40901). Axe, made from a water- worn boulder, almost to its present 

45. (40902). Small, round axe of basalt, having a shallow groove near 
the larger end. 

46. (40903). Grooved basaltic axe. 

47. (40904). Maul, with rough surface, one side flat, the other convex^ 
with a groove. 

Fig. 347 

Fic. 3-19 

Fig. 350 



Fi... ?,-A 

Fig. 352 


Figs. 347-352. — Zinii Grooved Axes. 


48. (40258). Double-grooved axe of porphyry, well polished and quite 

49. (41260). Grooved axe of compact sandstone ; wedge-shaped. 

50. (42204). Stone manl of basalt, with groove; very rough. 

61. (42205). Grooved axe of basalt. Fig. 351. This specimen was ob- 
tained at Fort Wingate, in New Mexico, but was probably found 
in or around some of the ruins. 

52. (42229). This is one of the finest specimens in the collection, and, 
as shown by the cut. Fig. 347, has ' the handle attached, ready for 
use. This is formed of a willow withe bent round the axe and 
doubled, extending out far enough to form a handle and wrapped 
with a buckskin string ; of compact basalt. 

53. (42230). Shallow-grooved axe of basalt. 

54. (42231). Axe, with a shallow groove near the larger end. 

55. (42232). Axe of basalt, grooved on the sides. 

56. (42233). Grooved axe, in size and shape the same as (42226). 

57. (42234). Grooved axo of a peculiar black mottled rock, with white, 
marble-like streaks through it; groove surrounding it in the center. 

58. (42235). Irregularly-shaped axe with a wide and deep groove sur- 
rounding it, curiously mottled with reddish and green streaks. 
Specimens of this kind are quite rare. 

59. (42236). Grooved axe; sides well polished and exhibiting peculiar 
reddish spots. 

60. (42237). Small grooved axe of metamorphic rock. 

61. (42238). Grooved axe. 

62. (42239). Small grooved axe of schistose rock, much flaked off at 
each end. 

63. (42240). Axe, grooved on three sides; similar in size and shape to 

64. (42241). Grooved axe with flattened top. 

65. (42242). Same as the preceding. 

66. (42242). Grooved axe with two edges. 

67. (42244). Celt-shaped axe of basalt; it appears to have been used as 
a rubbing stone. 

68. (398G9). Zuiii maul with circular groove around the centre, used 
generally for grinding or pounding soft foods, such as red-pepper 
pods ; of porous lava. 

69. (39903). Double-edged axe, o'liiM-le, with groove around the mid- 
dle; volcanic rock, from ZuBi. See Fig. 350. 

70. (42349). Eounded end of a sandstone metate grinder converted 
into a flat hammer by grooving it at the opposite edges. 

71. (41291). Pounder of sandstone. It was originally a common axe. 
Thumb and finger depression on the sides. 

72. (40871). Lava Chili pounder with cap-shaped ends ; grooved. 

73. (40906). Lava rock pounder; small. 



74. (40870). Square red sandstone metate. 

75. (42280). Flat sandstone grinding slab. 

76-82. The following numbers represent the rubbers accompanying 
the metates. The Indian name is yd'-linne: 7G, (40909); 77, (40910); 
78, (40911); 79, (40912); 80, (40913); 81, (40914); 82, (41259); sandstone 


These are found in use at all the pueblos, but are more common in 
Zuui and the Moki villages than elsewhere, as these Indians use mineral 
pigments more extensively and in greater variety than any of the others. 

The pestles and mortars obtained from these tribes are all too small 
to be used for any other purpose than grinding pigments. Many of 
them appear to be quite old, and were probably handed down from dis- 
tant ancestors, or obtained from the ruins. Some of them are evidently 
of modern manufacture. 

83. (40707). Mortar; a round, flat, quartzitic boulder with round cavity 
on one side about one inch in diameter and half an inch deep, and 
a square depression on the other about an inch deep and two inches 
in width; indigo still clinging to the surface of the depression. 

84. (40708). Mortar of quartzite, the body nearly square and flat; de- 
pression round and about four inches in diameter, quite shallow. 

85. (40709). Mortar of coarse-grained sandstone, almost perfectly round, 
the cavity quite deep, and lined with red ochre or vermilion. 

86. (40710). Mortar of a flat sandstone with irregular rim about four 
inches in diameter. 

87. (40711). Paint mortar of a small round quartz boulder. 

88. (40712). Mortar of flue-grained sandstone about six inches long by 
three wide ; sides square. This mortar was in use by the Zuiiiaus 
for the purjiose of grinding a pigment of yellowish impure clay, 
colored by the oxide of iron, with which they decorate their pot- 
tery, and which produces the brown and reddish-brown colors. 

89. (40713). Small mortar of sandstone. 

90. (40714). Mortar made from a flat water-worn quartz boulder with a 
circular depression about half an inch deep. The bottom of this 
mortar shows evidence of its having been used as a grinding stone 
previous to being converted into a mortar, or it may have been 
used for both purposes, as both the paint cavity and the rubbing 
side show recent use. 

91. (40715). Paint mortar of basalt, used for grinding the yellow pig- 
ment for ornamenting pottery; about four inches in diameter, cavity 
about one inch deep, bottom ground flat. 

92. (40716). Flat paint mortar, of quartz rock, almost round, about an 
inch thick, depression quite shallow ; used for grinding a pigment 

Fig. 353 

FlO. 355 


Fia. 356 

Fib. 357 

Figs. 353-358.— Stone Implements from ZuSSi. 


of azurite or carbonate of copper, small nodules of which they col- 
lect at copper mines. This pigment is used in painting and deco- 
rating wooden images aud gods. 

93. (40717). Mortar similar to the above, and used for the same pur- 

di. (40718). Paint mortar made from a large irregularly round ferrugi- 
nous sandstone. Used iu pulverizing a reddish pigment for deco- 
rating pottery. 

95. (40719). Jlortar of a globular shape, made from a coarse-grained 
sandstone, used for grinding or mixing vermilion. 

96. (40720). Paint mortar of saudstone. The whole mortar is only about 
an inch thick ; made from a section of an old metate rubber. 

97. (40722). Paint mortar of quartzite; blue pigment grinder. Size 
about four by three inches. This, like many of the flat mortars, 
has been first used as a rubbing stone and subsequently converted 
into a paint mortar. 

98. (40723). Mortar made from a quartz boulder. 

99. (40724). Sandstone mortar. 

100. (40725). Paint mortar of sandstone, very flat. 

101. (40726). Paint mortar, with oblong shallow depression; sandstone. 

102. (40728). Square paint mortar; cavity about lialf an inch deep; sand- 
stone impregnated with iron. Quartzitic pestle accom-panying it. 

103. (40729). Paint mortar of quartzite; almost square; depression al- 
most worn through by use; quartz pebble pestle accompanying it. 

104. (40730). Small round paint mortar of basalt, with white quartz 
pebble pestle. 

105. (40731). Pig. 353. Paint mortar aud pestle of quartz, with a knob 
on the end, which serves as a handle. This mortar was used in 
grinding an azurite pigment. 

106. (40732). Mortar shaped somewhat like a ladle; the projecting end 
is provided with a small groove out of which the paint is poured. 

107. (40733). Small sandstone mortar. 

108. (40864). Paint mortar of sandstone. 

109. (40808). Paint mortar of basalt, almost square. 

110. (40869). Flat, square sandstone paint mortar; black water-worn 
pebble for pestle. 

111. (40907). ChUi or red pepper mortar of very porous lava rock; oval 
bottom, shallow cavity, about four inches thick and eight in diame- 
ter. These lava mortars may have been used for other purposes, 
but at the present time the Indians use them in crushing the pods 
and seeds of red pepper, and occasionally for crushing parched 
corn. They are quite common. 

112. (40908). Food mortar of lava rock ; square with flat bottom. Mor- 
tars of this kind are used in crushing grain and seeds. 

113. (42272). Fig. 358. Paint mortar of very hard, fine-grained sand- 
stone. The specimen is a very fair type of all the square paint 


mortars and pestles. The depression is often square instead of 
round. In grinding pigments the Indians generally move the pestle 
backward and forward instead of around as is done by our drug- 

114. (41273). Small sandstone paint mortar, much like the preceding. 

116. (40227). Small egg-shaped paint pestle of white quartz. The gen- 
eral name of these in Zuui is ah-sh6c46n-ne. 

116. (42276). Flat sandstone, circular and about five inches in diameter; 
used as a quoit; originally a rubbing stone. 


117. (39755). Eight specimens not very well defined. They are flint 
flakes, showing, by their shape, that they were designed for scrap- 
ers and groovers, being flat or slightly concave on one side and 
oval on the other. 

118. (41289). rig. 356. This is a sandstone mould for shaping metal into 
such forms as suit the fancy of the Indians for bridle and other 
ornaments ; one cavity is rectangular, about four inches long by 
one in width ; the other about two inches in diameter. Silver, 
which has long been a metal of traffic among these tribes, is the 
one which is usually melted down for ornamental purposes. After 
it is taken from the mould it is beaten thin, then polished. 

119. (41290). Is a portion of the same mould, with one cavity square and 
the other in the shape of a spear-head. 

120, 121. (42266), Fig. 354, and (42267), are crucibles, which were used 
in connection with the moulds for melting silver and other metals. 
Many other ornaments are made in the same manner. 

122. (4080S). Fig. 357. This is a large, rudely chipped spear-head of 
mica schist, obtained at Zuui, which was carried iu the hand of one 
of the performers in a dance. It does not show any evidences of 
having been used in any other way. They called it ah'-chi-an-teh- 

123. (42245). Fig. 335. Handsomely-shaped and well-polished skinning 
knife of a remarkably fine-grained silicious slate. Above the shoul- 
ders on one side it is worn off to an oval surface, and is flat on the 

124. (40915). Bound sandstone, which is called a gaming stone; it is 
quite round, and bears the same name in Zuiii as the pestle, ah- 

125. (40916). Quartz stone, flat and rounded at the ends as a sort of last 
to keep moccasins in shape while being sewed; called ya'-Un-ne. 

126. (41239). String of alabaster beads, tem-thla. 

127. (41240). Charm, representing the upper part of the body and head 
of a bird. 

128. (41241). Charm; representing a horse ; quartz. 

129. (41242). Charm; bird's head and upper part of body. 

Fio. 339 


Fig. 360 



Figs. 359, :{60.— Zuni Water Vases. 

Fig. 361 

FlO. 362 

Figs. 361, 362.— Zuui Water Vaaes. 


130. (41243). Charm ; horse and saddle. 

131. (41244). Charm; representing entire bird; quartz. 

132. (41245). Charm ; head and upper part of body of a bird. 

133. (41246). Charm ; the same. 

134. (41247). Agate arrow-head. 

135. (40870). Disk of sandstone, slightly convex in the centre ; used in 

136. (42325). Flat sandstone slab, with the horns of male and female 
deer engraved on one side. 

137, 138. (40721) and (41249). Flat sandstones, used for baking wi-a-vi, 
a thin, wafer-like bread, by heating the rocks and then spreading a 
gruel-like mixture of corn meal over them. The largest one of these 
stones is about three feet in length by two in width. They are used 
by the Zuui and Moki pueblos quite extensively. 

139. (42324). Eighty chip flints and flakes of agate, quartz, chalcedony, 



140. (39871). Form and decorations shown in Fig. 359. The slender 
shading lines only are brown, the rest of the figuring black; the base 
in this as in most Zuui pottery is reddish or slate colored. This 
may be considered as the type of one variety of decorations, readily 
distinguished by the unadorned circular spaces, the large scrolls, 
and the absence of animal forms. The larger forms of these vases 
are called by the Zunians kah'-wi-na-lca-tehl-le ; the smaller forms, 

141. (39916). The ornamentation is well shown in Fig. 360. The combi- 
nations on this piece are rare on Zuui pottery, and the chief figure 
on the body is more symmetrical than is usual in this group of 
ware. This may also be considered as representing a second type 
of decorations of which there is but one other example in the col- 

142. (39920). This belongs to the variety represented by Fig. 360, and 
varies chiefly in having the neck decorated with leaf-like figures, 
and in having the scrolls replaced by triangles with inner serratures. 

143. (39934). The largest size ; Fig. 361. The decorations of this piece 
belong to a third variety, distinguished chiefly by the presence of 
the elk or deer. Attention is caUed to the three figured zones or 
belts on the body, the upper with the arch inclosing an elk ; the 
middle and narrow belt adorned with figures of birds with a long 
crest feather. The helix or scroll is freely introduced in this variety. 
The one here figured is typical of quite a large group. The ani- 
mals are usually black, as are the lines separating the spaces. 


144. (41150). This is similar in size and decorations to Fig. 361, and is 
shown in Fig. 3G2. The difiference in the form of the bird in this 
from that in the preceding is worthy of notice. 

145. (39933). Similar to Xo. 143 (Fig. 361) ; bird scrolls as in No. 144. 

146. (40322). Medium size, represented in Fig. 364. It may be grouped 
in the variety of which Fig. 350 is given as the type. 

147. (39936). Large size ; decorations resembling those in Fig. 364, but 
with two belts of scrolls on the body. 

148. (41154). Medium size; figures as in No. 147. 

149. (41155). 1 Medium size ; decorations similar to the preceding, except 

150. (41102). f that No. 150 (41162) has figures of sheep on the neck. 

151. (41158). Large size; the ornamentation of this piece, as will be 
seen by reference to Fig. 303, belongs to the variety represented 
by Fig. 359 and 364, but differs in having on the body a middle zone 
of bird-like figures. 

152. (41161). Large size ; similar to Fig. 363. 

153. (39943). Decorations very similar to those shown in Fig. 359. 

154. (39937). Medium size ; ornamentation similar to that seen in Fig. 

165. (40312). Large size; shown in Fig. -365. As will be seen by com- 
parison the decorations are the same as those in Fig. 361, except 
that the elk is omitted and a figure of scrolls introduced in its 

156. (40310). Fig. 366. Large size. In the decorations of this piece 
we observe a new feature, a rosette or flower, showing a decided 
appreciation of the beautiful, either suggested by the flowers of 
the Helianthus or by something introduced by Europeans, but most 
probably the former. The different forms of this figure found on 
this ware furnish perhaps the best evidence of taste exhibited by 
the Zuiiian artists. 

157. (40313). Fig. 368. Large size. In this we see the same figures as 
in Figs. 363 and 366 brought into combination with the rosette, the 
birds being replaced by sheep. 

158. (40318). Large size ; similar to No. 149, except that the rosette is 
introduced in place of the circle. 

16o' [40316) ! Decorations belong to the variety shown in Fig. 361. 

161. (40317). Fig. 367. A little study of these figures will satisfy any one 
that although there is an apparently endless variety in details, 
there are, in fact, but comparatively few different figures. 

1G2. (41146). Fig. 370. This belongs to the same variety as Fig. 368. 

163. (40315). Large size, similar to that represented in Fig. 370, but 
varying in form, having the expansion at the shoulder more promi- 
nent and tapering more rapidly from thence to the base. The fig- 
ures remind us of the trappings often seen in Japanese cuts. 

Fir,. SCI 




Fig. 364 

Figs. 3(J3, 364.-Zuui Water Vases. 

Fig. 36S 

Fig. 3CC 

Figs. 365, 36G.— ZuSi Water Vases. 

Fig. 367 

Fig. 368 


Figs. 367, 368.-Ziini Wafer Vases. 

Fill. Mil 

Fir.. :i7(i 


Figs. 369, 370.— Zuui Water Vases. 

Fig. 371 

Fig, 372 

Figs. 371,372— Zuiii Water Vases. 

Fig. 373 

Fig. 374 

Figs. 373, 374.— Zujii Water Vases. 


164. (40319). Medium size ; decorations similar to those in Fig. 361, ex- 
cept that here the elk or deer stands on a broad black band in which 
there is a row of white diamonds. 

165. (40321). Medium size ; of the variety represented in Fig. 361, but 
in these smaller pieces the bird zone is omitted, and there is but one 
figured zone on the body. In this example a small elk is repre- 
sented as standing on the back of a larger one. . 

166. (40700). Medium size, belonging to the same type as the preceding. 
On the neck are figures of grotesque kite-shaped birds. 

167. (40701). Medium size ; Fig. 369. This and the preceding one are 
not designated as vases in the original Smithsonian Catalogue, nor 
in my field list, but according to the form should be classed in this 

168. (41165). Medium size ; decorations similar to those of Fig. 367, but 
varying in having the figure of a bird introduced in the middle 
belt with a small double scroll arising out of the back. The lower 
belt has the same bird reversed. 

169. (39935). Medium size. The unusual decorations of this piece are 
shown in Fig. 371. It differs, as does also Fig. 369, from the usual 
form ; the body is more nearly spherical, the neck more gracefully 
curved, and the rim slightly flaring. The proportions are also 
different; height, 8.75 inches ; diameter of body, 10; of mouth, 6.5. 

1^0 ^41144^ \ Decorations similar to those in Fig. 364; (41144) varies 
' i in having the figures of elk or deer on the neck and in 
■ ^ '■ ) the coarser or ruder scrolls. 

172. (41149). This somewhat abnormal form is well shown in Fig. 372. 
It is of medium size. 

173. (41152). This belongs to the same type, both as to form and 

174. (41153). Large size; of the usual form, but the decorations on the 
body peculiar, the design being crudely architectural. 

175. (41156). Medium size, belonging to the type represented by Fig. 361. 

176. (41163). Medium size. This pretty vase has a somewhat peculiar 
decoration, which can be best described as a kind of patch-work 
representing small fragments of pottery. 

177. (41166). Medium size, with the usual elk and scroll figures. 

178. (41167). Thisspecimen, which is rather above medium size, presents 
one of the most chaste designs in the entire group. It is repre- 
sented in Fig. 374. Attention is called especially to the leaves and 
to the simple meander in the stripes. 

179. (41168). Marked with the usual elk and scroU figures. Medium 

180. (39774). The decorations of this piece, shown in Fig. 373, may be 
classed with the peculiar type with oblique and vertical bands 
represented iuFig. 374. 

181. (39917). Figures similar to those in Fig. 363. 


182. (40768). The decoratious on this piece consist entirely of represen- 
tations of pyramids or possibly of pueblos, and are arranged in 
bands, one on the neck and two on the body; the two upper bands 
show the figures inverted. 

r No. 183 is decorated with scrolls and bird scrolls and a 

183. (40770). \ gp^^iiopg^i li^g around the shoulder; No. 184 with elkg 

184. (40771). ( gy^^ gpj.pjjg ^^ ^^^ ^Qjjy_ 

185-188. 185, (40800). Fig. 378. The grotesque or kite-like bird seen on 
the neck, though rarely seen on the large water vase, is common on 
the small ones. To this type belong the following Nos. 186, (40769) ; 
187, (40772); 188, (40791). 

189. (40773). > These have the usual triangular and scroU designs with- 

190. (40776). ) out animal figures, as in Fig. 364. 

191. (40792). Fig. 377. The decorations on this evidently belong to the 
same type as those represented in Fig. 359, the bird on the neck 
being the only variation. To this type also belong the following 
numbers: 192, (40778); 193, (40792); 194, (40794). 

195. (40779). 1 

196. (40781). 

197. (40783). 

198. (40787). 

199. (40788). 

200. (40801). J 
201 ^40780^ 1 -'■'^^ decorations on these are similar to those shown in 

These belong to the type represented by Fig. 361, dis- 
tinguished chiefly by the elk, tiiangular figures, and 

202. (40784). 

203. (40780). 

204. (40790). 

Figs. 366, 367, 308, and 370, in which the rosette is a 
distinguishing characteristic. Nos. 201, 202, and 203 
are without figures of animals; No. 204 has a double 
I belt of elk figures between the rosettes. 

205. (40782). The designs on this remain uufiuished; except that the 
triangles on the neck and the arches in which it was evidently 
the intention to place the figures of animals, are shown. 

206. (407S5). Fig. 375. This pretty vase, as will be seen by reference to 
the figure, has the diameter greater in ])roportion to the height than 
usual. Although the desigu is tasteful the lines are coarse and 
not so well drawn as the figure indicates. 

207. (40789). On this there is an evident attempt to represent a pueblo 
or communal dwelling and the ladders. 

208. (40793). Shown in Fig. 376. 

209. (40795). Neck and lower belt of the body marked with vertical 
lines and oblique diamonds; upper belt with inverted pyramidal 

210. (40849). Very small ; marked with oblique scalloped lines. 

211. (40850). Very small; elk aud grotesque bkd on the body. 

212. (40851). Very small; decoratious similar to those on the middle 
belt of Fig. 373. 

FI& 380 39618 

FIG. 382 39592 

FI&,383 4U4S 

FIO. 384 41052 

'US Brcn, LiTrt 

Fiis, 379-384-ZUNI POTTERY. 


213. (41105). Similar to that shown in Fig. 361. 

214. (40774). Marlced with transverse lines and scrolls; design simple 
and unique. 

The following specimens are red ware: 

215. (40311). Large size; without ornamentation. 

216. (40775). Small; form peculiar, diameter of the body greatest at the 
base, mouth iiaring; decorations in black, consisting of triangles 
pointing downwards, and lines. 

217. (40798). Medium size. See Fig. 381. 

■ ^ ' '' i Small; without ornamentation. 

219. (40802). / ' 

220. (41145). Large. See Fig. 383. 

221. (41052). Medium size. See Fig. 384. 

222. (41151.) -J 

223. (41157). > Medium size; without ornamentation. 

224. (41159). 3 

225. (41160). Medium size; with a scalloped band in black around the 
rim and shoulder. 

Black ware: 

226. (39930). Larges ize; without ornamentation. 

The only black water vase obtained at Zuiii; it was doubtless pro- 
cured from some other tribe. The black ware obtained from this tribe 
is in nearly all cases used for cooking, or holding liquids or moist foods. 
As remarked in another place, the ZuQi black ware is generally small 
excoiit in cases where large quantities of food are to be cooked, which 
occurs at feast times, when veiy large vessels are employed, 


These vary so greatly in form that it is impossible to give any genera 
description that would convey a correct idea. 

227. (39885). Somewhat mug-shaped, with handle; the top is rounded 
to the small mouth, no neck. White ware with scalloped bands 
and a Maltese cross. 

228. (39886). Similar in form, but smaller, without handle or decora- 

229. (39899). Somewhat similar in form to the preceding, except that it 
is lower and more depressed, and instead of a mouth at the top 
there is an orifice at the side as in the canteens, with which this 
should probably be classed. 

230. (39940). Similar to No. 228. 

231. (40062). Similar in form to No. 227, but without handle ; with a 
double scalloped band around the constricted portion, and a single 
one around the mouth ; figure of an insect on the upper half; ap- 
parently intended to represent a butterfly or large moth, 

232. (40608). Small unhandled jug in the form of a smelling bottle. 


233. (40611). Similar to No. 232. 

234. (40697). ) j^j^^ -j^^_ 228, with slight decorations. 

235. (40608). ) 

236. (41140). An amphora or slender jug with two handles. 

237. (39528). A jar shown in Fig. 399. 

238. (3992J). Mc-lieto, canteen of large size. Plain brown, as are also 
the following specimens : 

239-242. 239, (40079) ; 240, (40081) : 241, (40082), this has a small flower 

on one side; 242, (40083). 
243-245. 243,(40088); 244, (40090); 245, (40091). 
246-248. 240, (40085) ; 247, (40080), and 248, (40G76), plain white. 

249. (40077). White with color decorations. Fig. 387. 

The following eight specimens are also white with colors : 

250. (40078). Decorated profuselj' with scrolls, leaves, and other figures. 
See Fig. 400. 

251. (40080). Figatre of a coiled snake or worm, without head or other 
character to indicate what it was intended to represent. 

252. (40084). Usual scroll figures. 

253. (40087). Decorated with simple loops and bands. 

254. (40089). Radiating serrate lines. 

255. (40092). Vase-shaped, with three colored bands. 

256. (40093). Shown in Fig. 385. 

257. (40886). Handsome piece, with floweret at the apex, scrolls on the 
side, and a scalloped band around the middle. The bands are al- 
ways horizontal, the vessel being on its side. See Fig. 398. 

258. (39914). Me-he-to-tsdn-nd, canteens of small size. Eed. Double, 
with two sets of handles and two chambers, but with only one 
orifice. Decorations in white, those on the larger piece consisting 
of meanders of the simplest form, a figure very unusual on ZuSi 

259. (39659). Brown, with handle and decorations in black. See Fig. 379. 
200. (39923). Plain brown. 

The following are also plain brown, red, or yellow : 
261-271. 261,(40094); 262, (40095); 263, (40096); 264, (40097), Fig. 390; 
265,(40099); 266, (40100); 267, (40101); 268, (40687), Fig. 386; 
269,(40088); 270,(40089); 271,(40690). 

272. (40102). White, with an oblique scalloped band. 

273. (39872). White, shown in Fig. 389. 

274. (40G86). White, decorations as in Fig. 389. 

275. (40085). White, with a single flower. 

276. (40691). W^hite, egg-shaped, with a single handle; decorated with 
a figure of the horned toad. 

277. (40692). White, form and decorations like those shown in Fig. 385. 

278. (40098). With outline figures of birds. 

279. (40695). White, shown in Fig. 388. Although obtained at Zuiii, 
this piece may have been manufactured at one of the other pueblos. 

Fro. 3S5 

Fir,. 3«6 

Fig. 387 



Figs. 385-387. -^nni Canteen.- 

Fig 388 

Fig. 389 

Fig. 390 

Fig. 391 


Figs. 388-391.— Zuiii Canteens. 



Fin. 304 




Figs 392-394.— Zuni Cautei-us. 

M ... Soir 

FlO. 305 


Fig. 39n 

Fro. 397 

Figs. 395-397.— Ziuii Cauteeus. 



280. (39913). Fig. 395. Zuui name • Me'-ici-i-pU-chin. 

281. (39887). Similar to No. 280. 

282. (39889). Fig. 392. Mef-iciU-Uh-tdn-ne. Plain red. 

283. (39915). Fig. 39i. 

284. (40103). White, bottle shaped, with constriction below the middle ; 
scalloped bands and bird figures around the upper third. See Fig. 

285. (40104). Shown in Fig. 393. 

28G. (40105). Similar to No. 285. Marked with the figure of a bird hav- 
ing the wings sjiread. Navajo. Ko'sc-tom-mc. 

287. (4010G). Fig. 391. 

288. (39887). Fig. 39G. A double globed canteen; triangular, with ori- 
fice at upper convexity. 

289. (39914). Fig. 397. Red ware, with white lines on the lower globe and 
decorations in black on the upper, with orifice in each globe. 


These are of the usual form of such vessels, except that they are gen- 
erally without the lip. It is possible that to a certain extent they have 
been patterned after those observed in use among the Europeans or 
white races with whom these Indians have come in coutact. But we 
shall presently find specimens similar in form among the ancient pottery 
found in the ruins of the cliff houses. We are inclined to believe that 
the form is original and not borrowed. The figures introduced will suf- 
fice to illustrate the form and usual decorations. The specimens ob- 
tained are generally small, varying in capacity from a pint to half a 
gallon. These are known in Zuui by the name E'-muschton-ne. 

290. (39918). Shown in Fig. 403. 

291. (40CG8). With scalloped margin and decorations similar to those 
on Fig. 403. 

292. (406G9). Without handle and should be classed with the cups. Fig- 
ures of plants. 

293. (40G71). Triangles on the upper portion ; simple meander on the 

294. (40672). Similar to the following. 

295. (40G73). With scalloped margin and zigzag lines on white ground; 
small right-angle handle. 

296. (40G74). With scalloped marginal and middle bands. 
The following are brown ware with but slight decorations: 

297-310. 297, (40838); 298, (40839); 299, (40841); 300, (40843), outline 
figures similar to those on No.293; 301, (40844); 302, (40887); 303, 
(40888); 304, (408S9); 305, (40890), is really black but not polished; 
30G, (40891); 307, (40893); 308, (40894); 309, (40897); 310, (40898). 

311. (40842). Scalloped rim and similar in size and shape to 298, (40839). 


312. (40845). Small, white, with decorations and of unusual form, in 
fact in the original field list is classed among the canteens. The 
mouth is prolonged obliquely in the form of a large tube. It 
should perhaps be classed with the water jugs. 

313. (40892). Form and decorations shown in Fig. 405. 

314. (40895). Scalloped margin; decorated with scrolls. 

315. (40896). Scalloped margin. Figures of the little water animal so 
often represented on the earthenware baskets. 

316. (40899). Without handle; diamond figures on the neck. 

317. (41005). Fig. 406. 

318. (41013). Slender neck and small mouth; jug-shaped, marked with 
twigs and leaves. This does not appear to bo of Zuiii manufacture. 

319. (41136). Fig. 407. 

320. (40840). Shown in Fig. 404. 


Under this general head are included two forms: one, closely re- 
sembling the true cup, as shown in the figures and to which the 
Zuiiis apply the name sat-tsdn-na-mu-ya, and those in the form of 
ollas or bowls, and without handles. The decorations of the true cup- 
shaped vessels, especially on the inner surface, follow somewhat closely 
the patterns found on the bowls. Here we see the zigzag marginal line, 
the scalloped bands, the interlaced or tessellated bands with star points, 
triangles, scrolls, &c.; but the elongate triangle or lance point is seldom 
present. As no new figure is introduced it is unnecessary for me to de- 
scribe the decorations. A few are of red or brown ware. 

The following numbers refer to true cups : 
321-345. 321, (40058); 322, (40615); 323, (40616), Fig. 408; 324, (40617); 
325, (40618); 326, (40619); 327, (40620); 328, (40621), Fig. 409; 
329, (40622); 330, (40623) ; 331, (40024) ; 332, (40625); 333, (40627); 
334, (40638); 335, (40639) ; 336, (40640); 337, (40641); 338, (40643); 
339, (40644); 340, (40837); 341, (40847); 342, (40848); 343, (40880) 
— this is an unusually large cup and although having a handle 
may have been used as a bowl ; 344, (40998) ; 345, (41148), an un- 
burn t specimen. 

The following are without handles and are either small bowls or 
paint cups : 
346-355. 346, (40426); 347, (40436); 348, (40458); 349, (40642); 350, 
(40853), a small bowl-shaped cuj), sat-tsan-nd; 351, (40994); 352, 
(40995); 353,(4091)6); 354, (40997); 355, (41000). 


The smaller forms are called sdt-tsdn-nd. 
356. (39962). Fig. 410. The ornamentation is typical of a variety very 
common on Zuiii bowls. The design on the outer surface is more 
constant than that on the inner, in which the figures of animals, 










, — . 









Fig. 403 



Fig. 405 

Fig. 40G 



Figs. 403-406.— Znfli Water Pitchers. 

Fig. .107 

Fig. 408 



Fin, 409 


Fir,. 411 

4026G 40285 

Figs. 407-41-2. — Zimi Water Pitcher, Cups, ami Eating Bowls. 


especially the elk, are sometimes introduced. The distiuguishing 
feature of this type is the zigzag line on the inner margin. 
The following numbers belong to the same type: 

357-378. 357, (3974G); 358, (39973); 359, (39975); 360, (39981); 361, 
(39984) ; 362, (39988); 363, (399S9) ; 3Gi, (39991) ; 365, (39993) ; 366, 
(39994) ; 367, (39997) ; 368, (39999) ; 369, (40004), duplicate of Fig. 
411; 370, (40005); 371, (40231); 372, (40234); 373, (40236); 374, 
(40239); 375, (40246); 376, (40249) ; 377, (40250); 378, (40259). 

379-396. 379, (40260); 380, (4026G), shown in Fig. 411; 381, (40274); 382, 
(40285), shown in Fig. 412 ; 383, (40504) ; 384, (10512) ; 385, (40513) ; 

380, (4051G); 387, (40517); 388, (J0519); 389, (40522); 390, (4052 


391, (40530) ; 392, (40541) ; 393, (40540) ; 394, (40528) ; 395, (40203) ; 
396, (40211). 

397. (39951). Decorated, on the inner margin only, with triangles. 

398. (39952). Similar to that shown in Fig. 411, except that the inner 
marginal line is scalloped. 

The following numbers may be classed in the same group : 

399. 400. 399, (40205) ; 400, (40210). 

401. (40521). Similar to No. 397, except that it has the interior below 
the marginal line decorated with scrolls. 

402. (39902). Decorated on the inner surface only, with the usual scrolls; 
marginal band simply a narrow line or entirely wanting. 

The following belong to the same tj-pe : 
403-417. 403, (39960); 404, (40002); 405, (40006); 406, (40232); 407, 

(40233) ; 408, (40237) ; 409, (402G3) ; 410, (40268) ; 411, (40284), in 

this small specimen there are but few figures ; 412, (40503) ; 413, 

(40505); 414, (40520); 415, (40524); 416, (40981); 417, (40987). 
418. (40906). The decorations of this piece belong to a variety which is 

readily distinguished by the broad checkered band on the inner 

There are two sub-varieties, one with and one without figures on 

the external surface. This and the following specimens belong 

to the latter group: 
419, 420. 419, (40533) ; 420, (39890). 

421. (40001). This belongs to the former group, as represented by Fig. 

422. (39S98). External decorations as in Fig. 410, except that the lower 
margin of the oblique line is furnished with scrolls as in Fig. 375, 
inner surfiice with leaves, and a zigzag marginal line. 

423. (39908). This and the following thirty-one specimens have the ex- 
ternal surface ornamented as in Fig. 410, the decorations of the 
inner surface varying and differing from those already enumerated. 
In this the marginal line is simple. 

424. (39909). Marginal line scalloped ; central rosette of simple lines. 

425. (39963). Zigzags in irregular lines, no marginal band ; form semi- 


426. (39963). Triangles and scrolls ; somewhat mug-sbaped. 
427 (39972). Usual form ; decorations as in the preceding. 

428. (39975). Ornamentation as represented in Fig. 422. 

429. (39976). Double scrolls ; no marginal bands. 

430. (40000). Margin as in Fig. 422 ; no other inner decorations. 

431. (40204). Scroll figirres ; no marginal band; form hemispherical. 

432. (40216). Similar to Fig. 423, as are also the following specimens: 
433-443. 433, (40218); 434, (40223); 435, (40238); 436, (40240); 437, 

(40284) ; 438, (40286) ; 439, (40501) ; 440, (40506) ; 441, (40507) ; 442, 
(40510) ; 443, (40514) ; the iuner decorations of this piece vary in 
haying the figures of the elk below the marginal band. 
444-447. 444, (40515) ; 445, (40547) ; 446, (40985) ; 447, (40217). Zigzag 
marginal band ; no other inner decorations. 

448. (40241). Marginal band double, upper line undulate, lower, straight 
with star points. 

449. (40245). Marginal band composed of rows of stars, as in Fig. 4L4. 

450. (40251). Only the inner decoi'ations consist of radiating serrate 

451. (40258). Similar to that shown in Fig. 424. 

452. (40273). Inner decorations apparently intended as floral ; marginal 
line very slender. 

453. (40275). Inner figures ; radiating scrolls. 

454. (40287). Similar to No. 453. 

455. (40558). Inner figures in the form of blocks or tiles ; marginal band 

456. (40549). Inner decorations consist of two narrow crenate bands, 
one marginal and the other just below it. 

457. (39891.) This and the following thirty-nine specimens are without 
external ornamentation. In this one the inner figures are radiating 
scrolls, and buxls. 

458. (39S92). Slender marginal scalloped band only. 

459. (39893). Serrate marginal band only. 

460. (39953). Similar to Fig. 424. 

461. (39954). Birds with wings spread, and scrolls. 

462. (39958). Differs from the usual form in having the margin undulat- 
ing. The inner decorations consist chiefly of combinations of tri- 
angles. Similar to 

403. (39971). Similar to the preceding. 
464. (.39959). Scrolls and triangles. 
405. (39900). Scrolls and leaves. 
466. (39961). Oblique serrate lines. 

407. (39986). Broad net- work, marginal band, as seen in Fig. 414 ; form 
unusual, being constricted near the base. 

468. (39092). Marginal band composed of sigmoid figures. 

469. (39996). Very small ; central diameter with rays from the points ; 
the marginal band is simply a narrow line. 

Fig. 413 

Fin. 414 


Fin. 415 

Figs. 413-415.-Ziiru Eating Bowls. 


470. (40209). Oruameutal inargiual baud oulj'. 

471. (40212). Scalloped marginal band, aud central rosette or flower. 

472. (40224) Scalloped marginal band, and figures of deer. 

473. (40225). Zigzag baud and the usual scroll figures. 

474. (40229). Two slender bauds, and central radiating scrolls. 

475. (40242). Zigzag marginal line ouly. 

470. (40248). Narrow scalloped marginal baud ; no other figures. 

477. (40252). Zigzag band and floral decorations. 

478. (40253). No marginal band ; oblique triple aud dotted lines. 

479. (40265). Serrate marginal band aud central rosette. 

480. (40270). No band except a simple line bounding the central figure 
of radiating leaves. 

481. (40272). Three plain bands. 

482. (40481). Broad marginal band in figures arranged in square blocks. 

483. (404S5). Very small ; marginal )iet-work band, central floral figure. 

484. (40490). Similar to the iireceding. 

485. (40489). Plain magiual band; central floral figures. 

486. (40492). Zigzag marginal band as in Fig. 425. 

487. (40498). Marginal band as in Fig. 414. 

488. (40499). Scalloped marginal band. 

489. (40508). Zigzag band and floral decorations. 

490. (40511). Marginal band composed of lines of stars. 

491. (40530). Simihir to No. 480, having also a central figure. 

492. (40536). Marginal baud of scrolls and triangles. 

493. (40537). Net-work marginal band. 

494. (40539). Scalloped band and central figure of twigs and leaves ; 
^ unusually chaste design. 

495. (40542). Like No. 467. 

496. (40545). Scalloped marginal baud. 

497. (39967). Do. 

498. (39965). Zigzag inner marginal band ; figures of the elk externally 
and internally. 

499. (39966). External and internal zigzag marginal band. 

500. (39969). No external decorations; marked internally with oblique 
lines, no baud. 

501. (39.70). Scroll figures on the inner surface ; on the outer, triangles 
pointing in opi)Osite directions ; no bands. 

502. (39977). Dish-like, undulate, external and internal marginal band. 

503. (39978). Inner band of crosses, and central figure, outer serrate 
marginal band. 

504. (39982). » Decorations same as those represented iu Fig. 414, with a 

505. (39983). f wide, latticed, marginal baud on the inner side of the bowl. 
500. (39985). Both surfaces decorated with scroll figiires. 

607. (39987). Inner surface with scroll figures, outer with but a marginal 
scalloped band. 
23 E 


508. (39990). Both surfaces marked with oblique serrate lines ; unusu- 
ally flaring. 

509. (39998). Inner surface with reversed elks ; outer with oblique lines, 
with each side serrate. 

510. (40007). Inner surface with serrate baud and birds; outer with ser- 
rate band. 

511. (40213). Elk and scrolls internally ; an outer scalloped baud. 

612. (40215). Eesembles No. 501. 

613. (40219). The decorations on this bowl are unusual; those of the 
inner surface consist of a slender crenate marginal band, and be- 
low this a woman holding a child and apjiarently closely wrai>ped 
in a robe of some kind and placed transversely ; the outer margin 
is marked with a broad band of crosses regularly spaced by per- 
pendicular lines. 

The following numbers belong to the type represented in Figs. 
356, 411, and 412: 
614-520. 514, (39979); 515, (40220); 516, (40221); 517, (40243); 518, 
(40274); 519, (40493); 520, (40523), inner marginal band consists of 
scrolls and triangles. 

621. (40227). Inner marginal band broad and divided into diamond 
spaces; outer surface ornamented with figures similar to those on 
vase represented by Fig. 372. 

622. (40230). Although classed with the bowls this is shajied somewhat 
like the paint pots ; outer and inner bands. 

523. (40247). Resembles No. 504. 

524. (40254). Two broad undulate lines on the external surface ; inner 
surface with blocks and scrolls. ^ 

525. (40256). Inside with crenate marginal lines, and circular space 
and triangles as in Fig. 359. External surface with a simple scal- 
loped band. 

526. (40264). External surface as in the preceding ; internal scrolls and 

527-533. 527, (402G7); 528, (40269); 529, (40487); 530, (40415); 531, 
(4050!)); 532, (40529); 533, (40531). The decorations on these 
specimens belong to the same general type as those of No. 526. 

634. (40271). Mug-shaped with fiat bottom; outer surface marked Avith 
five scalloped bands ; inner with scrolls. 

535. (40279). Outer surface with, triangular figures ; inner with a scal- 
loped marginal band and a similar band below. 

536. (40482). Similar in form to No. 534. Outer and inner decorations 
consist almost entirely of triangles. 

537. (40483). Without bands; interior, scrolls; exterior, geometrical 

538. (40488). This belongs to the type represented by Fig. 411 ; rosette 
on the inner surface. 

539. (40491). Similar in form and decorations to No. 534. 

Fir,. 416 


Fig. 417 

Fig. 418 

Figs. 4iri-418.— Zimi Eatiui; Bowls. 


540. (40496). Form like the preceding ; inner face decorated with stars ; 
outer with the usual triangular figures. 

541. (40497). Flat, finger-bowl shaped, single scalloped band externally ; 
scrolls and circular figures internally. 

542. (40502). Double band of triangles externally; internally aigzag 
lines precisely like those in Fig. 371. 

543. (4053S). Inner serrate marginal band and radiating scrolls ; no ex- 
ternal decorations. 

544. (40540). Central flower internally ; a single serrate band externally. 

545. (40980). Pan-shaped ; inner surface marked with geometrical fig- 
ures ; outer without decorations. 

546. 547. 540, (40988), 547, (40993). Without external ornamentation, 

marked with zigzag inner marginal line, central scroll, and trian- 
gular devices. 

548. (40991). Oblique senate lines externally; zigzag inner marginal 

549. (40992). No external decorations ; inner marginal line crenate ; 
central flower. 

Brown, red, or yellow ware. Usually without ornamentation. 

550. (39907). Small rosettes or flowers on inner surface. 

The following numbers are without ornamentation of any kind: 
551-572. 551, (39^68) ; 552, (40003) ; 553, (40207) ; 554, (40214) ; 555, 
(40226) ; 550, (40235) ; 557, (40244) ; 558, (40257) ; 559, (40276) ; 560, 
(40277); 561,(40278); 562, (40280) ; 563, (40281); 564,(40494); 565, 
(40520) ; 566, (40528) ; 567, (40534) ; 568, (40543) ; 509, (40544); 570, 
(40982) ; 571, (40984) ; 572, (40989). 

The following have slight decorations ; wherever the band is 
mentioned it is to be understood as marginal unless otherwise 
specified : 

573. (39974). Narrow external band. 

574. (39981). Floral figure on inner surface. 

575. (39995). Triangles externally ; narrow sub-marginal band inter- 

576. (40200). Outline leaf-like figures on inner face. 

577. (40222). Inner crenate baud and cross lines. 

578. (40229). Slender bands and scroUs. 

579. (40288). Inner band of geometrical figures. 

580. (40550). With slender outer band. 

581. (409S0). Inner zigzag band and triangular figures. 

582. (40983). Inner central white flower. 

583. (40990). Inner band of scrolls. 

The larger forms, following, are called I'-ton-a-kasah-le. 

584. (40041). Represented in Fig. 413. The broad check ered band on 

the inner margin forms the distinguishing characteristic. 
The following are similarly decorated : 
685, 586. 585, (40010); 586, (40167). 


587. (40033). As closely resembling the preceding, I introduce here a 
variety with a latticed marginal band shown in Fig. 414. 

The following specimens belong to the same variety, the chief dif- 
ferences, being the inner central figures: 

588. (401G4). Fig. 415. 

589. (40177). Do. 

590. (40181). This specimen has no ornamentation except the band. 

591. (40296). Fig. 416. This varies in havnig the figures of birds with 
wings spread and of elks on the iuncr surface below the marginal 
line. These are but partially shown in the figiuo. 

592. 593. 592, (40965) and 593 (40955) belong to the same variety, but 
their inner decorations resemble more closely those represented in 
Fig. 415. 

594. (40493). Fig. 417. The decorations on this piece belong to the very 
common variety shown in Figs. 356, 411, and 412. 

595-000. To this type belong the following numbers: 595, (40008); 596, 
(40009) ; 597, (40012); 598, (40013); 599, (40020); GOO, (40021), this 
varies in having no crnamentation on the outer surface. 

601-608. 601,(40176), shown in Fig. 418; 602, (40031); 603, (40038); 
604, (40043); 005, (40046); 606, (40047); 607, (40050); 608, (40052) 

609-628.609,(40151): 610,(40152); 611,(40163); 012,(40168); 613, 
(40170); 014,(40171); 615, (40175); 616, (40185) ; 617,(40186); 618, 
(40188); 619, (40189), Fig. 419; 620, (40191); 021, (40193); 622, 
(40194); 623, (40195); 624, (40196); 625, (40197); 626, (40199); 
627, (40200) ; 628, (10293), this piece is properly a bread bowl, Mo'- 

629-638. 629, (40295); 630, (40297); 631, (40298); 632, (40310); 633, 
(40.!05); 634,(40306); 635,(40308); 636,(40309); 637, (40930); 638, 
(40931), shown in Fig. 420. I would call attention here to the 
strong similarity of the inner decorations of this bowl with those 
ou the body of the vase represented in Fig. 359. This is properly 
a bread bowl. 

639-646. 639, (40938); 640, (40957); 641,(40958); 642, (40967); 643, 
(40971); 644, (40974); 645, (40975); 640, (41171), Fig. 421. 

The following specimens have the same external decorations as 
those represented in Figs. 413-421, but differ iu regard to the 
figures on the inner surface. 

647. (40014). Fig. 422. The cut fails to show the figures of the elk 
placed among the scroll ornaments. 

648, 649. 648, (40023) ; 649, (40026). 

1G50-058. 650, (40028), shown in Fig. 423 ; 651, (40035) ; 652, (40042) ; 

653, (40045) ; 054, (40049) ; 655, (40051), these two are bread bowls; 

650, (40153) ; 657, (40156) ; 658, (40178). 
659-063. 659, (40183); 660, (40198); 661, (40202); 062, (40927), Fig. 

424 ; and 063, (40932), Fig. 425. 

Fig. 419 


Fin. KO 


Fig. 421 

Figs. 419-421.— Zuui Eating Bowls. 

Fir.. 422 

Fig. 423 


Flo 4L'4 

Figs. 422-424.-Zuni Eating Bowls. 

FtG. 425 

Fig. 426 


Figs. 4Q5-497.— Zuni Eating Bowls. 



664-CG9. 064, (40951); 665, (40952); G66, (40900); 067, (40976); 668, 
(40977) ; and 669, (40010), may be grouped together, as strongly 
resembling each other in regard to their inner decorations. 

670. (40027). Inner marginal band with diamond spaces and colored tri- 
angles, scrolls, and small rosettes or Howers below. 

671. (40030). l!fo inner band ; geometrical figures. 

672. (40035). Xarrow simple marginal band ; elk and scrolls. 

673. (40179), Fig. 426. Each of the following specimens has a similar 
marginal band, but the inner central figures differ. 

674-682. 074, (40037) ; 075, (40044) ; 676, (40187) ; 677, (40300) ; 678, 

(40937); 079, (40966); 680, (40969); 681, (40973); 682, (40040). 

Patch-work figures, resembling pieces of broken pottery. 
683. (40157). Somewhat like Fig. 424, the perpendicidar lines of the 

band being doubly scalloped. 
084. (40169). Marginal band a vine with leaves and flowers; central 

figures similar to those on vase shown in Fig. 371. 

685. (40182). Ifo inner band ; scroll figures. 

686. (40190). ]Sro inner band ; elks and geometrical figures. 

687. (40201). Marginal band with triple lines similar to those in Fig. 424. 

688. (40290). Shown in Fig. 427. 

689. (40292). Marginal band similar to that on Fig. 427 ; .scroUfigures in 
central portion. 

690. (40294). Fig. 430. In this the outer decoration varies in having 
the elongate triangle or lance point double, and the inner in hav- 
ing the figure of a mule or donkey. 

691. (40304). No marginal band ; scroll figures. 
092. (40302). Fig. 429. 

693. (40480). A broad bowl; inner marginal band, the upper portion of 
which has a line of diamond spaces. The under side of the oblique 
line on the outer surface i.s bordered with scrolls as in Fig. 375. 
This is a very large specimen, being eighteen inches in diameter. 
See Fig. 401. 

694. (40928). Inner surface marked with geometrical figures. 

695. (41.970). No figures on the inner surface. 

696. (40972). Inner decorations as in Fig. 419. 

697. (40017). No outer decorations ; inner surface with marginal band 
and large white cross; remainder brown. 

698. (40015). Outer and inner faces marked with triangles and slender 

699. (40024). Outer scalloped band, scroll figures internally. 

700. (40022). Outer surface with scalloped baud and large oblique dia- 
monds ; inner with double scalloped band and scrolls. 

701. 702. 701, (401.58); 702, (40159). Outer face without decorations; 
inner with large vermiform figures. 

703. (40100). Both faces with oblique lines of scrolls. 

704. (40192). Stems and leaves externally and internally. 


705. (40195). Interior decorations profuse ; scrolls, and diamond-shaped 

706. (40934). Four scalloped bands on outer face; scroll figures on inner 

707. (40935). No outer decorations ; inside marked with a marginal band 
erf dots and lines; cenlral scrolls. 

708. (40939). Both surfaces with geometrical figures. 

709. (40950). Marked externally with double lance points; internally 
with scrolls. 

710. (39954). Shown in Fig. 428. Here we see the head of the grotesque 
bird reduced to a simple scroll. 

Browu or jellow ware. Decorations in black or red, without exter- 
nal ornamentation unless otherwise stated. , 
711-713. 711,(40011); 712. (4093C); 713, (40962). Four large leaves 
forming a cross. 

714. (40018). Broad external band of horizontal and oblique dotted lines. 
No figures on the inner surface. 

715. (40032). External scalloped band; reversed pyramids or pueblos 

716. (40039). Broad marginal band of half pyramids, alternately re- 

717. (40048). White vermiform figures. 

718,719. 718, (40154); 719, (40184). These are similarly marked, the 

margin in both being also white. 
The following specimens are without decorations af any kind: 
720-733. 720, (40019) ; 721, (4003C) ; 722, (40100) ; 723, (401G2) ; 724, (40165) ; 

725,(40180); 726, (40307); 727,(40929); 728,(40953); 729,(40954); 

730, (40959); 731, (40962); 732, 40963); 733, (40968). 

734. (40155). Patch- work. 

735. (40172). Four serrate or scalloped bands on outer face. Similar 
inner marginal band in outline; and outline pyramidal figures. 

736. (40174). Outline pyramidal figures. 

737-739. 737, (40173); 738, (40289); 739, (40964). Marginal band of 
double outline scrolls. 

740. (39618). Brown ware with decorations in black. Colored Fig. 380. 

741. (39592). Brown ware with decorations in black. Colored Fig. 382. 


These vessels are generally of medium size, though in some instances 
the dimensions vary exceedingly. Those used in cooking for feasts are 
quite large, sometimes with a capacity of about ten gallons ; the small- 
est, designed only for family use, are less than four inches in diameter 
and not quite three inches high. They are of two general forms, one 
similar to the ordinary pots used on cooking stoves, the other bowl- 
shaped. Two specimens in the collection are provided with legs; to 
these the Zuuians apply the name m-mu ygn-sii-qui-jM. See Fig. 432. 
As a general rule, the rims of these vessels are flared, and on some of 

Fig. 428 



Fio. 42!) 



40 294 

Figs. 4'28-430.— Zufii Eating Bowls. 

Fig. 431 

Fig. 432 



Fir. 433 

Fig. 434 

I-'lG. 435 

Fig. 436 

Figs. 431-436.— Zufli Cooking Vessels. 


them, close to the rim on the outside, are ear-like projections, which are 
pi-obably intended as catches by which, with pokers or sticks, they can 
be removed from or arranged in position on the fire. They are never 
ornamented, and have no coloring other than that which is acquired iu 
baking. These vessels are used iu cooking such foods as contain liquids. 
Three names are applied to cooking pots, having reference to size, 
viz : pdh-feh-Ie is the large cylindrical pot ; the smaller pot of the same 
form is pah-tehltsdn-nd; and icdhU-uh katehlle is the common cooking 
pot. The 011a or bowl-shaped pot. Fig. i'iS, is called sd-mtl-yen. 

The following numbers belong to the pah tehltsdn-nd group and pre- 
sent no variations worthy of special notice. 

742, 743. 742,(41113). Fig. 43G; 743, (41114), Fig. 433. These illustra- 
tions represent a form and have the appearance of the so-called 
.ancient ware; the hitter specimen bears the impress of the grass 
whieh was produced iu the baking process. 
744. (40SC5). Fig. 435. Cooking pot. 

The following numbers represent specimens of cooking pots of 
varying sizes, though generally small and of the form of No. 744, 
though some few present the iippearance of bowls: 
745-760. 745, (41115); 74(), (4111U); 747, (41117); 748, (41118); 749, 
(41119); 750, (41120); 751, (41121); 752, (41122); 753, (41123) 
754,(41124); 755, (41125); 75G, (4112G) ; 757,(41127); 758,(41128) 
759,(41129); 760,(41130); 761,(41131); 762,(41132); 763,(41137) 
704, (41138) ; 765, (41140) ; 706, (41141). 
The following belong to the sd-mu-ySn bowls : 
767-804. 767, (41055); 76S, (41056); 769, (41057); 770, (41058); 771, 
(41059); 772, (41060); 773, (41061); 774, (41062); 775, (41063) 
776,(41064); 777,(41065); 778,(41000); 779,(41067); 780,(41068) 
781,(41069); 782,(41070); 783,(41071); 784,(41072); 785,(41073) 
786, (41074) ; 787, (41075) ; 788, (41070) ; 789, (41077); 790, (41078) 
791,(41079); 792,(41080); 793,(41081); 794,(41082); 795,(41083) 
790,(41(184); 797,(41085); 798,(41080); 799,(41087); 800,(41088) 
801, (41089); 802, (41090); 803, (41091); 804, (41092), shown iu 
Fig. 34. 
805-826. 805, (41093); 806, (41094); 807, (41095); 808, (41090); 809, 
(41097y; 810, (41098); 811, (41099); 812, (41100); 813, (41101) 
814, (41102); .S15, (41103); 816, (41104); 817, (41100); 818, (41107) 
819, (41108); 820, (41109); 821, (41110); 822, (41111); 823, (41112) 
824, (41133) ; 825, (41139) ; 820, (41143). This is an unburnt speci- 
men of unusual form, resembling in this respect a sugar bowl, its 
margin and sides undulated. 
827, 828. 827, (40853), bowl-shaped with conical bottom; 828, (41053), 

Fig. 432, pot-shaped, but with four legs. 
829, 830. 829, (41134), 830, r41135), are really pitchers, as will be seen 
by reference to Fig. 431, which represents the latter, but they ap- 
pear to be made for cooking purposes, as they are designated by 
the name sd-mu-ySn. 



Called by the Zuiiians sa-shd-lcdn-ne. These are of two forms, one re- 
sembling somewhat an oyster-shell, the other with a handle resembling 
a spoon. The forms and decorations are shown in the figures. They 
are of white ware usually with figures on the inner surface, and of red 
ware without ornamentation. They varj' in size from eight inches in 
length and five inches across the bowl to four and a half and two auda 
half inches. 

831-839. 831, (39884); 832,(39894), Fig. 4^8; 833, (40430); 834, (40431); 
835, (40432), flower in the bowl ; 836, (40433) ; 837, (404C0) ; 838, 
(404G1) ; 839, (41254). With handles. 
840-841. 840, (39895) ; 841, (39890), figures of elks in the bowl. With- 
out handles. 

842. (39929). 

843, 844. 843, (40408) scrolls; 844, (40417), Fig. 440. 

845, 84G. 845, (40418) ; 846, (40419), this has a pretty marginal band, 

and the figure of a slender bird in the bowl. 
847-851. 847, (40420); 848, (40421) ; 849, (40422), Fig. 439; 450,(40423); 

451, (40424), resembles Fig. 440. 
852-86S. 852, (40425) ; 853, (40427) ; 854, (4042S^ ; 855, (^40429) ; 856, 

(40434) ; 857, (40435) ; 858, (40437) ; 859, (40438) ; 800, (40439) ; 801, 

(40441); 862, (40442); 863, (40459); 864, (40462);- 865, (40463); 

866, (40075); 867, (40677); 868, (40678), Fig. 441. 
869, 870. 869, (40679) ; ^870, (40875), Fig. 437. 


Called by the Zunians, ah-icehl-ici-dh-pd-sdhl. These vessels, which 
vary in size from four to eight inches in diameter and from two to 
five in depth, are in the form of bowls, sometimes with a handle over 
the top like a basket handle, sometimes without. The margin is either 
scalloped, as in Fig. 452, or terraced so as to resemble the section of a 
pyramid or pueblo, being cut in this form with a horse-hair while soft. 
They are always of white ware decorated with black. The margin is uni- 
formly black, and there is often an inner and outer submarginal narrow 
band following the undulations or terraces. The figures most com- 
mon, and in fact almost exclusively used, are those resembling tadpoles, 
but which, as I learned, are intended to represent a small crustacean or 
the larva of an insect common in the water-pools and streams of the 
Zuui country ; and the somewhat grotesque figures of the horned toad 
{Pltrynosoma). These figures are placed both on the outer and inner 
surfaces, though the figure of the reptile is generally found on the outer. 

These singular vessels are used by the Indians only in their sacred 
and ceremonial dances. In them is placed a small quantity of meal ; they 
are then borne in the hands of the women, who, during the dance, take 
a small quantity of the meal, just as much as they can hold between the 




tips of the fingers, and sprinkle it on the sacred objects and on the heads 

of the persons leading in the ceremonies. 
As the forms and decorations are correctly shown in the figures, I 

shall only notice those which are unusual. 

Without handles ; margin scalloped : 

871-873. 871, (40074); 872, (40075), Fig. 443; 873, (40400), Fig. 444. 
Without handles; margin terraced: 

874. (40337). Figures of insects on outer surface. 

875-881. 875, (40344); 87C, (40364); 877, (403G7) ; 878, (403G8) ; 879, 
(40369); 880, (40370); 881, (40371), Fig. 445. 

882-899. 882, (40372), Fig. 447; 883,(40373); 884, (40374); 885,(40375); 
886,(40376); 887, (40377), Fig. 446; 888,(40378); 889,(40380); 890, 
(40381); 891, (40382); 892,(40383); 893,(40384); 894,(40385); 895, 
(40392); 896, (40393) ; 897, (40394); 898, (40396); 899, (40803), this 
specimen, which is but slightly burnt, is more globular in .form 
than usual, and has mounted on each pyramid a small image, one 
human, one of a dog or lux, one of a chicken, and the other prob- 
ably intended for a bird. This is really not a meal basket, but is 
carried in the dance for rain, and bears the name tl-lid-pd-Mtehl-le. 

900-902. 900, (41014); 901, (41015), this has in the place of the reptile 
the figure of a bird ; 902, (41018). 

903. (39971). Fig. 442. A Zuui clay basket without handles; the form 
of the margin and inner decorations are unusal, and on this account 
and the fact that the little water animal does not appear on it, it 
is probably from some other tribe, though obtained at ZuQi. 

904. (40354) Fig. 452. With handles ; margin scalloped. The decora- 
tions on this basket are unusual. The chief figure and the most 
interesting one on this entire group of pottery is that of a snake 
encircling the body of the basket, on the head of which is a feather 

905. (41019). Fig. 449. A Zuui dance basket, one of the most complete 
in form and decoration in the collection. 

906-909. 906, (40356), Fig. 450; 907, (40390); 908,(40391); 909,(40806). 
This is more cup shaped than usual, and is ornamented with the 
geometrical figures common on bowls. It belongs to a distinct class 
of sacred vessels to which the name tlcha-po-M-tehlle is applied. 

910-913. 910, (40336); 911, (40353); 912, (40355), Fig. 451; 913, (40357), 
varies in having the head of abird. With handles ; margins ter- 

914-922. 914, (40358) ; 915, (40360) ; 916, (40361) ; 917, (40362) ; 918, 
(40365) ; 919, (40366) ; 920, (40359), Fig. 448 ; 921, (40379), Fig. 453 ; 
922, (40386). This and the three following specimens are small 
baskets called by the Zuiiiaus dh'-weJil-ici-dh-pa-saJil-tsdn-nd. 

923-928. 923, (40387)"; 924, (40388) ; 925, (40389) ; 926, (40395). This 
and the two following bear the same figures as observed on Fig. 452. 
927, (40397) ; 928, (40398). 


929. (40399). This basket is ornamented wifh the conventional little 
water animal, inside and out; it also presents the head and tail of 
a snake, the body of which encircles the base of the basket. The 
head of the snake is decorated with a crest and a horn-like pro- 
jection immediately before the eyes. The tongue and teeth are 
also rei)resented in colors on the specimen. The rim is serrated 
and painted black with a small line conforming to the black band 
immediately under it. 

930. (41016). Is without a handle, but noticeable for the representation 
of a bird, on each side of which are two of the little water animals. 

931. (41017). Basket without handle and four pyramids with serrated 
edges, and representation of horned toad on sides. 

932. (41019). Basket with handle, large toad on each side, and a dragon- 
fly on each side of the toad. 


These are al^vays small, but vary in size from one and a half to three 
inches in height. They are usually in the form of water vases or globu- 
lar jars, though sometimes of a true cup shape, and occasionally 
cubical. They are generally single, but quite often double, and occa- 
sionally triple and quadruple. To (he large-sized single ones the Zu- 
Qiaus apply the name of liili-p6-l;a-tehl-le ; and to those of smaller sizes, 
Ml-i-pokd-tehl-tsan-nd. They are usually without handles, but some- 
times these are present. The double ones are connected only by a bar 
extending from the body of one to that of the other; and the triple 
and quadruple ones in a similar manner. They are of red and white 
ware like the other pottery ; the decorations on the white are siniilar to 
those already described, so far as they can be adapted to these small 

We shall give the numbers without remarks, except to note unusual 
forms and figures. 
Single cups: 
933-938. 933,(39881); 934,(39888); 935,(39938); 936,(39939); 937, (.39944); 
938, (39945); with figures of the little aquatic animal so frequently 
represented on the earthenwai-e baskets used in rain dances. 
939-942. 939, (39949); 940, (40056); 941, (40111); 942, (40112); square, 

box-shaped, of biowu ware and very rnde. 
943-'J46, 943, (40323); 944, (40324); 945, (40325); 946, (40326); with 
terraced margin like that so common in baskets used in the sacred 
947-952. 947, (40327); 948, (40328); 949, (40329); 950, (40330); 951, 

(40331) ; 952, (40332). With meander baud of simplest form. 
953-901. 953, (4033S), terraced margin ; 954, (40334) ; 953, (40335) ; 956, 
(40338); 957, (40339); 958, (40340); 959, (40341), true cup with 
looped handles ; 960, (40342) ; 901, (40343), with straight cylin- 
drical handle. 


962-968. 962, (40345) ; 863, (40346) ; 964, (40347) ; 965, (40348), form 
of the ordinary glass tumbler; 900, (40349); 967, (40352); 968, 
(40587). Mug-shaped, with broad, horizontal rim. 

969-974. 969, (40588) ; 970, (40589) ; 971, (40590) ; 972, (40591) ; 973, 
(40592); 974, (40593). With simple meander band. 

975. (40594). The artist has evidently attempted to figure on this the 
true meander (Greek fret), but has failed. 

976. (40595). Marked with the grotesque horned toad so common on 
the earthenware baskets. 

977-979. 977, (40590); 978, (40597); 979, (40598). Spherical in form, 

decorated with figures of the grotesque bird heretofore mentioned. 

980-983. 980, (40599), bowl-shaped; 981, (40645); 982, (40047); 983, 

(40648). Bird with a scroll arising out of its back. 
984-994. 984, (40049); 985, (40C50); 986, (40651); 987, (40684); 988, 
(40826); 989, (4082S), Fig. 455; 990, (40829); 991, (40830); 992, 
(39768) ; 993, (39982) ; 994, (39983). 

Double cups (heli-pO-kd-tehl-i-pa-chin). The little water animal 

is a common figure on these. 

995-998. 995, (39931); 996, (39932), Fig. 454; 997, (39948); 998, 

(40350). This has the connecting bar arched so as to form a 


999-1004. 999, (40351); 1000, (40433); 1001, (40444); 1002, (40445); 

1003, (40447) ; 10(;4, (40349). The last five are plain. 
1005-1007. 1005, (40448) ; 1000, (40449) ; 1007, (40450). With scalloped 
margin, double bars, the upper one arched; grotesque figures of 
horned toad. 
1008-1017. 1008, (40451); 10009,(40452); 1010,(40454); 1011,(40455); 
1012, (40150) ; 1013, (40457) ; 1014, (4061(i), double bar or bar and 
handle; 1015, (40681), Fig. 456; 1016, (40682); 1017, (40854), 
square, without bar. 
Triple cups : 
1018-1023. 1018, (40605); 1019, (40606); 1020,(40609); 1021,(40680); 
1022, (40693) ; 1023, (40850). 

Quadruple cups, to which is applied the same Zuiii name as 

that given to those provided with triple and quadruple cups. 

1024,1025. 1024, (40612), Fig. 457; 1025, (40613). Brown, square, 

united directly at the sides without bars. 
1026-1029. 1026, (40652); 1027, (40855); 1028, (40856), square; 1029, 
(40859), square. 


These are similar in form and decorations to the paint cups, and are 
also round and square, single, double, and quadruple. They are usually 
small, holding from less than half a pint to a pint. The different names 
applied to them will be given as they are reached in the list. The 


double and quadruple ones are connected together in the same manner 
as the multiple paint-pots, 
Single cups : 

1030. (39S7S). Square with figures of chickens on the sides. 

Mu-po-l;d-tehl-le is the name bj- which the round or vase-shaped 
vessels are designated. They are numbered as follows : 

1031. (39905). Fig. 459. The figures on this specimen appear to be in- 
tended as representations of some neuropterous insect, but possi- 
bly they represent birds. 

1032-1037. 1032, (40653) ; 1033, (40G54) ; 1034, (40055) ; 1035, (40656) ; 
1036, (40657 J ; 1037, (40658). Some of these appear, from the frag- 
ments of bars attached to them, to have belonged to double speci- 

1038, 1039. 1038, (40633) ; 1039, (40832). These two are red ware. 

1040-1049. 1040, (40833); 1041, (40834); 1042, (40835); 1043, (41006); 
1044,(41007); 1045, (41008), Fig. 458; 1046,(41170); 1047,(40603); 
1048, (40606) ; and 1049, (40664), are square. 
Double cups : 

The round form has the same name as the single salt cup, but the 
square pattern is named Md' pdla-iliU-W-ne. The following speci- 
mens belong to the latter class : 

1050-1057. 1050,(39900); 1051, (39901); 1052, (4041G) ; 1053, (40604); 
1054, (40662) ; brown 1055, (40683) ; 1056, (40831) ; 1057, (40661). 

1058-1068. The following are round: 1058,(40410); 1059,(40411); 1060, 
(40412); 1061,(40413); 1062,(40414); 1063,(40415); 1064,(40440); 
1065,(40659); 1066,(40660); 1067,(40666); 1068,(40667). 

1069. (40836). Quadruple. This and the last three preceding specimens 
are ornamented like Fig. 458. 


These figures, which are of small size, the largest not exceeding one 
foot in length, are quite rude, rendering it difiBcult in some cases to tell 
what animal is intended, the only exceptions to this rule being some 
figures of owls, in which the Zuflians appear to have made the nearest 
approach to the true form. They are generally of white ware, decorated 
with colors. Often these decorations are arbitrary, but as a general 
rule there has been an evident attempt to imitate nature so far as it 
could be done with the various shades of brown and black. 

Some of the larger pieces, especially the owls, have an opening at the 
top or on the back, as though designed for water vessels. 

The objects most commonly represented are owls (which largely pre- 
dominate), antelope, elk, ducks, and chickens. The human form, the 
pig, sheep, horse, &c., are occasionally represented. 

Owls, mu-hii-que and onu-hu-que-tsdn-nd. These are nearly always 
represented with feet, and in most cases with legs. The body is usually 
disproportionately large, as are also the legs ; tlie bill is small, and the 

Fir.. 454 

Fio. 455 



Fig. 456 


Fir.. 4.59 

(is) 39905 

Figs. 454-459.— Zuui Paiut and Condiment Cups. 

Fig. 460 

Fig. 401 

Figs. 460,461.— Zuni Effigies. 

Fig. 462 

Fig. 463 



Figs. 462,463.— Zuni Effigies. 

Fig. 464 

Fin. 465 




Fig. 466 

Fig. 467 


Figs. 464-467.— Zuui Effigies, 

Fig. 468 


Fig. 469 

Figs. 468,469.— Zuui Effigies. 

Fifi. 470 


Fig. 471 

Figs. 470,471.— Zuni Effigiea 


\riugs are represented by small lateral projections ; the tail is short. 

The eyes are generally well represented. The feathers, as will be seen 

by reference to the iigures, are quite well shown. The figures have an 

opening on the top of the head. 
As there is a strong similarity in form, and the mode of decorating 

them is shown in the figures, no special remarks on the different speci- 
mens are necessary. 

1070-1077. 1070, (39S75); 1071, (39876); 1072, (39877); 1073, (39921); 
1074, (39942); 1075, (39957); 107C, (40054); 1077, (40059), shown 
in Fig. 400 ; this is one of the very few without feet. 

1078-109G. 1078, (400G4) ; 1079, (40065); 1080, (40008); 1081, (40138) 
1082, (40140), Fig. 4G1 ; 1083, (40201); 1084, (40142), small ; 1085, 
(40262); 1086,(40141); 1087,(40142); 1088,(40409); 1089,(40734) 
1090, (40735), without feet ; 1091, (40736) ; 1092, (40737) ; 1093 
(40738), Fig. 463, very large ; 1094, (40740), Fig. 462 ; 1095, (40741) 
1096, (40742). 

1097-1112. 1097, (40743), Fig. 466; 1098, (40744); 1099, (40745); 1100, 
(40746), without feet; 1101, (40747) ; 1102, (40748), Fig. 468; 1103, 
(40749) ; 1104, (40750) ; 1105, (40751) ; 1106, (40752); 1107, (40753) ; 
1108, (40754), Fig. 407 ; 1109, (40755) ; 1110, (40756) ; 1111, (40757); 
1112, (40758), without decorations. 

1113-1120. 1113, (40759); 1114, (40760); 1115, (40761); 1110, (40762); 
1117, (40763) ; 1118, (40764) ; 1 1 19, (40765) ; 1120, (40766), bearing a 
single young owl on its back. 

1121. (40767). Shown in Fig. 469, bearing three young owls on its back. 

1122. (41043). 

1123, 1124. 1123, (40066), Fig. 465, and 1 124, (40739), Fig. 464. Two owl- 
shaped water vessels from Zuiii. 

Duck-shaped canteens, e-ydh-mche-to, are usually rejjresented iu a 
swimming posture, without feet, though occasionally the standing pos- 
ture is adopted. The feather decorations are not so generally used as 
on the owls ; several specimens bear on the back or sides the figure of 
the grotesque bird with spread wings. These specimens, like the owl 
images, have an orifice on the top of the head as though intended for 
water vessels, but are seldom used as such at the present tim